Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Your spirit remains, I promise!

Dear sifu Mike,

It has been almost a year since your death, lots have happened. A school has been made to honor you where your good friend and Kung Fu brother Zhang Xin Bin Laoshi is teaching new students. Kim is the coach and is doing a good job. That seed has been put and the school will continue to blossom.

The old students have done their best to help, as much as possible and as much as they can.
In life, you have touched our hearts and soul with your care and knowledge. In death you opened our senses to become leaders of our own path and destiny. We all have taken time and space to reflect your present and absence.

I just want to tell you not to worry about us, we are training again. By ourself, with other kung fu brothers and sisters. And we learned how important this friendship is, as we continue to share our memories of you during training and food afterwards. These few weeks we started to share our Kung Fu knowledge which you have taught us individually. I started back my basics in Tan Tui and Long Fist. But also the Miao Dao basics as you have told me to do after you gave me my belt. I am also learning Mantis basics, and hope you don't mind but I get good guidance from a Kung Fu sister you loved. (She is improving too, the fire you wished to see in her has manifested during training, I have seen it)

I have learned a lot about myself since your passing, and wish I knew it before so I wouldn't make all these mistakes. But life is pretty much unpredictable, such as your death. And with these mistakes, we learn. I believe we all have learned from it and become better as individuals.

Two Kung Fu brothers (and a sister) are soon to be father and mother of a baby child. And another is going to get married. They all miss you and still talked with much love about you.

Don't worry about the students, we will continue to train and look after eachother. Together we will grow in our training.

I have started a new blog, I hope you like it.

Your student and friend,


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Info, Belgian Memorial for Mike Martello Laoshi

Hello Everybody,
As everybody knows the coming Saturday (June 27th) morning at 8am, there will be a ceremony for Mike Laoshi where we also will spread his Ashes. The idea is to all come together at 8am at the park. there Rosa will lead the ceremony.
Under you find a link to googlemaps where the road to the park is given. For further questions please feel free to contact me
Dieter De Potter

Hey iedereen,
Zoals iedereen wel weet zal er nu zaterdag (27 juni) een ceremonie zijn voor Mike Laoshi waarbij we ook zijn assen zullen uitstrooien. Het is de bedoeling dat iedereen zich verzameld om 8 uur aan het park. Daar zal Rosa de ceremonie leiden.
Onder vind je een link naar googlemaps waar een de route is aan gegeven. Mocht je meer vragen hebben mag je me steeds contacteren.
Dieter De Potter

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Monday, 22 June 2009

Taipei Memorial

Mike Laoshi would really feel touched by this:

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!

(All text and photos from, see:

Howard Wang's tribute to Mike Laoshi

Monday, 15 June 2009

1ste Memorial for teacher Mike

As I walked into Mike Laoshi's place, I was greeted by many fellow students and friends. Some I train with almost everyday, others I see during Tai Chi classes and still others were students from a while ago. What I saw was a gathering of good friends as well as students from all around the world. Rene from Beijing, Jochen from Germany, Kim from Norway and Andy from UK/Amsterdam, just to name a few. I am always amazed of how many friends and students from all over the world Mike Laoshi had. Before his passing, Kim already decided to stay in Belgium to follow Mike Laoshi. I am glad he is going to stay anyway to help the school grow. He is a real bro.

Special guest were Zhang Laoshi and Yu Laoshi. Both are famous and respected masters in China. Teacher Zhang's Tongbei is described by Mike Laoshi as: "His Tongbei is like my Mantis and my Mantis is like his Tongbei". Teacher Yu, some of us would say: Uncle Yu! is a Shuai Jiao champion and his "Mongolian wrestling skills" are top and fiersome. Teacher Mike thinks highly of Shuai Jiao, because apart from the effectiveness from the applications, it makes many of the Kung Fu moves complete by adding additional meaning to it. Mike Laoshi respected these masters like brothers, Hence why, both teachers are very good friends from teacher Mike. They expressed that they feel have lost a little brother, that is why it was important for them to come over and see him. It is beyond conventional respect.

The neighbor and other friends helped out with the food and drinks. On the table in the living room were several albums with photographs from teacher Mike. After talking with the others I sat down and had a look in them. Amongst the albums, you find a younger Mike Laoshi in his teenage years doing Taekwondo. I first hand experienced his lightning fast yet powerful kicking and I am happy to have felt that. It is one thing to read Adam Hsu's writing on Kung Fu kicks and another when shown by teacher Mike. It has changed the way I think about kicks. Another album shows photos of teacher Mike as a young disciple of his earlier teacher. Other photos shows many stands and postures. It is incredible how beautiful his postures were. Very few people can do it if you add agility, strength and mobility to it. Then there were many photos of teacher Mike with Grandmaster Wang. They both enjoyed almost like little kids when doing the push hands drills together. You can really tell that teacher Mike really loved his teacher. It is not just respect. As much as many of us have found a father in Mike Laoshi, he too have gone through that path and found his teacher.

Later on there were songs and performance done for teacher Mike, a piano piece, a self-written song, an opera duet with body performance were shown for Mike Laoshi. I saw people with tears and other smiling when remembering one of the many funny anecdotes from Mike Laoshi. Everyone knows a funny story about teacher Mike. Because he had a great sense of humor and even now, I believe wherever he is, he would make those around him laugh (and train)

We ended as group at a Chinese restaurant, as we know teacher Mike loved Chinese food. In Beijing, he would copy the locals and shout for the waiter. Then he would laugh about the funny side of it and give a big and friendly smile to the waiter, who, surprised being called at by a non-local acting like a local, would laugh too.

The food was great, and we toasted to Laoshi. That day and evening, we all came together for a dear friend, a father, a mentor and one of the greatest Martial Artist ever lived on earth. His death can be compared with burning down a famous library with the lost of unlimited knowledge and the craftmenship of ancient books made by monks.

To finish the day, the lads went for a beer and more stories on teacher Mike.

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Yesterday we were asked by some people on the exact cause of death of our teacher. So I want to correct any rumors caused by misinformation:

Our teacher Mike Martello died of Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome, and that morning he woke up and not long after passed away suddenly.

He wasn't teaching nor training at the moment and the cause of death is sudden heart failure due to a heart condition he was born with. Apart from his heart condition, he was the strongest man I have ever met. We were all sure that he would live over one hundred years old, doing Tai Chi in the park, tossing young strong men around.

He will be missed but also his spirit will remain in our hearts.