Martello Obit in Kung Fu Taichi Magazine

I just received the Sept/Oct issue of Kung Fu Taichi magazine, and on page 108 is Mike Martello’s obituary I submitted last month. Out of respect for my editor, and copyright laws, I will not post the obit online. Support the fledgling martial arts rag industry and purchase a copy for $5. It should hit newsstands in the week or so.

JakeKung Fu Taichi Cover

David Mortimer – Tribute

I met Sifu Martello twice in Leicester, UK to train the Miao Dao short form and was trying to find out how to contact him today when I discovered he had passed away. I had no idea. I just wanted to say that in the short time I spent with him I realised quickly that he was something very special and that he had an amazing talent, both with people and with a really big sword. I wish we had more time with him, but I imagine that sentiment is very common. My thoughts go to his family, and I hope everyone will remember Sifu Martello the way I do – with the utmost respect and gratitude.

Tony Lee – Tribute

I feel I lost a good friend and teacher.  I never met Mike, I only watched his
seminars and messages posted on websites.  He was the best Kungfu practitioner
I’ve ever seen.  I knew how to unleash the power of traditional kung fu.
It’s a great loss to the world of traditional martial art.
Rest in peace.  Mike

Gareth Jenkins – Tribute

Just found out about this: I’m shocked and deeply saddened.

Sifu Mike Martello came over to the UK to teach us Miao Dao and Chin-Na in

I’ll never forget the evening he taught us Chin-Na – not only did I learn
so much but I also never laughed so much in all my life, it was a magical

He had a rarely thorough knowledge of Kung Fu, twinned with a touching honesty and sense of humour.

Great guy, even though I only met him the once – I’ll never forget him and
I’m glad our path’s crossed even if so briefly, and I’ll miss him
– the world seems a poorer place without him in it.
R.I.P. Mike

Kenny Tai Chi Fanatic – Tribute

Rest In Peace Although we never met, I watched your tai chi videos on Youtube a lot. From what you wrote alongside your videos, you seemed very humble and I’m grateful you wanted to share and educate us tai chi fanatics on the higher levels of this complex art.

New York Services – Anneke

Anneke and Mike

Anneke and Mike

Mike said there where no coincidences in life and especially in his…

Yuan or circle made us bump shoulders in this lifetime with a specific reason.

And i really do feel he was wright about that.
He came into my life at just the most perfect moment  and taught me everything I needed to know,as I came into his and did the same for him.
He’s the first man I really let into my heart because he was the only one that knew the way…
He opened  to me and I’m still very honoured that he allowed me to open his heart, and let me in .
I never in all my life felt such a beautiful and natural love evolve so quickly.

This is a poem that he himself wrote about it:

I love U with deep intimacy as U me;
Opening our hearts and sharing,
this raises us to the highest level of human experiences and energies.
In this exalted space, we can surrender our egos,
we become vulnerable
and know levels of pure love, joy, passion, spiritual connections
and well-being unique among all of life experiences and precious gifts.

We attain a glimpse of the loving rapture that can be ours,
NO, that is ours!
There are no limitations and expectations,
we rejoice in union of Pure Love as two embrace and become one.
We become one and yet,
at the same time we remain both as we are man and woman.
We are nobody and somebody together.

We evolved  and learned so much and helped each other to grow so fast in this short time.
Others would  have needed a lifetime to do just the same…
I saw and felt this happening and this made me also a bit afraid ,
because I was wondering where this will lead us and why does it had to go so fast?

Never in my life I would have predicted what came next tho…

But still I am very happy I had the pleasure to meet him and be so close to him.He taught me so much about life,
about what  really is important….
Such a big heart he had,He really enjoyed sharing everything he had with anybody and just this made him be the richest man I’ve ever known…
He taught me to enjoy the little things in life,because it is the little things that count the most..

