Grandmaster Rose 10/1996 Fall Address
C&S Self Defense Association
Dear Students and Friends,
As I move into my 29th year of study of the Martial Arts, I reflect back to when I first walked into the Brownridge Institute of Karate in Charleston, Illinois and learned my first Basics. I remember how awkward I felt, but I also remember how good it felt to see how things fit together and to feel myself gradually gain in ability and confidence, not only in the physical movements I was learning but also in myself.
But one of the things that I remember the best was the fun I had working toward each rank as opposed to actually getting there- although that was tremendously satisfying as well! My point is that you should not be in such a hurry to rush through the ranks at the expense of not appreciating the actual process of getting from one rank to the next. Most importantly, never forget where you came from and what it took to get to where you are. You must never lose perspective of the process or you will never appreciate the attainment of your goals. If you do not remember where you came from, it will be very difficult for you to figure out where you are much less where you need/want to get to.
Yes, perspective is difficult to keep when you burn with the desire to make it all happen "yesterday". Note, however, that it is this burn that drives us on to succeed where others fall by the wayside never realizing what they will miss. The work is hard. But it is challenging, and that is what makes it all worthwhile. Can you see that unchallenged people are unhappy? What do they have to get out of bed in the morning for? Just to go through another day of work so they can pay the bills to sleep in a bed so they can get up the next day and do it all again? That is a tremendously sad way to spend ones life, don't you think?
Life is great, if you are willing to constantly challenge and educate yourself. That is why I demand written reports and reading lists and independent study and analysis in addition to all the other requirements. Our Art is not for the lazy or unmotivated. C&S people are motivated to better themselves with the ultimate goal of making the society around them at least one person better for it and hopefully developing enough of the "right stuff" to influence in a positve way others in a like manner.
So how do you get to where you want and still have fun along the way? You simply get out of bed each morning and say, "Today is a good day and I'm going to have fun and learn something new." And each night when you go to bed you say, "Today has been a good day. I had fun and I learned something new. And tomorrow will be even better." And that's the whole script for success. I mean, if you don't have fun and learn something new then you would be lying to yourself, wouldn't you? And do you want to have to lie to yourself? I don't think so, not if you respect yourself. And that is all the motivation you need to make it happen! Try it. What have you got to lose except happiness in your life if you don't. You can do it. You can do it if you want to do it. All you have to do is to say one time (out loud to somebody else, if possible) , "I want to do it and I will do it." So, now- just go out there and do it!
In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose