Small Circle Jujitsu

Professor Wally Jay dies aged 93

Posted on May 29, 2011

Our Great Grandmaster and Founder Professor Wally Jay, one of the last great martial artists, has passed on peacefully at 2:20 am California time in Redwood City Kaiser Hospital.  Prof Jay experienced a stroke on Tuesday May 24th  and on Saturday as per his previous wishes was removed from life support.  He survived another 12 hours and had family and friends with him.  The Jay Family extends their gratitude to those that were there to lend support and to those that had him in their prayers.
The Jay Family after discussion have decided that to honour his wishes, Prof Leon Jay should continue the seminar in Long Island and Small Circle Jujitsu Camp in  Indiana,  Wed. June the 1st and 3rd 4th and 5th respectively.  He will then continue to California to be with family to make arrangements for the funeral.
We will post more information as needed and have also asked long time loyal family friend, Norm Johnson to post on facebook.
Thank you for your prayers and well wishes,
The Jay Family

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93 Responses to “Professor Wally Jay dies aged 93”

  1. In Tribute To All « Education and Technology


    May 30th, 2011 @ 12:59 am

    […] another note I wanted to pay my respects to Professor Wally Jay, who passed away Sunday morning in California. Professor Jay was the Grandmaster and Founder of […]

  2. Gene Tibon


    May 30th, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    My deepest condolences to the family of Professor Wally Jay. He has made a profound impact on the martial arts community as well as to me. His quality to the arts and humanity will never be forgotten. I have a signed shirt by Professor Wally Jay to me personally autographed and signed with a message to me hanging in the lobby of my karate dojo. His smiling face is on the t-shirt so his memory and contribution is remembered every day in my dojo.
    Regretfully yours,

    Gene Tibon
    Tibon’s Goju Ryu Fighting Arts Karate Do
    National Director-Founder
    USA Grassroots Karate Program
    Goju Ryu Uchiage Kai Western United States
    USANKF of Northern California,Inc.
    Regional Sports Organization

  3. Henry Steinberg


    May 30th, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

    My deepest condolences to the family of Professor Wally Jay. I meet him personally in Costa Rica when he came to visit Professor Lono Ancho R.I.P., before I met him in person I was acquainted with him only by letters, he contact me and ask me to look for professor Ancho here in Costa Rica, since then he used to send me post cards from every country he went, without knowing me personally. Thats the kind of person he was, always looking forward to help others and friendly with every one.

  4. Steve Fisher (Sakura Ryu JuJitsu) Australia


    May 30th, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    On behalf of the Sakura Ryu JuJitsu students I wish pass on our deepest condolences to the family of Professor Jay. This great man is a part of our clubs history pages having visited on two occasions conducting seminars to pass on the teachings of Small Circle JuJitsu passing on his methods to aid and develop the Martial Art. His legacy will live on through our stories or meeting this great man and how he touched our lives.

    Our Chief Instructor, Kyoshi Reg Ellis fondly talks of having Professor Wally Jay sitting on his back porch for a BBQ and taking him for a ride in his restored Mustang Convertible, Professor Wally in the front seat and Professor Don Jacob in the back seat reaching over to hold Wally’s cap down so it wouldn’t blow away. A sight to see, three great JuJitsu masters, an Ozzie, an American and a Trinidadian riding around the streets of Brisbane in a bright red mustang convertible.

  5. Randall Sanchez


    May 30th, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

    Our deepest condolences to the family of the GGM Professor Wally Jay. He was a true example of Kokua-Ohana. His legacy will continue…

  6. Scott Wilson


    May 30th, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    I would like to pay my respects to the Jay family & Professor Jay’s students. Professor Wally Jay was one of the true pioneers of martial arts. He was a legend, an innovator and teacher. He contributed far more to martial arts than most people could ever hope to contribute. He was a man that I truly admired and I respected him fully. He will be missed but not forgotten.

    I am glad to know that Professor Leon Jay and others will continue his teachings and that his Small Circle Jujitsu will continue to grow throughout the world.

    Master Scott Wilson
    Academy Martial Arts
    (Taekwondo & Jujitsu)
    Oklahoma City, OK

  7. Richard Van Donk, GrandMaster


    May 31st, 2011 @ 3:24 am

    Professor Wally Jay was martial arts.

    He loved it as it was part of his soul. he loved training, he loved practicing it, he loved sharing it, he loved talking about it all day and night, he loved teaching it, and he loved demonstrating it on others. He did it all tirelessly as a warrior with a big smile on his face.

    He knew how to take you to the edge of yourself and past your pain. If you ever had the privilege of taking ukemi from him as I have on many occasions then you would understand. My fingers tremble a little at the thought of being held again by him. lol

    He was a masters Master.

    His inspiration led me to become a Grandmaster myself some 30 years after meeting him the first time as a young blackbelt. My DeCuerdas Eskrima teacher the late Grandmaster Tenio introduced me to him and left us to go rest.

    Prof. Jay seemed larger than life to me at that time, it was 6pm and at 1:30am he was still downloading all he could about his small circle system. I begged to go to bed but did not want to miss one word or teaching from him. I will never forget that night.

    I visited him a little over a year ago at his home/dojo in Alameda… he was 91…. great times … we went into the dojo and he immediately started teaching me all these new little tricks he had just figured out.
    I have 10th dans in several jujitsu related arts now and I will tell you that I was learning much in that time again with him. His mind was sharp and his eyes or touch never missed a thing. What a role model.

