As some of you know 48 hours ago we lost our dear friend, drinking buddy, and teacher Mike Martello.  He passed at 9:30am Tuesday (June 2) while giving a private lesson on push hands in Belgium.  Mike was 42 years young. 
  This was obviously quite unexpected.  Mike was in amazing shape, but has lived with a congenital heart problem (Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome) all his life.  For 95% of the people with it, no problems throughout life.  Apparently Mike was in the 5%.  He had a major heart attack and died instantly.  Paramedics arrived in record time and took over CPR from the student, but it was too late. 
  Mike died peacefully, painlessly, doing what he loved to do.... teaching martial arts.  The impact of his loss will resonate worldwide as he has friends and students all over the globe.  To be honest I doubt anyone can fathom the the loss to the CMA community and the arts themselves.  This is tragic on so many different levels. 

  I am using my blog as a center for information about Mike, memories, pictures, services, etc.  As soon as I get information it will go right to the blog for easy viewing by people worldwide.  As of right now I have little information other than a memorial is planned for NYC, Beijing, Belgium, and Taiwan. 

  I am also writing an obit that will appear in Kung Fu Taichi magazine in their next issue. 
   Dana made a quick tribute for Mike that can be found on my blog or youtube.  We plan on making another, bigger one. 

  For those of you who met Mike at one of his seminars here in the US, or traveled to Belgium to train with him, you should feel fortunate to have rubbed elbows with one of the best.  For those of you who never met Mike, you missed out on an icon.  Words cannot convey the loss we feel, nor the void that will be present for decades to come.  Mike admitted to me during his last visit that he was just now feeling like he was coming into his peak!  Imagine if he would have lived another 20 years!!! 

  Let his passing be a lesson.  Take advantage of today brothers and sisters.  Tomorrow may never come.  I thought I had 3 decades at least to work with Mike before having to worry about something like this.  I did not even have 3 minutes left.  Hug your loved ones, train your ass off, and drink and eat with someone you love every night.  That is what Mike would have wanted.

May you find peace in this time of pain and loss knowing that Mike is somewhere far better than this bleak planet, pushing hands and training his little butt off!   Save me a good seat brother, and the first round is on me! 

Jake Burroughs
& The Three Harmonies Martial Arts Center
Seattle, WA.


Here's a site with an in-depth interview with Michael Martello