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.


From Rosa, (Mike laoshi's partner)

As of Sunday, 7 June 2009, Zhang Laoshi, Yu Laoshi and Rene Ming Fai Ho have come from Beijing to pay their respects to Mike. I have decided to keep the school open in honor of Mike and have appointed Zhang Laoshi as master instructor. I will oversee the administrative affairs and make sure the transition runs smooothly. Kim from Norway will be moving to Belgium to help with the classes as well. Kim, I and several senior students will lead classes when Zhang is in Beijing. He will be coming to Belgium on a regular basis from now on. I know Mike would want to continue building traditional Chinese martial arts here in Europe. We resumed classes 10 June 2009 in keeping with Mike’s belief in practice and continuity. I have discussed this transition with the students and they are all very supportive. Before he passed away, Mike had already changed the name of his school to ZHEN WU Martial Arts to honor his teacher Wang Jie Laoshi in Taiwan. We will keep the name of ZHEN WU to respect Mike’s wishes. Future website:


see also: Howard laoshi, the son of Grandmaster Wang has put up the last chat from him with Mike Laoshi. It shows the caring mind of teacher Mike as a student and a teacher. Also great interaction between two high level and wise friends.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Memorial service update! Mike Martello Laoshi

Sympathy Cards

Send No Flowers Per Family Request

Marie Martello
PO BOX 3757
Wayne, NJ. 07474-3757

New York

open to the public on June 21st 2009 at 3pm:

Holy Trinity Parish
14-51 143rd St.
Whitestone, NY. 11537

Tel: 1.718.746.7730

Directly following the service, everyone will go to the park by Whitestone bridge (his ma says everyone knows this park) to send some of Mike’s ashes into the East River.

From 5pm on, close friends and family are invited to a Chinese banquet in Mike’s honor at:

Tung Yi Fung Restaurant

13529 37th Ave, Flushing, NY 11354

To reserve a place at the banquet, please contact:
Linda Martello at (Mike’s family and Whitestone friends)
Cindy Eng at or call 1.718.858.9459 (Mike’s kung fu friends and others)


Cremation on June 9, 2009 (without service)

Wake on June 12, 2009 from 14:00-19:00
Mike’s House
Maaldersstraat 27/5 2060
Antwerpen, Belgium
Dinner To Follow At 20:00 at  ”The Best” in The Van Wesenbeekstraat (Chinatown)

Please RSVP Dieter if you are attending the memorial, dinner or both at his email address .

European Memorial Service
Saturday, 27 June 2009 – 8am

It will be by the lake where we trained about 15 minutes from his house.  I have asked 3 opera singers to sing for Mike. Kris will play the guitar, Tom the digeridoo. Many of his students and training brothers from Belgium and throughout Europe (Germany, UK, Netherlands, France, Norway, etc) will present a farewell demo for Mike which we will do at the grassy area by the lake (we used to call it “Belgian Stonehenge” ).  We will begin first by everyone taking a group walk around the lake for Mike, then we will head to Belgian Stonehenge for the memorial and farewell demo. We will endby sending off of some of his ashes into the Schelde river.  -  Rosa


Information to follow


Information to follow

More Information

If you have any information about the memorial services to share, please email Keith at k e i t h r n @ g m a i l . c o m

Please check back here for updated information

See also:

Thanks Keith, for the update!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Memorial service Mike Martello Laoshi in Belgium

The cremation will be on tuesday the 9th of June 2009. There will be no service. 
There will be possibility to greet until Tuesday the 9th until 12:15.

Friday the 12th of June there will be a memorial. Everybody is welcome there from 14:00 until 19:00. It will take place at our house. Maaldersstraat 27/5 2060 Antwerpen.
After the Service We will have a memorial dinner at restaurant "The Best" in The Van Wesenbeekstraat (Chinatown). From 20:00.
Please Let me know if you will come to the memorial service and/ or Dinner. You can e-mail me at d i e t e r . d e . p o t t e r @ g m a i l . c o m.
It is IMPORTANT to let me know in advance.