    Yes, Professor Jay is a masters Master.

    I will never forget him or his influence on my life. A candle burns bright in my dojo and in my heart for him.

    I send my love and respects to his wife, family, students and friends.

    Peace be with you my Budo Brother.

    Much love and Mahalo,
    Richard Van Donk, Grandmaster
    Bushindo Martial Arts University

  8. Marc Zifcak


    May 31st, 2011 @ 3:55 am

    Na waimaka o ka Lani

  9. Nick Nuessle


    May 31st, 2011 @ 5:08 am

    Leveled-up. Still a presence.

  10. It is with deep sadness that both personally and on behalf of so many friends of Professor Wally Jay within the Australian Jujitsu Federation, that I express our deepest condolences to the family and friends. His friendship and teachings during his visits to Australia will be remembered forever.

  11. Juergen Schuessler


    May 31st, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    I have only known Prof. Wally Jay from youtube clips and from his contacts with the late Prof. Remy Presas, founder of Modern Arnis. This is a style I am learning. I understand that Prof. Wally Jay had a deep impact on the founder of the style I am learning and we also train Small Circle Jiu Jitsu principles. Nevertheless, I was and I am deeply impressed with Small Circle Jiu Jitsu and its founder. A great martial artist has left us but I strongly believe that his legacy will live on. My condolences to the Jay family.

  12. Alan M. Reyes - Grandmaster, Kajukenbo Self Defense Institute, Reyes Kenpo Karate


    May 31st, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    On behalf of my family, because of the friendship between my father, GGM Aleju Reyes and GGM Prof. Wally Jay, I offer my deepest condolences to your family, Prof. Jay was a great man, a friend to our family and admired as one of the greatest Instructors I have ever known, He will be missed.
    GM Reyes

  13. Jerry Vega


    May 31st, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    My deepest simpathy and regreat that such a good man and leader is noe gone. He left such a good impression on so many of us. I read so much about him in magazines, books, etc. We were empowered by him, when We met him at Dillman’s Karate Tournament in Hamburg, PA. I still have the business card he gave me and the book I purchases from him. God Bless, We will never forget him.

  14. Bob Jarolin


    May 31st, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    My deepest condolences to Professor Wally Jay’s family. The martial arts world has lost one of the greatest. From the stories that I have heard through both his son, Professor Leon, and others tells me that the non-martial arts world has also lost one of the greatest as well. R.I.P.

  15. Paul Brackna


    May 31st, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    My condolences and prayers to Professor Wally Jay’s family. He will be remembered forever.

  16. Trish Powell


    May 31st, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Student’s, Faculty and staff at Professor Jay’s dojo; as well as to the Professor’s family. I know that Sensei Tom Haggerty and all of the Sensei’s at our dojo feel his loss from the community of martial artists.
    May Professor Jay rest in peace.

    Trish Powell
    Sho Dan
    Haggerty’s Martial Arts Center
    Midwest City, Oklahoma

  17. Dakin Burdick


    May 31st, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    On behalf of my students and colleagues in the arts, please accept our sympathy regarding Prof. Jay’s passing. Wally was a fantastic guy and a marvelous instructor and attending his workshops was always a pleasure. Not only was he enormously skilled, but he shared his skills with everyone with the eagerness of someone who truly loved his art and who loved everyone around him, so the workshops were always filled with students who were themselves tremendously skilled. Everyone just wanted to be around Wally. He will be sorely missed, but he left a lasting legacy in his host of students.

    Mahalo nui loa Prof. Jay.

  18. Paul G. Byus


    May 31st, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    Prayers and deepest sympathies to the family, friends and students of Professor Wally Jay.

    Paul G. Byus

  19. Joe Aldridge


    May 31st, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    Condolences to Professor Jay’s family and students from our staff and students. We’ve lost a great martial artist and a great human being.

    Joe Aldridge
    Aldridge Karate Institute
    Barboursville, Va.

  20. Thor Mollung


    May 31st, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    My deepest condolences to the Jay Family on the loss of a wonderful martial artist. May God Bless him, his family and friends and may his legacy live on…

  21. Vladyslav Shypinskyi


    May 31st, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    My personally and on behalf of my teacher, Nikolay Vasiliev and all
    Combat Ju-Jutsu International Federation deepest condolences
    Family, students and friends of Grandmaster Wally Jay. He was the most respected and revered of living the real great ju-jitsu master and wonderfull man for us. We wanted to see him alive as
    long as possible, but takes its time. He carried a light, and the best traditions of martial arts. Kingdom of Heaven Grand Master!

  22. D'Arcy Rahming


    May 31st, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    On behalf of the Miyama Ryu Combat Jujutsu Daishihans and Executive Board I extend condolences to the family, friends and students of Professor Wally Jay. I know that Miyama Ryu Founder Shinan Antonio Pereira who predeceased him considered him to be a good friend, colleague and advisor. He was widely admired and respected within the Miyama Ryu.

  23. Shihan Manny Valladares


    May 31st, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    My condolences to the family of Professor Wally Jay I fist met the professor in Honolulu on his 80th Birthday I was at the Seminar and birthday bash I was talking with my students and he came up to me and said are you from new york and I said yes how did he know he said the way I spoke. I just started to laugh. He will be miss one of the best pioneer in martial way. ( R.I.P. Professor Wally Jay) Aloha!!!!!!!!!

    Shihan Manny Valladares
    U.S. Budo Goju KAI

  24. Roger Wood


    May 31st, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

    I’m extremely sorry to hear of the death of Professor Wally Jay. My respects and condolences go out to the Jay family. Although I did not met Wally I have trained with Leon at his club in England for over 6 years and have a great admiration for Wally and what he achieved in his life. A true Master who will be missed by many.
    Roger Wood
    (Leatherhead Small Circle Jujitsu Club)

  25. Connor Ford


    May 31st, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

    My condolences to all impacted by the passing of Professor Wally Jay and to his family. I have heard great things about Professor Jay through his student Dave Castoldi, and his passing is truly a loss to the martial arts community, for he was a great teacher. The spirit of his teaching, however, is and will be an incredible contribution to every community he has touched. Thank you, Professor Jay, and may you rest in peace.

    Connor Ford
    IU HapKiDo club

  26. Prof. james Muro


    May 31st, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    our deepest condolences to the Jay family from Raquel and I and all the students here in Portugal and Spain, where I am at the time of his passing,this giant who mentored myself and countless others . his spirit will continue with me each time I step onto the mat and give the dance of pain to who ever vonulteers to be the uke.
    he was a great teacher and inovator,he touched our hearts deeply.
    sincerly James and Raquel Muro

  27. Paul Marston


    June 1st, 2011 @ 3:14 am

    My condolences to the family of a great man. The impact of Prof Jays teaching both directly and indirectly on martial artists throughout the world is impossible to measure. It is undeniably immense. To this day i continue to utilise the insights he gave me in my technique. A great martial artist and a great human being. R.I.P

    Paul Marston
    Sozokan Academy of Martial Arts
    Perth, Western Australia

  28. Tino Ceberano, Hanshi of the I.G.K. -Intl.Goju Kobujtisu


    June 1st, 2011 @ 5:06 am

    To the family of Professor Jay and the organization of the Small Circle Jiujitsu. We have indeed lost a father, a Teacher, a leader, a LEGEND. Our prayers and condolence goes to those that are left behind this great Teacher’s legacy and personal devotion to what he showed with the expertise and care of the art being nothing less than perfect. Brudda…Mahalo, God Bless and may we follow your role in establishing further the OHANA you shared with us. Your students in heart and spirit of the Aoha you shared to us. Tino Ceberano and the Students of IGK

  29. Brian Prestowitz


    June 1st, 2011 @ 5:07 am

    I will miss you Uncle Wally. Your teachings made me into a better man. I’ll see you again.

  30. Scott Rogers


    June 1st, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    R.I.P Professor ! My thoughts are with Grandmaster Leon Jay and his family x

    Scott Rogers
    (Leatherhead Small Circle Jujitsu)

  31. My deepest condolences to the lovley warm Jay family….
    Professor Wally Jay modernised Jujitsu and martail arts in general through science and honest teachings..We all have lost a great man and I will personally remember all the good times in Australia and Hawaii…
    He was a true teacher, leader, inventor, great grand master and a wonderful warm caring man…A legand that will never be forgotton…
    Your spirit lives with me…RIP Professor…
    Prof Steve Miranda
    National Karate Academies-Australia

  32. Renshi Steven M. Jackson


    June 1st, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    From all members of Samurai Karate Do and Kicking for Christ, our prayers and best wishes go to the family & Prof. Leon Jay. Prof Wally Jay was one of the all time greats of Martial Arts, he will be miss. We humbly bow. Renshi Steven M. Jackson, Samurai Karate Do & V.P. of JDSKHH

  33. Katy McAuliffe


    June 1st, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

    On behalf of the McAuliffe family (Robert R., Barbara, Susan, Bob, Steve, Katy, Jeff & Matthew and Michael McAuliffe, our deepest condolences to the Jay family. May the tradition continue.

  34. Tim Evans


    June 1st, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    I am a richer person for having been able to meet and vist with Professor Jay at his home. He has made his mark on the Martial Arts scene in a gigantic way. The Professor will be deeply missed by everyone. May God bless his family and students. RIP Professor Jay!

  35. Prof. Richard Bunch


    June 1st, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    My deepest sympathy and condolences to the entire Jay family. Wally was a great man who profoundly empacted not only me, but everyone he came into contact with. I first met Prof. Jay in the early 1960’s where his direction way back then changed the course of my martial arts pilgrimage. Through the years Wally was more then a mentor to me, but a source of constant inspiration with his guidance and support. Prof. Jay will be missed more then spoken word could ever express. This marks the end of an era, but the professor’s legacy will continue. Lots of love to the ENTIRE Jay family.
    Mahalo nui loa
    Richard Bunch

  36. Mike and Melanie (Thom) Hitchcock


    June 1st, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Deepest condolences to the Jay family. It was our pleasure to meet and spend the time we had with Wally and his family. We continue to realize that he is with us all in spirit and with a sense of peaceful calm. Family was important to Wally and he is important to his family in the Hawaiian tradition of love and respect.

    Mike and Melanie

  37. Franz Kaiser


    June 1st, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    My condolences to the Jay family.
    Wally will always be an inspiration to me. His grace and manner as both a martial artist and individual are without equal.
    Thank you for your contribution, you have enhanced the lives of thousand and touched me personally.
    Rest In Peace.

  38. On behalf of me and the entire Checkmate Family, we offer our condolences and wish the Jay family the best. Professor will be missed by so many that he touched or put a finger lock on! I had the pleasure of meeting and working Professor on many occasions. His kindness and soft spoken nature was always impressive. The impact Professor had on me and what I teach to my students will continue to grow. His picture is now on the head wall of our school along with Professors Okazaki and Kano. Good company I think, His legacy will live on.


    Master Leigh R. Rossi

  39. Lance Strong


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 3:32 am

    On behalf of all Kiaido Ryu Martial Arts Schools in New Zealand, Australia, and England , we would also like to offer our deepest sympathies on the loss of Professor Wally Jay to Leon, and his immediate and extended martial arts families. He was a true friend, authentic grandmaster, true gentleman, and martial arts innovatior and pioneer.
    Our art has been greatly enhanced through the Professor’s teachings, innovations and principles.
    He has also had a huge impact on bringing martial artists from all styles and backgrounds together. We will always smile when we remember him, and forever acknowledge the contribution he has made to all our lives.
    All of our classes this week will have one minutes silence, at the beginning of class, in honour of a truly great man
    All our Love and respect Lance and Ava Strong New Zealand

  40. Graham McGrath


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    As a member of the Small Circle family, from the Dojo in Leatherhead UK, I wish to express my condolences for the Jay family at this time. I am saddened by the loss of one of martial arts greatest teachers and innovators.
    Although I unfortunately never got the chance to learn directly from Wally Jay, training under his son Leon has been an important part of my life. And though him, and his stories of his fathers work, I believe the legacy of his teaching will continue in the UK.

    In the spirit of ohana, I wish to convey my respect and gratitude for what this man achieved in his life, and the legacy he has left for all of us in the Small Circle family.

    Sincerely, Graham McGrath

  41. Soke Joe Varvello Melbourne, Australia


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    Condolences to the Jay Family, please accept our deepest sympathy
    on the passing of Professor Wally Jay. We are very honoured to have had the opportunity to have attend seminars and practice jujitsu with this great master. He will be sadly missed in the martial arts world. R.I.P.
    Yours Sincerely, Soke Joe Varvello, Kyoshi Ann Varvello and Family
    Ju-Jitsu Australia Dojos.



    June 2nd, 2011 @ 1:38 pm


  43. Donavin Britt


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    To the Jay Family,

    We are praying for you in this time of mourning. We shall Mourn Proffesor Jay and honor him with a moment of silence at all classes for the remainder of the week. He was a great instructor and a true innovator. Again our hearts and minds are with you all today!

    Donavin Britt
    Chief Instructor
    Las Vegas Krav Maga
    Urban Combat Inc.

  44. George Arrington


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    My heartfelt condolences to the Jay family. Thanks to Professor for his years of friendship.

  45. Willy Cahill


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    We all know Professor Wally Jay as the founder of Small Circle Jujitsu and Co-Founder of Jujitsu America but many of you don’t remember when he had one of the top Judo teams in the United States. He dominated the Northern California competition for many years, especially during the 70’s and early 80’s. He was voted the Most Outstanding Judo Coach in Northern California and also inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. I remember once when his High School team beat the Air Force Academy Judo team. It wasn’t a surprise to us here in California.

    His Judo team would train with Cahill’s Judo Academy and would dominate the workouts. In the end he was the person that helped my Dad John Cahill to become one of the top clubs in California. He went out of his way to help our club even at the tournaments.

    We will always be grateful for his teachings and Support of our club. Mahalo and Aloha Profesor Jay

  46. Jack Medaris


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

    Please accept my sincere condolences to the Jay family and all SCJJ practitioners at this time of sorrow. We are all blessed to have received his teachings not just in martial arts, but in how to behave in a giving manner in all facets of life. He was always there to answer questions and to lead by example. There is now another light in the Halls of Shaolin.

  47. Maria & Richard J Lanza


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Please accept our sincere condolences.
    Professor Jay was a great embassador for all of the Martial Arts. He was a great instructor with a vast amount of knowledge yet one of the most humble Martial Artist we have every met. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to trained with one of the true Martial Arts LEGENDS
    We have a signed photo of the the Professor with both Grandmaster George Dillman and Professor Remey Presas which hangs PROUDLY at Lanza’s Martial Arts.
    The Professor will be missed … but his Legacy will live forever

  48. Larry Wadford


    June 2nd, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

    To the entire Jay family, the Wadford family sends it condolences.

    Prof. Jay was a wonderful teacher. I am sure I have forgotten many of the little things that he taught but there are many things I do remember.

    One of my favorite memories was running around Camp Danzan Ryu and Prof. stopping me and saying – Larry Wadford I read your comment in Black Belt Magazine.

    I quoted Prof. Jay in a Karate Black Belt test and later that quote showed up in a book my Karate teacher wrote as a Prof. Jay quote.

    Prof. was such a great man and his memory was equally great. He would remember small things like my address, which as I recall, he never came to my house but he was correct.

