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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts

Life Is An Obstacle Course

Life Is An Obstacle Course

Posted: March 25, 2019

“A challenging life is an obstacle course, not a maze. Rats chase after cheese. Happiness is the pursuit of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.” -Anonymous 


Dear Friend,


I trust this blog finds you well.

A life of fulfillment is not for the faint of heart. 

Martial Arts training is extraordinarily challenging.

It is difficult and demanding.

Truthfully, it is often painful.

There is pain that leads to problems, which we should avoid.

There is pain that leads to progress, which we should embrace.

Maturity helps us to choose wisely. 

Here are some classic examples of the “quicksand” most of us encounter on our Martial Arts journey.


The 4 B's...

Martial Arts training has an abundance of benefits. 

When you become a Martial Artist, and sincerely embrace the lifestyle, walking away doesn't seem like an option. 

But it is. 

It always is. 

Here are some of the most common traps. 

• 1. Busy - If we fail to organize our lives effectively, it is tempting to believe that we are "busy", when in fact, we are undisciplined.

Perhaps we allowed our priorities to get mixed up.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is the development of your body, mind, and spirit? 

• 2. Bored - Martial Arts is a lot of things, but boring is not one of them.

We often confuse our ability to dull the pain of our sensory acuity or focus, with a state of consciousness known as boredom.

Simply put, we tend to shut down when we aren't experiencing instant gratification.

It is not boredom, it is fear.

Learn to confront it. 

• 3. Broke - Similar to the erroneous belief that we do not have the time for training, is the delusion that we do not have the money.

Take a careful look at the 10 bucks per day, that gets spent on things which have little or no value.

You can't think of anything?

Think harder.

What a person does with their money is their own choice, but don't confuse being broke with being irresponsible. 

 • 4. Broken - We all get sick and injured.

The longer we live, the more often it tends to happen.

Martial Arts is an extraordinarily effective form of rehabilitation.

But the wiser approach is recognize the "prehabilitative" value of training, and the healthy lifestyle that supports it.

Nevertheless, we are going to face illnesses and injuries.

Getting back on the mat serves as both a means of recovery, and method for measuring the restoration of our health.

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



Kyoshi Thomas Clifford 

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