Midlands martial arts leaders meet at Halls

The three discuss forthcoming expedition to Ecuador and next year’s SC7

By Alex Junes-Ward

Global Expedition Leader Dr. Tom Mullikin; Col. (Ret.) Steve Vitali, USMC; and Bruce Brutschy, past president and current member of the West Columbia Police Foundation, met at Hall’s Chophouse of Columbia, on August 23, to discuss forthcoming expeditions to both Ecuador and later across South Carolina. Vitali and Brutschy also took the meet-and-eat opportunity to present Mullikin a pricey gift bottle of Hooten Young & Jack Carr Warrior Proof American Whiskey, Special 16-Year Reserve.

“This gift was long overdue and as insignificant as it may seem, it is very significant in terms of the gratitude we both feel toward Tom for his generous expressions of hospitality we’ve experienced over the months and years,” said Vitali. “He arranged for us to sit at his table at the recent Silver Elephant GOP gala; hosting dinners at his home; the annual Carolina Cup, which his law firm is the presenting sponsor; a USC baseball game in the VIP suite; and the annual South Carolina Seven (SC7) Expedition.”

Vitali will also be joining Mullikin on his forthcoming expedition to the Andes mountains in Ecuador including Mount Chimborazo. Both Vitali and Brutschy were key participating leaders in the recent SC7 Expedition across S.C. The three discussed preliminary plans for SC7 2024.

The big three share much in common: Mullikin, Vitali, and Brutschy, are all named IRONMEN. All are inductees in the S.C. Black Belt Hall of Fame. All have received lofty S.C. Senate commendations (Mullikin has received several). And all have deeply rooted relationships with the U.S. special operations forces community: Mullikin is a former U.S. Army combatives instructor and an honorary Green Beret. Vitali is a decorated U.S. Marine combat infantry and reconnaissance officer. And Brutschy as a fitness instructor and martial arts expert has trained special operators in varying capacities for years.

Whiskey makers Norm Hooten of Hooten Young, a former Delta Force operator, his friend Tim Young, and former Navy SEAL Jack Carr, author of THE TERMINAL LIST, established their spirits and cigar company in 2018. A bottle of their Warrior Proof Special 16 Year Reserve retails for $170.

Please visit hootenyoung.com/.

[Pictured L-R Mullikin, Vitali, and Brutschy]

– Alex Junes-Ward is a South Carolina-based freelance writer.


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