Saturday, February 24, 2007
LeBell vs. Seagal
Gene LeBell's Powerful Choke
Steven Seagal: You Decide
In the Dojo Rat spirit of unsubstantiated rumor-mongering, we will perpetuate a hotly debated rumor about Steven Seagal getting his ass kicked by "Judo" Gene LeBell.
LeBell is a legendary veteran pro-wrestler, Judo player and trainer of several MMA fighting champions. Here's the version that is probably closest to the truth:
For many years, LeBell worked as a stunt man and fight coordinator in Hollywood. On the set of one of Seagal's crappier movies, LeBell got into a beef with Seagal about Seagal being unnecessarily rough and hurting several stunt men. As the story goes, Seagal had no idea of LeBell's reputation as a fighter. The stunt men had put Seagal on the spot by saying that LeBell could "choke Seagal out". Of course, Seagal said "No one could get close enough to me to ever choke me out". Well, one thing lead to another, and LeBell got ahold of Seagal and really let him have it. As the story goes, Seagal passed out and defecated all over himself. When he came to, he fired LeBell and all the stuntmen.
Now the reason this rumor has been so pervasive is that some people just can't stand Seagal. Sweet vengence.
I trained with an Aikido guy named Robert Button years ago. Robert had gotten his Aikido Black Belt in Tokyo, and trained at the same Dojo as Steven Seagal. He told me he had NEVER been thrown harder in his life than by Steven Seagal. the guy is simply big and strong. So is his ego.
The Hollywood gossip is people are scared of his Mafia connections, and perhaps with good reason. Not only is Seagal rumored to have crossed paths with elements of the Gambino crime family, but also some rogue operatives of shady intelligence agencies that were running guns to the Contras and other fun stuff.
For some of the juicy stuff Seagal hopes nobody ever reads, try this:
And here is LeBell's Bio on Wikipedia:
Gene LeBell (born October 9, 1932) is a former American judo champion, instructor, stuntman and professional wrestler. At present, he is associated with Gokor Chivichyan's Hayastan MMA Academy where he teaches MMA/grappling classes.
Fighting as a heavyweight, he won the AAU National Judo Championships both in 1954 and 1955. He has authored a number of books, including The Handbook of Judo (1962), Your Personal Handbook of Self-defense (1964), and Judo and Self-defense for the Young Adult (1971). In 1963, LeBell accepted a public challenge to fight boxer Milo Savage in Salt Lake City. Competing as a "judo/karate" fighter, LeBell defeated Savage, choking him unconscious in the 4th round. In June 1976, LeBell refereed the infamous boxing-versus-wrestling contest between Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki. Decades ago, LeBell was a close friend of Bruce Lee, with whom he shared various fighting techniques. More recently, LeBell is credited with contributing to the training of MMA fighter Karo Parisyan.
LeBell is held in high regard by fans of combat sports, to whom he is affectionately known as "Judo" Gene. He received the 2005 Frank Gotch Award, to celebrate the positive recognition he brought to the sport of wrestling.
LeBell has a son named David LeBell.
--- I'll put my money on LeBell...
(edit.)-- Upon review, LeBell won his AAU Judo championships when Seagal was in diapers. And furthermore, any dude that can wear a pink Judo Gi probably deserves to win...