Having been a huge Steven Seagal fan since his Out for Justice days I've managed to learn a few things about martial arts - and myself - that I thought I would share with you good people. Of course, everyone gets different things out of films, but these are the main life-lessons I've learned thanks to Seagal Sensei ... Always wear black clothing: Black clothing is a great martial arts tool for telling the bad guys you mean business, that you're a "bad boy" yourself and that they mess with you at danger of losing functionality in their wrist, elbow and shoulder joints. Plus you cut WAY down on cleaning bills - dirt doesn't show as much. 2. Wear your hair in a ponytail At one point in Out For Justice a bad guy snidely tells Seagal "I see you still comb your hair like a girl". Our hero ignores him until he's finished his business with the mob boss, but on the way out finds an excuse to get into a brawl, including taking care of Mr. Hair Comment. Ponytails on bad-boy martial artists is pretty much a stereotype at this point, which explains why at 54 and pretty much a total victim to pattern baldness I still rock a monk's que. It gives you that tough-yet-sensitive appearance that has it's desired effect on both bad guys and hot chicks. Plus, with the addition of lead weights you can have a nice flail weapon. 3. Always whisper when you talk There's an old saying that if you want someone to listen, whisper. I'm not sure if it's human psychology to listen more closely to a whisper because you're afraid you're going to miss some big secret or what, but it worked for Seagal and it works for me. Except of course for the times my opponent says "WHHAAAAATTT?!?" - that tends to be a bit off-putting, especially when they stare at me like I'm handicapped. I then have to clear my throat and repeat my words, which tends to diminish their bad-boy impact. Theoretically it will show that you're a gentle person of the "I don't want to fight" school and will make people more comfortable in your presence - no one likes a loud-mouth. Plus it draws them in closer so you don't have to expend so much energy when applying bone-breaking Aikido techniques. 4. Don't give up martial arts in favor of playing blues guitar This is a sad, sad chapter in the life-story of Steven Seagal. I'm sure it provides him with some measure of pleasure though, so I wish him well. I was going to post a YouTube video of him playing but I don't want to be responsible for over-stimulating any household pets that you might have. I'm sure if you have masochistic tendencies you can find a few videos of his, and ... Aw, what the heck! 5. Nothing kills a killer's image like a roly-poly tummy Steven, as I believe I mentioned at the start of this thread, has been a role-model and inspiration for me in many ways. One way that he is NOT, however, is how he has allowed himself to go from the lean-and-mean fighting machine of his early film career to this: Enough said. 6. Never wear sneakers - always wear cowboy boots Following Seagal's example I invested in a nice stout pair of black cowboy boots and even added the little silver tips and heels and a set of biker chains around the ankles. This had a somewhat different effect than Sensei's footwear, though - whereas he moved silently and swiftly like a cat, for the first four months of my wearing these boots and walking like a tired stripper on Quaaludes people were constantly advising me to see a podiatrist. Little children thought I was one of Santa's reindeer because of the way I jingled and jangled as I walked down the street. But the ultimate insult was when I got into a fight one night and the silver toe-cap got caught on my pants leg, causing me to trip and fall into a mud puddle right in the middle of my big whispered speech to the bad guys. 7. Powdered deer penis is a potent aphrodisiac Not that I've ever really tried it, of course - just that that is what Seagal says to Keenan Ivory Wayans in The Glimmer Man. I have however experimented with powdered frog, cat, robin and honey badger penis, and can say without reservation that it's a far, far better thing to just get a prescription for Viagra than to chase these animals around with a big container of baby powder.