From Karate Master Allen Sarac
Open Letter to Practitioners of Professional Karate Centers
Request by the Karate Master
I have been asked, by Grand Master Byung Jik Ro, (original student of the creator of Song Moo Kwan), to help our society improve itself by bringing back traditional values into our Martial Arts Schools here in the United States. At first, I confess, I did not believe that this was possible, yet as I think about my studies in this art, I now know that this is a part of our lessons that we cannot ignore. Let me explain ...
A National Crisis for America
One of the great problems facing our society today is the lack of respect for authority. For example, it is common for teenagers to harass teachers or policemen. How can a teacher concentrate on the job of educating when faced with misconduct by students on such a grand scale as this has become? How can a police officer "serve and protect" when even the people they are trying to help are out gunning for them?
As police become targets and teachers face guns in school, it is apparent that these figures of leadership are ill equipped to defend themselves nor will many in our society even let them.
Learning Starts With Respect
Think of a child's learning environment. A child's respect for an adult begins with strength as its basis. The child’s parents have power, control, authority, and years of wisdom. It is from this position of power that children learn the basics of behaving.
As the child grows and develops, he/she will understand the parents positions on matters of manners, and will eventually come to understand that the parent did only what they thought was necessary to help and protect their children. In time, the child will become an adult and will respect their parents for many reasons.
The Karate Master knows: Strength and power will no longer be an issue to them
The Return of Old Fashion Values
In America, although technology has allowed us to lead in many fields, its old fashioned values which must be addressed again. The youngster who is raised in an atmosphere of shootings and killings may grow into a better citizen if, as a child, he or she felt more respect for those in authority. It wouldn't matter if this respect was based from the strength of the elders, only the fact that in later years there would be that respect.
The Karate Masters have depended on this knowledge as their students became teachers and mentors
How Do We Begin?
How do we begin? Back when I received my 6th Dan Black Belt from Master Bob Chaney. Through the 25 years I have been his student, I have learned the value of honoring the teacher and the school. Today, my black belt students are honoring my schools in the same way, and I have great respect for each of them.
I received my Masters certificate from Master Chaney's instructor, Grand Master III Joo Kim. From this I have learned the value of respecting tradition. I have been honored by the way in which they recognize our students with respect to lessons that have been handed down by each generation and the importance of good karate adepts.
But, when I received my Masters certification from Grand Master Byung Jik Ro, I really felt the presence of our heritage unlike no other time in my learning experience. For it was this man, the teacher to Grand Master Kim, the student of Gichin Funakoshi (the father of modern Karate-do), and the creator of Song Moo Kwan, that gives our students a real bloodline that can be carried back to the original origins of modern Karate.
Learning the Lessons of The Karate Master
How do we begin to reintroduce our traditions to make us all better citizens and students and parents? By learning the lessons from the Karate Masters!
By bringing some of the traditions back into our American Karate schools that have made Martial Artists respected and well received throughout the orient. By helping students learn the meaning of respect and control, and by showing the people in authority how to use their power.
Where does this begin?
We can begin right here today with you, the student.
Imagine if the child, the teacher, and the policeman all studied the Martial Arts. Beginning with respect for teachers and those in authority, to reaching out to the students to help as if they were our own, to respect for each other ... imagine the type of world we would all live in if everyone practiced the Way of Karate - Karate-do, just like you!
-Grand Master Allen Sarac