For those of you who think Mixed Martial Arts is the current new trend, you have really missed the boat. Like “Judo” Gene Labelle, Larry Hartsell was way ahead of his time, or more appropriately, everybody else was lagging way behind.
Larry Hartsell was one of Bruce Lee’s original Chinatown Gung Fu students from the early seventies, as was his close friend Dan Inosanto. What most people aren’t aware of is that Bruce put Larry in charge of developing the grappling and ground fighting aspects of Jeet Kune Do.
Larry was a top level grappler, wrestler, and ground fighting expert long before mixed martial arts were ever considered an integral part of the arts. Dan Inosanto and Larry were very close friends and as with many of my other teachers, I met Larry through Dan.
I was so impressed with Larry’s grappling and ground game that I brought him to Indianapolis for many fantastic seminars. Larry was extremely personable and a very gifted martial artist and we hit it off from the very beginning.
As with all my teachers, I considered Larry a very dear friend and he shared with me his love for the grappling and ground aspect of the arts as well as his love for Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. Many people will remember Larry from his video tape series and books titled “Entering to Trapping to Grappling.”
Anyone who has ever had the honor to have been privileged to train personally with Larry will never forget that experience. Sifu Larry Hartsell was definitely one of a kind, a fantastic martial artist and a very dear friend. Larry always use to tell me, “Keep Blasting” !
There will always be a very special place in my heart for my friend LARRY HARTSELL,
one of the world’s greatest martial artists and a truly genuine human being.
We will all miss you Sifu !