    Running into Prof. Jay and Bernice on the street or in a restaurant was always a treat. I would walk up to say hi and he would start talking about what he remembered and liked about me. He really made me feel like he cared about the people that were part of his life.

    I will miss Prof. Jay like I miss my own father.

  49. Randy Beamer


    June 3rd, 2011 @ 3:03 am

    On behalf of myself, and members of Yama Kei Jujutsu, I wish to offer my condolences. What can you say about him, that hasn’t been said already. A fantastic teacher, mentor, pioneer.
    I had the good fortune of meeting and training with him years ago in his dojo. I will never forget his kindness, and his warm desire to share with me.
    Makoto Ni,


  50. Gary Schroeder


    June 3rd, 2011 @ 3:16 am

    Our deepest sympathy for the Family and Friends of Prof. Jay, his smile and friendship will be missed. Aloha Modern Arnis and the M.M.A.G.

  51. Professor Libert O'Sullivan


    June 3rd, 2011 @ 6:19 am

    My sympathy and condolances to the family of Prof. Wally Jay. I remember him coming to the Nikko Dojo in Kaheka Lane in Pawaa, Oahu and working with Professor Sig Kufferath and me in the 1940’s.

    May Wally have classes with the angels now that he has an unlimited dojo.
    Professor Libert K. O’Sullivan
    Kailua, Hawaii

  52. Fernanda Capela


    June 3rd, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    My deepest condolances to the Family of Prof Wally Jay.
    It was a great honor to know him and his family last year with my family of Kenpo Portugal.
    Thank you for all the kindness

  53. Ustad Tanwir Kazimi


    June 3rd, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    Our heartfealt and deepest condolences to Leon and all of the Jay family on the demise of the honourable Grandmaster Prof. Wally Jay. Unfortunately, I did not have the good fortune to meet this great individual but having met Leon I can only imagine that Prof. Wally Jay must have been a great and wonderful individual with a big heart and open doors for all.

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you Leon and the whole of the Jay family in this time of difficulty.

    Ustad Tanwir Kazimi (Ketua Jurulatih Kanan Europa, Pertubohan Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia Sedunia) and students

  54. Klayton Kendall


    June 3rd, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    Wally Jay inspired me to study jujitsu. While I ultimately earned a black belt in a different system, I’ll always cherish the time I spent with Professor Jay at a seminar in August 2000. May we each aspire to touch the lives of so many students!

  55. It was a true honor to have met such an inspirational and accomplished Master. His teachings and example are treasures we ought to keep for all generations to come. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends!

  56. Ron Craddock


    June 3rd, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    My deepest condolences go out to to Professor Jay’s family. What a wonderful person and great, great teacher. It was truly an honor to have met and studied with him.

    Ron Craddock
    Ron Craddock Shinki-Ryu Karate Academy
    Charlottesville, VA

  57. Robert "Lopaka" Welge-Co-Founder Meheula's COAMAH


    June 4th, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    There will never be another Wally Jay. The Professor has been and will remain a legend for generations. Professor Jay did more than any other martial artist I know to spread a genuine “Aloha Spirit” to the world. Professor Jay held a vast knowledge of the arts and was intellectually unequaled. He was also a truly humble man who was kind and patient to students, both young and old. The Professor helped me personally in ways that I will never forget. Wally Jay passed from this world with the same dignity and courage that characterized his accomplished life. My condolences to Bernice, their children and the Small Circle JuJitsu Ohana.

  58. L.Ramm


    June 4th, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    My condolences to the family and friends of Professor Jay, He was an outstanding person in martial arts he was Ohana to Martial Artist everywhere. He will truly be missed.

    Carson City, Nevada

  59. Matt Brown


    June 4th, 2011 @ 2:08 am

    I am sadden by the loss of Professor, however I celebrate the man who touched so many lives! His legacy will live on in those of us who knew and loved him. My most heartfelt love and prayers go out to all the Jay family.

  60. Tim Hollembaek


    June 4th, 2011 @ 4:46 am

    My condolences to the Jay family. Prof. Jay was the most kind and unassuming teacher I ever met. All my students know that if the google the word sensei they will find a picture of Wally. He was an inspiration and one of my most cherished role models. We will miss him terribly. Aloha

    T. Hollembaek
    Lotus Self Defense Institute
    Beaverton, OR

  61. We at Sakura Ryu JuJitsu were extremely saddened by the passing of Professor Jay. My personal condolences and that of my family go to the family of this great man, not only a great man but a great Martial Artist who will be sorely missed by all.

  62. alain acob


    June 4th, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    Makakilo Jujitsu club would like to send our deepest sympathy to the entire Jay Ohana. May GOD bless you thru this difficult time. Prof. Jay will be missed.

  63. Roger C. McMillion


    June 4th, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

    We will never forget your outstanding contribution to the martial arts community and your genuine unique way of teaching. Thank you Grandmaster Wally Jay and Rest in Peace my friend.

  64. Bill Adams


    June 4th, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    The Professor was a mentor to so many. Not just in small circle jujitsu, but also in life. I am thankful for his influence on my life and my teaching. His warm, friendly, Hawaiian ways, made him a welcome guest instructor everywhere.

    Many of his words, stories, analogies have stayed with me. Many still help me make decisions daily in my life. Often it was simple things like, “Never confuse effort with achievement”. or “get rid of excess, take out the slack.”

