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:
http://www.lukeford.net/profiles/profiles/steven_seagal.htm
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...

25 comments:

S. said...

Some time ago I heard the story told as you have given it, then I heard LeBell's version. LeBell doesn't deny it happened, but is considerably kinder to Seagal in his version. I think this says a lot about LeBell, and why he is held in such regard in martial arts circles. I also tend to agree with you, I think LaBell would take Segal nine out of ten.

TrueDefense said...

There is NO WAY that Seagal could EVER take Gene LeBell. Not even one time out of a million. Gene is the real deal, while Seagal is a BIG FAT FAKE- a walking ego with jowls. Gene's been competing all his life, while Seagal HIDES from ANY competition; he's just a whiny, egotistical baby who can't stand to fight, let alone LOSE, and who always has to be the center of attention, and victory without effort. I don't see HOW anyone can see him as anything but a pock-mark on humanity.

anonymous said...

First of all everyone always states that Steven Seagal is "fake", he is a 7th dan aikidoka, and holds black belts in judo, karate, and kendo. He studied in Japan with the masters, he is also a Shinto priest, and learned the art of Zen mastery as well as Buddhism. And is fluent in Japanese as a result. So I would hardly call him fake, second of all he does not have an inflated ego, in fact being an uke in aikido would have meant he would have been thrown around by people of all sizes, something someone with an ego would not do... It is the fact that he chooses to ignore comments and rumours that he is slandered. Any great martial artist will tell you that to prevent a fight is better than to "win" a fight. And in Aikido they follow the budo code which does not allow competition/fights as a true warrior knows no defeat.
What people also forget is that usually the role he plays in movies does not reflect him or his beliefs in real life
In fact he is a very humble and talented man. Anyone who has actually met Steven Seagal would tell you this.

JustMe said...

Well Seagal is a cop so him having Mafia connections is probably not true. He has been on the dept. of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office for almost 2 decades. I think for you to start to slander him you need to get your facts straight. Also everyone loses some times and for him to lose to an older master in martial arts or whatever it is that Mr. LeBell teaches would only seem fitting, huh? Like I said....get your facts straight before you want to tear someone down! Please and Thank you!

iacobescu.danalexandru said...

I'm not saying that Steven Seagal is invincible, as most of his movies show, which by the way, do not reflect hist personality and mentality. He just does what he's told to do. He is an Aikido master, holding a 7tn Dan black belt in this martial art and he is an expert in several other martial arts types as well. He is not a guy that can be defeated easily. But the reason why I don't believe the story with Gene LeBell, is because the context in which is claimed to have happened is very improbable. Seagal would never get mad and attack someone just because that someone would tell him to be more gentle with the stuntmen. This doesn't fit his character . Plus, his style is not to attack, but to defend himself, using the opponent's force against him. He is not an aggressive person, nor is he arrogant as some people and gossip magazines and newspapers would like to make people think of him. He's a very modest guy. So if he would ever fought anyone, that would be because another person would attack him, not because he would attack someone else. So this rumor, for me, is just another bullshit gossip from frustrated, inferiority complex suffering MORONS that want to discredit him. Why isn't there any official information about this? Why aren't there any witnesses to tell the story? Where is the director, the producers, the stuntmen that he supposedly fired, to talk about this? I'm sure that those stuntmen and even Gene Lebell would've start talking, even if only because he fired them. Did anybody asked Gene LeBell about this? Did Gene Lebell ever claimed that he defeated Steven Seagal? Is there an interview with him in which he claims this and that we can all see? Not from what I know. The reason why there is no one to confirm this bullshit story is because the story is nothing but a bullshit rumor/gossip.

Laurel said...

So sad that the rumor has taken on a life of its own and escalated to even more ridiculous depths. It seems that now (and substantiated, of course, by irrefutable but unnamed columnists) the fight occurred in a bar, and the opponent was a person not the caliber of LaBell, but just another short guy in the bar. Too bad we love to spread rumors. The adage is true, I guess..."great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people."

