Many are called, but few are chosen. How to be chosen.

Many are called, but few are chosen

Many are called, but few are chosen. For nearly four decades, my journey through life has been intricately woven with the threads of martial arts. My dual roles as both practitioner and instructor have afforded me the profound privilege of mentoring over 10,000 students.

Amid this rewarding odyssey, I’ve encountered a troubling pattern: a significant falloff in student retention within our disciplines. This phenomenon evokes the timeless saying, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

My transition from Canada to Romania was a pivotal moment, marked by the realization that many devoted students abandoned their training following my departure—except for a singular, resilient individual. This observation serves as a poignant reminder of the deep, lifelong dedication required by the martial arts journey.

Many are called, but few are chosen

In a world increasingly fractured by division, two distinct factions emerge: those entangled in harmful ideologies and those progressing towards enlightenment. Although our intentions to help the resistant might be noble, such endeavors often end in vain.

Yet, as martial artists and mentors, we are summoned to a grander purpose: to pave the way for the forthcoming era of rebuilding. This mission demands that we transcend the superficial view of martial arts as mere sport, highlighting instead its vital role in personal development and the cultivation of lasting values.

Many are called, but few are chosen

“To lead by example” transcends being a mere idiom; it’s a call to perpetual growth. A true “master” recognizes that their quest for knowledge is eternal. My dedication to this continual learning process is steadfast, and it will persist until my last breath.

For the past 24 years, my primary focus has been on Kosho Ryu, a martial art that represents the essence of my practice. My journey began with Hapkido, but it is in Kosho Ryu that I have found a boundless field of study. My approach to teaching is transparent and generous; I aim to share all that I learn without reservation or vanity, guided by the core values of faith, family, and homeland—Romania, in my case. The adage “Many are called, but few are chosen” resonates deeply with me, affirming my chosen path, one not for sale at any price, unlike the compromises often seen in political spheres.

Years ago, I encountered a troubled teenage girl, lost in the shadows of goth culture and under the care of Children’s Aid. Aware that her presence in my life might be fleeting, I dedicated myself to making a difference, however uncertain. And then, she vanished.

Many are called, but few are chosen

In June 2010, after a trip to Romania and my subsequent promotions of the Kyusho Jitsu Home Study course, I received an unexpected email from her. Years had passed, yet she reached out to share her transformative journey: securing a position at a Canadian bank, embracing yoga under a master in Bucharest, and developing a love for Romania.

This message was a profound affirmation of the impact we can make. It’s a testament to the reason we engage in this work: to foster change, to inspire growth, and to touch lives in meaningful ways. This is the essence of martial arts, the heart of teaching, and the soul of our mission to better the world one student at a time.

To navigate the path from being merely called to being truly chosen, I immerse every aspect of my life in the principles of Kosho Ryu. This ancient martial art does not confine itself to the dojo; rather, it permeates my very existence. Whether I am crafting a meal or delving into the complexities of the Romanian language, I approach these activities with the same discipline and mindfulness inherent to Kosho Ryu. This holistic approach underscores a fundamental truth: to ascend beyond the called and become the chosen, one must embrace a relentless pursuit of growth in both martial arts and life.

Abandon the illusion of omniscience. The belief that we have reached the zenith of knowledge is a formidable barrier to our development. Instead, dedicate yourself to rigorous study and training. Seek innovative methods to ignite the martial spirit within. This journey of discovery is not just about personal enlightenment; it is also about generosity of spirit. Knowledge is a treasure meant to be shared, not hoarded.

Adopt the mantle of a teacher, regardless of the scale. Your influence can transform lives, even if it begins with mentoring the troubled youth in your neighborhood. In teaching, we reinforce our own understanding and commit to a cycle of continuous learning and giving. This reciprocal relationship between teaching and learning not only deepens our mastery but also amplifies the impact of Kosho Ryu beyond the confines of traditional training spaces.

In Conclusion

To be chosen is to live a life where every action, every study, and every interaction is infused with the essence of your martial art. It is a commitment to perpetual growth, sharing wisdom, and fostering community. It is a journey marked by humility, perseverance, and the unwavering belief in the transformative power of martial arts. Embrace this path, and you will not only advance in Kosho Ryu but also elevate those around you, cultivating a legacy that transcends the physical bounds of martial arts.

If you have a few minutes please checkout my new eBook called “Kosho Ryu Harmony in Motion: The Essence of Martial Arts Mastery.”

Thank you and gave a great day!

Grand Master Art Mason



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