In Memoriam – Mel Lopez [1940 – 2022]

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Grandmaster Mel Lopez.  On March 10 2022, Grandmaster Lopez joined his wife Nita Lopez in eternal rest.  

Grandmaster Lopez will be remembered for his loyalty to Grandmasters Villabrille and Largusa, dedication to Kali and for passing on this treasured art to countless students.  Most of all, he will be remembered as a good friend.

The late founder of the Villabrille-Largusa Kali System, Grandmaster Floro Villabrille, established that there could only be one living grandmaster and one living tuhan (master) in the Villabrille-Largusa Kali System.  Upon the death of the current grandmaster, the current tuhan of the Villabrille-Largusa Kali System succeeds him.  On August 14, 1994, that succession continued when Grandmaster Ben Largusa, named Professor Mel Lopez, Tuhan and director of the Villabrille – Largusa Kali System.  As Grandmaster Largusa’s personally chosen successor, Tuhan Lopez has dedicated his life to the perpetuation of the Villabrille – Largusa Kali System.

Prior to Grandmaster Largusa’s passing, he reaffirmed his wishes that Tuhan Lopez succeed him as grandmaster and to not have any lapse in the leadership of the system.  On October 3, 2010, upon Grandmaster Largusa’s passing, Tuhan Lopez succeeded him as grandmaster of the Villabrille – Largusa Kali System and named his personally chosen successor, Professor Jaime (James) Berdal as tuhan.