Grandmaster Rose 07/1996 Summer Address

C&S Self Defense Association

Dear Students and Friends,

If you have not had an opportunity to read my report to the Association, ask your Instructor for a copy. It summarizes the events of my recent retreat, and contains much information of interest to all members of our Association. I encourage all of you to discuss this report among yourselves and with your Instructors.

I saw an article not long ago about what is being referred to by many as 'cyberwar'. The premise is that, to be devastating, war does not have to be fought on the battlefield anymore; a war fought over the Internet can cripple a nation. Much of our society depends on computer linked communication (ATMs, banking and equity transfers, airline reservations, a buildings- cities- HVAC controls, email, credit card transactions, etc.). What if an enemy penetrated and gained control of an airports control tower? Or a major financial institutions computer operations? The Department of Defense computer security system was 'attacked' over 250,000 times last year. Think about it... How do you defend against unknown attackers? How do you retaliate? When do you know you are being attacked?

Fortunately (perhaps...) for the Martial Artist, we do not have to deal with a 'faceless' unknown attacker. It is hard to mistake the intent or source of a beer bottle raised against you in a crowded club, or the click of a switch blade knife in a dark hallway, or the clenched fist flung at you from a screaming attacker.

What is difficult for us, as moral, responsible, and law abiding people, though, is to understand that the attack is in fact an attack and not a dream and that the attacker really means to do us harm. Because we are who we are, it is sometimes so difficult to accept the fact that there are people out there who simply do not live by the same set of moral standards that we do. They will attack for fun; they many times do not need a rational reason for doing harm to others. But, as difficult as this is to understand, we must. We must because hesitation at the wrong moment may cost us or a loved one great harm. As Martial Artists, we must determine when a set of circumstances becomes a 'real' attack. We must assume an aggressive mind set in dealing with all potentially dangerous situations. We simply cannot afford to wait for an aggressor to move against us before we respond. Not all fights begin with the aggressor running at you out of the dark yelling that they have a knife and they are going to kill you. Most attackers need to 'work up to' a fight situation with some sort of verbal exchange. That is why the number one rule of self defense that we teach to you is to not get involved in a debate with an attacker; you simply cannot afford to get caught up in the attackers rhythm. But when is enough enough?

Only you can determine that for yourself. When is enough enough? It is critical that you solve this problem now. Do not think for a second that you will be able to figure it all out on the spot. You won't. You will be too scared. There is nothing wrong with fear. Fear keeps us safe and warns us of danger. But fear clouds our view- no matter who you are. The last thing you want to have to worry about in a potentially dangerous situation is what constitutes enough. Talk at length with your instructor regarding the theory of the aggressive mind set. And be certain you understand the difference in being aggressive and having an aggressive mind set; the two are completely different.

My best to you and your loved ones. Have a happy and safe summer!

In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose

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