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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts

Martial Arts Is Learned, Not Taught

Martial Arts Are Learned, Not Taught

Posted: March 10, 2019

“Martial Arts skill cannot be taught or bought, it can only be learned and earned.” - Grandmaster Fu Shu-Yun


Dear Friend,


I trust this blog finds you well. 

Our Dojo is a magnificent place to learn Martial Arts. 

It’s a mediocre place if you are not ready to learn, and are merely seeking to be taught. 

Martial Arts knowledge must be “nabbed”...

• Noticed 

• Appreciated

• Believed 

...before it can be transformed into skill. 

That process cannot be delegated to an instructor. 

It is up to the student to n.a.b. it! 

Bad for business? 


But it’s the truth, and great for the students who are serious about developing their skills. 

I encourage you to experience this approach for yourself, at our Dojo or wherever you train. 

Here’s why...

People occasionally inquire about my Martial Arts lineage. 

"Who taught you?", is a question that deserves an honest answer. 

My first instructor, Master Ruben Prett, is the source of most of our curriculum. 

But I learned most of what I know from my classmates. 

When I studied under Dr. Bisio, he "taught" every session. 

But I learned mostly from my peers. 

In Beijing, China, I trained under Grandmaster Zhang Kai, the highest ranking practitioner of the San Huang Pao Chui Kung Fu system. 

But I learned mostly from his 6 year old granddaughter, Chung-Chung.

In 1997, I travelled to Brasil and trained at the Gracie Academy. 

I had a similar experience. 

Grandmaster Helio Gracie was in his eighties, running children’s classes.

My training was done with the students, and it was spectacular.

It is true that I have had the privilege of training under extraordinarily accomplished Masters of the Martial Arts. 

However, the bulk of what I have learned came from the observation and appreciation of my classmates example, both junior and senior.  


"If you are to learn how to get out of your own way, you must first embrace the confrontation, or you will never escape.“ -Master R. Prett


We have a wonderful Dojo. 

Pay attention to the people who share the mat with you. 

They already have solutions to the problems you are trying to solve. 

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



Kyoshi Thomas Clifford 

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