He had a dream and really went for it and by being so focused,also achieved in making his dream reality.
I really admire that.He has shown that anybody that really wants, can achieve the goal that he himself has compiled,
only thing you need is perseverance.

He always told me that he gave himself to the universe ,that he really in all senses gave himself,he left the old Mike behind many years ago..

A beautiful saying or analogy about becoming apart of all things is;
if a bottle of water is thrown into the ocean it is still separate, even though the ocean will take it where ever it wants… But uncap the bottle and pour it into the ocean it becomes the ocean, all things are possible….  one must trust in the bigger picture or at least have peace with themselves to be able to become….

If one is to fly high and find their essence one must open themselves to the universe… SO many people hide and keep bottled up, that they show two or three faces, in fact the bottle becomes so tightly closed it never opens up… Bitterness or fakeness, angry that life has done this to them… Or worse blame others for their own failures, live
though others eyes and hearts…. Never to unfold into or become anything but empty… Yes they can be happy for sure, because they may never want anything more for themselves but just being…

He gave himself to the universe and the universe said it was time for him to go,so he went..

But even tough he is not here in person ,he will always be with us.Everything he learned each and everyone of us will keep on being alive true us.
So it is on us to keep him alive by living and evolving true this lessons.And like so helping him to finish what he had started.

Dinner After Last Seminar

Dinner After Last Seminar

Michael Wirth – Tribute

I just wanted to say that , though i never got the chance to meet Mike, I appreciate his message that he has consistently demonstrated throughout all of his youtube videos.  I find them insipirational and plan to take some ideas from them , and incorporate into my Training in Chinese Martial Arts as well. It is sad to see a living treasure of knowledge like Mike pass on. So I must say that I am still pleased that he was able to touch my life in the way that he has.

R.I.P Mike


The family of Michael Martello is grateful for the cards of sympathy and all the tributes and testimonials to him.
He was in physique a slim and small man, but in his heart he was a giant.
I cherish as you all do the times we had together.
Mike had a strong relationship with his family, friends, students and Masters.
He was a true Sifu, yes he was a teacher and father figure to many.  He was disciplined and commanded respect.  As Director of Wutan VZW Martial Arts Center in Belgium, he touched the lives and hearts of many.
He has left us in sadness but we are comforted by his family and friends.
He will be remembered for his dedication.”
Mike’s Mom Marie Martello

***Webmasters – Please copy and/or link to this appreciation message***

The family of Michael Martello is grateful for the cards of sympathy and all the tributes and testimonials to him.

He was in physique a slim and small man, but in his heart he was a giant.

I cherish as you all do the times we had together.

Mike had a strong relationship with his family, friends, students and Masters.

He was a true Sifu, yes he was a teacher and father figure to many.  He was disciplined and commanded respect.  As Director of Wutan VZW Martial Arts Center in Belgium, he touched the lives and hearts of many.

He has left us in sadness but we are comforted by his family and friends.

He will be remembered for his dedication.


Mike’s Mom Marie Martello

Ciampa Mehdi – Tribute

C’est l’image d’un père que je viens de perdre, il n’avait de cesse de nos pousser afin de nous enseigner de manière authentique. Lors de nous cours privés il n’avez de cesse de tirer le meilleur de nous, sans pour autant oublier de nous sermonner comme ses enfants lorsqu’il jugeait que nous ne travaillions pas assez. Shifu tu a changer ma manière de pratiquer, de penser et je n’aurai de cesse de pratiquer afin d’honorer ta pensée et ton enseignement.

Il paraît que c’est lorsque l’élève est prêt que le maître apparaît…je vous est rencontré par hasard et me suis abreuvé de votre savoir tel une personne dans le désert.

Nous nous reverrons..

Mark Duhon – Tribute

Today I’m truly grieving to hear that Mike has passed on.  I have been
away from the MA community for a while now and I came to check in to find that Mike has left us.  In doing so he has left behind many that loved him, respected him and looked up to his teachings.  He has touched so many around the world and he was a special person indeed.  To all that have ever met him, trained with him, knew him or of him I’m truly sorry for your loss.

