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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts


Mastery - The 6 Steps Of Achievement

Posted: March 10, 2019

“A strong body and a sharp mind are of little value, without a non-quitting spirit.” -Master R. Prett


Dear Friend,


I trust this blog finds you well. 

Martial Arts training is extraordinarily fulfilling. 

Sometimes it’s fun, too. 

If you are serious about getting the most out of your training, please read this.


The 6 F's of the Mastery Continuum...

1. Fun - When we embark upon a new endeavor, it is because we perceive the process and/or result to be attractive and appealing.

We think it is going to be fun.

It is an oversimplification of what we want.

But it is a safe and general term, and it has become somewhat synonymous with feeling good. 

To feel good, emotionally, is what we actually want.

We get started, and quickly experience the difficulty and demands of our new interest.

It looked so easy and enjoyable.

It even appeared to be effortless. 

2. Failure - This is a label we place on our natural inability to immediately get things right.

Our desire for instant gratification causes us to conclude that we have categorically failed, the moment we hit an obstacle.

We must use the pain of poor performance to our advantage.

It can drive greater awareness and effort.

It is a signal that we really want to improve. 

3. Frustration - This is the consequence of failure, provided that we are emotionally invested in a successful outcome.

It means we are experiencing the pain of dissatisfaction.

We are not measuring up to our expectations. 

We have a perceived standard, and we are dissatisfied when we fall short.

It is a great signal. 

4. Fascination - It follows frustration, if we are sincere about achieving proficiency.

We must become profoundly interested in figuring out ways to overcome our lack of skill.

We must become hyper-conscious. 

This leads us to allocate our resources more strategically.

We are driven to greater effectiveness. 

5. Fight - The very word is something that our culture tends to shy away from.

It is a direct reference to the struggle that is necessary in the acquisition of every useful skill and competency.

If you are not willing to fight, you do not stand a chance of succeeding.

We often think of battles being fought against other people. 

Those are trivial, compared to the wars we wage in our quest for self-mastery. 

6. Fulfillment - Ultimately, this is the result.

It is the emotional consequence of a proficient experience.

That is what we are really pursuing.

Calling it "fun" is just a safe simplification.

A skill is merely the byproduct of a high degree of self-control.

It is the genesis of self-confidence.

We really seek fulfillment. 

We are in pursuit of the emotional result of an overwhelmingly superior experience.


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


Kyoshi Thomas Clifford 

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