Continued from “:The Early Years – Part Four: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography “
I learned early on as a farm boy that when you have a job to do, you do it to the best of your abilities. My father regretted sending me to the city to study because it was hard for him to trust anyone to take care of his land and animals. I was determined however to get the best education I could and that meant moving to the city. My goal was to become the best-educated man in the Dominican Republic. I would spend hours studying in the park. People who knew my father would tell him that I was insane because I spent so much time on my lessons.
In order to help with tuition, I got a job working at a cigar factory. I put the same kind of intensity in rolling cigars that I did in my work on the farm. I made in one day what most of my co-workers did in a month. I worked so hard in my classes that I was able to student teach after a short while. I was a business major, so I taught mostly accounting, shorthand and typing. This brought me to the job that would be my ticket to the United States. It was this job that gave me the opportunity to study at the University of Bridgeport and make my living teaching martial arts.
I worked at Banco Popular in the checking department processing checks. I was taught a lot of banking procedures and was required to absorb them within a short period of time. In my spare time, I practiced martial arts and studied in the park. I did very well in school, except for literature, which was not one of my favorite subjects. Students who wanted to be eligible to work for the bank had to pass all their classes. I eventually passed literature, which required committing numerous biographies of famous historical figures to memory. To accomplish all that was required of me at this time took a lot of concentration and 100% dedication.
It was during this time I saw Bruce Lee’s movie, Enter the Dragon. Seeing this film inspired me to take my martial arts career to the next level. Despite all the classes I had taken, I now knew that this was not the path for me. I wanted to devote my life to teaching martial arts and making a movie. My next step was to get the bank to send me to the United States to study English as a second language. They agreed to send me to the University of Bridgeport. Once I was on American soil, I knew that this was where I had to stay to make my dream come true.
To be continued…
Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness
507 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT 06851