Senior Responsibility

Printer-friendly versionGrandmaster Young Pyo Choi defines as part of his philosophy that "as we develop our spirit and character, we can share this strength with others". As part of the OMAC pledge, seniors are taught "to share their strength and wisdom to help others" and "to use my strength and wisdom to bring peace and harmony". Within the confines of our school, I feel my senior responsibility can be summed as four specific tenants: * To work hard and improve my mind, body, spirit, and character * To serve a positive representative of the Oriental Martial Arts College and the Moogong Ryu style * To provide assistance, encouragement, and an example to junior ranks * To respect and assist senior ranks with classes, demos, camps, and tests I list "to work hard and improve my mind, body, spirit, and character" as my first tenent because I feel that, although it is not the most important tenant, it is the foundation that all the others must build upon. When we build a building, the ground it is built on is not the important result; the building - a home, a business, a monument, or a temple - is the important result. However, it we do not choose good ground and prepare it, the building does not last. Such was the case of the Swamp Castle in "Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail": "Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp." The King proudly proclaims that the fourth castle remained standing, but that's probably only because the destruction of the first three castles changed the land under the swamp and improved it. This is the same for our own skills, we must work hard and improve ourselves in order that we can develop the foundation that we build the other more important tenants upon. Our martial arts style and, in particular, our school exists to help people develop into better people. As Grandmaster Joon Pyo Choi is often quoted, "From the moment we are born to the moment we die, we must constantly try to improve." However, our school can not succeed in its mission if we do not have new people to help. We can continue to improve ourselves and our relatively small group, but without new students we quickly reach a point of diminishing returns. In order to bring in new students, we must serve as a positive representative of the school at all times in our lives, inside the school and outside. As a senior student, I need to be aware of my actions and my dealings with others, who will judge whether they want to be associated with our school based on their view of me. If I am a good Moogong Warrior, a guardian of the peace, and follow the OMAC Pledge, then others will benefit from me, have a positive view of me, and want to associate with our school. If I do not follow the Pledge and follow the negative side of the six life conversions, if I am hateful, angry, greedy, jealous, fearful, and ignorant, then others will have a negative view of me and will be unwilling to learn the benefits of our system. Once we have encouraged new students to join our system, to begin to improve themselves, they need to be assisted in their growth. Seniors need to continue to provide an example to junior students, teaching them how to give respect to seniors and thereby gain respect from the seniors. As a senior, I also much provide encouragement to juniors, to help them through the often tough training that we go through. I am fully aware that had I not had encouragement from my peers, such as my training partners Jennifer and Juana, and from Instructors Wagner, Richards, Schaffer, Wood (both), Plasterer, (even Bailey) and Masters Gross, Stanforth, and Choi (and others numerous), I would not be a senior student today and would not have developed the skills and abilities I have. I have been fortunate in this school that I have been able literally from day one to have the encouragement, assistance, and example of all levels to help me. I attempt to continue that tradition and fortune by being an example, an encourager, and an assistant to everyone from our newest Little Tigers to our most seasoned veterans. Our school provides a lot to us, not just in our training and growth, but in opportunity, entertainment, and friendship. Many of us develop almost extended familial relationships. All of this requires a significant amount of work, which cannot be borne only by Master Choi, his family, and the official staff and instructors. Classes become large and require senior students to help the instructors so that everyone has a chance to learn something. Demonstrations require everyone of all ages and ranks in order to present to the public that anyone can become part of our system. Camps, tests, and competitions require a broad variety of skills and activities that allow everyone to take part. It is the senior student responsibility to help in these activities and provide an example to the junior students to get them involved and participating. The OMAC mission of “education, training, application, and teaching for all” is a very concise way to state the tenants I wrote above about senior responsibility. But, it is also important to note that as our mission, it is the responsibility of everyone, from the newest student to the most senior master. All students, not just senior students, need to work hard to improve, to serve as a positive representative of our school, to respect and encourage others, and to assist in making the school a success and thereby making ourselves successful.