Grandmaster Rose 01/1996 Winter Address

C&S Self Defense Association

Dear Students and Friends,

I am pleased to let you all know that I was able to hold my annual retreat for my direct disciples Saturday November 18 and Sunday November 19. Because of my job change and other scheduling problems, I was not able to hold the retreat in the usual early May time frame. I had recently gathered all of the New Hampshire C&S Program Directors for a seminar on ground grappling techniques taught by one of my Pending Black Belts, John Cafarella. After the seminar, we all went out to one of the local restaurants and everyone got grousing about not having a retreat. I said that if they wanted to have one, they would have to come up with a location and get it set up because I was very tangled up with my new job. Sandan Brian Vinciguerra, after checking with his wife (IkKyu Pat Wilson), offered their home for the event.

It was such a short notice, I assumed that most likely only our local disciples would be able to attend, but Nidan Carl Parker made the trek out! (My children, Colin (8) and Marissa (6), delighted in sneaking into his room way too early Saturday morning to 'squeeze his toes'- something they look forward to each time Carl comes to visit!) To utilize his skills and thank him for coming, he was volunteered to flop and twitch on the floor as the others taught him in great detail the intricacies of the grappling techniques we had practiced at the seminar. Sandan Vinciguerra and his twin brother Yondan Bruce Vinciguerra prepared an excellent Saturday nights dinner so that we would not have to spend any time away from the business of the retreat. Though the retreat had to be shorter than normal, I was able to cover a great deal of material as well as undertake some discussion of how the local Program Directors felt about some of the material from last years retreat they had been assigned to work on. Unfortunately, I was unable to allocate time to speak individually with each disciple other than a long nights conversation with Nidan Parker from the time he stepped through my door at home 5:00 pm on Friday night. Sorry Carl, but the way I see it you had plenty of time to sleep on the plane going back...

One of the ancillary topics that we discussed at the retreat was the state of our current core structure as we have been practicing. No changes were recommended or areas identified as needing any attention other than our continuing plans of integrating some additional grappling and joint locking techniques into our program. Several of our students have been assisting us in cutting through the myriad of information available to cull out key concepts and techniques that would be beneficial to us all. Principal among those participating in this research are: Pending Black Belt John Cafarella, Masters Paul Dusenbery and David Landers, Sandan David Shaw, and one of Sandan Shaw's Brown Belts, Dr. Steven Downs who holds a Nidan ranking in Judo and is a chiropractor. Oh, me too! We anticipate some form of structure that we can begin to present to the Association after next years retreat sometime in April or May. If any of you have any expertise in these areas and would like to participate, please contact me and we can discuss our goals and your possible involvement.

I was very pleased to see some extensive research in various areas being done by those present since our last retreat. Some of the reading material that they uncovered appears quite interesting, and I will be going over it in detail over the next several months. Sandan Brian Vinciguerra has been actively researching some very exciting new approaches to some of the philosophical process that we teach, and has come up with not only some nice references, but he was responsible for leading a couple of the more in depth conversations of the retreat. I would expect that some of this will make its way onto our Black Belt reading lists. Not to be outdone, I also presented some reading that they are all diving into and will be reporting on at the next retreat.

We discussed the alteration I proposed in Sanchin several months ago, and all were very enthusiastic about how they felt and how the students they had showed this to were doing. I think we have enough local practical experience to suggest that those of you who are doing Sanchin try this altered method until my retreat next year. Let your instructors know how you feel about it and be sure this filters up to my front line Disciples so that we can discuss the issue intelligently. We will be deciding at next years retreat whether to make the alteration permanent or not. If you have thoughts, let them be heard!

At the retreat, some discussion was also given to the topic of body motion in developing snap and power. This has always been one of our strong suits. Our expertise in teaching the under 6 month student to develop tremendous power in their techniques is based upon each of our instructors in depth technical knowledge of the mechanics of motion- the physics behind energy transfer. To qualify as an instructor in our Association, you must not only understand this theory but you must also be able to explain it in simple and clear terms. Many years ago, Master Paul Dusenbery, who has his Ph.D. in physics, gave an exceptional lecture on the theory of exactly what energy is and of energy transfer. We have this on tape if you are interested. I will most likely be doing a practical application tape on this topic in the near future as well. It has come to my attention that some of the simpler points of body motion are being lost in the layers of detail that are explained as the student progresses. Granted, the process of achieving true dynamic knock down power is quite complicated, but if you can just step back from it all and see all of the relatively simple pieces that make up the whole you will be surprised at how quickly you can increase your power.

