Training the Beginner: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography

Continued from: “Teaching the Calasanz System – Part Three: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography”

I tell my beginning students to stop focusing on how they look and concentrate on how they feel.  Do they have more energy?  So they have more confidence?  This is what is important.  If you stick with something long enough, you will eventually see the physical results.  But within a few months, you start to feel more secure in that you’ve learned something about defending yourself.

Our first job with beginners is to work on their coordination.  New students sometimes come to this school with misconceptions about martial arts training and their own abilities.  For example, I have had many new students who have only worked out on machines.  Some of them have a hard time making this transition, especially when they have to rely on their bodies to do the work.  I had one woman who enrolled in the school after having spent several years working with machines.  She told me that she wanted to take the traditional approach to studying the martial arts.  It took me many months to work on her coordination.  She was studying for her green belt and had to break a board.  She was nervous about this so I arranged for a black belt instructor to help her get ready for the break.  Her training required that her instructor to swing at her, she would evade it and then strike the pad with her shin.  The next day she came into my office and complained that she had a tiny bruise on her shin.  She was very angry and I was even more upset that we were having this conversation.  A tiny bruise is inconsequential to what she had learned.  I told her that a tiny bruise is nothing in comparison to what she learned here at the school.  I reminded her of all I went through just to teach her the basics.  She was now coordinated and able to train on her own without equipment.  She didn’t want to hear it.  She left in the middle of class and didn’t return.

We’ve had many students who have trained here because they couldn’t train anywhere else. We had the patience to work with them and help them develop skills that they never thought they would have.  Once they learn how to control their bodies, they go off to other martial arts schools or take up dancing, yoga or some other type of physical activity.  Now we have trained them to adapt to any physical activity.  We get a lot of students who end up coming back because of the amount of attention we pay to their training.  When they return, they find they have forgotten what they worked so hard to attain.  Some of them don’t understand that it is the skill of the instructor and their commitment that can help them maintain a healthy body for the rest of their lives. 

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT 06851

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