Transitions are never easy. Cemented beliefs, traditions, customs, routines, ceremonies and structures become a part of us. Change is as hard or as easy as we wish to make it. So, it was with some trepidation as I entered Mr. Sammon's dojo as a young freshman at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
I had spent two years training in taekwondo and was interested in a different style and instructor. As I introduced myself to Mr. Sammons, I explained I was interested in training with him, had observed his classes and students and this would be a better fit for me. He immediately welcomed me and then began the transition - a lifetime on one.
Mr. Sammons always sought correct techniques and principles and passed them on to us. His own training included trips to Seattle, San Francisco, Canada and Japan. He reflected and assimilated, and passed along these techniques and principles. Beside his proficiency in Goju Ryu, he sought training in kobudo, weapons, jujitsu, grappling and kendo.
Mr. Sammons had the "inch theory" which meant each day he wanted his knowledge to grow. Not only did he want his knowledge to grow, he willingly shared it with his students.
I observed Mr. Sammons fighting in tournaments, perform kata and set the example in the dojo. Training was tedious and long. Everyone worked. No one worked harder than him. Teaching meant demonstrating the techniques and their applications. He was patient with white belts as they bumped into upper belts, and upper belts as they asked questions about unfamiliar moves.
Shinsas were always an exciting time as dojos from Skagit Valley, Green Lake and the University of Washington brought students to Bellingham for promotional exercises. Students from a variety of dojos trained under the keen eyes of Mr.Reuter, Mr. Sammons, Mr.Stamper, Mr. Yamakura and Mrs. Gittens. All students were anxious to do their best at these exciting events.
Mr. Sammons is also a prominent member of the Bellingham Community. At many summer events, his band plays for the local crowds. Mr. Sammons models what he taught; never be satisfied with one's current level - there is always more to learn.
So, thank you, Mr.Sammons for all the individuals you assisted as they moved and continue to move along life's path. You have touched many!