Those of you that are beginning the climb up the ladder of goals in the martial arts will be confronted with many mental and physical challenges. You will be the only one capable of overcoming these challenges, with the guidance of your instructor, by having a positive attitude in everything you do.
There will be times when you will try to make excuses to yourself for not going to class, this is a common problem that all of us have gone through. Those of us that are still in the martial arts have defeated this small problem by having a positive attitude and the determination to go after our goal at all costs.
The mental victory starts when you resist these negative thoughts, don't make excuses, and accept your personal responsibilities.
As you climb the ladder, each step will bring a multitude of mental and physical victories that will enforce your self pride.
Eventually you will have to decide which direction you will go in when you become a Black Belt. You may select weaponry, forms perfection, breaking, free fighting, or teaching, to name a few.
To select the road of teaching, to me, is the most fruitful. I have had the opportunity of watching many a beginner advance thru all the stages of development. I have had the opportunity to pass on knowledge which is centuries old and seen a select group of my students who have become instructors pass on this knowledge. I have had the good fortune of making friends in all walks of life and of many nationalities.
Very seldom will a person forget his instructor because as a person trains he dislikes, displays belligerence, respects, and eventually understands his instructor. With so many emotions about one person it would be hard to forget him.
Teaching is not easy and sometimes sad when an instructor loses a good student.
People ask why I teach, I think I have already answered that, but in one word "YOU". You are our reason.
You have some of the best instructors in the martial arts, if they weren't they would not be teaching under the banner of Kang Duk Won.
Your instructors are guides, all you have to do is follow, and eventually you will become a leader.
Hopefully someday you will have your own school and pass on the knowledge you have gained and have the ultimate pleasure of watching one of your students instruct.
It is our sincerest desire to have each one of you reach your ultimate goal in the martial arts, your instructors will guide you each step of the way.
Master Kim used to tell me a saying that has been with me over the years, "Karateman Can Do", the ultimate in positive attitude.
The above is the forward to "Kang Duk Won Karate Association: Student Manual" by Robert C. Lawlor. (copyright 1980)