Entertainment

In the movies, he broke opponents’ hands with aikido techniques, martial artist Steven Seagal

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Actor Steven Seagal is best known for his starring roles in martial arts films like ‘Hard to Kill and ‘Under Siege.’

Who Is Steven Seagal?
Steven Seagal traveled to Japan at age 17 to teach English. He earned several black belts in martial arts and choreographed movie fight scenes for actors such as Sean Connery. Seagal brought his skills to the screen after returning to the United States, with flicks like Above the Law (1988), Hard to Kill (1989) and Under Siege (1992) making him one of the biggest action stars of the era. He later starred in the reality series Steven Seagal: Lawman and continued churning out action fare well into his 60s.

Early Life and Career
Actor and martial artist Steven Seagal was born on April 10, 1952, in Lansing, Michigan. The son of a nurse and a teacher, he started studying martial arts under Fumio Demura when he was a child. Seagal later traveled to Japan at age 17 where he taught English, studied Zen and perfected his martial arts, eventually earning black belts in aikido, karate, judo and kendo.

Seagal spent 15 years in Asia, studying Eastern philosophy and occasionally choreographing martial arts fight scenes in movies, working with stars such as Sean Connery and Toshiro Mifune. When he returned to the United States, he opened a martial arts academy and became a bodyguard for celebrities like Kelly LeBrock and Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz. The former became Seagal’s wife and the latter helped him make films for Warner Bros.

 

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