    From the mid 70’s to mid 80’s, the Professor came to teach many times at my school in the Buffalo NY area, and in surrounding cities, where I set up seminars for him. Often, I would assist or be an “uke”. Once he brought Leon, whom I also learn to respect, and be thankful to share the pain.

    He always expressed gratitude for being the first to introduce to the East Coast martial arts community. I was thankful to have had that opportunity. His knowledge raised new standards, filled in gaps, and helped with curriculum at many schools.

    Wally credited another friend of mine, Pat McCarthy, with introducing him to Japanese martial arts society, where Wally ‘wowed ’em’. This validation gave him great joy.

    Wally lived life with gratitude to those who came before, for the blessings given in his life, and to those who faithfully passed on his teachings. Humility allowed him to receive, have an empty cup, which he could fill. And he lived life with Joy, zestfully embracing the opportunities, rarely touching on negatives, and with great love of family.

    Not all men leave this Earth having made a difference, leaving a legacy. I am thankful to have shared time with this man, this master of martial arts, and of Life. He has made a difference in so many, and a legacy that will be truly lasting.

  65. Peter Hills


    June 5th, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    Last night I dug out the pics from the two seminars of Wally Jay when he visited Brisbane (Australia) in the 90’s. They brought back such great memories of the joy of learning in good company. The lessons I learned are with me still.
    On Tuesday night I went through some of the principles I learned from Wally Jay. The finger-locks with two way action, the efficiency of a small circle for kotegaeshi. I told them if they don’t know the name Wally Jay, shame: Look it up. Straight away. And I told them this great man’s contribution to Jujutsu will never be forgotten and never be lost.

    We have no connection to the Komaru Jujutsu organisation, but Wally Jay’s ideas are right there, every class, every technique, because they are simple, efficient, universal and will take your jujutsu to the next level Right Now. There must be thousands around the world who had similar experience. He has touched the spirits of martial artists everywhere.
    To The Grandmaster’s family, personal students and close friends, my deepest condolences. It is truly a sad day to see him go.

  66. Hakim Hart


    June 5th, 2011 @ 1:58 am

    I am deeply saddened to have learned of Professor Wally’s passing. I am honored to have been able to be blessed to have been in the present of someone great as Grandmaster Jay. His teaching of his small circle system has opened so many doors for all martial artists to grow and enhance their knowledge in whatever style they study. By opening my eyes to his two way action principle has really help me to develop my jujitsu techniques more. Anyone who has been in Professor Jay’s present knows that he had a special gift of making you feel relaxed and comfortable. He never carried his status or title on his shoulder; he was one of the most humble man I have ever met. He was truly one in a million and will be greatly missed. To his family, we know that you all have lost a strong rock in your family. But we know that he passed on his wonderful spirit to each of you, as well as all of us that he touched.
    I salute you Professor Jay, may you rest in eternal peace.

  67. Dr. Gary Stier, OMD


    June 5th, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    In behalf of the International Shen Men Tao Association, both teachers and members, as well as myself and my family, I extend our deepest condolences to Professor Jay’s family and students at his passing. He will long be remembered by those who were inspired and influenced by his extraordinary career as a martial art practitioner and teacher.

    May he find that place of brightness and beauty where the just repose, and may his memory be eternal!

    With great respect and salutations ~ Sifu Gary Stier

  68. Mike Richard


    June 5th, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    My sincerest condolences to the Jay family at this time of loss. Thank you to Wally Jay and the Jay family for the wonderful Martial art he has passed down to all of us..may he rest in peace.

    New England Small Circle Jujitsu
    2 Merril Street

  69. Jeffrey Finder


    June 6th, 2011 @ 7:26 am

    My sincere condolences to the Jay family and the Small Circle Jujitsu community. Wally will be remembered not just for the profound influence of his innovations in martial art technique, but also for the example he set as a human being through his friendly and equitable demeanor.

  70. Robert Windle


    June 6th, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    I just found out about the passing of GM Wally Jay. i’m deeply saddened by his death, and extend my deepest condolences and prayers for his family and students.

  71. John James


    June 6th, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    Dear Small Circle Ju Jitsu & the Jay Family,
    Professor Bill Chun, Jr. of the Go Shin Jitsu Kenpo/Chinese Kempo Kai system & the Kenpo/Kempo Lo Kahi Association of America, sends his deepest condolences on the loss of such a great Martial Arts practitioner, Leader, and person. Prof. Chun, Jr. sends his apologies for this coming so late after GGM Jay’s passing. He was just informed not too long ago.

    Sensee John James,
    GSJK/CKK student & Kenpo/Kenpo Lo Kahi Assoc. Representative

  72. Sifu Charles Hailey


    June 6th, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

    I am stunned and at a lost for words at the lost of one of my greatest teachers and mentors…The many years and hours spent in the Dojo in Alameda from 1990-’95 are some of my most valuable memories. All the blood sweat and tears from the training, being “Uki ” for Prof. Jay in class and being privileged enough to be invited in to the Jay family home were a special time in my life….growing up.
    Rest in Peace Sensei
    Sifu Charles Hailey

  73. Corey Wiscomb


    June 6th, 2011 @ 10:59 pm

    I am so very lucky to have been blessed by the teachings of Professor Jay. His greatness can be seen in the vast accomplishments of his students and the fact that he was always surrounded by love and admiration wherever he went. Professor’s passing is a great loss to not only martial artists, but to humanity as well. It is from his example that we should all strive to live lives of passion, commitment, and dedication to the betterment of people everywhere.
    Thank you Professor Jay for showing us that the path is capable of being walked, we will miss you dearly.

