to those who have received promotions since our last newsletter. It is always great to see our members making progress in their learning. And learning is what is represented by a rank promotion. A promotion to the next level is something to be very proud of regardless of if it is your first move to Yellow Belt or to an advanced Black Belt degree. A promotion is our confirmation to you that you have succeeded in your efforts to learn and gain proficiency over the block of material that you have been working on. It also confirms our belief in your potential to do more, to excel in the next block of material and skills we will be teaching you.
However, it is not only you who benefit from a promotion. We, your instructors, benefit as well. It means we did a good job! It means that we provided you with an environment that caused you to have enough trust and faith in us that you were willing to work at the material hard enough to earn the right to advance to the next rank. Each time you succeed, we succeed as well. Each time you learn something and benefit by it, we in turn learn that our presentation was good. Every difficulty that we see you face in a promotion evaluation causes us to think long and hard as to how we could have better prepared you.
All of this means that your experience in the martial arts is important to us. We need to hear from you. We need to know how you see the process from your viewpoint. We may know our stuff really really well, but if we can't communicate it effectively - and pleasantly - to you, then all of our expertise does you no good. Our goal is to make you better than us. That's the job of a coach. We have worked hard to achieve what we have, but that does not mean in any way that that is the best that you could do.
You are the next leaders of this association. All of you. If you do not excel, then the association is doomed to fail as soon as your current leadership is carried off the field. I see that as a tremendous failure on our part. We are a small group and so extraordinary effort and contribution is easily recognized. You have an opportunity to bring your life's skills to direct bearing on our association. We, the instructors, don't know everything - although we would at times like to think we do! We need your expertise, your views, your opinions to help make us all strong. If you have an idea or thought, we want to hear about it. I want to hear about it.
The Spring and early Summer time frame that we have just moved through is seen as a time of new growth. Let us, each of us, as members of C&S Self Defense Association try to bring some new growth or freshness to our training. Don't worry about yesterday; that's history. What are you going to do today? Tomorrow? Next year? For the rest of your life? It is never too late to start but it is always too soon to stop. As martial artists, we never stop. We never stop learning. We never stop trying. Or striving. Or working. We must press on to excellence because that is the warrior way.
I challenge you to bring freshness to your study and to do so in a way that benefits us all. Yellow and Orange Belts listen up: this is your call as well as it is to the Black Belts. If you are having fun and benefiting from your training, then not only tell us, but show us by your actions. Get more involved in motivating your fellow classmates to action. Aggressively train for your next promotion. Make it happen. Take a chance on life and have some fun!
Get involved and get committed to being a person of action. You are warriors. As my teacher, Grandmaster S. A. Brock, told me many times, "Don't tell me all what you are going to do. Just do it. And forget about what I think. Do it for yourself because you know it to be the right thing to do, or don't bother to do it at all." Tough words from a tough man. That's why I'm tough. Because I did the tough things. I did it for me because it was the right thing to do. And as a result, I have all of you reading these words. Now, quit reading and get into action. And don't do it because I'm telling you to do it. Do it for yourself because you know it to be the right thing to do, or don't bother to do it at all.
In our art,
Grandmaster Peter M. Rose