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Professor Wally Jay
June 15, 1917 – May 29, 2011
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii
10th Degree Black Belt in Jujitsu
6th Degree Black Belt in Judo
Founder and Grand Master of Jujitsu America
Founder and Grandmaster of Small Circle Jujitsu™
Through his varied martial arts experience, Professor Wally Jay developed his own system called Small Circle Jujitsu™. He has been inducted into Black Belt Magazine’s Hall of Fame twice. He studied with Paul Kaelemakule, Juan Gomes and Professor Henry S. Okazaki (founder of the Kodenkan Jujitsu system). His judo teacher was Hawaiian champion, Ken Kawachi, who gave him the key to Small Circle JujitsuTM techniques.
He received his Restorative Massage in 1945 and Certificate of Mastery (Kodenkan Jujitsu) from Professor Okazaki on February 22, 1948. His wife, Berenice, also benefited. She has been classified as Sandan since 1954, now inactive. Professor Jay was also ranked 6th Dan in Judo. In 1960, he was named by the Hokka Judo Yudanshakai as “Northern California Judo Coach of the Year”. It has produced many national, state and regional winners. At the 1968 and 1979 National Hi School Judo Championships, two of his students won the national 120-pound titles and both were named among the top prizes. In 1968, David Quinonez and In 1970 Bradford Burgo were presented with the Yamauchi Award” for their outstanding performance when they captured the 120-pound crown.
He was inducted into the Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame in 1969 and again in 1990. He has also been inducted into many national and international “Hall of Fame and Who’s Who” organizations. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the College of Martial Arts Sioux Falls, South Dakota on May 4, 1991. Inside Kung Fu magazine named him one of the 100 most influential martial arts personalities of all time.
He taught in 32 countries and captained a team that went to China in 1985. He demonstrated on Emperor’s Day, April 29, at the Dai Nippon Butokuden in Kyoto, Japan, in 1992. He was one of three men who went to Boputhatswana in South Africa in 1992 Tony Maynard and Ernie Boggs were in the team.
He was the founder of the “Small Circle” style of Jujitsu based on Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. It is based on its ten principles, transitional techniques and two-way grip action, applicable to any style. Its easy application has been used by many women, children and men in many difficult situations. His son, Leon Jay, teaches near London, England. He discovers that Little Circle and George Dillman’s Kyusho Jitsu are compatible. In fact, many others have found it to be compatible with just about every style. The professor named his four heirs – Lee Eichelberger of California, Leon Jay of London, England, Ed Melaugh of Massachusetts and Ronald Ogi of Hawaii.
Professor Wally Jay was a student of Professor Okazaki, Juan Gomez and Ken Kawachi in Hawaii in the early 1940’s. Professor Jay is known nationally and internationally as the founder of Small Circle JujitsuTM and an outstanding judo coach. He has received many awards over the past decades, including “Outstanding Judo Coach”, “Northern California Judo Coach” of the Year, Black Belt Magazine’s “Jujitsu Instructor” and “Man of the Year”… ranked martial arts magazines.
Professor Jay was the head instructor at Jay’s Jujitsu Studio, also known as Island Judo / Jujitsu Club in Alameda, California. At the age of 80, he traveled to teaching seminars around the world in Small Circle JujitsuTM.
Grandmaster and Founder Professor Wally Jay, one of the last great martial artists, passed away peacefully at 2:20 am California time at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City, aged 93. Professor Jay suffered a stroke on Tuesday, May 24th, and on Saturday, in accordance with his earlier wishes, he was removed from life support. He survived another 12 hours and had family and friends with him. The Jay Family extends its gratitude to those who were there to support and to those who have counted him in their prayers.
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