At the age of 17, Steven moved to Japan to train with the Aikido masters. In 1974, he received his 1st Dan from Koichi Tohei, 10th Dan and top student of O Sensei, the founder of Aikido.
In 1975, Steven became the first American to open a martial-arts Dojo in Japan, the Aididai-Hombu affiliated Tenshin Aikido Dojo in Osaka. Being American, Steven had to overcome many challenges and biases. He soon gained respect, however, with his abilities and devotion winning over even his strongest opponents.
Steven Seagal received his 7th Dan from second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, O Sensei’s son. Steven continues to do live martial-arts demonstrations around the world as well as train some senior students from his home.