The cobra is a very misunderstood reptile. Its presence creates fear. Even its sound creates fear. It is a presence so; threatening that you would not want to look it in the eye because its dominating figure is so intimidating. If a cobra feels threatened, it intercepts movement with strikes that are quick and deadly. Yet, the cobra is harmless if it does not feel threatened. The cobra can move through the sand and weeds as if they were not there. Nothing on the ground can stop the cobra from reaching its goal or destination.

The cobra makes no excuses, it just shows results. Martial artists do the same. Excuses are not the key to success, results are. If you have failed in some situation, blame yourself, don't look for excuses. Return to success as the cobra does in every move it makes. We must maneuver to the next positive destination and change the negatives to positives. If it is too hot to touch, then let it be, but detach yourself from it so you don't go down with it.

Most people know nothing about cobras, and make the mistake of speaking as if they knew one personally. Too many times we make the same mistake when speaking of other people. Your opinion of another should be based on knowledge and not on gossip. With this, as anything, there is an opposite. You can choose to see the bad or you can choose to see the good in a person or an action. Martial artists must choose to see the good.

We are not violent people but peace makers in a threatening world. If you were a cobra, you would move in peace because everyone would sense the strength of your presence. When you achieve your potential you can walk on either side of the street. You can spread love to both those who love you and to those who hate you. To those people who are foolish enough to threaten a cobra, the force of its strike is meant to win.

We, as martial artists, want to live by the rose. We admire its beauty and appreciate its fragrance, as we are to be admired for our accomplishments in both the martial arts and in life. You are your own positive person. Your love for yourself and your love for others is the biggest reason you don't want the cobra to rise. Your character is controlled and your confidence is assured by your martial arts training. Every day you get better mentally, socially, physically, and spiritually.

In a peaceful and gentle situation, we live by the rose day-by-day. When we fight for honor and love, then the cobra rises night after night. Goju Kenpo preaches peace and honors love, day and night.

Believe in yourself. This is what it takes to make it in the world! Master L. Hall