Martial Development

Martial arts for personal development

Mike Martello, Director of Wutang Belgium, 1966-2009

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Hu Xi Lin and Mike Martello
Hu Xi Lin, Mike Martello and myself

I first met Mike Martello in 2007, when he gave a local seminar hosted by Jake Burroughs. Although we only spent a few hours together, he impressed me as few other Kungfu instructors have.

Mike Martello's Kungfu Trophies

Mike’s skills in Tanglang, Shuai Jiao and other Chinese martial arts styles were formidable–he earned more than 100 medals, trophies and certificates to prove it. While such recognition might amplify the egomaniacal tendencies of some masters, they seemed to have the opposite effect on Mike.

With his unpretentious style of teaching, he betrayed no interest in recruiting a cadre of followers, or threatening any potential rivals. Instead, he radiated a genuine and pervasive interest in sharing a beautiful, powerful art with good friends.

I was looking forward to visiting Mike again this year. It will not happen.

Mike Martello died yesterday, at the age of 42 years, while teaching a private lesson. His presence, however tragically brief, was a benefit to all who knew him.

At this time, a large collection of his videos are still available for viewing on YouTube. A recent interview was published at Mokuren Dojo.


Mike Martello in Seattle, 2008 (part 1 of 4)

Categories: Martial Arts News

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris // Jun 4, 2009

    More remembrances:
    Dojo Rat
    Wu Tan Belgium

  • 2 Josh Young // Jun 4, 2009

    What a sad loss for the CMA internal art world.

  • 3 Josh Young // Jun 4, 2009

    It strikes me now that this is a worse lose for martial arts than the recent death of David Carradine.

  • 4 Chris // Jun 5, 2009

    David Carradine made a larger impression, but Mike Martello undoubtedly made a better one.

  • 5 Josh Young // Jun 6, 2009

    I became aware of Martello a few months ago when I had became aware of Wang Chieh. I was very impressed by Martellos taste and enthusiasm and was hoping to do push hands with him one day.

    There have been 2 major losses in the CMA community recently that really get to me, Mike Martello is one of them, the other one is Paul Champagne, arguably one of the greatest sword smiths of recent times.

  • 6 TOMMY MECIR // Jun 12, 2009

    MIKE, MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS.
    YOU WERE A GREAT PERSON, HUMBLE GUY, AND A GOOD FRIEND TOO ALL OF US TILL THE END.
    ME AND MY BROTHER MARK WILL MISS YOU ALOT AND WILL ALWAYS HAVE MEMORIES OF THE TIMES WE PLAYED HANDBALL AND HUNG OUT TOGETHER GROWING UP IN WHITESTONE.
    MAY GOD REWARD YOU IN HEAVEN FOR YOUR PURE SPIRIT OF LOVE, COMPASSION, LOYALTY, HONOR AND RESPECT OF TRADITION AND ALL THE OTHER GOOD THINGS YOU BELIEVED IN AND HELPED ACCOMPLISH TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE!
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING PART OF YOUR LIFE WITH US!

    IN HEARTFELT DEEPEST SYMPATHY YOUR FRIEND,

    TOMMY MECIR

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