Grandmaster Rose 07/1998 Summer Address

C&S Self Defense Association

Dear Students and Friends,

In my last open letter to you all, I was waiting for a New England Nor' Easter storm to roll across the bay and hit. Well, it hit and it hit hard- as storms of this type tend to do along the North Atlantic coast. No damage, but things were pretty wild for several hours. I remember reflecting at the time on this scene as it applies to our everyday lives. Don't we all sometimes find that our lives seem to go along pretty smoothly for awhile and then all of a sudden, BOOM! all the wheels come flying off the wagon and it just seems as though nothing is going right and that utter confusion reigns supreme?

What brings things back into alignment? You know as well as I do that many people are unable to recover from some of these life challenges and become permanently disconnected from living a normal and happy life. Why do some come away from such experiences better off and others worse off? I believe it is because the people who "survive" do so because they have joy in their life: they have a passion for something, anything. Those who only trudge through the day with no passion tend to be less resilient to the obstacles that life constantly throws in our path. But with something that interests us, something that makes us want to get up out of bed in the morning and see what the day holds for that passion, we embrace life's obstacles as challenges that must be met to get on with what we enjoy.

Let's face it, if someone told you where $100,000 was buried in the woods in Canada, and you trusted this information to be true, then wouldn't all of the obstacles that would confront you be enjoyable to solve? What? You don't have the plane fare? Well, how to get it? No hiking boots? You'd purchase some. You'd do whatever it took to make the attainment of the goal wouldn't you? So, look at your life. You know, that life you look at when you get up each morning and look into the mirror. What do you see? Do you see challenge or do you see mediocrity? The choice is yours because it is your life. You get to decide. You not only get to choose how the day will go but you get to choose how every day goes. You have that power, don't you…

That is what your martial arts training is all about. It's about giving you a choice based on eliminating fear in your life and in understanding that if you can work hard enough and control yourself well enough to execute a good side kick, why- paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln: you can do just about anything you set your mind to do. As martial artists, we believe that. In fact: we live it. Each day. Every day. In fact, our training demands that. It demands that each and every day, in each and every way, we get better, better, and better.

I have always taught that a good martial artist can do twice the work in half the time. Can you understand why? Isn't it because we have a real joy for life? Isn't it because we make things happen instead of waiting for things to happen? Isn't it because we understand that the only way that we can become who we want to become is to alter the way that we think because we know that we are a product of the way that we think? Thoughts really are things. If you think positively and back that up with positive actions, then you are assured positive results just as much in equal proportions as you could expect bad results if you filled your spirit with the poisons of hate and animosity.

And I do not just flap my lips talking to you about theories; I live this stuff. But how can you tell? How do you know that I know what I am talking about and that I do and live what I am telling you to do? Those of you who know me and have heard me talk about my life and my job know that I do so with enthusiasm. Because I am as passionate about computers, programming, technical analysis, and management as I am with karate (and sailing, and reading, and studying, and… just about everything that I do), I have a good time at work, as well as everything else that I do. I never seem to have the same problems with fellow employees or management that others have. I consider myself impervious to strife and stress. People do not understand this, and it does tend to intimidate some. But then, they don't sign my pay check and they don't have to pay my bills either so that really is not a problem with me.

But because of my martial arts training, I keep getting new and exciting assignments and more and more responsibility. One of my two current major projects that I have responsibility for could result in $35 million dollars in annual gross sales for the company. I was given full responsibility for the analysis, design, and technical management for this project. It ships sometime in June. And because of this effort, because I actually enjoy what I am doing and do a good job, I was given a promotion to Senior Technical Business Analyst and put in charge of a project that could require the company investing from $300,000 to over a half million dollars. Don't pat me on the back because I don't deserve it. I am successful because I believe in what I do and I work hard at it and I have fun. And most importantly: I believe in myself.

Many people, when confronted with deep seated fear, however, do not recognize it as such. In fact, some fears are buried very deep and are actually very small. However, this is just like a tiny little pebble caught in your shoe: no matter that it is so, so very tiny: the aggravation is almost unbearable. With a pebble, we can recognize it as such and either press on or take the time to remove it. With our tiny buried fears, however, things are not quite so easy. Rather what happens is that when these fears are pointed out to the person by someone who is trained to recognize them- a martial arts teacher, for example- then many times the teacher is blamed for the fear. Or better, I should say the person lacks a full understanding of what the teacher is trying to do. But the result is the same: the teacher is blamed and conflict arises.

A true martial artist, a true warrior in the sense that we teach, is one who really enjoys their life and has no fear. This takes a great amount of work done consistently over a long time to achieve. And it requires faith. Faith not only in oneself, but also faith in a guide, or teacher, who they entrust with shining a light back down the path they are about to travel on so that they do not stumble or make too many mistakes along the way. No path, no matter the expertise of the teacher, is void of its dangers and pitfalls. The teacher can only shine the light in the best way that he or she can and the student can only follow in the best way that they can. But the key is faith and trust, both on the part of student and teacher. And this faith and trust must permeate the entire process.

So, when you consider how to feel better about your life, ask yourself these questions: Do I really want to feel good? Do I have some passion in life that I can focus my energies on? Do I have faith that through hard work I can succeed at whatever it is I set my mind to? And finally, am I confident enough in myself to put my trust in a guide or teacher who can help me avoid needless mistakes that could throw me off track? Good luck, and have fun!

Additional Information Regarding the New Forms Schedule:
Lengthy discussion was held by the Board of Directors at our recent board meeting regarding advanced forms instruction. After analyzing several options, it was decided to bring some of the advanced forms down out of the senior black belt ranks. We all felt that this would provide an excellent learning opportunity for our Pending through Nidan level black belts. By bringing these forms down into these levels, we think that not only will the forms skill level in comprehending Rose Crane and some of the other forms that one meets later on to be significantly increased, but we also think a lot of fun will be had by all. Some of these forms have unique and challenging information. They also provide new learning platforms for interpreting advanced concepts of pressure point striking theory, body motion flow analysis, more efficient power dispersion, etc.

The Masters will be overseeing the reorganization of this material and its proper presentation. Basically, we envision the following structure- taught in the indicated order:

Pending: Wankan Ni and Seishan
Shodan: Chinto and Seipai
Nidan: Rose Crane and Koshikum
Sandan: Immediate Masters form

All Program Directors are authorized to begin implementation of this material as soon as you check with your nearest upline Master as to how to present this material in a logical and meaningful manner. And please don't all create a stampede to learn this material in a weekend. There is a lot of meat here. The intent is that you have fun with it through a gradual learning experience that allows time for the form and the knowledge it contains to permeate your very being.

As this is all new material for many of you, rest assured that it will not be required for a promotion exam that you may be looking to take in the near future. This new structure will not be considered required material for testing until 01/01/99. That should give everyone a chance to really put this material together. We hope you all really enjoy this opportunity, and make the most of it! Have fun with it, and let me know what you think.

In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose

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