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Martial Arts Inspiring Story- John Goff- Cedar City Jiu Jitsu and MMA

Physical and Mental Personal Triumph through Martial Arts

I'd like to start of with my name. I am John Goff, I am a 30-year-old caucasian male. I started studying martial arts around 6 years old after getting removed from foster care and put into the care of my grandparents, Frank and Marilyn Goff, who would soon adopt me and make me their son.

Much to Overcome
I had suffered physical and sexual abuse at a young age and saw many things that would haunt me for many years, creating severe PTSD, giving me night terrors until the age of 16-17 years old. I also suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Depression and have a disorder called Tourette Syndrome.


I'd like to share how my training in the martial arts got me off medication, fixed most of my PTSD and has helped me cope with my OCD, Depression and Tourettes.

One of my main training systems was in the art of Tang Soo Do under the tutelage of Master Ross Lindsay. I was about 11 when my training began with him. I had a bad temper, I had turned to drugs and my night terrors were worse than ever.

Master Lindsay became like a second father to me. As I started learning my first hyung/Kata, I realized how much I grasped and understood, and I fell in love with it. I learned to meditate and learned to embrace my pain and use is to my advantage through body conditioning and pain tolerance. I learned to trust people again and work as team, and also how to be a leader.

As the years went by, I got off all my medication, and my night terrors ceased, for the most part.

Resilience and rewards
I have gone on to earn multiple rank in multiple martial arts, as well as teaching Muay Thai, and fighting in Muay Thai, as well as amateur MMA.

I currently teach and fight out of Cedar City Jiu Jitsu and MMA.

When I'm not teaching I continue to train and perfect my skills. My Tourettes causes a lot of pain from twitching and jerking motions. I have learned to deal with the pain through my training and learning to focus through years of Kata and meditation.

While the pain doesn't leave, it no longer gets the best of me. I had a growth spurt that caused damage to my knees called Osgood-Schlatter disease. I have not had surgery and still desired to train and learn.

My knees being a separate issue from my Tourettes goes to show people that nothing can get in your way.

I was also very suicidal and didn't have a good self-esteem because of body image and being made fun of. I gained great confidence through my training and learned to deal with people's ignorance. I realized I had power - not just physical power, but mental internal power. I have only so much control over someone breaking my body, but I had choice to let someone break my mind. Once I gained that realization I became free of so much pain that I had held onto for so many years.

Even after earning a couple black belt and black belt equivalents, I was still bullied by people from the funny faces I made from twitching -- the tough guy jocks who wanted to see if Karate really worked, etc. With as much as I'd been through, abuse wise, it was hard to walk away. Most times I did yet with admittance, sometimes I didn't. I do know that even when I didn't walk away... had I not had training I may not have known when to stop.

With me having Tourettes, I have quite a bit of twitching of my arms and neck/face when under stress or at times just random in daily life. The practice of Kata seems to keep me focused enough that I don't twitch, and no one would know I was different. The same happens when sparring and actually fighting. My mind and body truly connect and act as one. I feel alive, and all my pain vanishes. The twitching leaves. All I feel is movement and fluidity.

I become driven and focused until I win or lose. I also believe the peace and serenity learned through meditation also helped because my Kata became a moving meditation and I become single minded in combat. There is no hate or fear when engaged there is only me and whatever stands in my way.

I found a love in teaching and guiding children and youth. If I could survive the horrors I did, and someone like Master Lindsay did not give up on me and believed in me, then maybe, just maybe I could do the same for others.

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John Goff
Cedar City Jiu Jitsu and MMA
Cedar City Utah 84721
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