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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts

Courage To Confidence

From Courage To Confidence - A Means To An End

Posted: April 11, 2019

Dear Friend,


I trust this blog finds you well. 

During our academic education, we all learn about fight and flight responses to stressful situations. 

The third alternative - ‘freeze’ - is far more common than many of us acknowledge. 

As you dig deeper into your Martial Arts training, you will become abundantly aware of the distinctions between fight, flight, and freeze. 

In this blog, we will focus on the character quality that drives all productive action.

It is called courage. 


Principle of Achievement #3 - Be Courageous 


Confidence is a result. 

Courage is a decision. 

We become confident with patterns or circumstances of which we are familiar. 

Our comfort or tolerance increases, resulting in confidence. 

Courage is an entirely different matter. 

It is natural and normal to experience fear, discomfort, and anxiety, when facing an unfamiliar situation. 

Courage is required to ‘get through’ these kinds of events. 

Because courage is the prerequisite of confidence, you could conclude that courage is more valuable than confidence. 

In truth, they are each a side of the same coin. 

Show me a person with too much confidence, and I will show you an underachiever. 

This simply means that if you are not experiencing fear on a consistent basis, you are probably staying in a cocoon of comfort.   

In order to succeed, you must acknowledge the possibility of failure - and confront your discomfort. 

If you do not fear the pain of failure, you are not taking a significant risk. 

If you are not taking any risks, you are being cowardly. 

Acknowledge your fear, and take strategic  action toward overcoming it. 

That is how progress is made. 

Martial Arts training is packed with obstacles, challenges, and fear inducing experiences. 


Remember, you have 2 enormously beneficial opportunities in your training. 

1. Identify your ‘dragons’, and slay them. You may want to start with salamanders, and work your way up to larger fears.

2. Identity your ‘tigers’, and tame them. You already have strengths and competencies. Learn to cultivate and control them. If not, your assets can quickly turn into liabilities. 


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


Kyoshi Thomas Clifford 

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