This is a possibly-apocryphal story that’s been making the rounds for years, but it came up again recently, and since it is my stated goal to become the internet’s number one source for all things Steven Seagal, who am I to deny you? The latest place the anecdote appeared was in an email to Earwolf radio. The emailer, Nick Appelbaum, recounts the story, as told to him by his sensei, famous martial artist and stunt coordinator Judo Gene Lebell:
LeBell was working as a fight coordinator on Out for Justice. Seagal had told everyone that due to his Aikido training, no one could choke him out. When word got around to the 58-year-old LeBell, he proceeded to not only choke Seagal out, but also manipulate a pressure point on the star’s neck, causing him to wet his pants in front of the cast and crew.
TALK ABOUT A UNIQUE PHYSIOLOGICAL REACTION! (*bangs gong, pisses pants*)
Obviously, I would never let truth get in the way of a good Steven Seagal-pissing-his-pants story, but I do feel duty bound to throw a little cold water on this one. First of all, the verifiable truth: Judo Gene did work on Out for Justice in 1990-1991, when he indeed would’ve been 58. However, Judo Gene is somewhat infamous for telling tall tales, which rings true for a host of reasons, not the least of which being that he wrote an autobiography full of them. Not to mention that the only bigger bullsh*tters than old-school martial arts instructors (especially back in the days when every martial arts practitioner was compelled to prove that his particular branch was superior) are guys who’ve been hanging around movie sets for 50 years trying to impress the teamsters, like Judo Gene. I’ve also been training in some of Lebell’s main areas of expertise for four or five years now, and I can personally report that my instructors have yet to teach me the why-you-pissin-yourself lock (and not for lack of asking). So is it true? Maybe. Judo Gene’s former neighbor and fellow fame-seeker Ric Drasin says it is, at least the Seagal-getting-choked-out part. Put it this way, the Seagal getting choked out part is believable, the Seagal-peeing-himself part seems more like an embellishment. But a delightftul embellishment, certainly. And who knows, if you combine Seagal’s alleged unique physiological reaction to arousal (maybe it’s peeing) with David Carradine’s love of getting choked, it’s quite possible Seagal was just so turned on by a 58-year-old man choking him that he up and pissed himself. Hell, I just convinced myself.