Saturday the 27th of June there will be the spreading of the ashes with service. This will take place at the park on the way to Lilo. Map with further explanation will follow.
It will start at 8a.m. Everybody is also welcome here.

If you have further questions please feel free to contact me at d i e t e r . d e . p o t t e r @ g m a i l . c o m


Dieter De Potter

Hey iedereen,

De crematie zal gebeuren op dinsdag 9 juni 2009. Er zal hier geen dienst worden gehouden.
Er is nog mogelijkheid tot groeten tot dinsdag 9 juni tot 12:15.

Op Vrijdag 12juni zal er een herdenkingsdienst zijn. Iedreen is daar welkom vanaf 14:00 tot 19:00. Het zal plaatsvinden in ons huis. Maaldersstraat 27/5 2060 Antwerpen.
Na de dienst zal er een herdenkingsmaaltijd zijn in Restaurant "The Best" in de Van wesenbeekstraat. (Chinatown). en Dit vanaf 20:00.
Gelieve mij opvoorhand te laten weten of je aanwezig zal zijn bij de herdenkingsdienst en /of Eten.
Het is heel belangrijk om mij dit tijdig te laten weten.

Zaterdag 27juni zullen we zijn assen uitstrooien samen met een herdenkingsdienst. Dit zal gebeuren in het park op de weg naar Lilo. Een kaartje met verder uitleg zal later volgen. Het zal starten om 8uur 's morgens. Iedereen is ook hier uitgenodigd.

Mochten er nog vragen zijn mag je me steeds contacteren via mail op d i e t e r . d e . p o t t e r @ g m a i l . c o m



Memorial service Mike Martello Laoshi

Information on memorial services in Belgium, Taiwan, and Beijing will follow.

The New York memorial service will be open to the public on June 21st 2009 at 3pm at:

Holy Trinity Parish
14-51 143rd St.
Whitestone, NY. 11537

also see: 

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

In Memoriam Sifu Mike Martello

Our dear and beloved teacher and fierce friend Mike Martello has passed away today. He will be sorely missed by all his friends and students in Belgium and the rest of the world. His absence will leave a void that will not easily be filled.
Please feel free to add any thoughts, remembrances or anecdotes.

Onze dierbare en geliefde leraar en vriend Mike Martello is vandaag overleden. Zijn leerlingen en vrienden in Belgie en de rest van de wereld zullen hem zeer hard missen. Zijn afwezigheid zal een leegte achterlaten die nog heel moeilijk gevuld zal kunnen worden.
Alle herinneringen, gedachten of anekdotes zijn welkom.

The brothers and sisters from Wu Tan Belgium are helping to prepare Mike Martello Laoshi's funeral. The last few days have been very very difficult for Laoshi's family, friends and students. Most of us need the silence and time to be with Mike Laoshi. Many of us grieved differently as Laoshi has touched each of our heart in a personal way.

What is nice to see are fellow Kung Fu brothers and sisters from over the world to stand as one family and remember teacher Mike as a wonderful, funny, honest, generous, talented and wise person who have lived his life to the fullest by doing what he loved most.

A tribute blog has been made by Jake, Keith Weiner and Kin:

From our German friends:

The Ground Never Misses:

From Formosa Neijia:

Dojo Rat:

Many of you know that Mike Laoshi had lots of video footage on the internet about his art, as he was very generous in passing it to others. This has been talked about in many blogs and it is happening fast. However, please respect his teachings by remembering what he taught was most important for any students:

soft power
correct body allignment
relaxed but aware
don't rush

above all:

basics, basics, basics

Only by respecting his teachings we can continue Mike Laoshi's spirit and what he really stood for: True Chinese Martial Arts in a True Soul.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

just got back

Back from Beijing, I couldn't put more articles up due to shortage of time but I will make it up by posting more in the following week.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Everybody is Kung Fu fighting!

