Grandmaster Rose 07/1997 Summer Address
C&S Self Defense Association
Dear Students and Friends,
I am happy to report that my 1997 Grandmaster's Retreat was a joy for me to attend, though I am certain there were many very fatigued black belts walking around in a fog for quite awhile after they returned home. I know I averaged only about 4 hours of sleep a day from Wednesday night through Saturday night and it took me several days to get back up to speed. So many of our senior black belts were able to attend. It was truly a special weekend and a marvelous culmination of the last six months that I had spent in preparation. And the weather held up spectacularly for us as well, even though snow in the mountains (where we were) had been hinted at as a possibility (and it certainly was cold enough at night for!). In fact, I took the Masters up to the Wildcat Mountain ski area where we climbed partially up the side of one of the first slopes and looked out across Tuckermans Ravine toward snow capped Mount Washington. It was a site to behold.
I had a terrific opportunity to finally put faces and smiles (sometimes...) with so many of you. I am sorry that I was unable to complete several of the topics I had intended to address, but I felt it more important to spend time with as many you as wanted to meet with me on an individual and personal basis. I hope you all feel that you came away from the retreat knowing me just a little better, and that finding out that, yes, I am about as difficult and demanding as you had heard stories about me was not too great a surprise- did you think those who know me were kidding you? For those of you who were unable to attend, I hope that we can meet at the next open retreat that I have (which, by the way, will either be when we hit the 500 membership level, or the year 2000, or- just maybe: both!).
At our Friday opening luncheon, I was pleased to honor the following Black Belts with a plaque commemorating 25 years in the Martial Arts: Tiger Master Paul Dusenbery of the Boulder School of Self Defense - Boulder, CO, Yondan David Shaw of the York Self Defense Club - York, ME, Yondan Robert Jones of the American Dragon - Effingham, IL, and Sandan Carl Parker of the Mountain View Martial Arts Academy - Pittsburgh, PD.
I hope everyone who attended feels that the intended theme of empowerment came across loud and clear. With out empowering you (and thus you empowering your students etc. on down the line) I cannot hope to make the future generations of black belts who are just entering our Association realize now the potential they have to affect the lives of others through the conscience, dedicated, and persistent application of the principles which I teach. I share these principles with you with the express intent for you to share them with others. In fact as I explained to you, it is your obligation as my students to share our Art with at least two others such that you directly affect their lives in a positive way, and to then require each of them to do the same with two others. Of course, this implies that you must work very hard with what I have shared with you to not only make it yours but to develop in you what I defined as a true "need". With out need, there can be no success in this very challenging life task.
I hope I was able to share with each of those who attended my retreat my passion for not only the Art, but for all of life. Though I am at times a little intense in my practice of our Art, I feel that it is well worth the effort, or I simply would not do it. And I think after meeting me, all would agree that I do it as I call it. And I call this my life. And I do it. I do it from the time I get out of bed in the morning until the time I get out of bed in the morning the next day. I do it all the time. In fact, I don't really "do it". I live it. I am it. I am the Art. I am the Art because I choose to be the Art. And you can be too. All you have to do is make the choice and then do the work. I'll show you what to do. I'll help you; be your guide through the woods. I've got the light- I'll shine it down on the trail behind me so you can follow. But you have to keep up so that I don't get too far ahead because I'm not coming back. I am always moving forward. I do not stop. I am the Art and the Art is never ending- a veritable mobius strip of eternal action and learning.
Under a spectacular star studded black mountain sky, we all stood in full uniform in awe of the power of God and all of nature. I hope my words will always guide you whenever you get to feeling down. The power of the Art is yours. If you did not have it before you came to visit me, you have it now. I have given it to you. Use it wisely for the betterment of yourself, your loved ones, and for all those willing to at least just try. Take what I have shared with you and share it with your students. Show them the way of the warrior. Empower them to success as I have empowered you. And have fun!
In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose