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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts

Always Take The High Road

Always Take The High Road

Posted: February 26, 2019

Dear Friend,


I trust this blog finds you well.

Our Dojo offers a wide variety of training methods, a rich curriculum, and a plethora of spectacular classes.

But we don’t offer everything - nobody does.

You may be looking for instruction in a Martial Arts system or style of training that we don’t provide.

We will help you find a program that suits your wants and needs.

It is our pleasure to assist you, and we believe it is our moral obligation.

The fact is, there are a lot more people in our community who want and need Martial Arts training than any single school could possibly accommodate. 

Therefore, we are happy to refer people to a reputable school that fits their interests.

I learned this approach as a young kid growing up in a Hardware store.

This is how it was...


“These People Are Our Neighbors. Let’s Remember That! ." -Paul Hadeler Sr., circa 1975


It happened every single day. 

Someone would walk into Hadeler Hardware asking for an item that we were sold out of.

Many times people asked for things that we simply didn't stock. 

Mr. Hadeler, without hesitation, would happily inform the "customer" as to where the particular item could be purchased. 

We carried thousands of products, literally. 

The 10,000 square foot store was fully stocked with hardware, tools, plumbing supplies, electrical supplies, houseware items, building supplies, fireplaces, stoves, paint, etc.

But we didn't have everything. 

The Hadeler's knew exactly who had what, and were delighted to let people know about it. 

There was another Hardware store in town, and a few others within a short car ride of Hadeler's.

If we didn't have it, somebody else did. 

“We don't stock that. I can have it for you in a week or so, or you can pick one up at Kuhn's Plumbing today", Paul would often say. 

I remember a guy asking Paul, "Why are you giving your customers to your competitors?"

Paul said, "They're not our competitors or our customers. They're our neighbors. Remember that!”

Hadeler's was much more than a local business. 

Hadeler's was a pillar of the community. 

That's not just how they did it. 

That's who they were. 

If you mentioned "customer loyalty" to Paul, he would cringe. 

"How can we ask people to wait a week or two for a product that they need today?" 

"If a fellow with a full time job and a family comes in, needing a product to repair something around the house, we can't expect him to wait around for us. 

His sink is leaking! 

Where's our loyalty?"

"Do you want to talk about loyalty?", Paul would ask rhetorically. 

Then without waiting for a response, he would bark out, "Let's be loyal to the needs of our neighbors. Let's be loyal to the unwavering principles of value and service. If we continue to do that, we will always do well." 

Admittedly, I didn't really know what he was talking about when I was 8 years old.   

So he put it like this, "Tommy, if you aren't loyal to yourself, you cannot be loyal to others. 

If you aren't loyal to others, you really aren't being loyal to yourself. It's simple. 

Never concern yourself with anyone's loyalty but your own."

I am forever grateful to Mr. Hadeler for his influence.

Please be certain, if we do not provide the specific Martial Arts training you are looking for, it will be our pleasure and privilege to help you find a perfect fit. 

I look forward to seeing you in class at the Dojo!



Kyoshi Thomas Clifford 



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