You know what's great? When you take a walk in the neighborhood and suddenly around the corner you see ladies practicing the Tai Chi fan. A little bit further you find toddlers learning Kung Fu. Before you get used to the scene, you noticed the mothers and the grandmothers on the side are doing it too.  (click on the image to see a larger file)

Monday, 11 May 2009

Calligraphy and Kung Fu, knowing your goal!

I had the chance to try calligraphy at the beijing Language University. It was a great experience. As I have done a similar wokshop in Japan, the most interesting part for me was to able to compare the two cultures in terms of education.

When I was in japan, I enjoyed a calligraphy workshop by a very good teacher. He was patient and a true master in calligraphy, thus naturally he expected us to do well. The lesson he gave us was about basics and dedicating time in the basics. Like Kung Fu, basic is everything, so his teaching was top notch.
When I did the workshop in Beijing, I was shocked to learn that I can choose to do whatever I want, be it characters written in an advance style or drawings. I was reluctant, as I use the knowledge of going through basic as seriously as I can.

The Chinese calligraphy teacher's philosophy was: "you can only be great if you like what you are doing, it has to come from the heart". His idea was that basic is very important, but you have to do something from your heart. Choose and stick to it. To be clear that he gave me no illusions: He let me know that the art of calligraphy takes years to develope and be good at. So he is honest and already made the point of how inportant practise and basics are. Basic is indeed always needed. But a student first needs to know his own goal.

In Kung Fu, knowing your goal is also important. I have met many fellow Kung Fu practisioners who would blindly trust their teacher to become good martial artists. I have to admit, with teacher Mike, one will always improve under his guidance. But I am also sure, that teacher Mike wouldn't want this from us. This is what makes Kung Fu so unique; Kung Fu is not a rigid fighting art. At teacher Mike's school, althought we learn the same basics, we are no robots. Each of us already progress differently instead of trying to be a carbon copy of the teacher for many years. Thus, to develope an early awareness of your goal is necessary to train and progress correctly and individually. A student who would like to train Sanda will be able to ask his teacher for advice to achive his goal. 

However, it is important to trust your teacher's guidance after you have made your choice. Regardless your choice, there is no short-cut in creating art. Doing half work you might be practising what you like, but you will still not achive what you want. Knowing what you want and be prepared to work hard goes together.

Fellow-students who practise forms for years but are surprised that they don't know the application, means they haven't thought hard enough about why they wanted to do the forms in the first place, and what it takes to achieve that. Sure they must think forms are pretty, so that could be the goal, but the beauty of movement comes naturally after understanding your movement.

Likewise; a student who blindly follows the teacher, will only become a good copy of his teacher. But  that is not Kung Fu.

Meanwhile in the calligraphy workshop, I made my choice and the teacher expected nothing less than my hard work and trust in his guidance. After some fun trying and having a reality check (I should not quit my dayjob!), I thanked the teacher for his lesson in calligraphy, but got a better understanding in the Chinese way of balancing between choices and hard work and relating it to my own Kung Fu practise.

Just like the calligraphy workshop, it is important to know what you want, and the choice have to come from the heart. Once you know that, you know your goal. After that there is no excuse: practise, practise, practise... and trust a good teacher.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

A trip to Beijing and the search for power in Kung Fu

After some unlucky events since the start of 2009, I finally got myself a trip to Beijing. The trip includes visiting a soulmate, the writing of an essay, and training with some Kung Fu teachers in the park. Thought I was expecting to train for the coming 2 and half weeks, I realise that training with the teachers will start from monday. I was a little disappointed, but sometimes it is good to take a step back and see what you have, not what you don't have. So at first I was reluctant to include the first week of my stay here in China in the blog. What do I write about? Then it occures to me that Kung Fu is every where. It is incorporated in the daily life of a Chinese. It is in their cooking, the calligraphy, their respect for the young and the elderly, their negotiating in business, the creative mind for a better life. There is so much for me to see and to learn. So for the following few days, I will try to experience their way of life. I am sure it will lead to more understanding to Kung Fu.