Rafael Matute – Tribute

Bro Mike, Written words would never express your Quality as a human being, Your strength as a Martial Artits and your compassion as a teacher.

 I’ll treasured you as one of my greatests MA brother and caring friend… wait, I do it now because you are still with us.

Pao Ngao Bro

Chan Kwok Wai – Tribute

I did not have the privilege to know shifu Mike Martello, but of course his name has great respect in all martial arts circles in the world. I would like to show our sincere condolences to his family, students, friends, masters…all of them for this lost. His star will be always among the martial arts lovers.
I speak in my name and for the name of Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai, from Northern Shaolin family in Brazil.
God bless you all
Shifu Vinicius Severo

????? – Tribute






Please be informated that AMAR Taipei posted a webpage in Chinese in tribulation to Mike, the weblink is as follows:

Taipei Memorial

Michael’s Memorial, AMAR, Taipei

On June 19, 2009 at 11:30am, there was a moment of silence in memory of Michael Martello at AMAR Taipei’s annual member meeting. The Chinese video clip titled “In Memory of Michael Martello” produced by Huai Hsiang Wang, son of Wang Laoshi, was played to all participants.  Free DVD copies are being made available to all AMAR members in memory of Mike.

Michael was about to come to Taipei in August to visit Wang Laoshi again in person, together with a gorup of his students from Belgium. Rosa Mei will come in Mike’s place with Mike’s students.

Wang Laoshi went through a critical tumor removal surgery last November and  is about to finish up his chemo-therapy by June 22, 2009.  Wang Laoshi has been recovering phenomenally!

He’s amazing, to come through all of that so swiftly, at his age. What amazing determination, focus, and energy!!”, said Dr. Thomas Argiro, one of Wang Laoshi’s foreign students.

Wang Laoshi still maintain his practice with his group of students each morning. It would be comforting for Mike to see again Wang Laoshi’s practice and continuous health/skill improvement at his 80s still!



Choy Lay Fut Bolivia – Tribute

My sincere condolences to his family and students all over the world.

My outmost respect to Sifu Mike Martello, I think he was one of the great martial arts teacher and practitioner of CMA.

Thanks Sifu Mike Martello for you life contribution to the CMA and for inspiring us all.

-Huascar Anda

Albert Yefimov – Tribute

Dear friends,

Mike was an example of Disciple to me. Good to have some one as an example!
He was the Man with Right Attitude to me!
I didnt realize that our connection and friendship might be so short!
And rest of us, please remember how fragile we are all

Douglas Wolf – Tribute

(Please see the gallery for new photos courtesy of Douglas Wolf)

IMG_0916 Master Zheng, Mike, Jeff, Doug & Rene 8-13-07smTo all,

I wish to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Michael. I am very saddened and shocked to hear of his sudden death. To my luck and fortune I found Michel on YouTube in my search for links to my late teacher Huang Tzengyu and also other true masters that I could meet and learn from.

I only new him a short time just first meeting him in Beijing. I was amazed by him and the masters there. Even though I only new him for such a short time, I must truly thank him for he has been a profound influence in my life. I will never forget him.

I have some pictures of Michel and some videos I made while in Beijing for the Summer Camp and at a seminar in Seattle. I will send a few of them now and others if you would like.

Douglas Wolf

Martello – The Lost Interview Pt. III

JB: The common theme these last two weeks with training under you is the idea of play.  Playing with different teachers, playing with students, basically exploration of principles and ideas via two person practice.  Care to elaborate?

Mike: This goes back to teacher Wang’s lessons.  I told him one day, “Teacher I truly wish I would have met you 20 years ago.” And his response was, “You would not have been ready for me yet.”   What he meant was that I needed to experience all the things I had up to that point; good and bad, so that I could learn for myself what was good and bad.  So I could take into control my training and seek out higher learning via a good teacher.  You must recognize when you are bad to understand good.   Take the bad experiences as a lesson, because once you find the truth you will never go back to the bad again.

