On December 6, 2013, twenty of the biggest names in New Jersey martial arts were inducted into the New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame at the 2nd annual awards dinner held in Secaucus, New Jersey.
This event, which was attended by a venerable who's who of the martial arts world, including fighters and industry people, showed why New Jersey is considered a world leader in combat sports.
All twenty of the inductees were well deserving of their Hall of Fame honors. Members of the audience listened raptly as the inductees stood at the podium and shared stories of their lives in martial arts. There were many funny moments, as well as several poignant ones, during these acceptance speeches. A particularly touching moment came about as top New Jersey State official Nick Lembo accepted the posthumous award for his dear friend, Olympic Gold Medalist wrestler Jeff Blatnick, who passed away in 2012.
Here is what was said about Michael De Pasquale Jr:
Michael DePasquale, Jr. was quite literally born into the martial arts. The son of the late Ju-Jitsu pioneer Michael DePasquale Sr. (considered the father of American Ju-jitsu) who received the only lifetime achievement award from Black Belt Magazine before his passing in 2006.
De Pasquale Jr. was the publisher of Karate International Magazine (KI). KI was the largest full-color martial arts and entertainment magazine in the World and the first magazine to cover the UFC.
DePasquale Jr. partnered with America Online and created the Martial Arts Worldwide Network. This was the first and largest single source of martial arts news, education and information in cyberspace and also the first to cover the UFC. Click here for more of the NJ Martial Arts Hall of Fame...