Member Since: 3/12/10
There's a lot of other interesting stories in this piece but here's the portion about Seagal.
Excerpt from the DeLucia interview:
“From the time I was very young I always wanted to study it, but where I was from the best I could do were books, and Aiki-jujitsu which a great number of policemen had to use,” said DeLucia. “The first very intense exposure I had to the traditional Aikido environment was due to an open invitational challenge which Steven Seagal had published in Black Belt magazine in which he stated, 'Anyone who wants to fight me come to my dojo and be prepared to fight to the death!'"
Never being one to shy away from a challenge, the then 23-year-old DeLucia took Seagal up on his offer.
“In 1992 I answered that challenge,” DeLucia said. “I drove 3000 miles to LA, got an apartment, and straightaway went to his dojo with a copy of the magazine and a written reply as well as my physical presence. His chief instructor Matsuoka Harua had to answer for it in his stead.”
According to DeLucia, “My assertion was that if he was going to make statements like that to bolster his popularity then he should back it up. He never did. So every morning and every evening for about six months I observed his classes. I learned a lot that way. No question of honor that Matsuoka Harua had given me more technical knowledge and politely tolerated my presence at every single class he taught.”