Friday, May 08, 2020

Friday Photo

Professor Pat Browne applies pain to my wrist.
Camp Kodenkan Midwest, 1990

I'm not sure who took this photo - it might have been Professor Maureen Browne, Pat's sister, who sent photos to just about everyone who attended camp, which was generally...I think around 50 people, but I'd have to dig up one of my group photos and count. I attended in 1986, 88, 90, and 92, at yonkyu, sankyu, ikkyu, and shodan. I'm sorry I didn't go in 1994, but that was a busy and expensive year: I bought a house and had a new relationship on the east coast. (We're still together, on the west coast.)

Pat was an astonishing martial artist and a great teacher. I met him at my first AJJF convention, in 1984, when he taught a class in rolling and falling. I'll never forget the encouragement he gave to a fellow student at The Dojo who was having some difficulty learning to roll; unsurprisingly, his technical advice worked. When I got back to the school and mentioned how much I'd liked the class to my sensei, she smiled and said "Some people find him totally obnoxious, but I like Pat."

He was funny, profane, smart, honest, and very much to the point. He died much too young, in 1996 at 49; he was exposed to AIDS in a lab accident in the early 1980s and did not quite survive to the age of protease inhibitors and effective treatments for AIDS.

Pat was never my sensei, but his arts and teaching had an enormous effect on me. I will always miss him.

You can see what he was like from some videos that have made it to YouTube.

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