Bio and philosophies
My name is Jeff Palmer . I am a fifth degree black belt in Kenpo Karate and Iíve been training for over twenty five years . I hesitate to say my rank since I usually take issue with the over-population of masters we seem to have in this country. I gave up on pursuing ranks many years ago since I tend to place more value on who I am and what kind of martial artist I am constantly becoming . When Ed Parker died there was a rush of Kenpo practitioners who were scrambling to get promotions or give them to themselves . There were too many Indians desperate to become Chiefs . This happens all the time in martial organizations all over the world throughout the centuries and the Kenpo organizations were certainly not excluded from these wall pissing bipeds .
Too me, the martial arts are a system of self discovery and evolution . Too be constantly trying to improve, grow, and reach new levels . This also means walking away from ego . I stopped going to many Kenpo training camps when I noticed a growing number of "masters" who were growing out, not up. One was SO fat that he had to have his student tie his shoes for him since he couldnít bend over and reach them. Not a joke . I remember being terribly disgusted and disappointed. Apparently, the only thing "martial" about these "artists" was their vicious attacks of the All You Can Eat Buffet.
My point here is that I realized that the only thing I could do at this point was to work on myself. To keep pushing myself onward and see if I could make the edge of the blade a little sharper each time. By doing this I could lead my students from the front. I never ask them to do something I am not currently doing or haven't done already. By doing this I've become a better teacher, martial artist, and person. I think that's all Ed Parker really wanted from us. Once, after showing me something that was so simplistic I told him that I came to his seminars to realize that I was an idiot. He then asked me what I meant and I told him that he just showed me something that I felt I should have already known but I failed to see it. He then put his arm around me and said, "Jeff, if I made you think, then I did my job".
Since I donít compete in tournaments anymore I needed to involve myself in something to challenge me physically. I decided to start teaching Kickboxing Aerobics since I would be doing the class, or some of it, with these women and I knew it would keep me honest. I teach classes at night, five nights a week .
Iím a self-published writer/artist. I did this on my own for many reasons . One, Iíve tried for many years to get work with the bigger comic book companies, unsuccessfully. I have always loved sequential art in all of itís forms . I love telling stories . Fortunately, people like Dave Sim have been self-publishing for over twenty years, successfully, and doing it their way. I investigated how they did this and followed in their footsteps . Now, I can continue to work on my writing and drawing skills freely. The greatest challenge for me has been distribution, but I am working on that.
The other reason was to put my work out there and create other opportunities for myself. This, too, is starting to happen . Writing articles for magazines, teaching offers, working on other projects that I will be using this column to announce, wheels are in motion due to the energy I put out there .
So as you can see, Iíve got a lot to keep me busy for awhile . Please keep checking in to see updates about these and other projects . You can e-mail me as well .
Follow your dreams, folks . Youíre hear for just a flash . Live it long and live it happy.
Yours in Kenpo,