I had read about Michael DePasquale Jr. the Jujitsu Master in all sorts of martial arts magazine's; Karate International, Black Belt Magazine, Inside Karate and others, so I was very excited about the opportunity to train with him at Dr. Beasley's Karate College.
Michael DePasquale Jr. is the son of Michael DePasquale Sr., a great Jujitsu master who is considered the father of American Jujitsu.
I can't describe how excited I felt to actually be on the Matt with him, I could hardly wait for the class to begin. What can I say, I was not disappointed.
DePasquale moves with the grace of a master, his speed and finesse of execution are most impressive. His range of techniques and their applicability to the street greatly added to my knowledge.
I enjoyed his defenses against punches, his effective use of the "dead hand", his O uchi garei Judo take-down and his arm lock finishing holds. I found all his techniques practical and easy to apply.
Getting to know Michael DePasquale Jr. was no less of a thrill than his class. He is a genuinely kind person, easy to befriend and fun to be around.
When I saw him in the dinning room with friends and fellow instructors Bill D'Urso and Joe Hess I asked if I could take a photo of them. He answered that not only could I take a photo but I should join them in the photo and join them for dinner. What an honor.
I had the privilege of training with him several more times. Each time he greeted me as an old valued friend, at each farewell he repeated, "If There is ever anything I can do for you, just let me know." Michael DePasquale Jr. is a true gentleman and an outstanding example of what a martial artist should be.
There was one more thing that I shall never forget; his respect for his father. Once I saw him walking down the stairs and I asked him about his old tattered black belt, he said, "It is my father's".
At the time his dad was quite ill, he has since passed on, and Michael DePasquale Jr. was visibly concerned. At every possibly opportunity he made reference to his father, always showing the utmost respect. His humble behavior, his concern for all of us, his care and respect for his father, deeply moved me.
Did I mention he also does a darn good Elvis imitation?