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STEVEN SEAGAL

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Steven Seagal began training karate at the age of 7 under Fumio Demura, and later began practising aikido in the late 1960s at the Orange County Aikikai in California under Harry Ishisaka.
Seagal Sensei received his 1st Dan from Koichi Tohei in Orange County in the summer of 1974 and traveled to Japan shortly thereafter at the tender age of 19. Seagal separated from Tohei's organization and assumed direction of the Aikikai-Hombu affiliated Tenshin Aikido Dojo in Osaka which was owned by his Japanese wife's parents.

He was rapidly promoted to 5th Dan in consideration of his position as chief instructor of the dojo, and his natural aptness in the art, and was eventually awarded his 6th Dan.

Steven Seagal currently holds a 7th Dan granted by the Aikikai and trains out of his home with his senior students, who in turn operate the dojos in Los Angeles and Taos. Seagal Sensei also has a school in Ventura, California under Larry Reynosa Sensei. Reynosa Sensei has trained with Steven Seagal for 11 years, holds the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) and is a direct disciple of Steven Seagal Shihan. He has sworn his allegiance, loyalty, and love to him and his style of Aikido. Ten years ago, Seagal Sensei honored Reynosa Sensei with the name "Makato" which means "sincere heart" in Japanese. Therefore, the school is also called Makoto Dojo. Seagal Sensei is a priest of the Omoto-Kyo sect, as was O'Sensei. Seagal Sensei's name in Aikido circles is Take Shigemichi, meaning pathway to Prosperity.

- From Steven Seagal Official Site

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