Grandmaster Rose 07/1994 Summer Address

C&S Self Defense Association

Dear Students and Friends,

I hope that Summer finds you all in good health and spirits. The warm weather seems to have made the harshness of Winter seem so far away. It wasn't so long ago, however, that those of us in the North and Midwest were all feeling its wrath. Here in New England, we had a rainy start to the Spring (over 14 inches of rain in just a couple of months!). And the wind has been very strong- more so than normal; the last two times I have gone sailing, I have had to head for shore quickly as the wind not only became too much for my boat, but also unpredictable in direction and gust force.

Weather scientists are predicting a change in the major weather patterns. They are saying that the weather which we have had over the past 20 years or so has been out of the ordinary. The weather experienced this past Winter, they say, is more like what should be considered "normal" weather: weather as it has been like for centuries. As a child growing up in Chicago (which, surprisingly, is on approximately the same latitude as New England) I can remember winters more like what we just had, as opposed to what I have seen over the last 20 years.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, weather- like the human species- is fairly predictable "over the long run". Though the years may change, the weather will remain pretty much the same "over the long run", and though the names and faces of the people may change, basic human emotion will also remain pretty much the same "over the long run". Thucydides History of the Pelopnnesian War points this out quite aptly and is just one example of how as the philosopher Santayanna said, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." We truly are "a product of the way that we think" as our old BST training points out. The only thing is that we all think pretty much the same! People are people, no matter who they are, or where they are from.

The thing that does make us different from one another, however, is what we do with what we think. Thoughts are things; the correct "right thinking; right living" thoughts make life better for us. Incorrect or negative thoughts, however, make our lives miserable. But that is our choice- each day. Each day when we swing our feet out of bed and hit the floor we have the choice to make our lives either better or miserable. We may all feel the same sleepy, groggy, lack of motivation attitude when we first get up, but it is our discipline as Martial Artists that gives us the strength to do Sanchin and Meditation so that we can: "alter the way that we think so that we can become who we would like to be".

You might wonder why I keep referring to "thoughts as things"; how can a thought be a tangible thing? Well, it isn't really. But what makes a thought a thing is that thoughts are our reality. If our reality is one of doom and despair, then it is easy to see that doom and despair is not only what we will be looking for in life, but it is what we will find as well. And that is a thing; in this case a "bad" thing. The science of physics shows us this how to describe this concept. It says that energy is neither created nor destroyed; the amount of energy in Nature is constant, however, it is transformed from one state to another. This is most easily seen in Einstein's E=mc2 law. This simple looking equation states not only one of the fundamental laws of all of physical nature, but also one of all of philosophical nature. It encompasses not only the constant flux of physical nature between the various states of energy and mass (matter), but of all of the philosophical duality's of nature (positive thought/negative thought, hope/despair, joy/sadness, etc.) as well.

As students of life (which is really what a true Martial Artist is), it is our responsibility to not only study that life, but to embrace it totally and with zest. As I have often said, "This is not a dress rehearsal. We don't get to come back and try it again." We make the most of our life by eliminating the fears that prevent us from seeing beyond the facade of what we might "hope" life was like to what life really is; and in particular how our life within Nature really is. As Martial Arts students we first must gain awareness and control over the body if we are ever to hope to attempt the same task for our mind and our spirit. And then, by directly coordinating these very basic aspects of our humanism together, we can ultimately share the results of our quest with others to hopefully show them how to make their lives better.

Just as you cannot build a wall all at once, nor can you expect to build a realistic practical philosophy of life (and then to live that philosophy) successfully in 6 months. This is what is so exciting about our study of the Art: it is an exciting and on-going process that is ever changing as we change within life itself. This was my purpose in establishing C&S Self Defense Association, so that others could see and experience the power behind just the punching and kicking of most Martial Arts organizations and schools. Anyone can train the body to a high degree of skill without incorporating the mind training that we stress so heavily (and if you have any doubts about that, just watch some of the sports pre and post game shows to see what I mean...). Just because someone takes Karate, though, doesn't necessarily mean that they are also studying an Art: there is a big difference.

And though you may not become a Martial Arts Master in six months (or even six years), the point to our study is not to become something but rather to learn something. How often we tend to forget that! We (and I include myself in this as well) sometimes get so wrapped up in all the fun of doing our Art that it is easy to forget to "live the Art". But if your training follows the guidelines I have laid out for you, then each morning that God sees fit to let you swing you feet out of bed and onto the deck, you have the discipline of Sanchin to set you right. So no matter how much you may stray today, do not worry: Sanchin will set you right tomorrow!

Sanchin is our anchor in the storm of life; meditation is where we set that anchor. But no matter how deep the mud, if the anchor is cheap and weak or not big enough for the boat it is trying to hold, there can be no hope in weathering through the storm. Set your anchor deep, but be sure that the anchor you use is something you can trust your life to; because your life will depend on the correct choice. I teach "the breath of the dragon Sanchin", not just Sanchin. All systems have some form of breathing exercise. Some call it Sanchin; some Tenshio; some just breath; but few teach as I do. Few know "the breath of the dragon". Few know what you know; not only about Sanchin, but also about meditation. And even less know what you know about applying these skills to our "real" world of life within the laws of physical and philosophical nature.

Take pride in your training and knowledge. It comes from good roots and sound soil; a good anchor and sound holding ground. It comes from the reality of life through me to you. Just ask anyone who has gone off with me alone for three days on a Certification exam. They will tell you (maybe) how they have seen "the breath of the dragon" and of how miserable an experience that can be if you are not prepared to face the pit. Know that there is a beauty in life, but know that to see this beauty clearly will exact its price. A price well worth paying, however, in your hard work and "sweat equity". A price few, unfortunately, are willing to pay despite the rewards that await those bold enough to not only see and recognize opportunity, but who are unafraid to reach out and try for it.

We must all ask ourselves how hard we are willing to work to achieve our goals. The answer to this question is a clear indication as to the true importance of those goals in our lives. That which we are willing to put our utmost effort into will be that which is the goal most worth achieving. If you have not seen the movie "Rudy", I highly recommend it. It is the story of a man who wanted something so badly that he was willing to do whatever it took to make his dream come true. After watching that movie, you will see what I mean.

May you all work as hard as it takes to become the quality Martial Artist that you want to be. No, of course you cannot do it all in six months, but if you keep at it you will do it sometime for sure; that I can guarantee you without question. Be happy in your striving despite your "arriving"; enjoy the train ride, and don't be so antsy about where you are trying to get to that you miss all of the beauty of Nature along the way. Have some fun with you life! Smile! All is well as long as you desire it to be and keep a positive flow of thoughts fueling those desires. Good training to you all!

In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose

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