Meanwhile, I have one question in my mind for quite some time: "where is the power?" "what are the exercise needed for cummulating chi and develop it into practical strength? On my arrival, I wrote a full page on my thoughts, my doubts and my discovery. However, the draft was raw and emotional, so I will not publish this. Instead I have put the text away and now, after a few days, things have become more clear and thoughts are much more rational. This is a good time for training.

I will explain my question on power later...

(photo: sunrise before Beijing, copyright: the author)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

True Kung Fu kicks

Yesterday at the training, another student and I had the chance to train the 10 set of Tan Tui and 2 Long Fist forms as it is part of our beginner' syllabus. We have been training this for a while, so one would expect us to do well. The truth is, it needs dedication and hard work to shape a diamond from a stone. Our stone, is unfortunatly still a stone. But with each practise, some corners are cut and new angles are shaped. And with training under Mike Laoshi's guidance, one starts to recognise the true Kung Fu in front of him.

Yesterday was such another training. I was doing the side-kick in one of the Long Fist forms, and although I know how to kick (as in Karate kickings and to some extend some Tae Kwon Do kicks). Kung Fu kicks are different: for a start they are not rigid as the Karate ones, a karate kick is like tossing your leg and body around, as if it is a big piece of concrete. So it relies on your muscle power and full explosion of kiai. Kung Fu kick is much more like a spring steel, when done well the body seems independant during the kick. Of course the body, legs and arms are one... but on the same time, Mike laoshi's kicks doesn't force him to place his arms in certain way to ballance his position. Something I have seen a lot with other martial artist. Either they kick and their arms are everywhere, uncontrolled. Or they kick and keep their arms close because they can't do anything else with it.

Mike's kick is different. the kicking doesn't seem to upbalance him, as a matter of fact, he kicks and his upperbody remains natural and ready for the next moves.

Kung Fu kicks are also not like Tae Kwon Do kicks. I regard Tae kwon Do kicks as the most powerful and fastest of any martial arts. BUT...

There is a different: Kung Fu kicks are not overly expressed, it doesn't just aim high for the sake of it. Though in Tae Kwon Do, it is good to be able to kick high, but it can also become a bad habit and leave the practisioner open for counter techniques from the types of Martial Arts with take-downs and wrestling experiences. There is nothing wrong with Tae kwon Do, it is the training methodology from some practisioners that has some flaws. This is the same for most of the Kung Fu practisioners who don't understand the deeper meaning of the art.

What really open my eyes yesterday with Mike Laoshi is that when he showed us his kicks, it is not like 2 teenagers jumping around and pretending they might kick each other when chances occures. When teacher Mike kicks, it is like a katana (Japanese sword) in the middle of a cut. There is no jumping around, no balancing act, no correction in mid air... he just kicked with the agileness of a spring steel. And though he only lightly tapped my chest. It hurts. I know if he would kick me for real, he would send me flying through the back of the space and I wouldn't be able to get up. My fellow student who was doing the same exercise also got a light kick to his chest, and he felt the pain through his back.

Finally, Mike also showed us his Mantis Style kicking is full of distractions during the kicks. he would change his direction, without flaws or delays and you have the feeling being tricked but only after you have been hit.

Humble and with a great sense of humor, Mike laoshi gave us some new inside of the art and told us: "I am too old for this".

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Mike Laoshi is back, training as usual!

For the students in Belgium, Mike Laoshi is back from teaching at seminaries in the states. It would be nice to hear from the participants in the states about the seminaries. Of course during Laoshi's absence, it is important for us to practise both at home and in the training hall.

That is what Kung Fu is about, keep training! :) Never give up!
Many of us came to train in the school during Laoshi's absence, and those who didn't come really missed out a good time with the Kung Fu brothers and sisters together.  There was a chance to exchange knowledge between us and just practising by ourselves. It was a good chance too for us to repeat all the stuff Mike Laoshi has been teaching us so far and enhanced the sense of training independently. Each training methodology has its ability to add skills and experiences from different angles, be it a private or group training with Mike Laoshi, training by ourselves, training alone, a seminar with Mike Laoshi or the other teachers in China or Taiwan. All has its benefits. The key is training, and make time to train. From my encounters with all the masters, I have noticed they have one thing in common: dedication.

With dedication we will get there.

So classes with Mike Laoshi are starting again.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Mike Laoshi's recommended video to watch:

Baguazhang Pakua Ritan park 74 year old woman.

some inspiration for movement.....
Mike Laoshi

Sunday, 1 March 2009

a letter to a friend...

Below an extract of a reply I wrote to a good friend, a true martial artist and a gentleman. He is very openminded and asked me many questions on Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and on teacher Mike. This part is about the training of other styles and about teacher Mike. Please note that it is my interpretation as a Martial Arts student. Each person has a personal journey when practising Martial Arts or finding a good teacher.

Hi K.,

it is not much trouble at all, teacher Mike loves to meet good people and martial arts students from all over the world who are open and have a good heart. We are all martial arts students, brothers and sisters.

It is true that it is difficult to find a martial arts that suits you and even more difficult to find the right teacher. Teacher Mike would say to his students to go out and explore as he knows his Kung Fu is not fake and top notch. But he also understands that not everyone is ready to learn what he knows. His art takes years to understand and train, but the reward is a very deep and meaningful approach to Martial Arts and the movement and alignment of the body. When learning other martial arts, one understands only the mechanics (if the teacher is good) of that style. But with teacher Mike, the awareness of your body and your movement becomes one. Eventually, it is not about style. But that is of course still too difficult for us, students, to understand.

An example of teacher Mike's integrity as a teacher:

1) he is very generous as a teacher and will pass you as much information as possible. Although he does take into account that some of his stuff is not for you yet.

2) I have been training for 3 years now with him and only recently I have been granted the yellow belt, with the remarks: "actually, you are not completely ready yet for a yellow belt so please work hard!!" And right he is. It makes me aware that the grading system is not there to satisfy a student's desire, but it is a responsibility to work even harder.

By the way, we wear a belt mainly for controlling the breathing exercises. The grading is not the main purpose.

When you write to teacher Mike, just be yourself. I told him you are a good person (and you are). That is what counts for him. (and all good teachers)

Of course you have a responsibility towards your teacher, Teacher Mike speaks of very high regards about his own teacher: Grandmaster Wang. But it took teacher Mike to meet many masters and teachers before he found the right one. Besides, the training with his previous teachers has also helped him to be ready for Grandmaster Wang's teaching. In old times, one teacher would pass his students to other teachers-friends so the students can get great benefit from them. It is like a family with one purpose: helping the students.

Teacher Mike does that too: almost every year, he would organise a trip to China or Taiwan for the students to meet fantastic teachers/masters. He would also invite them to Belgium and teach us. These teachers are very powerful, but also have individual approaches towards training methodology.

Some of our Kung Fu brothers and sisters have gone to China, same as you in Japan and are training under 2 or 3 teachers.

You can always learn something from teacher Mike when you talk with him, he is very intelligent (seems all of the greatest master are very intelligent, which makes sense as Kung Fu goes very deep).

But it is when you train under teacher Mike and have the chance to feel his touch, in pushing hands, in chinna (join locks), with Bagua (predecessor of Aikido) that you feel his power is so soft and stealth like that you don't know you are in a lock until it is too late. But when he applies his chi power, you feel a force truly alive and penetrating.

During one training I was learning blocking techniques with another student. When the fellow-student's arm clashes against mine, it felt like being hit by a peace of dead wood. It hurts, but apart from a bruise on the surface of my arm, it doesn't do anything.

Then I did the same exercise with teacher Mike and after 2 to 4 hits I felt a vibrating force into the arm I was blocking with. The pain didn't go away even when teacher Mike was doing the technique with another student. I could still feel the penetrating power and it's echo. Instead of a dead wood, it felt as I was hit by a piece of steel wrapped with cotton. As the metal vibrates from the end to the tip, the vibration continued into my arm. Take into account that this was only done with 10 percent of teacher Mike's power.

