The transcript below is from the video “Steven Seagal vs Sammo Hung | Aikido vs Kung Fu” by Brutal TV.
Steven Seagal vs Sammo Hung
Martial arts are so popular, they spawned an entire movie sub-genre starring some of the most respected martial artists of all time. The one thing that remains consistent when addressing all of these silver and small screen dynamos, every one of them fought their way into television and movie history. In this video we are going to take a look at two of those dynamos, Steven Seagal and Sammo Hung, and try to answer the question, who would win in a fight?
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Steven Seagal is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, martial artist, and musician. He was born on April 10, 1952, in Lansing, Michigan. At the age of 7, the enigmatic Seagal commenced his martial arts training under the instruction of well-known karate instructor Fumio Demura. And in the 1960s, commenced his Aikido training in Orange County, California under the instruction of Harry Ishisaka. Seagal received his first dan accreditation in 1974 after he moved to Japan to further his martial arts training. After spending many years there perfecting his skills, he achieved the ranking of a 7th dan in the martial art Aikido and was instructing wealthy clients in Los Angeles when he came to the attention of Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz.
Seagal’s first film 1988 Above the Law was well received among action buffs, leading to 1989’s Hard to Kill and 1992’s Under Siege, his most popular film to date. Soon to follow were the movies Executive Decision and The Patriot. He then went on to star in Exit Wounds and Half Past Dead. In 2009, Seagal tried his hand at television with A&E’s Steven Seagal: Lawman, which showed him working as a reserve deputy sheriff in Louisiana. True Justice had Seagal starring as the head of an undercover task force in Seattle, Washington. Back on the big screen, Seagal starred in Force of Execution with Ving Rhames and Gutshot Straight. He followed these with films like China Salesman with former boxer Mike Tyson and Beyond the Law with Rapper DMX.
While the actor also has black belts in Karate, Kendo, and Judo, it is his Aikido skills that he is most known for. Aikido is a form of Japanese martial arts that was created by Japanese Morihei Ueshiba in the 1920s but it wasn’t until 1942 that he named it Aikido, which means “The Way of Harmony of the Spirit” or “Way of Combining Forces”. It is a very spiritual, philosophical, and ethical approach to martial arts which derived from Jujutsu, the precursor to Judo and the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Aikido is a unique form of martial arts because it is non-competitive and focuses more on non-violent self-defense. The practice involves using an attacker’s own force to disarm him causing him to lose balance and using his own strength against him. The movements for Aikido involve a comprehensive system of throwing, striking, joint locking and pinning techniques. It also involves training in traditional Japanese weapons such as the sword, the staff and the knife.
Haruo Matsuka, one of the most combat competent Aikido stylists in the world, named Seagal as his very first sensei or teacher in Aikido. Haruo was trained by Seagal in his tension dojo in Japan when the former was just a teenager. They would later form a relationship wherein Haruo taught Aikido at Seagal’s dojo in California and also joined Seagal in his early films before they parted ways in 1997. Haruo described Seagal’s style as having a reputation for being hardcore and effective on the street. When Seagal was training Haruo, his training philosophy was about making things practical for the world. Otherwise, they would be useless. Seagal taught a very practical form of Aikido which included swift footsteps and hand movements. He incorporated body posture and sword cuts that were very strong and straight.
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Sammo Hung is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist, film producer, and director. Hung was born in British Hong Kong on January 7, 1952. His parents worked as wardrobe stylists in the local movie industry. Hence, Hung had to spend all his childhood with his grandparents who were also artists. In 1961, Hung was enrolled at China Drama Academy where he studied for 7 years. Known as Yuen Lung, he became the first member of a performing group Seven Little Fortunes. The group later welcomed Jackie Chan who was then known as Yuen Lo. Before Hung could graduate from the academy at the age of 16, he suffered an injury which forced him to stay away from action for a while. Despite the injury, he decided to become a stuntman and soon found himself working in the industry.
Sammo Hung is arguably the most versatile and prolific actor, director, film producer, fight choreographer, and stuntman in Hong Kong cinema. At 16, he ventured into the world of cinema. Realizing the need for fighting skills, he strove to acquire martial arts experience. After training in Karate, Wing Chun, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Aikido, Wushu, Hapkido, Sanda, and Chinese Boxing, he became one of Hong Kong’s hottest filmmakers. He is now internationally renowned as a pioneer and trendsetter in Hong Kong action films.
Hung’s big break as a film actor came with a role as a sparring partner in the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon. He established his reputation as a skilled physical comedian in several Kung Fu comedies, beginning with Enter the Fat Dragon. He also produced and starred in numerous successful films throughout the 1970s and 1980s for Hong Kong’s leading film studio Golden Harvest. Hung collaborated in the 1980s with longtime friend Jackie Chan in a highly successful series of action comedies that cemented Hung’s reputation as a consummate actor-director and launched Chan’s career as an international star.
Hung has starred in 75 films and worked on over 230. Most recently, he has starred in the historic action film God of War. This guy is built like a teddy bear having gained weight as a young man due to illness but is still extremely agile. Jackie Chan once said of him he is built like an elephant but moves like a monkey.
So who would be the winner in a fight between Seagal and Hung? In our opinion, we believe Hung would have the upper hand in this fight. Even now, aged over 60, he can still beat people half his age on and off the screen. His training in so many different martial arts along with his speed and agility stands him in good stead against any sized opponent. Seagal’s main fighting style is Aikido, which is not really known as being the best style for a street fight although his way of delivering it was a little different. The goal in Aikido is to defend yourself while trying to avoid hurting the attacker. That philosophy can be costly because the likes of Sammo Hung will definitely want to hurt him. All this being said, we are sure Mr. Seagal would give it his best shot.
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