June 5, 2011

Prof. Wally Jay (1917-2011) Rest In Peace

The martial world lost one of it's last true gentleman warriors in the early hours of May 29th, 2011. Just short of his 94th birthday, Prof Jay has passed on peacefully surrounded by his family and loved ones.  Not only did we lose one of the most talented martial artists, but Wally Jay was a consummate gentleman and scholar.  Renown for his creation of Small Circle Jiu Jitsu theory, Wally was also one of his generations greatest Judoka!  Spending countless hours on the road teaching students worldwide, that is exactly how I met Prof. Jay damn near 15 years ago (I think) in a small dojo in Findlay, OH. one hot June evening.

I watched, then felt first hand, Professor's uncanny ability to control me using just my finger and the palm of his relaxed hand.  Following me wherever I would go!  His skills and lessons I still use to this very day, though I am a bit less finger joint oriented.  That said my wrist locks are rather decent, again much is due to Prof. Jay's Small Circle theory.

I have very few regrets in my short life, but one big one is my lack of fore sight in my younger years to get pictures with some of my early teachers such as Jeff Gears, Mike Sherman, Prof. Jay, and Prof. Presas!  True I still have memories which will never go away, and the legacy of my teachers will always live on via my expression of the arts.  But pictures fill some gaps often left behind when someone passes.  Make sure you snap some shots of you and your teachers or loved ones.  Someday it will be important, very important.

My deepest condolences and well wishes go to the Jay family and those worldwide who train under the Small Circle Jiu Jitsu banner.

Jake B.

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