American Karate System
Dave Thomas, 8th Dan

Rand "Skip" Palmer
American Karate System
6th Degree Black Belt
Chief Instructor  West Toledo YMCA Karate
and Self-Defense Program

2010 Academy of Masters - Instructor of the Year


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Rand (Skip) Palmer was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Chartiers Valley High School in 1970.   Rand attended Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and received a B.S. degree in Education in 1974.   He was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and was a member of Bowling Green's nationally ranked Rugby team from 1973 to 1975.   As a scrum halfback, Rand's most memorable events were leading the team in scoring in the spring of 1974, bringing back the dropkick field goal, and toasting opponents at the Brathaus Pub following a home game.

Rand and his wife Debra live in Haskins, Ohio where they enjoy the peace and quiet of country living and rooting for the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.   Rand has been employed by Benchmark Technologies Corporation since 1993 in the Human Resources department, and Deb is Senior Vice President / Chief Operations Officer at Metamora State Bank.  Daughter Tara, husband Derrick and their children Aiden, Hannah and Cooper reside in Pinckney, Michigan.  Daughter Erin, Husband Nick and their daughter Avery reside in Milford, Michigan.

Rand in the air with Mr. Lieb as judge Hoping to find a rigorous, physical lifetime activity, Rand began his martial arts career in September 1978 in Bowling Green with the American Karate System (AKS) under the guidance of Bob and Mary Ann Nicholson.
Ernie Lieb, Dr. Guessler, Rand 'Skip' Palmer
After moving to Toledo, Ohio in 1980, Rand joined Dr. Guessler Normand's A.K.S school in 1981 and received his 1st Dan rank in December of 1985.  Rand assisted Dr. Normand at the West Toledo YMCA branch of the A.K.S. until 2000 when Dr. Normand retired from his career at the University of Toledo and the martial arts program at the Y.


Rand continues to instruct at the Toledo AKS school with the help of his assistant blackbelts.

Black Belt Promotion Dates
      1st Dan American Karate System, December 21, 1985
      2nd Dan American Karate System, February 15, 2001
      3rd Dan American Karate System, February 15, 2001
      4th Dan American Karate System, November 23, 2004
      5th Dan American Karate System, July 20, 2007
      6th Dan American Karate System, Master Level, July 13, 2012