News Archive

VALE – LARRY HARTSELL (15 August 1942 – 20 August 2007)


(15 August 1942 – 20 August 2007)

Larry Hartsell, world renowned grappling authority and JKD instructor passed away during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Larry had been battling cancer for several years.

Larry Hartsell was the founder of the Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Grappling Association and was an authentic original student of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do.

Larry was already a black belt in Judo, when he began the study of Kenpo karate under Ed Parker, the “Father of American Karate.” While training with Ed Parker, Larry first met a young karate instructor named Dan Inosanto. After receiving his Kenpo black belt, Larry Hartsell became one of the original students of Bruce Lee. After a tour of duty in Vietnam , Larry continued his studies with Bruce Lee as a private student at his Bruce Lee’s home in Bel Air, California . In 1969 Larry became Bruce Lee’s first full contact fighter.

Later, under the tutelage of Dan Inosanto, he became the acknowledged master of the grappling arts of Jeet Kune Do. According to Dan Inosanto, “Larry Hartsell is one of the premier Jeet Kune Do fighters of our time.” After Bruce Lee’s death, Larry received certification in the Jeet Kune Do Arts and continued to study with Dan.

Long before the Gracie’s and Machado’s made grappling popular Larry had developed and promoted the grappling arts as an essential part of the martial arts.

Hartsell’s research of techniques resulted in additions and innovations to the grappling that now forms the core of the Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Grappling system.

He obtained a degree in criminology as well as years of law enforcement experience. This, combined with his notoriety had put him in wide demand as a professional bodyguard for celebrities (such as Mr. T ), and also as a trainer for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers .

Larry taught self-defense and combat courses for the Navy Seals and police officers through various colleges, agencies and law enforcement training programs.

He co-authored or authorized several books on Jeet Kune Do and has released seven videotapes on the grappling and combative arts. These books, videotapes and his skill in the grappling arts have resulted in Hartsell being listed in the “Who’s Who in Martial Arts” and cover shots with numerous feature articles in Inside Kung Fu, Black Belt Magazine , Martial Arts Training, Inside Karate, Australian Fighting Arts, and many others.

A frequent visitor to Australia during the 1980′s and 1990′s

Larry shared his tremendous skills with many thousands of Australian martial arts practitioners. Larry was an approachable and generous man who gave greatly of his time.

Our thanks to you Larry; you will not be forgotten.

Walt Missingham


Australian Jeet Kune Do Association

Sep 01, 2007 | Category: News