Wang approaches his students as training partners.  All he wants to do is practice and by practicing he gets better.  So by building and growing together we foster this intense dynamic of teacher and student, where really there is no teacher or student, everyone is the teacher and the student.  Wang Laoshi is the first to tell anyone that he is just a student practicing, and will be forever.  I have never seen the man tell someone how to do something, he is there showing them how to do something!  It is inspirational to get tossed around by an 80 year old man with this outlook on training.

JB: You are a bit unique in that you have lived, and taught on three different continents over the years; Asia, North America, and Europe.  What do you see as similarities and/or differences in regards to the martial artists in these vastly different places?

Mike: People want Chinese martial arts.  People want to train.  But all around the board people seem to have an incorrect mentality towards their training.  Not everyone, but many.  They seem to train for all the wrong reasons, and I was guilty of this in the past as well.   Too much ideology separation is going on though.  Too much internal vs. external talk.  They seem to think there is a special magic bullet, special magic form, special magic technique that will help them get the principles.  There is no special technique, just the right teacher to show you, and the hard practice of a lifetime.  You must understand this is a difficult question to answer.

I see people misunderstanding what martial arts are really for.  Combat is merely the by-product, yet people want to be able to damage someone before learning about themselves.  I always ask my students how many fights they have been in.  Almost always the number is 0-3, unless of course you grew up in a bad part of town.  But overall most people practicing martial arts have been in very few fights.  So what are we spending all this time, money, and effort for?  Just to learn to fight?  Just to kick some ass?  If that is the case go do sport martial arts, and fight with the best out there.  Martial arts practice is truly about finding yourself, and pushing the limits of yourself.  Mentally; physically; and emotionally.  Sparring is so integral to practice because it is unrehearsed pressure to perform and execute your skills with an uncooperative partner.  I am not saying you need to go out and get beat down, this is not productive.  Push hands, sparring, wrestling, whatever methodology does not matter, but you need to test your skills in various formats.

This mentality seems pervasive throughout the martial arts regardless of culture, or country.

This segment really shows Mikes great attitude in his approach to training.  Truly their is a blurred line between student and teacher, as with an open mind you will learn from any situation, any individual or group of individuals.  Remember the fateful words of Napoleon, “Every failure is a blessing in disguise as long as you learn the needed lesson from it.”

This last trip Mike was so happy that I had been training diligently in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).  “This training will make your stand up much, much better.”  he told me.  Mike even had me teaching certain techniques and follow ups at HIS seminar, for when we go to the ground!!  That is how comfortable and humble Mike was with his level of knowledge, and his attitude of sharing.  To ask some nobody like me to teach something at HIS seminar…wow… what an honor.

Mike also reveals the need for uncooperative partner practice (ie. sparring) in this segment.  I cannot really remember a lesson (private, public, or otherwise) with Mike that was not hands on.  Not a single one.  Even when working a form Mike took the hands on approach and help the student feel the technique.  Feel the stretch.  Feel the power and where it came from.  Again Mike would emulate his teacher by doing, not telling.

Many students would ask Mike how he attained the level he had, some fishing for a “special” answer.  “Hard work.  Disciplined practice.” is all he would ever say.  “There are no secrets.”  Mike and I had some similar experiences in the past with various teachers both Chinese and Anglo who would be living a lie by telling their students that their was some mystical, metaphysical answer to our questions of why, how, when.  In the end these charltans revealed their true identities and we moved on.  We learned that the true responsibility of our progression lay in our own hands.  The student has to take control of his/her learning and progression.  All too often the student has unrealistic expectations of the teacher, and never owns the responsibility of their own training.  Let that be a lesson.

Train Hard,