Grandmaster Rose 10/1999 Fall Address
C&S Self Defense Association
Dear Students and Friends,
As the summer draws to a close and I kick through the fallen amber leaves and shiver a little in the chilly northeast wind blowing across the bay, I marvel in the beauty of the nature around me. I can't create anything close to the greatness I see and smell and feel. I can punch and yell into the wind but the punch lands on nothing and the yell is thrown back in my face. I can leap into the air, but the clouds soar far above me. I can stomp on the ground, but only my teeth rattle in my head from the shock. I am but a speck of sand on the vast beach of life, no better and no worse than the ten-thousand other grains of sand which are my closest neighbors.
But I can smile. I do smile. And I smile because I know that, like you, I am unique. And, I recognize that I have a brain that gives me emotions. Emotions that allow me to smile but also to cry, to stand stoically firm in the face of the storm but also to fear the storm, and to be happy to just be alive but also to get angry as hell when I don't get my way or things don't work out the way I wanted them to. I'm just another person searching for meaning in life. My advantage, if I have one, is that I have made this my passion in life, I have devised a plan, and I work at that plan each and every day in each and every way that I can, and I succeed a little bit more each time I do. And this is what causes me to smile. And sometimes this smile is a little devilish because sometimes, not always, but sometimes I forget that I'm just me and I pretend that I'm somebody of great import- one who novels and grand historical chronicles are written about long after they are dead. I pretend that I have impacted the world in some positive way and that by doing so I have changed the lives of at least 2 people in some dramatic and profound manner. And by thinking this way, I feel complete.
For you see, this is my charter- my obligation- in life. It is an obligation given to me by my master who was given the obligation by his master given to him by his master and on down the line of our heritage. And it is the obligation that I give to my disciples: whatever it is that you do, you must directly impact the lives of 2 people so profoundly that not only do they recognize this, but that they agree to take on this obligation of impacting the lives of 2 others. And thus the entire foundationing principal of not only our art, but of all rational humanity, is propagated through the generations.
I hope I have impacted you in some way. If I have, think about what I have just said. And if you take up this cause because of some influence that I have had upon you then I have taken another step in fulfilling my obligation. And you have begun to fulfill yours. Good luck. Good fun. Good life.
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose