Sunday, December 26, 2010

Versions of Stand-up Grappling

Mike Martello demonstrates Chin na

The late Mike Martello was one of the favorite instructors I have trained with. Part class clown, part mad scientist working over lab rats, and all martial artist. As you can see, Mike was very short, but very powerful. He had to perfect body dynamics because he simply did not have the mass to out-muscle the big guys. As a result, Mike was able to teach very well and was a ton of fun to train with. Additionally, he had a very high level of body control in form work, which was beautiful to watch. I had a few long e-mail exchanges with Mike between his visits to Seattle, where we learned a bit about each other and life in general. Mike is missed by students on at least four continents throughout the world.

Wally Jay demonstrates Small-Circle Jujitsu

Aside from Wrestling in school, I studied Aikido for two years and got a great overview of spiral energy and joint locking. My training partner Corey was fortunate to have trained extensively with Wally and Leon Jay of "Small-Circle Jujitsu". I was able to attend a pretty wild seminar with Leon Jay in Portland some years back. I dislocated a guy's finger, Corey got seriously knocked out by Leon, and we learned a lot about energetics. In the short interview with Wally above there is mostly some pain-compliance that looks good for the camera. But let me tell you, the Jays can get really rough. They say "Pain makes believers".

Tim Cartmell demonstrates Chin na

And then there's Tim Cartmell.
The seminars I have attended with Tim on combat Bagua, Taiji and Xingyi application and stand-up grappling have been some of the most influential in my recent training years.
I wish there was more video available of Tim but he stays pretty much below the radar on YouTube.
For those that don't know, Tim was a successful fighting champion in Taiwan and authored and translated many books on martial arts including the classic "Effortless Combat Throws". Tim is a "grappler's grappler", now a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. During the time I have met and talked with Tim, he has dispensed with the notions of metaphysics and Chi in favor of good old leverage and mass-in-motion. His principles are proven in combat, both on the street and on the mat.
As you can see, Tim's techniques in this video resemble those Make Martello uses in the first video. I only wish there was more available. Fortunately, I have hours of the seminars I attended recorded, which is an invaluable asset. I look forward to training more with Tim in the future.

Special thanks to my friend and instructor Jake Burroughs for bringing Tim Cartmell and Mike Martello to Seattle, and for the continuing training Jake provides me.

1 comment:

Zacky Chan said...

Wow, great selections of videos and and succint descriptions. The videos of Mike and Tim remind me instantly of how soft and smoothly they moved, but how absolutley strong and effective their technique is. The video of Wally Jay just makes me shudder watching him do nikkyo on all of those people.