We were in the middle of a video shot in Atlanta, Georgia when I got word of the passing of the great martial artist, Prof Wally Jay. The few of us that had met or knew him were stunned and saddened. The others that had never met him realized the extent of the loss by our demeanor.
That was Prof. Jay; he effected people whether they knew him or not. He cast a very wide martial arts net.
I have two brief stories about him that stand out in my mind.
I first met him in the early eighties, at an event in Reno, Nevada. He was demonstrating throws, and as was his want he picked out big people (me) to uke his throws. He threw me so hard that while still in mid-air I ripped the couch out of my heavyweight gi pants.
In one of the articles I wrote for Black Belt magazine I mentioned him kindly to demonstrate some point. After the article was published the phone rang one afternoon and a quite voice on the other end said, "This is Wally (there was a pause on my end as I was trying to figure out, Wally who?). "Wally Jay," he continued, "and I wanted to thank you for mentioning me in your magazine article." We chatted a minute or so more then he said goodbye. I was flattered that he would take the time to call and thank me. Flattered but not surprised.
Good journeys Prof.