Continued from: “Tournament Fighting or Training for the Streets? – Part Four: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography”
In the 1990’s, we moved our school to 507 Westport Avenue. I purposely wanted a school with a high ceiling so that we could have boxing and kickboxing competitions. We started promoting our Fight Nights on a regular basis. One day, an instructor from New York City sent two of his students to my school to take private lessons from me because they were scheduled to fight some of my people at Fight Night. I was more than happy to have them as customers, but the problem was that they were not interested in learning anything. Their teacher had sent them to me to learn something about my system, instead all they could say was that they could knock anyone out. On the day of the fight, they ran into some trouble. One of them got knocked out 8 times and kept getting up. I gave him a lot of credit. The other guy left here on a stretcher to Norwalk Hospital and was in a coma for 4 hours. He was so arrogant during the fight that he purposely took off his headgear and that cost him an injury that he is still paying for to this day. The most embarrassing part of this story is that he was 34 years old and my student was only 16!
Another incident took place just before our first event. A friend and fellow marital artist came to my school one day with a group of his best students and his challenge was that any of his students could beat mine. I was surprised at his behavior because he and I were good friends and I even helped him organize his martial arts school when he went into business. I had one of his guys fight a student of mine who only had one arm. During the first fight, my student almost killed his opponent. I personally trained this young man in the art of counterattack. He trained hard and absorbed what I taught him. His opponent had been training in karate for 10 years.
In another fight, a couple of my guys were matched up with competitors who participated in knockdown tournaments on a weekly basis. My students were not competing regularly. They were teaching classes and doing some light physical workouts to stay in shape. Both of my students were defeated in this tournament. People started criticizing my school and gloating about this defeat. My goal now was to put an end to their celebration. I challenged them to a rematch and told them to give me three weeks to get these guys in fighting shape. Three weeks later, my students sent one opponent after the other to the hospital. Some even retired three well known fighters and instructors. My mission with these fights was to prove that I could use my skills to correct the mistake of letting students fight who were not personally trained by me.
One match that stayed with me was the case of a young Japanese man who was being trained by one of my students who claimed to be an authentic Thai boxer. I let him take control of the situation and assume responsibility for this young man’s training. On the day of the fight, this young man was beat up because of the poor training he received. After the fight, I went into the office with the other instructors and asked for 3 weeks to train this man myself. This would cost me over $4,000, but I didn’t care; my name was at stake here. Three weeks later, he was able to defeat his opponent in a rematch.
I had to do this again against a group of Kung-fu stylists. I had mismatched my students with this group, partly because their instructor used to train with me and is even in one of my commercials. I let my personal relationship with this guy get in the way of good judgment. My guys lost, which made their opponents very happy. I went through the same challenge. Over the next 2 events, I retrained my students and they were able to retire the Kung-fu instructor and his students. In another fight, I trained a 14 year old student to go up against a guy who had been training for 8 years with 2 excellent boxers. I trained this kid privately for one month and he was able to defeat this guy with 8 years of experience.
To be continued…
Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness
507 Westport Ave.Norwalk,CT06851