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Alameda Sun Newspaper de 2007

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Alameda Sun Newspaper de 2007

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Wally Jay has a small, framed picture of himself punching another man. The man’s feet are visibly lifted off the floor and a look of intense pain is captured on his face. Jay, then 43, threw the right-hand punch without letting his fingertips leave the man’s chest.
In the airy basement of his Alameda home, 89-year-old Jay has taught and trained with some of the world’s best-known fighters. Jay literally wrote the book on small-circle Jujitsu, a style of the grappling martial art he crafted, propelling him into the sport’s stardom.
Pictures of a youthful, more muscular Jay standing abreast heavyweight wrestling champions and autographed photos of martial art celebrities line the walls of Jay’s ground-floor dojo on Eagle Avenue.“I could handle them like children,” said Jay, adding a sly grin and a brief chuckle.But Jay was never a fighter. Instead, he dedicated his life to teaching.
For 33 years, Jay worked with Alameda youth, molding them into champion Judo and Jujitsu fighters.Tomorrow he will celebrate his 90th birthday. For being a nonagenarian, Jay is remarkably quick: his punches are crisp, his grasp is firm.
Once a month, Jay teaches to a group of instructors from around the Bay Area interested in learning from a man billed as a “living legend” by many martial art publications.
Six years after Jay moved to Alameda from Oregon where he was studying, he broke away from the dominant teaching practices of Jujitsu. In 1957 he launched what became his own method of fighting. Jay said learning how to control the wrist in Jujitsu and Judo just seemed to make more sense than what was being taught: strong, reaching arm movements to grasp an opponent’s sleeve.“Everyone had big moves, but I have tight moves,” he said. “Much more efficient.”Known as Professor Wally Jay, a recognition from the American Jujitsu Institute, he is widely known as one of the best instructors in the world. In 42 years of teaching, he has been to 32 countries and calls martial art legend and movie star Bruce Lee “a good friend.”
In fact, Lee used to train with Jay in his matted basement dojo several years before becoming famous on the big screen.
Jay was born in Hawaii, and became involved in Jujitsu at age 23 after a near fight with a neighbor who was much bigger than him. Jay described himself as an uncoordinated, small kid who was often picked on by schoolmates. In junior high, Jay weighed just 70 pounds.
But after almost being pummeled by a guy who turned out to be a relative, Jay quickly found his calling and almost naturally accelerated in the sport faster than anyone else.
In 1960, Jay was named the Northern California Judo Coach of the Year and five years later he was the Alameda Kiwanis Man of the Year. Several scrapbooks are filled with newspaper features on him and he has a pile of letters from state and federal politicians honoring him for his work.
Now, Jay refers to his past as the “those days” when he spent his life touring and teaching with the sport’s elite.
The tenth-degree black belt is expecting more than 400 people from around the world for his birthday bash in Oakland on Saturday.
Jay still trains, saying he now barely thinks about the movements he created nearly 50 years ago. “It’s the training,” he said. “It’s easy.”

Je le traduirais si j'en ai le courage....

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Date d'inscription : 30/07/2011


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