Continued from:“Tournament Fighting or Training for the Streets? – Part One: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography”
Another way I proved my skill was to train police officers. I took my first police officer student and taught him how to move like a black belt within one month. He spread the word as well as encouraged me to put an ad in the phone book advertising a Street Survivor course for law enforcement officers. The program was very successful and to this day, we continue to draw police officers, body guards, and security professionals to this school. These are people who put their lives on the line everyday. The fact that they trust us to train them and that we get repeat business from them is the best recommendation we can get for the Calasanz System.
Anyone who runs a martial arts school for any considerable length of time has had to prove himself just because of the nature of the business. People very often come to the school with the desire to fight you because they have to prove something. One day, a crazy Thai Boxer came through the door. He was about 22 years old and told me that he had many fights. While he had great technique, he lacked shin conditioning. He had a trial lesson and he threw a kick to kill me. Luckily, I always trained to protect my head, so his kick didn’t connect. I then took a deep breath and we touched gloves. I took a Chinese boxing stance and he came to hit me even harder. I closed the gap and threw a punch to his head that could have broken his neck, but I let the strike pass through so it wouldn’t connect. He was as pale as a ghost. That was the end of his trial lesson. He came to the office and signed up for a month of private lessons.
Another group of visiting kickboxers came through the doors in 1990. They were a couple of big guys who wanted to throw their weight around. The bigger of the two wanted to fight one of my students. I watched him fight for a while and he was the type that didn’t like to block. He just would take blows because he thought he was tough guy. I put him to spar with my student Tony, who I had been training for three months. Tony delivered a heel kick to his stomach that almost made this guy throw up. He walked around, got back his wind and then came at Tony like he was going to kill him. I jumped in the ring and told him that he needed to use defensive techniques; that offense without defense did not work in this system.
Some of my students enjoyed competing in tournaments and I have supported their desire to compete over the years. My school participated in competitions and demonstrations for about 15 years. We’ve taken a break for the last 4 years, but from time to time, we send groups to compete in fighting or kata. It really isn’t a concentrated effort on our part. We just send them without any special preparation, just the regular training that they get here. Even in this relaxed atmosphere, our students placed 1st and 2nd in a variety of categories against one of the best schools in the world. The katas we teach here are some of the best for competition, even though our system is not dependent on kata.
To be continued…
Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness
507 Westport Ave.Norwalk,CT06851