Sandan Tim House gave a detailed presentation for the group on his activities for the Association which sparked much discussion among all of us. I don't think many of you are totally aware of the tremendous amount of time and effort that Sandan House puts into our Association. Of course he enjoys it, or he wouldn't do it; it's just that we are all really fortunate that he does enjoy it as much as he does! Thank you Sandan!

Sandan House also spoke to us about aspects of the Association that many of you have discussed with him over the course of the last year. On the whole, it is evident that we as an Association seem to be having a positive impact on all of our members. But that will not make us lazy. In fact, I discussed in detail our needs for continuing to find ways of better communication with all of you. We must all stay 'hooked up' in order not to get forgotten. Sandan House is on the Internet and communicating with some of you through that medium. If you're 'on line', get hooked up with Sandan! Speaking of being 'hooked up', my thanks to all of you who have taken the time to drop me a line and let me know you are out there. I appreciate hearing from you. I would suggest that if you would like more detailed responses from me that you might consider the cassette tape letter process that all of my Disciples use to communicate with me. What takes just a few minutes to say into a tape recorder would consume over an hour of writing. And with a 45 minute commute to work, I would much rather tape you a letter than listen to Imus In the Morning on WOMB Radio- the Voice of Labor...

Yondan Bruce Vinciguerra's presentation on the '10 Characteristics of a Healthy Karate Program' also caused some interesting discussion among us. We all have programs, and it is important to stop every now and then and reflect on exactly why we are doing what we are doing. And Sandan David Shaw's outstanding work on 'Dojo Etiquette and Protocol, Testing Procedures, Dojo Kun, and Code of Ethics' is an example of the 'go to' attitude this Association needs to progress. I guess that's why Sandan Shaw is 'talkin' bad' about 4th Dan. Looks like he's 'walkin' bad' as well to back up the talk! A tremendous effort considering the time demands of his job, family, church obligations, not to mention a busy karate program and a new satellite program just begun by one of his students Chris Way. Keep on keepin' on, Sandan!

For those of you who are new to our Association, I would strongly encourage you to read your clubs Program Directors Orientation Manual. I wrote this manual as a statement of what our Association stands for, it goals, and its rules. All Programs should have a copy of this manual for the inspection of the students. Copies can be ordered if desired. I would also point out to our new members that to be a member Program of our Association requires a lot of commitment on the part of your Program Director. Being a Program Director in C&S Self Defense Association is not an easy task, and many may decide it is too much for them to keep after. To ensure you, the student, that you are practicing in a club which is following the guidelines and goals as set forth in the Program Directors Orientation Manual each Program Director must renew their membership in the Association by Jan. 1 of each year. Their acceptance as a member in the Association can be verified by the membership certificate they are issued. Ask to see your clubs current year membership certificate. It must have my signature and notary stamp on it to be valid.

Additionally, I would like all of our newer members to understand that though you may not yet know a whole lot about karate, we have the utmost respect for you for trying. We also want you to know that we recognize that you have skills that we may not know a whole lot about. Your participation in our Association is welcomed, and we hope that you will share your skills and knowledge with us as we share our Art with you. Never feel that just because you are Yellow Belt or Green Belt that we are not interested in hearing (and listening to) your opinions. We value your input. I want you to know that several of our most significant changes in material that we have done in the last ten years have come about as the result of suggestions and comments by students under Brown Belt level! Think about that for a couple of minutes, and take pride in the fact that your Association is not some remote dictatorial body with only itself in mind. The Association is for you, the student. Take advantage of what we have to teach you, but please- if you have any comments on how we can make it better, feel free to let us know. Also understand that there is no 'chain of command' that you have to go through, either. If you have something that you feel you want to make me aware of, then write me a letter! I promise I will not vaporize you.

My best to you all as we enter a new year. Let this be an exciting year in your personal self development. Dedicate yourselves to the precepts of our Art, and work hard every day at some aspect of your Art. Make 'our' Art 'your' Art by making it a natural part of your day in at least some small way. I would much rather have a student who does a little bit every day and benefits for the rest of their life rather than a student who is a big fireball for six months, burns out, takes up racquetball, and only benefits for that six months. We say that our Art is our life because it's the glue that holds our lives together so that we can achieve things other people only wish for. We achieve success because we have learned to have faith in ourselves and to do the work necessary to get what we want. Remember: a success is simply a wish that was worked for.

In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose

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