Grandmaster Rose 10/1994 Fall Address

C&S Self Defense Association

Dear Students and Friends,

I have been quite pleased with the reports from our Senior Black Belts regarding the continuing growth and strengthening of our Association. Of concern to me, however, is not just how much we grow in numbers and enthusiasm, but in our knowledge of our craft. I cannot stress to you all enough the need to really study what we teach to you. This does not mean to simply listen intently during class and to then work hard at that material. The Art that I teach is very simple but it is not easy. The real benefits to all of your hard work comes from the additional hours of study that you commit to your art beyond the first 10 hours of practice and training per week.

Most of our students attend two classes of an hour to an hour and a half per class: a total in class exposure of about 3 hours per week. Throw in another three hours per week for Sanchin, meditation, and a spontaneous few periods of practice, and we are only looking at 6 hours per week of attention to an Art form that we tell you will change your life and make you strong of body and mind; the "Happy, Healthy, Terrific, and Calm" mantra of our dream view of Martial Arts success. Well sorry, but it just is not going to happen for you if that is all you are willing to put into it.

Those of you who have been to college know the drill: for every hour of class time you spend you are expected to put in a minimum of another two hours of study outside of class. Considering that a minimal course load is three classes which each meet four times per week, that is somewhere around 36 hours of class and study per week every week for four years to be anything from a History teacher to an architect to an industrial chemist.

So, you want to be a Black Belt... But at 6 hours per week, Black Belt in four or five years is not realistic. Black Belt is just like a four year college degree. I make your study toward Black Belt every bit as challenging and comprehensive as a full college study program. My program requires not only a broad diversity of physical skill, but I also require an equal emphasis in various personal characteristics as well as studies in all sorts of other areas. For those of you who are unaware of what your instructor had to go through in order to get his or her Black Belt in C&S Self Defense Association, I might just indicate that it encompasses far more than just physical excellence. I require the reading of and typed reports on of in excess of 25 books, the taking of close to a dozen oral "pre exams", community action work, demonstrated ability at teaching, technical capability in theoretical Karate, a killer Kata development program, as well as written, oral, and extremely demanding physical exams. And this is only for Certified 1st Degree Black Belt: things build from there! In other words: I require a comprehensive study of you; the most complex and demanding entity one can study.

Those of you who are willing to put forth some real effort will soon come to realize that it is the hours you put into your Martial Arts training over 10 hours per week that pay you back the most dividends. The first 6 do little more than get you started, but they are enough to make the significant advancement to Brown Belt in a couple of years if you work very hard and are reasonably coordinated when you begin your training and you pay close attention to everything that you are taught. And that in itself is quite an accomplishment worth striving for. But for those of you who see the Black Belt as your goal, look to those who have received their Black Belts from me: they have all put considerable more time into their study than you might at first suspect.

To be the best, to strive for excellence in C&S Self Defense Association is not a task for the uncommitted or weak of character. Only the most determined will survive the path ahead, but the reward is unimaginable to even those close to the goal. It is better than anything you could possibly imagine, and also more difficult and demanding than anything you can imagine. But think about it for a few minutes: what else in your life could be more worth spending your time striving to achieve success in than in being a successful you. Only those things most difficult to attain are worth the effort to achieve. And it is my responsibility to make the Martial Arts the most rewarding experience of your life. And I do a very good job of it: you can ask anyone of our over two dozen Black Belts just how tough it is but how worth it all is for the effort they had to put in.

And all of our Black Belts are fine people: Strong men and women of good character. Compassionate and humble people, but able to rock and roll in the toughest of times. Come join us. Come join the select group of your fellow practitioners who know what they want, can see the value in dedicated hard work, and who have the commitment to follow through until their dream goal is a reality. I celebrate the success of those who have attained their Black Belts in C&S Self Defense Association, and look forward to new members joining with us as our Association not only grows but strengthens.

My best wishes to all of you and your families as we move through this marvelous time of the year when Nature prepares for the coming harshness of winter. Natures display of her glorious colors as the leaves turn through the spectrum of green life to yellow to orange to red and finally to the autumn hues of burgundies and browns is truly one of life's real pleasures to experience. Nature continues by shedding the old to let new life blossom in the Spring. Shed your fears and hesitancies. I have given you an open door into my Art. Please take advantage of this. Join the proud; the few; the committed who will strive for excellence and success. Join with us as a fully committed student to the study and life practice of our Art. I look forward to watching you grow.

In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose

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