Writings of the Grandmaster
Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.
I have found that it is not enough to teach a man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmonious personality. I have always taught my students that it is essential that they acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. They must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow men and to the community they live in. I realized that we as Black Belts have the responsibility of fostering some of these values that we treasure to all of our students. It is important to us as leaders to have the foresight, the tenacity, and the will to continue our work no matter how many obstacles get in our way. The road may be painful at times, but it is our mission. You should look for your own worth and not that of others.
Ethics open pathways for internal understanding and energy awareness.
1. Honor your family, your teachers, and the organization. Honoring them is a lifetime responsibility. They are to be treated like a father or mother who give the art of life. Give and sacrifice without expecting to receive.
2. View classmates as brothers and sisters. By giving and helping them become better, you too will excel.
3. Senior students practice humility. Treat junior students as equals, which in turn will earn you the respect and position of a senior.
4. Junior students should be respectful to your seniors. Their treatment of you as an equal is a sign that they are beginning to find humility and are worthy of senior respect. The senior's humbleness is to be honored.
5. Never consider yourself knowledgeable regardless of time in training. You, as all of us, are on a long staircase, with no apparent end and which will lift you to the highest attainments you seek.
6. Recognize everyone will have different strengths and weaknesses, regardless of their time in the art. Try to help their weaknesses; and, in turn, your weaknesses will eventually be strengthened.
7. Students are responsible to demonstrate the code of ethics in and out of class. Such demonstration will clearly indicate you do not consider your art to be separate from your life; your art is part of everything you do.
8. Rely on your teacher's judgment to the greatest extent possible. Many times you may not agree with policies or actions, but you are responsible to try to stand behind your teachers and strive for better understanding as junior students do toward you. Remember, take one step at a time; experience will bring enlightenment.
9. Teachers and fellow students are human and may make mistakes. Respect their weaknesses and appreciate their gains toward self-improvement. They will learn from your kindness and understanding which will strengthen both of you.
10. Never criticize your teacher. Criticizing is considered to be a poor code of conduct and in essence you are saying you need another instructor. Analyze your doubts and your viewpoint may possibly change regarding the matter; if not, discuss any situation privately with your instructor.
11. Listen to suggestions from anyone including lower ranking students. They may offer suggestions from a unique and helpful angle. Receptiveness will help you grow.
12. Be an example of courtesy, regardless of what step you are in your journey to seek growth. Courtesy in and out of class is a sign of strength.
13. Pride. Carry yourself earnestly and try your best. Other people's expectations of you may be important; but your own expectations of yourself are more important. Doing your best will give you honor and pride.
14. Contain your ego. The showing of too much power demonstrates you have a low level of ego containment. Use of techniques with kindness and appreciation is a sign of strength.
15. Tenacity. It is your responsibility to do your best in class. Do not allow you to simply follow or stand idle. Practice regardless of your level of ability or comprehension in a technique. Tenacity is the ability to keep trying with or without your teacher being present.
16. Cleanliness. Refined cleanliness means refined mind. Clean clothes and body show by example the honor and ethics you possess.
17. Do not ask to be taught more techniques. Let your instructor decide when you are ready. To ask is a sign you have perfected that which has already been taught to you. Techniques require a lifetime of perfecting. By working hard on what you have already learned is the first sign you are ready for more.
18. Remember your teacher and loved one's birthday and special holidays. No matter how small, show them appreciation that truly comes from the heart. A sign of thoughtfulness allows a bond to develop making the teacher feel appreciated. Wanting to show his or her gratitude, your teacher will reciprocate by genuinely wanting to further your knowledge.
19. When visiting your teacher it is proper to bring them a small gift. A gift can be food for casual visits or present for formal visits. When a teacher is invited to your home or anywhere else, be sure to have proper food and drink available thus demonstrating good manners. Traditionally, the teacher partakes of food and drink first and then others follow.
20. If you have had an argument with your teacher and later desire to reestablish your relationship, bring a gift upon your first visit and extend a humble apology, regardless of whether or not you feel it is completely deserved. A good teacher will always accept a genuine apology without regard as to who might have been wrong.