Larry Hartsell

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Larry Hartsell
Born (1942-08-15)August 15, 1942
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Died August 20, 2007(2007-08-20) (aged 65)
Style Jeet Kune Do
Teacher(s) Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto, Ed Parker, Yorinaga Nakamura, Edgar Sulite, Ted Lucaylucay, Gene Lebell
Rank Black Belt Kenpo Karate, Black Belt Judo, Senior Instructor Jun Fan Gung Fu, Jeet Kune Do
Notable students Leif T.Røbekk, Erik Paulson,Dick Harrell, Michael M. Brown, Reuben Griffith Jr., Jason Winkle, Cory Smith, Tim McFatridge, Burton Richardson, Ron Kosakowski, Wes Bennett, Jon Gentile, Jason Silverman, Frank Burczynski, Randy White

Larry (Lawrence B.) Hartsell (August 15, 1942 – August 20, 2007) was a martial arts teacher and author, best known for his involvement with Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do.


Larry (Lawrence B.) Hartsell began his martial arts training in Kenpo karate with Ed Parker in 1961. He earned a black belt from Parker and went on to earn a black belt in judo as well. In 1967, he started training with Bruce Lee. He served as a military police officer in the U.S. Army, including combat time in Vietnam. After returning from the war, he continued training at Bruce Lee's school under the guidance of both Bruce Lee and his senior instructor Dan Inosanto. His training included private lessons at the Bel Air home of Bruce Lee. Hartsell continued his training with Dan Inosanto for the next 35 years. He operated one of the only three fully authorized Jeet Kune Do schools in the world which was established in Charlotte North Carolina. 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. Hartsell gave self-defense and combat courses to the Navy Seals and police officers through various colleges, agencies and law enforcement training programs.

He has 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. Was considered the premiere JKD fighter.


"Don't mistake kindness for weakness."


  • Jeet Kune Do Entering to Trapping to Grappling by Larry Hartsell ISBN 0-86568-051-5
  • Jeet Kune Do: Hardcore Training & Strategies Guide by Larry Hartsell & Paula Inosanto ISBN 0-9531766-6-5
  • Jeet Kune Do: Conditioning and Grappling Methods by Larry Hartsell & Paula Inosanto ISBN 0-9531766-5-7
  • Jeet Kune Do: Counterattack Grappling Counters and Reversals by Larry Hartsell & Tim Tackett ISBN 0-86568-081-7

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