Steven Seagal is known for his Hollywood acting career. He had an interesting job before he made it in movies, but was he in the military?
There is no evidence to suggest that Steven Seagal has ever been in the military, although he did pursue a career in martial arts in Japan, prior to returning to the U.S. Though not a military man, Steven Seagal has taken on the role of several action characters over his time in Hollywood, including Casey Ryback in ‘Under Siege’.
Read on to learn more about Seagal’s impressive martial arts skills and some of his most famous movie roles.
Though Seagal is known primarily for his acting career, he had a very different job before he broke into Hollywood.
Whilst he has never been in the military, he did develop a passion for martial arts, which he still holds today.
As a youngster in Fullerton, Seagal spent most of his time listening to rock music in a small garage, according to his mother, but also began to hone his skills in a local dojo.
His mother, Patricia, has said “he worked with this nice old Japanese man at a dojo in Garden Grove”, and it was he who suggested that Seagal go to Japan.
Though Seagal attended college in Fullerton between 1970 and 1971, he would later move to Japan to further his practise.
Back in California by 1974, Seagal met a second-degree black belt, Miyako Fujitani, and the two fell in love. When she went back to Osaka, Japan, Seagal followed and became a head instructor at Tenshin Aikido, a school owned by Miyako’s family.
Though he had two children with Miyako, their marriage wouldn’t last, partly owing to Seagal’s decision to return to the U.S. to open dojos.
He set out on his path to make aikido history in the U.S. with one of his disciples, but as his Hollywood career gained traction, Seagal and his student parted ways.
Nevertheless, Seagal’s martial arts training and preference for wrist locks are clearly visible in a lot of his movies.
Watch Seagal show off his skills in the YouTube video below.
Hollywood Action Hero
Though never undertaking military service in real life, Steven Segal has taken on a lot of action parts over the course of his career. Characteristic of his acting credits are high intensity roles playing special agents and police detectives.
He made his acting debut in ‘Above the Law’ in which he played an ex-CIA agent, who appropriately is also an aikido specialist, and its success meant plenty more roles began to present themselves.
One of his best known movies is ‘Under Siege’, which saw a young Seagal take on the role of an ex-navy SEAL.
In an interview with Jimmy Carter at the time of the film’s release, Seagal said of his role as an action star in ‘Under Siege’, “I’m real pleased with this movie it’s a lot of fun, and people in these troubled times wanna just get out there and have some simple fun”.
He noted that between ‘Above the Law’ and ‘Under Siege’ he prefers the former but added, “I feel grateful to god that I’ve been able to have anything to do with other people’s pleasure”.
A sequel followed along with a host of other roles, but Seagal made sure to keep up his martial arts training.
Though he never engaged in any military combat, he’s sure had his share of the action on-screen.