Grandmaster Rose 04/1995 Spring Address
C&S Self Defense Association
Dear Students and Friends,
I have been extremely busy since the first of the year. I had completed the version release of the software product that I was responsible for at Casco Bay Software, and had to start looking around for work. I began as a software engineer at Stanley Associates in Portsmouth, NH at the first of the year. It has been very hectic as I was brought on board to assist with final coding efforts on a very large and complex business information system for the State of New Hampshire. I have been keeping some very long and tough hours with many weekends taken up as well. I am sorry to say that I have thus been somewhat remiss in my responsibilities at the Rose School during this period, but am happy that Sandan House has held in there for me, as well as assistance from others. Now that the product is delivered, I hope to have a little more time to invest. And with Spring here- why, all work and no play would be horrible! Unfortunately, due to my new job and other issues I was not able to schedule a retreat for this year in a timely manner, and at the time that I write this (mid March), I am unsure of what the result will be. I hope I will be able to work things out and coordinate successfully with all of my disciples who have equally busy schedules to contend with as well.
I have been discussing with Sandan House the results of the membership questionnaires that all Program Directors filled out at the first of the year. It seems there has been some confusion regarding how a Program Director is to count the number of students in programs and satellites under them. We are thus unable to nail an exact figure down as to the total C&S Self Defense Association membership, though it appears to be approaching the 350 mark. Sandan House has been in contact with many of the Program Directors, and hopefully this Newsletter will contain some additional information. If the 350 level is correct, it would indicate approximately a 27% increase in enrollment in the last year. A very respectable increase. We have also added, as I mentioned in the last newsletter, many new Programs who are slowing starting to grow. I am very excited for all of you: you get to not only witness this growth, but you get to participate in it. And for those of you with vision and drive: you are the future leaders of our Association. It is from you that our new ideas will spring from. It is from you that we will count on guiding the Association into the next generation.
Would you like to be one of those leaders, but don't think you can? Well, you can be anything that you want to be. And if you want to be a leader in our Association, then let me help you by telling you what you need to do. It's really quite simple: if you have been training hard then you are in a position to help others and that's really all a leader does. A leader not only is willing to help others, but they have done the hard work that gives them the skills to offer to another. You can be a leader at Orange Belt level- if you're good. When Master Paul Dusenbery was an Orange Belt, I gave him the responsibility of starting all the new students and running the warmups. He was a key holder. He spoke to prospective students about our school, and took responsibility for all of the follow up work that entailed. He worked tirelessly to help others, and in the process he helped himself as well. The more that we share, the more that we can benefit. But, as you will recall from our BST study: we do not do things in expectation of gain. We do things because it pleases us to do so, and as a result we will benefit. We don't just seek a reward; we take on the responsibility which results in a much richer reward. And that's all you have to do.
I have said all along that this Association belongs to you the students. You have to make it a success if you want to be a success. Your representative on the Board of Directors is Sandan House, and if you want an example of a tireless advocate for your best interests then Sandan has done you well. But he is only as good as the next excited student who is also willing to "make it happen" instead of sitting around waiting for someone else to make it happen for them. We make our own way in this world, and the more of that responsibility we can learn to accept then the more successful we can expect to become.
I hear stories about all of you who are working from your instructors. Every couple of months or so, each one of my disciples sends me a letter cassette tape. This is part of the responsibility of each disciple; to stay in constant communication with me so that though we may be thousands of miles apart we can still pull together for the growth of our Association. I am pleased at what I hear about those of you who put your faith and trust in us to give you the "straight scoop" in educating you in the true spirit of the Martial Arts. Our goal is to make this world just a little better as a result of our taking up breathing space for a few years. Our Art teaches us that the most effective thing that we can do to accomplish the greatest impact on our society is to take responsibility for ourselves and then, based on the strength gained in that process, to help others. This is the challenge that our Art and that I can offer to you. Through your effort and your belief in yourself, you will achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. All you have to do is try. And if you keep trying, you will succeed. Remember the story of Babe Ruth when he was asked to what he owed to his great success. He simply replied that he had struck out more times than anyone else. In other words, he kept trying. He refused to give up or to quit. So: keep on trying. No matter how tough it gets, hang in there. It's good for your character. Anybody can give up; that's what an "anybody" does. Don't be an "anybody". Be the Martial Artist that I am training you to be. Be the Martial Artist that I expect you to be, and join me in a leadership role for the good of not only our Association, but for the good of our society as a whole.
In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose