From Roman Bihansky, a kid from the neighbourhood:
I met Mike Martello when I was about 9 years old , back in Woodhaven Queens , New York.
Every kid in the neighborhood knew Mike although he may not have known , we were just common neighborhood punks.
He must have been about 14 or 15 years old .
He chased the younger kids and tormented us , but we chased him back . Sometimes during the summer there were so many kids hanging out at night when we were playing kick the can or ring – a – lario that kids from all over the neighborhood joined in , climbing roof tops , jumping fences and pool hoping that you made friends with people from all over , and it was great .
The next time I saw Mike was about 25 years later , I walked into a seminar that he was giving on Chin Na here NYC last summer and I just did not recognize the name . I was the 1st one there that day and was hanging around waiting , went to look around and when I came back I saw this little kid facing the other direction and was like , who’s that ?
When he turned around I felt this chill in my spine and recognized that Italian face that was so unforgetable when we were kids , It’s ( psycho Mike ) I did not say it though .
I dont think he remembered me personally but we talked and and shared childhood memories of the old hood .
What an incredible martial artist he became ! What incredile nice person he grew into be. I will miss him and the chance to reconnect after such a long time was great .