The attainment of physical and mental strength are, in and of themselves, challenging pursuits. To obtain mastery over one's own body and gain an understanding of personal capabilities is an incredible feat. To gain an understanding of the capabilities of others is also an enormous task. Even with years of training, learning techniques at the feet of one who has undertaken the same pursuit, a student may fail to reach the desired goal if they do not comprehend that the the ultimate responsibility for attainment is in their own hands. The student must seek knowledge and wisdom. The student needs to ask questions. The student needs to explore the subtleties of energy development. The student must seek to understand their opponent. Finally the student must seek to develop an increased awareness of environment and their personal capabilities.

As a student of Taekwondo, I have spent many hours of my life training, studying, and contemplating the martial arts. Of the many things that I have learned over the years, two stand out in my mind as most valuable and of sufficient worth to share with students of all levels. First, a life of discipline is a good life. The countless hours that a martial arts student spends studying, learning how to develop energy in hand and foot techniques, learning how to avoid injury and attack, and learning how to put away fear and pain will reap many benefits. The hours invested may provide superiority in a combat situation or may extend the years of an individual's life through increased health. Ultimately, the life of discipline is liberating, freeing one from the pitfalls of vicive pursuits and revealing the strength and virtue of Self Mastery.

Second, we have a limited life span. While studying to become powerful in technique, clever in strategy, and unconquerable in spirit, we should remember that the motivation that drives us in these pursuits should be honorable. In the end, if a individual is not honorable, not seeking to improve the condition of mankind, it will not matter if they have never lost a tournament or if they were faster or stronger or more clever than an other. To be a master of martial arts techniques for the sake of being better than someone else, is a fruitless pursuit. One may read of that individual's prowess in years to come, but what will come to one's minds as they think upon that person's accomplishments? Truly inspiring accounts are of those individuals who have quietly prepared and trained and readied themselves for the opportunity to stand for the cause of right, who have defended the innocent and oppressed, or who have taken the time to teach these skills and principles to another, so that they may not be lost.

In summary, Be an honorable and a dedicated student. Train hard, with the right motivation, and great rewards will follow. These rewards are not always of fame or of recognition but are almost always of peace and of comprehension that the thing which is most important was achieved.

-Master Flora