When he uses grapping, joint locks and pushing hands: the sensation is like a huge wave coming on top of you, and there is nothing you can do but let it get control over you. So water, though very soft, is dangerous and powerful towards all other entities with a constant volume. i believe that this is what Aikido also tries to achive.

I hope this will help. I like this kind of conversation as it reminds me how lucky I am to be so close to a great teacher and true Chinese Martial arts.


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Seminar with Mike Martello Sifu - Osnabrueck, Germany

At 18/19th of April, Mike Laoshi will come to Osnabrueck for another Weekend of chinese Martial Arts and fun. Everyone is invited, no matter of how many experience so far in CMA.

Topics are:
Saturday: Bagua Zhang, Basics, Concepts and Applications of this great Inner Style. 12 - 6 PM.
Sunday: Tang Lang Quan, Basics, Applications and QinNa from various Mantis Styles. 10 Am - 4 PM.

More Infos at:

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Party for our Kung Fu sister

leaving, the last training for 2009

Mike Laoshi, Dieter and Renaat invited everyone to their place for Magaly's (our Kung Fu sister) leaving party. Each of us brought something small, from their heart. Home made cakes, sushi, chocolate mousse, mosquito blanket, all with love. The biggest present for Magaly is the great news of being the godmother of Lola, the daughter of Luc and Meen. She was asked the other day after the training and she was happy and thrilled at the same time. :)

She left the airport well and arrived safely. Her journey begins, we all miss her but wish her lots of learning and fun.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Magaly to China

Two more weeks and Magaly, one of teacher Mike's dedicated student, our Kung Fu sister and friend is going to China. Just like Seppe and Kim. One of the question most asked to her is: "What are you going to do in China"? Thought the answer is naturally a personal journey, one which belongs to Magaly, allow me to widen up this text for the Kung Fu blog by asking you the question: "what can you do in China as a Kung Fu student (especially if you have a master like teacher Mike)?"

I ask that question to myself too; China is fun, the people are great and numerous things to see, to learn, to explore, to eat, to feel and to understand. Learning Kung Fu and Mandarin (language) is already a great choice, but other interesting learning I can think of are: calligraphy, cooking, massage, music, history, eastern philosophy,... also getting to learn new friends, see new places and have time for yourself, and the Kung Fu.

Not forgetting to mention the kindness and generosity of the Chinese teachers in Beijing, who have (thanks to teacher Mike's own generosity of friendship) indeed become close friends of the Wu Tan.

I too, have been to far places, one was visiting Japan whilst training at the original dojo of Ueshiba. In the end, it will always be a personal journey, one of inner growth and learning. 

From a Kung Fu learning point of view, it is very logical to wonder why one would go that far if one has teacher Mike as his mentor. Both in China and Taiwan (not to mention the other parts of the world), teacher Mike's martial ability is recognized as an equal if not better amongst the very best of Asia. However, Teacher Mike once told me that the learning curve in Kung Fu can be interpreted as in different stages.  As teacher Mike has gone through many, it is therefor difficult for the student to grasp his movement and inner chi from the very beginning.

One of the first stage for the student is proper structure and mechanics, which teacher Mike has taken good care of showing it to us every training. It is the essence in Kung Fu. It is necessary for the student to practise the basics for many years before being ready to go to the next level.

I believe that going outside Mike's classes to train with other teachers can be very beneficial for this very reason: it allows you to progress through a stage that you can be ready for teacher Mike's real teaching. Can you imagine sending a beginner to Grandmaster Wang? Or put it simple: One time a friend of mine wanted to learn cooking and asked if my uncle (who is a good chef) can give her private lessons, I told her to get a cook book and play with it until she understands differences of boiling, frying and stir frying. I know she doesn't even know how to boil an egg. So should my uncle, a chef with years of training, spend valuable time teaching her how to boil it? I don't think so.

Teacher Mike is like a master chef, but one who is actually is very generous, as he accepts beginners with open arms and teach them how to simply stand and walk.

Going to China and learning from other masters (who are good friends from teacher Mike and who have powerful skills as well), give us the opportunity to take back some info which teacher Mike can adjust and improve. The growth of the student is also more personal and gives them a unique flavor, depending on the master they follow in China.

Finally, the personal mental growth for Magaly, is one we all can admire and support.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Team Cup - the Clip

Overview of the Tournament

Monday, 19 January 2009

1st White Dragon Team Cup - 17. Januar

Puhh, managed.
The last week was a really tough one. Much to organize. But yesterday it was done: all the teams with their teachers were on time and came with quite a good and positive mood to the "Schloßwallhalle". Virtually every team had an illness or loss of one kind or another to fight with, especially the Chow Gar group from Ali Ol hid it hard: they were only 2 participants, which then had to start in each category (except for Sanda) twice.
Fairly in time we started with the lion dance and then I welcomed the spectators, participants and teachers. A brief overview of the program and we were already going on with the competitions. New was the KO_System also in the form - categories. And it was a good choice. The competitions were so exciting to the end. Hardly a team or athlete felt unfairly assessed, as it always was the direct comparison.
In the background, ran the organization by members of the Association Bailung fairly smoothly, there was a small problem with a kiosk on the ground, but nothing serious.
The competitions have been the form of 5 arbitrators and evaluated by the leadership of Mike Martello, they were really very fair and balanced. With the referee were: Nicolai Schild, Christian Kubiak, Thomas Maltz, Ali Ol, Holger Meyer and Kai Osagahara.
After a brief pause, there was rebuilding the Sanda competitions. And here my hopes were not disappointed. The Sanda was really cool. It was not fullcontact but also no expression dance. It was disciplined and fair with the intention and commitment to fight. Although Leif Daßbeck from Hamburg Wanfu really had a hard stand with his weight difference with the other fighters, but he did it with dedication and competitive technology and provided very good fights. A pity that for a placement it was not enough.
Overall, the participants also take a positive experience and I hope that this kind of Sanda wins more friends.

Finally, of course, was the winning team honored: the QiXing Tang Lang group of GEA Happel eV from Herne! However, only very slightly (2 points) before Team1 of the Bulaimei school from Bremen.

Here are the results in detail:
Hand forms:
1. Julia Kunter - GEA Happel Herne
2. Raufi wet - Wu Zhen / Bailung eV
3. Thorsten Or - Shaolin Velbert 1
Short Weapons:
1. Dieter de Potter - Wu Zhen / Wutang Antwerp
2. Sabrina Hainke - Bulaimei Bremen 1
3. Andreas Kichgessler - Chow Gar victories
Long Weapons:
1. Marco Alello - Shaolin Velbert 1
2. Dennis Prieß - Wu Zhen / Bailung eV
3. Patrick Peltzer - Bulaimei Bremen 1
Partners forms:
1. Leif Daßbeck / Julian Thomann - Wanfu Hamburg
2. Mike Kessler / Rene Herfarth - GEA Happel Herne
3. Luisa Korte / Cecilia Korte - Wu Zhen / Bailung eV
1. Tobias Nicklaus - Bulaimei Bremen 2
2. Mats Petersen - Bulaimei Bremen 1
3. Patrick Schmidt - GEA Happel Herne

Team Scoring:
1. GEA Happel Herne - 9 points
2. Bulaimei Bremen 1 - 7 points
3. Shaolin Velbert 1 - 6 points

A hearty congratulation to all winners and to all teachers and helpers, participants a warm thank you!

Oh yes: the "after-show party at our club was also very nice and cozy. We still had plenty of catering and the groups of Christian and Holger Meyer Kubiak came with a time to celebrate and to chit-chat. All very relaxed.
We will provide the tournament in the next (or the end of this) year again. It was, in our view, a resounding success.

A special Thanks goes out to my teacher Mike Martello, who came from Antwerp to Germany for judging and leading the Event. Thank You Mike Sifu!

For Photos watch HERE

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Interview with Mike Sifu

Here´s a great interview on a eZine I held with Mike Sifu some Weeks ago: Interview