Monday, July 17, 2006

May 5th, 2006 ROSA PARKS Message to the Teams

Rosa Parks Inspired The 100.

Rosa Parks, the soft-spoken civil rights activist/icon, the diminutive 42-year-old seamstress who refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger on that amazing day in Montgomery, Alabama, the woman who through one simple action helped change the course of history — she is the spiritual force behind the founding of The 100.

The question is:

Is it possible that 100 martial arts MASTER instructors could, combined, muster the power and determination of one 42-year-old seamstress?

Could we not, collectively, refuse to yield to injustice and refuse to accept things as they are? Could we, if we took the right action at the right time, change the course of history? We believe it is an idea worth pursuing.

In honor of Rosa Parks — and all brave men and women who take a stand for what is right, we have come together to make a difference in the world. We stand for peace, for global self-defense, for environmental protection, for honor, for courage, for compassion, and for being the change we want to see in the world.

In 1982 I wrote a letter to Ms. Parks, asking her about inspiration. She sent me a two-page handwritten letter offering her thoughts on the subject. From that day on I committed myself to making the work I do something that was important to the world. I realized that I was in the perfect business for making a difference. The 100. is made up of martial arts teachers who believe that their years of training have been for more than learning how to kick, punch, and throw. Like Rosa Parks, we will not be giving our seat up to ignorance, apathy, and obstacles.Many other teachers, activists, and masters have their hands in this association, but Rosa Parks is the first person I think of when I visualize our potential to make things happen.

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