In Memoriam – Katie Degerberg

Updated Information:

February 4, 2010
4 – 9 PM
Lakeview Funeral Home
1458 w. Belmont Avenue
Chicago IL 60657
(773) 472-6300

February 5, 2010
Our Lady Of Mt. Carmel Church
708 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60657
(773) 525-0453

February 5, 2010
12 PM
Calvary Cemetery
301 Chicago Ave
Evanston 60202-3505

Donations in Katie’s name to:
Doctors Without Borders

Condolences & Cards
Fred Degerberg
The Degerberg Academy
4717 N Lincoln Ave,
Chicago, IL 60625
Phone: (773) 295-6494

In Memoriam – Glen Leonard – December 7, 2009

A Tribute to My Friend and Brother

by Ken Chun


The year was 1985 and I was a freshman in high school. As a disabled student in those days I had the privilege of leaving each class a few minutes early to get to my next class so I could avoid the crowded hallways. It was during one of those breaks between classes that I first met Glen Irvin Leonard II. He was a small, shy guy on crutches who didn’t say much. It took a couple of days before we actually had a real conversation. Nothing too serious, just a conversation about our classes, the teachers we had, who we liked or didn’t like – typical teenager conversation. I had begun training in the martial arts in 1984 and we would talk about martial arts often because he was very interested in training as well.

That conversation was the beginning of an unbreakable bond that would last 24 years. Even when I moved to Heidelberg, Germany in 1986 we kept in touch through the mail. I returned from Germany in 1989 and it was like nothing had changed. About two years later he finally found a place that he could train in Shotokan Karate. I remember encouraging him to pursue it because it had been a dream of his since he was a little kid. After a couple of years of training in that art he found Trident Academy of Martial Arts (now Trident Academy of Mixed Martial Arts). He had finally found his martial arts home away from home! About a month later I joined so we could train together and hopefully become instructors. Well, long story short due to our various health problems we began to attend classes less and less and we didn’t become instructors but we had a great time training and learning the Filipino martial arts of Kali and Panantukan, as well as Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do/Jun Fan Gung Fu. We would tease each other occasionally about being slackers in our training because, I think, we both felt guilty about not going to class. We just trained on our own and did the best we could to stay active in the martial arts we loved. He especially loved knife fighting! He must have owned at least ten knives and knew how to use every one of them. He carried three knives at all times. He would get excited whenever he learned a new knife technique and he’d go home and practice it over and over again, even while watching television.

Glen died of a brain tumor on December 7th, 2009. We buried him a week ago. I wish he were here now so I could tell him to shut up, smack his hands with sticks again and then buy him a beer. Rest in peace, brah. I’ll see you later…and buy you a beer.

This clip features some footage of Glen training at Burton Richardson events.

Tony Adams

Click Here For Funeral Information
Fundraiser to be held for IAMA student
Tony Adams
Friday 6/12
Fundraiser Location: San Pedro Brewing Company
331 W 6th Street
San Pedro, CA  910731

$20 cover

They will have a band from 9pm-1am.

The $20  pays for entry and all proceeds will go to Tony’s children.

Grand Master Helio Gracie (October 1, 1913 – January 29, 2009)

On Tuesday morning Grand Master Helio Gracie was tanning at his ranch in Brazil, and on Thursday morning at 9:15 he passed on due to natural causes. His legacy will survive forever in all members of the Gracie Family, jiu-jitsu practitioners around the world, and all those who have benefited from the revolution he began.

In his final years, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu often spoke of his satisfaction with his life’s work. He openly stated that he had accomplished everything he had set out to do, displaying his preparedness for the transition into the afterlife.

The Grand Master believed that such a transition should be seen as a positive step in one’s spiritual evolution. In a recent interview he declared: “I’ve already told my sons that when I die I want there to be a party. No drinking, no debauchery.”

To honor his request and his legacy, the Gracie Academy will host a celebratory gathering/slideshow presentation on Saturday, February 7, 2009. In anticipation of a large turnout of friends and family, we intend to have three showings starting at 4:00pm, 5:00pm and 6:00pm. If you can’t make it to the party, but would like to express how the Grand Master has affected your life, please send your story so we can post it on the Gracie Academy website.


In one of his final magazine interviews the Grand Master expresses his concern for the future of Jiu-Jitsu:

“O Jiu-Jitsu que criei foi para dar chance aos mais fracos enfrentarem os mais pesados e fortes. E fez tanto sucesso, que resolveram fazer um Jiu-Jitsu de competição. Gostaria de deixar claro que sou a favor da prática esportiva e da preparação técnica de qualquer atleta, seja qual for sua especialidade. Além de boa alimentação, controle sexual e da abstenção de hábitos prejudiciais à saude. O problema consiste na criação de um Jiu-Jitsu competitivo com regras, tempo inadequado e que privilegia os mais treinados, fortes e pesados. O objetivo do Jiu-Jitsu é, principalmente, benificiar os mais fracos, que não tendo dotes físicos são inferiorizados. O meu Jiu-Jitsu é uma arte de autodefesa que não aceita certos regulamentos e tempo determinado. Essas são as razões pelas quais não posso, com minha presença, apoiar espetáculos, cujo efeito retrata um anti Jiu-Jitsu.”

“The Jiu-Jitsu that I created was designed to give the weak ones a chance to face the heavy and strong. It was so successful that they decided to create a sportive version of it. I would like to make it clear that of course I am in favor of the sportive practice and technical refinement of all athletes, whatever their specialty may be, as well as good nutrition, sexual control, avoidance of addictions and unhealthy habits. The problem lies in the creation of a sport-oriented Jiu-Jitsu, based on rules and time limits, which benefits the heavier, stronger, and more athletic individuals. The primary objective of Jiu-Jitsu is to empower the weak who, for not having the physical attributes, are often intimidated. My Jiu-Jitsu is an art of self-defense in which rules and time limits are unacceptable. These are the reasons for which I can’t support events that reflect an anti Jiu-Jitsu.”

-Grand Master Helio Gracie (October 1, 1913 – January 29, 2009)

In Loving Memory of Tawin Sirisute

Thai Boxing Association USA Announcement.

It is with sadness that we report Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute’s mother has passed away.

Ajarn Chai will be in Thailand, returning to the states in early 2009.

Condolences to Ajarn Chai and the Sirisute Family may may be sent in care of The Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts.



(update: 12/10/2008)

I have a request from Ajarn Chai. If all TBA students could please go to the TBA Official Web Site, there is a link to write a message for Ajarn Chai’s mother.

These messages will be printed out and put in a book that Ajarn will present to the King of Thailand.
Please take the time to do this for Ajarn Chai.

There is still time to send flowers to the Temple. Artificial wreaths of purple & white flowers are requested.

Jessica at Philip’s flowers, the number listed on our web site, will be glad to assist you in delivery of the wreaths.

Philip’s Flowers
Please ask for Jessica

Paula Inosanto


On behalf of Ajarn Chai and his family I thank all of you who have sent wreaths, flowers to Ajarn Chai’s mother in Thailand.

Some students have had difficulties with their floral deliveries. I encourage all of you to check with your florist to make sure your deliveries are arriving.

Thank you to all who are sending in your donations for monks prayers. Your cards, e mails and messages are all being delivered to Ajarn Chai in Thailand.


TBA Students and Schools

All individuals are schools who are financially able to send their wreaths and donations are encouraged to do so. The ceremony for Ajarn Chai’s mother will last 50 days.

If you can not afford the cost of flowers as an individual (school) please contact your state director or region director. They will be able to get you in contact with your other local TBA schools and affiliates and you will be able to send your wreaths as a group.

Example, you may have the ribbon, banner, that will appear on the wreath read:

TBA Assoc. USA, MN, Il, WI Branches

TBA Assoc. USA Florida & Georgia,

TBA Assoc Australia, Adelaide & Brisbane

If you contact Jessica at Philip’s Flowers, 1800-356-7257 she will be able to assist you in getting your wreaths to Thailand.

Thank You
Paula Inosanto


The phone numbers for the temple in Thailand: (02 503 -3411) and (02 503-4556)Buddhist Funeral Rites in Thailand

Funeral rites are the most elaborate of all the life-cycle ceremonies and the ones entered into most fully by the monks. It is a basic teaching of Buddhism that existence is suffering, whether birth, daily living, old age or dying. This teaching is never in a stronger position than when death enters a home.

Monks chant the sutras that will benefit the deceased, and to conduct all funeral rites and memorial services. To conduct the rites for the dead may be considered the one indispensable service rendered the community by the monks.

Mrs. Tawin Sirisute?s body will be kept for 50 days at the temple. Cremations are deferred this long to show love and respect for the deceased and to perform religious rites which will benefit the departed. During the 50 days will monks will pray at the temple for Mrs Sirisute. Your donations will go these monks.

As along as the body is present the spirit can benefit by the gifts presented, the sermons preached and the chants uttered before it. This thought lies behind the use of the bhusa yhong ribbon which extends from the body within the coffin to the chanting monks before it. The dead may thus have contact with the holy sutras. When the body is cremated the spirit is more definitely cut off from the world, it is best therefore not to force that spirit to enter the preta world finally and irrevocably until it has had the benefit of a number of religious services designed to improve its status.


If you need assistance in sending your floral wreaths to the temple in Thailand the following florist has all the information needed and will be able to assist you.

Philip’s Flowers
Please ask for Jessica

For students needing additional assistance in getting their flowers delivered to Thailand here is the website for a Florist in Thailand.

Thailand Flower Delivery

Florist in Thailand


Students wishing to sign a guest book for the Sirisute family may go to


Mrs. Tawin Sirisute welcomed many students from all over the world into her home.

Here are some memories shared with us by some, of the many, grateful Thai Boxing Association Students.

Remembering Mrs.Tawin Sirisute


In Loving Memory of Tawin Sirisute:

I first met Ajarn Chai’s mom in 1994. Ajarn Chai’s dad was still alive at the time. And what struck me was how welcome we were made to feel at the Sirisute household.

On that first trip when the taxi dropped us off, he saw the plaque on the front gate, pointed to it and said, with reverence; “Royal”.

Wendy and I go to the Sirisute household every year, and mom always had a smile for us while we all sat around the kitchen table drinking tea and, through Ajarn Chai as interpreter, reconnecting.

The taxi drivers single word, spoken 14 years ago captures Tawin Sirisute’s essence; Royal – yes, but more importantly kind, and always with that great smile.

We will miss her, and will always remember her.

Bob Carver and Wendy Cunning