Anonymous said...

Lebell used judo to choke Seagal.What about a real fight.Le Bell is dead.

Anonymous said...

There is a good reason that this story is not widely know. Seagal took legal action to have the encounter squashed, and LeBell can't discuss what happened or he would be paying through his teeth. For those of you who watch the UFC, commentator and avid MMA practitioner and fan Joe Rogan has mentioned it several times in couched terms..."Ask Steven Seagal about Gene LeBell's judo chokes.."

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Button said Seagal is strong? I don't see it. No muscle, all fat.

Anonymous said...

People - Aikido is NOT a legitimate martial art ! And if you think it is then take your shit down to an MMA gymnasium and see how you get on against practitioners of REAL martial arts !

Aikido - hahahahahahaahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Aikido IS a legitimate martial art, and used by alot of MMA, bouncers, security personnel and special forces.

Nam Marine said...


A short history lesson for those of you who think Aikido is fake.
If you bother to look up the history you will see that Aikido or as it was called in the day, Aiki-jutsu, It was ONLY taught to the Imperial guard of the Emperor of Japan and was unbeatable!
Put that in your pipe and smoke it !

Sarahwitch said...

I have to disagree that Lebell is big and strong. Big and FAT is more like it; Seagal was always known as a "skinny guy" before he hit the donuts, and he's never been known as a weightlifter except when he gets up from a chair or hoists a cruller.
So suffice it; say that he's simply got blubber-mass, he's no Lou Ferrigno. In Aikido you're not SUPPOSED to throw people hard, he's simply a clumsy oaf who chose aikido because he's chicken of any real competition; that's why he married into the Fujutani family dojo and gave himself black belts left and right his own ex-wife Miyako Fujitani, whom he committed bigamy against after taking all her money to go into film, said that
he is a complete liar and fake.
Seagal also married two women, including Kelly LeBrock, and had kids with them while still married to Miyako Fujitani.

Seagal is about the most dishonest sleaze there is, and anyone who has been around martial arts knows that it is a haven for bullies and fakes who try to use it to intimidate and impress the ignorant, but such frauds inevitably get poetic justice when they come up against the real McCoy.... or in this case, the real LEBELL.
Seagal, like most bullies, can only pick on those unable to fight back for some reason, personal or professional, and Gene isn't exactly in that crowd.

Sarahwitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarahwitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarahwitch said...

Nam Marine:

if I'm ever attacked by the Imperial Guard of Japan I'll be sure to worry.

Aikido is CRAP!

But be sure to tell the Easter Bunny I said hi.

Sarahwitch said...

iacobescu.danalexandru:

You are very ignorant about Seagal and his character. He is a bully, a liar and a coward, like many fakes in martial arts; that's why nobody likes him anymore, since he is a sadistic fake and ego-driven con-artist

As Chuck Norris says, "a bully is nothing to be scared of, because they only pick on those weaker than themselves; you never see them pick on anyone stronger."
Clearly Seagal thought he could take Gene, and got more than he bargained then; then we saw Seagal's fantasy-version in "On Deadly Ground."
Seagal is also a crybaby who wouldn't come out of his trailer for his death-scene in "Executive Decision" until they rewrote it!

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Moviestica said...

I'm one of biggest movie addict and long in the past when i watched first few movies with Seagal i really liked them but after countless of movies copies from first few i somehow started to dislike his work. this somehow is happening to most of action, fight, karate, Rambo, style actors.

Shane Clark said...

I appreciate you factual comment
And i find myself to be a great judge of character
I think Lebell is the one with the Ego and the lies
This man says stupid things all the time
That Rhonda Rousey would beat Bruce Lee and Steven Segal and most men
Im a 300 lb man and i can tell you i can shift my weight avoid her grapple and throw her across a room im a heavy weight period
It does matter and shes not that good
In my opinion ive watched her fights and saw her get rocked by Holly a pure patient striker