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