    Corey Wiscomb
    Orcas Island, WA

  74. Mark Corkin


    June 7th, 2011 @ 6:21 am

    Leon and family,

    My deepest condolences and best wishes at this difficult time. His passing is a loss to everyone that had the privelege of meeting him.

    Mark Corkin
    United Kingdom

  75. Clive Goodman


    June 7th, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    All of us at Small Circle Ju-jitsu in Leatherhead offer our condolences and respect to Leon and his family at the passing of his father, our founder, Professor Wally Jay. He lives on in his teaching and will be with us whenever we gather to train.

  76. Wayne L. Brannon


    June 8th, 2011 @ 1:05 am

    Just found out of the passing of Professor Wally Jay. The deepest condolences and prayers of myself and the members of Northwest Defensive Arts in Tacoma go out to his family. We have lost another giant whose efforts helped bring about the evolution of modern martial arts. He was great and sincere both as a person and as a teacher. I will always remember the experience of meeting him and learning from him.

  77. Doug Tritton


    June 8th, 2011 @ 1:11 am

    On behalf of my family and Sakura Hana Ryu , I would like to offer our sincerest condolences to Bernice and Leon Jay and the entire Jay family at the recent passing of Prof. Wally Jay. Our thoughts at this difficult time are with you all. 
    His undying love and dedication to all Martial Arts and in particular Ju Jitsu and Judo has raised the profile of all Martial Arts around the world. 

    His sense of humour and his ability to bring Martial Artists together in friendship and the spirit of Kokua and Ohana was unique. I can recall in the late 80’s whilst teaching some of the principles of Small Circle to my students I would refer to it as Small Circle Theory and the Professor would always correct me later by saying that it was no longer a Theory it was proven. He would be telling me this after a tendon soup in our Chinatown as he was holding on to a “No Parking sign” practicing a judo throw and laughing. 

    The countless number of awards he has received is a small tribute to the message of Kokua and Ohana that he has spread to the countless number of people that he has touched throughout his long and distinguished career as a truly professional Martial Artist. He was loved and admired by everyone who knew him and will be sadly missed.

    The Professor has been and will continue to be an inspiration to many generations of Martial Artists all around the world. 

    Aloha and Mahalo Professor Wally Jay.
    Doug Titton
    Brisbane Martial Arts Academy
    Sakura Hana Ryu Australia



    June 8th, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    Prof. Wally Jay was to Small-Circle Jujutsu what Ed Parker was to Kenpo Karate. Both were innovators and legends in their lifetimes, both will continue to live in our hearts and memories forever. These 2 masters have left their imprint in the martial arts community and have become immortal. Thanks to the electronic media their DVDs will continue to shower knowledge and wisdom for seekers seeking the true way of martial arts technique and spirit. Whenever one mentions the art of Jujutsu, Prof.Wally Jay’s photo first appears in the mind, such was his dedication to the art, it was his life-work, it was his mind and soul. Prof. Wally Jay was not just a leader of Jujutsu but a leader of the entire martial arts fraternity. May his great soul rest in peace.

  79. Brian Saker


    June 9th, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    Leon and Family
    Please accept my deepest condolences on the death of Professor Wally Jay.
    His Ten Principles of Small Circle Jujitsu will continue to guide me throughout the rest of my Martial Art’s life.
    That is his legacy to us all.
    Whenever you train think of His priciples and he will always be there to guide you.
    Brian Saker
    Do-Shinkai Edmonton Karate Club

  80. Fred Christian


    June 13th, 2011 @ 2:35 am

    I was saddened to here of your “Passing” Professor. You were a great example to me of the “Aloha Spirit”. I will not forget our meeting when I was looking for a Martial Arts Dojo after having to leave the Hawaiian art of “Parker” Karata when living during the week in Oakland. You convinced me I could learn to fall as required in Jujitsu.
    I certainly enjoyed the many years at Island Judo Jujitsu. I was so happy when you awarded me my Black Belt at Willy Cahills. I also think of My old friend Merve Johnson who I usually paired off with; I wonder where he is. Your memory will be much better than mine now. I believe my time at “Island” was about 1966 to May 28th of 1975 when I got my Black belt. I continued attending occasionally as time would allow, we moved to Southern California. I’m living in the Sacramento area now, and Wally you remember I’m just 10 years younger than you. Aloha! Fred Christian

  81. Jesse L Ramirez


    June 13th, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

    To The Jay Family, What a GREAT , GREAT MAN PROFESSOR WALLY JAY WAS!! God Bless YOU ALWAYS! Yours in SCJ, Jesse L Ramirez

  82. Eric Higley


    July 12th, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    With Respect and Appreciation:
    I remember years ago going to a Small Circle seminar, I was staying late after the event and the host was tallying the money and doing business with Professor Jay. I figured I had overstayed my welcome and went to excuse myself. Professor Jay insisted that I stay and started telling me stories about Bruce Lee. We found a phone book and he showed me the “one inch punch” that Bruce Lee had shown him. Many years later when I had an opportunity to travel to California, just mentioning that I had known Professor Jay opened many doors for me. He was a kind and generous man.

  83. Guy Gratton


    July 12th, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    I’m sorry not to have ever met Professor Jay in person.

    However, I’ve used and been inspired by his work and people who had learned directly from him for a great many years. He had a great life, and did much good – this should be celebrated now and for many years to come.

    Guy Gratton
    Bucks Kempo & British Kempo Society

  84. Alan Dillard


    July 22nd, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    So long Professor Jay. You’re greatness will live forever through Small Circle Jujitsu.

  85. Bruce McGilvray III


    July 25th, 2011 @ 11:24 am

    Grandmaster Wally Jay was a brilliant man. He understood that even the slightest movement could make a huge impact on others. He will live on in the heart and minds of his family and students. I give my sincerest condolence to the Jay family. God bless.

  86. Alex Novak


    August 14th, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    The late professor Wally Jay was perhaps one of the greatest men in the world I have ever known. Although I personally spent little time with him, I had the privilege and honor to attend one of his seminars at home in Boston in the 90’s. His spirit and presence was a very powerful one. I enjoyed and cherished every second I was with him, and felt every finger and joint lock. Professor Jay’s soul lit up an entire room or dojo wherever he taught.

    More then any other professional martial artist, his system worked effectively for just about anyone who really made an attempt, and never required one to be an acrobat or take years of intense lessons.

    Professor Jay’s system was and always will be in my own view the greatest self-defense practical system ever conceived in our modern world. He dedicated his whole life to perfect a system that was rational and efficient for the average everyday person, not super athletes, professional martial artists, soldiers of the Special Forces, or stunt men.

    The Small Circle Jujitsu system worked and did not require a large amount of strength or muscle bound maneuvers. Professor Jay was enjoyable to be around, he never came across as a man that was not friendly or approachable.

    Professor Jay was a highly experienced, good hearted, honest, caring, intelligent professional and never came off as a macho or flamboyant master of an exotic unknowable mystical art. Professor Jay was a man who wanted to teach and perfect a great system, and give back to others. He did not come off as a man who only cared about money or putting on a fancy show, because his students’ well being always came first, tied with building a genuine effective art instead of a lavish grandiose martial arts demonstration. He was a great man that placed his heart and soul into building each practitioner he worked with, and left a better art and a better world in his wake.

    May his soul rest in peace, for he will be missed for many years to come.

  87. Mataw Guro KiBo


    August 28th, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    I met Later GM Wally Jay. I was student of later maestro Sonny Umpad in the 1997. I leaved in Alameda. We have lost a great man and warrior. I will miss his kindness and open mind in martial art and life. I never study with GMP Wally Jay,But i did visited one time. I regret not studying with him. I did buy the book and video. My heart and prayer goes out to the family,friends and students. Mataw Guro KiBo From Visayan Eskrima(Corto Kadena&Larga Mano)

  88. William Lee


    September 25th, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    I met Wally when I was working at Alameda College in the early 80s ,he was teaching class ,He asked me if I knew anybody who can fix a wall heater I told him I could .I did not know anything about him I went over and changed it for him as I was on his steep roof and finished the job he said he would like to teach me Jujitsu and make me a black belt ,well I went to his house when I could I had 4 kids to feed and I always missed the test for the next belt over the years the people I started with became Black Belts so when I showed up he would call me the grandfather of white belt he was so funny in 1992 he asked me to go to Hawaii and drive him and others around the in a van as he knew I was a good driver ,I met alot of great friends I will miss his friendship I was in one video I was was the guy wearing sunglasses the finger hold worked well my reguards to the family William Lee

  89. Soke Dana Steben


    December 17th, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    I know its been 6 months but onlyj ust found out while doing some research on line. Ive never meet or trained with G.M. Jay but have owened his videos and have been applying his principles to my curriculam for many year. G.M. Jay was a genius and will be truly missed. Salutations. Soke Dana Steben. Silkwind Kenpo Founder.

  90. Jon Del Mar


    February 25th, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the Jay family. I have been a keen Jujitsu practioner for many years and have great respect for Wally Jay’s dedication, talent and originality. Rest in peace.

  91. […] of my favorite instructors in the martial arts was Prof. Wally Jay (1917-2011). Born in Hawai’i, he started boxing in the 1930s and then went on to Danzan-ryu Jujutsu and […]

  92. Brazilian jiu jitsu Surrey


    May 24th, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

    Brazilian jiu jitsu Surrey…

    Small Circle Jujitsu : Professor Wally Jay dies aged 93…

  93. john amaral


    December 24th, 2012 @ 6:02 am

    I just found out about Prof. Wally Jay passing away my deepest sympathy for him family and leon Jay. I met Wally in 1961 and studied under him until 1972. He was like a second Dad to me,and all the traveling we did in those days in his chevy station wagon wow what great memories, I will never forget you and your family. Leon jay, chuck st germain, Brad burgo what memories we had in those days Mexico City, Hawaii and all the places we traveled If you guy get this message e-mail at just to say hi

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Small Circle Jujitsu is a precise and practical system that I often taught to my soldiers. What I like most about Small Circle is speed; soldiers in combat situations need to resolve an encounter quickly and Small Circle Jujitsu training fits that need.

Robert A. Guihan,


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