Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sensei Greg Palmer Continues to Teach

Sensei Greg Palmer passed away a few years ago, but he continues to teach in a very real way.

A recording was made featuring Sensei Palmer of most of the shodan (black belt) practical grading for Sensei Graham Dunn, who unfortunately has also passed away. In fact, the recording was done at Shihan De Jong's home dojo, who has also passed away. The two remaining participants of that session are Adrian Dobson, the uke to Greg's tori, and Dunn's student filming the session. I do not hold out much hope for their longevity.

I've given a copy of the session to two students who are training shodan. Sensei Palmer is teaching them. I am the assistant teacher. It is an honour and the way it should be.

It is a wonderful thing that when I am unsure of something I can turn to my friend, mentor, and instructor, Sensei Palmer, to provide me with the answers. I wish there was more vision of him, and Shihan de Jong, teaching gradings and techniques.

Most instructors will not consider recording their teachings or gradings for a variety of reasons. Some will be too humble to consider their teachings should outlive them in a real sense rather than through transmission. Other's are so egotistical they consider they will never die. Students: ignore your teacher's inclinations and record their instruction. Even when they are alive it gives you an opportunity to study the techniques rather than just perform them.

One of the abovementioned shodan candidates does just this. He sits and studies the Palmer recording. This led him to an idea of how to perform certain techniques that had hitherto not been considered. He showed me something - understanding. I would have no hesitation in taking his ideas to Shihan de Jong (if he were alive) and I'm sure he'd have introduced those ideas to his instructors. This comes about through being able to study your instructors teachings via visual recordings.

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