Grandmaster Rose 10/1993 Fall Address

C&S Self Defense Association

Dear Students and Friends,

One of the greatest strengths of our Association is our Program Directors. An individual who is the Sensei, or teacher, of their club (and thus the Program Director) has a tremendous opportunity to affect the lives of others. It not only takes great skill in and dedication to the practice of our Art for one to be considered a Sensei, but it takes a good person. We do not allow mediocrity to rise through our ranks; only the best of the best are allowed to lead others.

We all take pride in those who hold the title of Sensei: they have had to undergo rigorous and demanding training, evaluations, and monitoring through years of constant study. Few are willing to work this hard. But then if it was easy, it would not be worth as much to those who achieve this level. Please take a moment to evaluate not only your Sensei, but also yourself. Is your Sensei someone you can look to for guidance? For support? For encouragement? For leadership? Is your Sensei someone you would like to follow; to become like, or mirror their character?

Granted, we can (and many times do) disagree with our Sensei. We may even go so far as to say that we don't like him or her. But the one thing that separates the Sensei from all others is that we respect him or her. We respect the Sensei for the hard work, dedication, and effort that they have put into their Art, and for their willingness to share this Art with us. It is unimportant whether we like them or not (though it certainly helps if we do), but what is important is that we respect our Sensei. Without respect, we have no Sensei, and should consider why we are training in that particular club; move on to another where you can flourish and grow with another, more compatible, Sensei for without respect there can be no true growth.

In fact, it is not only the Sensei of the Program that we should have respect for: it is for all members senior and junior to ourselves that we should also respect. And of course, we must have respect for ourselves first before we can know what respect for another is. Confidence, fitness, and self defense: that is what we all strive for in our training (as well as those characteristics that are embodied in our Code of Ethics). Confidence, fitness, and self defense which is truly developed by a student will be recognized through the respect others show them. Strive to recognize who deserves your respect vs who you like or don't like; the two are totally different views. In our Association, our bonds to each other must be foundationed by the respect that we have for each other. It is through respect for each other that we can all grow together in our Art. It is through respect for each other that our Association as a whole will flourish.

Work as hard as your Sensei has (and continues to), and you will grow strong in character. Your character is your most important asset, and it only develops as a direct result of the amount of work you put into developing it. What better way to do this than through the practice of our Art? What better way to gain respect for yourself so that you can have respect for others and gain their respect? No one thinks highly of the complainer, or the quitter. There is no character in complaining or quitting; only self pity.

You will not see a Sensei in C&S Self Defense Association wallowing in self pity. A Sensei has too much respect for themselves to engage in such counter productive activity. A Sensei is a positively motivated individual who earns the respect of others through consciously and creatively working through life's obstacles. Become a Sensei yourself now by changing the way that you think of yourself. Do not wait to become a Sensei before you expect to have the respect of your peers; gain that respect now by conducting your life in the true spirit of the teachings of our Art. Become action oriented: go after the things in life that you want, but just be willing to put in the necessary work. And bear in mind that the higher the goal, the greater the work demanded.

Are you up for it? Well, don't tell me about it. Show me. Talk is cheap, and it's something anyone can do. Only a true Martial Artist has that "go get it" attitude to "just do it". Do you have it? I think that you do. But don't tell me. Just do it.

In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose

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