Team Tiger Schulmann’s Stars Show That Tough Guys Have Hearts!

by Keith Gehshan

Clinton Moore’s life has been a long and arduous journey, beginning at just 1 week old when he was diagnosed with Vocal Cord Paralysis, having a tracheostomy just 2 weeks later. Three years and 4 surgical attempts later, the trach was removed and Clinton’s journey continued. At about 2 years old, Clinton was diagnosed with Low Muscle Tone, which affected his mobility and balance. He began Physical and Occupational Therapy to combat his Low Muscle tone and speech therapy to help recover from the tracheostomy. None of these obstacles dimmed his smile or changed his positive personality.

Clinton began his journey at Tiger Schulmann’s in Smithtown in September of 2013, and he hit the ground running from there! His training has been a series of small accomplishments along the way, such as being able to balance himself well enough to kick the red part of the bag, competing in balance contests with other kids, or starting kickboxing class. He’s made such strides in his training that he’s stopped seeing a private physical therapist and is less dependent on the services his school provides. Nicknamed “The Mayor” for his positive and outgoing personality, his confidence and coordination continue to grow class by class. More of Clinton’s initial story can be read here (

Clinton Moore of TSMA Smithtown2

Starting on the evening of April 16th, Clinton’s physical condition was off, even by standards for him. Breathing issues brought Clinton and his parents to the emergency room of NYU’s Langone Medical Center that night. Though he returned home, his condition stayed so poor that he wound up back in the emergency room two nights later. From there, he was transferred and admitted to Stony Brook Hospital on Long Island, with little in the way of answers or improvements. On April 23rd, he was transferred back to NYU where he could be seen by his doctor. Like any 9 year old, he was stir crazy and sick of hospitals long before this.

On Wednesday April 23rd, his doctor performed a cordotomy to open up his airway and help him breath more comfortably. Unfortunately, this procedure left him equipped with a tracheostomy for the first time in several years. Feeling like he was taking strides backwards, Clinton was having a hard time being his normal positive self; “The Mayor” wasn’t the same happy go lucky young man that he normally was.

Clint's Surprise Visitors2

That was until he got a very special visitor, UFC Welterweight star Sensei Lyman Good. Spending a few minutes with Sensei Good was more than enough for Clinton to begin feeling like himself, even wearing his Tiger Schulmann’s shirt the next day. “I’m speechless when I meet people who TRULY are determined and tough like this kid, Clint Moore. He has vocal cord paralysis and yet he is determined to get back on the mat and train with his Sensei. He had his Tiger Schulmann shirt bedside with him during his stay in the hospital. So much determination inside a 9 year old mind!” Sensei Good said.

The excitement didn’t end there. Now that Clinton was feeling much more like himself, “The Mayor’s” boisterousness began to show it’s face once again, he got another special visitor. UFC Top 5 Bantamweight, Sensei Jimmie Rivera stopped by to visit with Clinton and wish him well.

Clint's Surprise Visitors

“I know it’s not 90 day approved, but when a kid asks you to eat a Reese with him, you can’t say no. Hope you feel better buddy and enjoy your new stuff coming your way!” said Sensei Rivera after his visit with Clinton.

Though the average person wouldn’t associate humility and compassion with men who step into the UFC cage to compete, Senseis Good and Rivera exemplified the true heart of a martial artist. It took no more than one email to get both men to agree to take time out of their jam packed schedules to spend time with a young man they had never met before, in his hour of need. Clinton couldn’t be more thankful for his special visitors and being part of the extended family that is Tiger Schulmann’s. Lauri, Clinton’s mom, said “It’s been a rough few weeks for Clinton. Being a part of this family has been great. Everyone has been so supportive and helpful. The visits from both Sensei’s was very uplifting for Clint. He was feeling really sad the first few days after surgery. They both did an awesome job bringing the smile back to Clints face.”

Thank You Sensei Good and Sensei Rivera for being exactly the type of people that martial arts should produce, the type of martial artists that Tiger Schulmann’s prides itself on producing, and Senseis in the truest sense of the word!

– Sensei James Leonelli
Tiger Schulmann’s of Smithtown