Steven Seagal was born on April 10, 1951, in Lansing Michigan. His father a high school math teacher, and his mother was a medical technician.
When Steven was 5 his family moved to Fullerton, CA. At the age of 7, Steven became inerested in the martial arts and discovered a Japanese dojo in nearby Garden Grove, and began studying aikido.
After seeing a Martial Arts exhibition during halftime of a football game, Steven Seagal was captivated and intrigued. It was from there that a burning desire built within him to achieve at the highest possible levels in the Martial Arts. At the age of 17, Steven headed for Japan to immerse himself in Japanese culture and to learn Martial Arts from the masters. Ultimately, Steven became a 7th degree black belt and an Aikido Master, being the first westerner to ever open a Dojo in Japan. Beyond his incredible skill as an Aikido Master, is the spiritual enrichment Steven gained learning Buddhism, the art of meditation and Zen mastery. Steven speaks fluent Japanese and is proud of the respect he has earned in Japan and throughout many parts of Asia.
His accomplishments in Martial Arts and the spiritual teachings of Zen and Japanese culture are big part of Steven's character. It has contributed to his success in acting and music as well as plays a large part in his continued commitment to help others. Steven is well known for his exceptional skills in the art of Aikido, Karate, Judo and Kendo. All the moves millions have seen and admired in his movies are result of his genuine skill and expertise in the Martial Arts.
In 1971, two years after the death of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, Steven left for Japan, to study with the masters in Zen, Buddhism and Aikido.
In 1975 he married and continued to live in Japan where he eventually inherited a dojo from his Japanese father in law. In the Aikido world he adopted the name Shigemichi Take (Take was his father-in-law's name). Steven lived in Asia for a long time and became close to several CIA agents, met powerful people and did special favors for them.
Steven Seagal was introduced to the martial arts at a very young age, after stumbling onto an Aikido dojo. He also became a Buddhist and went to the east a few years after school. In Japan he became the first Westerner ever to be allowed to open an Aikido dojo. He currently has a 7th dan in Aikido and he has also trained in various other styles, the most notable being Goju-Ryu Karate.
He later returned to America where he got involved with movies, fight coordination and also being a bodyguard. He even did the martial arts coordination for the James Bond film Never Say Never Again. But it was only in 1988 that he got his first leading role thanks to student Michael Ovitz who happened to be an agent by profession. Seagal wrote and starred in Above the Law where he played a tough cop who has to deal with his military past and take out the bad guys. That movie made him an instant star and also introduced the world to the art of Aikido. The next few years went well for him, starring in movies like Hard to Kill, Marked for Death and his biggest box office hit Under Siege. People liked his tough-guy attitude and his aggressive on-screen behavior.
Unbeknownst to many, in 1997 Seagal publicly announced that one of his Buddhist teachers, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, had accorded Seagal as a tulku, the reincarnation of a Buddhist Lama. This initial announcement was met with some disbelief until Penor Rinpoche himself gave a confirmation statement on Seagal's new title. Seagal has repeatedly discussed his involvement in Buddhism and how he devotes many hours studying and meditating this ancient Eastern religion.
Is the first foreigner ever to own and operate an Aikido dojo in Japan. Known as "Master Take Shigemichi", he was the chief instructor at the Aikido Tenshin Dojo in the city of Osaka.
Has three children with Kelly LeBrock: Annaliza, Dominick, and Arissa.
Is an Aikido-master - 7th Dan.
His love of guitar and appreciation of rasta music led him to study with a teacher in Jamaica, where he owns a vacation home.
Master in Japanese Kendo
Has been a bodyguard
Broke Sean Connery's wrist when he was teaching him martial arts during the filming of Never Say Never Again (1983).
Is good friends with Jackie Chan.
Is a singer and guitarist. In 2005, he released an album titled "Songs from the Crystal Cave".
Owns a very large collection of guitars and samurai swords.
Speaks Japanese fluently
He and Jackie Chan are friends and Chan offered him the role of the villain in Rush Hour 3 (2007), but Seagal turned it down.
Used to own a production company with Julius R. Nasso called Seagal/Nasso Productions from 1994-2000.
Although he is a master in Aikido and Kendo, he also holds black belts in Karate and Judo.
For almost 20 years, Seagal has been working as a fully commissioned deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana.