Friday, April 23, 2010

About Willy Wetzel’s Death - Tell Your Students the Truth

I can’t count how many times I get a Poekoelan student e-mailing me, and asking how Willy Wetzel actually died. So by them asking me, they already don’t believe their teacher. If they seek the truth with me, that’s what I’ll give them, The Truth. These students are told a story of a virtuous death for Willy Wetzel. They are told how a mugger attacked Willy, and instead of killing the attacker he chose to die being a true Poekoelan Master.

Let’s examine this story for the B.S. it is. Willy’s job in the Dutch-Indo Military was to seek out rebel camps and kill their leaders. That right folks, Willy was an assassin back in the day. What is Poekoelan about? It’s about defending your life against those who would try to do you harm. So why would Willy allow himself to be kill by a common street hood?

Another story I’ve heard, that Willy and his son Roy got into a fight. Instead of fighting his son, Willy chose to allow his son to kill him, really? Then how did Roy get the injuries he suffered? The facts of the case are all over the internet. It’s not just on my web sites; it’s on other web sites. The following facts are from an actual court records.

Wife Recovers Under Accidental Death Policy After Son Kills Father in Kung Fu Battle Over Tax Return

Wetzel v. Westinghouse Electric Corp., 393 A.2d 470 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1978):

Willy C. J. Wetzel died on March 16, 1975 at the hand of his son, Roy Wetzel. Roy Wetzel was tried by a jury for murder and voluntary manslaughter . . . and was found not guilty. Mary Margaret Wetzel, appellant and widow of Willy Wetzel, then brought this suit to recover the insurance proceeds from an accidental death policy issued on her husband's life. At the close of the pleadings, both parties moved for summary judgment, [asking] . . . the court to decide, as a matter of law, whether the death of Willy C. J. Wetzel occurred through "accidental means" within the meaning of the insurance policy on his life.

Willy Wetzel and his son, Roy Wetzel, were experts in the martial arts, including karate, and operated a [martial arts] school.... On the day of Willy Wetzel's death, Roy had been working on his father's income tax return. Willy visited his son and began reading the completed tax forms....As Willy Wetzel started to sign the tax forms, he threw the pen against the drapes and began to scream obscenities. He walked toward the front door mumbling that he was going to lose his house, car and everything. Grabbing a Hawaiian sword, Willy Wetzel turned and let out a battle cry called a "kewah." The fight began.

Willy began to remove the sword from its case when Roy attempted to grab the case. Willy kicked Roy and the sword was bent in half. The hand-to-hand fight continued for approximately twenty-five minutes. Roy made several attempts to reach the telephone to call for help, but was stopped each time by his father's tactics. Finally, Roy placed nanchukas sticks, used in karate, around his father's head to try to render him unconscious. Shortly after that Roy realized his father was dead.

Reference Site:

If you don’t believe me look it up, even track down the case number. Now you can explain this fight between father and son has driven a wedge in the Poekoelan community from March, 1975 until this day. You can explain that the facts of the case are still in debate because of personal biases, and personal suspicion. Teach them all you know about Willy’s death, and hold nothing back. However, teach them to respect other Poekoelaners beliefs, and not breed hatred that divided this art for over 30 years.

Students look to their teachers to be truthful, and honest with them. Once you betray that trust, how can they believe anything you say again? In the back of their heads, they will be wondering if you’re lying to them. That’s if they will stay your student. To me, once an instructor betrays my trust, then I start looking for another instructor. If it’s the whole association, then I leave the entire association. Only by being honest in the first place will your student keep their respect for you. They’ll know that you’re not going to hide things from them, or lie to them. Their trust in their instructor will strengthen, and the student won’t feel a need to go outside your school, or association to find the truth because you already told them the truth.

Am I writing this to be hateful? No, I respect everyone that is Poekoelan, and I want you all for my friends. If your spouse lied to you, would you have the same trust as you did before? The relationship between teacher and student is just as special in its own way, why damage that? Now that there is a movie coming out about the fight between Willy and Roy called, “In Self-Defense”. Your student will be able to watch it over and over again thinking, why didn’t my teacher tell me this? Do my instructors even know about this?

What will you tell your students about this movie? Since it has fiction in it, will you tell them it isn’t true and the movie is total fiction. Even though the movie is based on Police Reports, and Court Records? If you just tell them the truth, they can enjoy the movie as a part of our history with some fiction in it for entertainment value.

Please, start telling you students the truth about the death of William J. C. Wetzel. All your student ask you for is you to be honest, and teach them a good art.

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