Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The day Kung Fu died...

One year ago, Sifu Mike Martello woke up and died of a congential heart defect. Teacher Mike had Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome. On the morning of June 2nd, 2009, Mike Martello passed away suddenly in Belgium. He was 42, despite his young age, he had achieved the level of mastership of a Chinese master in his 60's. As a martial arts genius, he was loved all over the world and travelled a lot to teach and to meet students and friends. Yet it was not only his profound knowledge that impressed the people who were fortunate enough to meet him. He was a generous man, with a heart for the people and the art. Both played a very important role in his life. From the start, Kung Fu was for him a way of selfdevelopment. Through giving and sharing from the heart, he connected himself with others and pointed us towards the meaning of passion - the beauty of life.

During training, he would make tea for us and after the intens lessons, he would cook or we would go out for dinner. Being a just man with a big heart, he talked a lot about the moral fabric of the individual. He believed firmly that with great power comes great responsibility. For the men he was tough, like a father who wanted his sons to be able to look after themselves and yet with a love only fathers possess. For the women and the children he was a gentleman amongst gentlemen, his eyes changed from strict to protecting, caring, respecting and loving.

Just like Picasso, he was like a large tree with a strong root bearing all kinds of different fruit. The strong root stands for his great personality as an individual, one who refused to follow the herd. Rather, it was in his blood to lead. The different types of fruit were a result of his hard work to fulfill his passion. And yet, everyone was welcomed to benefit from it.

His person, his work will never be forgotten. As in many places all over the world, people are remembering him and honouring him through the practise of Kung Fu, taking care of eachother, being all they can be.

RIP, my teacher and friend.

"Be all you can be, but don't be me" - Sifu Mike Martello.

From the Wikipedia:

Early Life

Mike grew up in New York City, where street fighting was a regular occurrence growing up. "In New York City, kids had to be tough and know how to defend themselves; otherwise you'd just get clobbered."
Following years of training in boxing, gymnastics and street sports, he began to learn martial arts for practical reasons. "First, it was to learn how to fight, but it really saved me when I was a teenager. It taught me both discipline and respect." Twenty years later, Mike Martello appreciates not only the practical aspects of martial arts, but also the beauty of the art form and culture.
Mike began his early training with classical boxing from his father, then at the age of 11 was introduced to kung fu by Teacher Teddy Wong (New York City). Mike later became a disciple under the tutelage of Master Su Yu-Chang, specializing in Tanglang (Praying Mantis), Baji Chuan, Bagua Zhang, Pigua Zhang, Hsing-I Chuan, Tai Chi Chuan and Weapons. Mike also co-teaches with the Wu Tan Organization in Taipei Taiwan. In 2001 he was appointed by Mrs. Liu Yun-Chiao and the Taiwanese Wu Tan Organiztion as an official Wu Tan Director.

Training in Taiwan

Mike continued to travel and study Chinese Martial Arts in Taiwan with Master Wang Chieh, specializing in Yue Jia San Shou (Yue Family Style), Ba Bu Tanglang (Praying Mantis), Bai He Chuan (White Crane), Joint Locking (Chin-Na), Tai Chi, Push Hands (Tuei Shou) and Shuai Jiao (Chinese Wrestling).
Mike taught and performed martial arts in Europe, Canada, South America, Taiwan, China and across the U.S.A. Mike is a nationally and internationally ranked competitor, with over 100 competitions in Chinese martial arts (gold, silver, bronze medalists, 86-88, 90-92 and 94-2000 U.S. Nationals and International Competitions).

Beijing International Training Camps


The 1st International Martial Arts Camp, 2007 Beijing
Mike along with other Chinese teachers and students successfully organized two International Training Camps, the first of which took place from August 3 to 28, 2007. The camp attracted students from Belgium, Germany, Russia, Netherlands, USA, Canada etc. A second training camp was organized from July 1t to 28, 2009 with an excellent turn out of students.


Mike Martello had a Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome, a congential heart defect. On the morning of June 2nd, 2009, Mike Martello passed away suddenly in Belgium.

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