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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts

Rank Of Integration

Brown Belt - The Rank Of Integration

Posted: February 26, 2019

“Synergy is not my way or your way. Synergy is our way.” -Dr. Stephen R. Covey


Brown Belt - The Rank Of Integration

Dear Friend,


I trust this blog finds you well. 

Have you kept up with the summaries of Habits 1 through 5?

If so, Habit 6 will make a lot of sense. 

The 6th Habit is called Synergize. We have many examples of this concept in the Martial Arts.

Physical coordination is one of them.

Cooperation is another.

Synergy is a necessary characteristic of correct technique.

Dr. Covey describes the principle of Synergy as 1 plus 1 equaling 3 or more.

The equation may defy basic arithmetic, but you can find evidence of it everywhere.

At Brown Belt we all gain a greater understanding of synergy.

We also develop a deep appreciation for it.

Plywood is a good illustration.

Each thin sheet of wood is only capable of holding a little bit of weight.

But when 5 layers are put together, with the grains alternately stacked, it is incredibly strong.

Much more than 5 times stronger than the sum of the individual sheets.

Take a chopstick and break it in half.

Try it with 2 or 3 put together.

No problem.

Then bundle 15 or 20 together.

Good luck.

The strength is amplified beyond the total number of chopsticks.

Your muscle groups work the same way.

In the Dojo, we experience synergy constantly.

While it is difficult to quantify the overall energy in a class, it is very easy to feel.

When you are in class with 11 or 12 people, the "fire" is simply harder to build.

When you train with 20 or more, the mat is electrifying. You have experienced it.

Synergy is a kind of harmony. It is a profoundly powerful force.

When your body is functioning at an optimal level, it is working synergistically.

Your eyes work together to achieve a result that is greater than double of what either one can accomplish.

What are some examples of synergy that you notice? Reeses Peanut Butter Cups don't count!

Look for examples in your personal and professional life.

If you look carefully, you will find examples everywhere.

The measure of a healthy relationship is the synergy that it generates.

Give serious thought to the effects of synergy in your life.

Your awareness of it will increase your appreciation for it.


I look forward to seeing you and your family in class at the Dojo. 



Kyoshi Thomas Clifford 

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