Martial Arts American Style – Part Four: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography

Continued from “: Martial Arts American Style – Part three: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography”

My training in different schools, both here and in the Dominican Republic, has taught me that a martial artist with true skill doesn’t have to fight.  He can win respect by his skill and confidence.  If you have skill and confidence, you don’t have to lift a finger.  Let your training speak for itself.  I had another experience in that same Darien school.  I had another classmate who I sincerely believe could have beat me if we fought prior to my intensive kicking training.  I was able to take on anyone in the class in a full contact challenge now that my legs were super strong and fast.  I have to admit however that I would probably lose at point or Olympic fighting, which is a very common form of sparring in most martial arts schools.  I was used to full contact fighting, so fighting for points made no sense to me.  While I have great respect for those who train hard to engage in point fighting only because I admire their dedication to training, I sometimes think that they are lulled into a false sense that they can really fight full contact. 

An aikido practitioner came to class and challenged me to a fight because he heard that I was very strong.  He was much bigger than I was, but that didn’t bother me.  I grabbed him and he wasn’t able to move my hands.  I executing a takedown and sent him crashing to the floor.  I had him pinned to the ground and he called the head master of the school, a very talented martial artist.  The teacher told him how to get out of it by going with my power instead of going against it.  I was very impressed with his answer, but I was angry at this guy for calling the teacher over in the first place. 

When I worked as a bartender there was a tall, strong customer who was curious to see how strong I really was.  I politely turned him down, but everyone kept encouraging me to do something.  One day, the bar was full.  He started challenging me again, so I gave in.  He grabbed me and I have to admit, he was pretty strong.  I could barely move my wrist.  I took a deep breath and was able to twist his wrist so hard that everyone in the room heard a “crack.”  I ended up breaking his thumb and he had to spend four weeks in a cast.  I felt really bad about it, but he just wouldn’t let up.

I eventually got very tired of working in a restaurant.  There were a lot of rude, nasty customers to deal with.  I remember this one guy who was treating me like dirt while I was waiting on him.  He left me a tip that was so paltry it was insulting.  I was so insulted I followed him into the parking lot and stuck his tip into his mouth.  This was a nightmare for my employer, since this guy was a big shot who later complained to the headquarters.  Surprisingly enough, I was not fired from my job.  My general manager told the headquarters that he didn’t want to fire me because I was too profitable to the restaurant.  In retrospect, I know that I over reacted.  I just got so frustrated.  It was also a message to me that maybe it was time to move on.  I had been getting increasingly frustrated with the customers.  I knew that it was time for a change.  One of my friends encouraged me to open my own school.

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT 06851

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