PREVENTING INJURIES: by Calasanz

I like to especially keep a close eye on beginners who are either too enthusiastic or come from other systems. I had a student who initially trained in a martial art style that uses a lot of “snapping” kicks and punches.  As I watched her on the floor snapping away, my first reaction was “how long can she keep doing this before she really hurts herself?” I approached her about this and she said “yeah, I have to stop this because I have a knee problem!”  I told her that if she continued, she’d have to quit completely. It took a lot of work to get her to slow down and change her old habits. The rest of the students in her class were being taught properly…learn to throw the kick with control and balance and slowly work your way up to a power kick.  Snapping leads to injuries and a very short career in the martial arts.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.bedfordselfdefense.com

Why Should You Avoid “Style Hopping”: by Calasanz

A prospective student came to the door, interested in martial arts training. When I asked him if he had any previous experience, he replied “yes, I’ve studied for about two years.” His training history consisted of 3 months in aikido, 2 months of karate, 4 months of kung-fu, 3 weeks of tai chi, etc., etc.. This is what we call “style hopping”…going from one style to another.

“What’s wrong with going from style to style?” some students say. Even Bruce Lee didn’t believe in styles. He believed that styles limited one’s true potential. As far as styles are concerned, Bruce Lee advised us to “absorb what is useful” and to discard the rest. Why can’t we be like Bruce Lee and just learn what we want and move on?

Bruce Lee’s advice is good for someone who already has a good foundation. Before experimenting with other styles, Bruce Lee studied the art of Wing Chun with Yip Man for approximately 5 years. He had an excellent foundation before he ventured into other areas.

All traditional martial arts were developed after many, many years of experimentation and dedicated study. Most traditional martial arts when studied with sincerity and regularity, will prepare you for expanding into other systems. Committing yourself to any one of these is the first step.

Focusing on one style at the beginning of your training will prevent confusion. At this level, you don’t have the sophistication to separate or integrate the different techniques and philosophies. But you start by developing strength, endurance and flexibility. You can learn how to stand, kick, punch and block. You can learn footwork and forms. You can learn how to react by sparring and working with a training partner. You can challenge your body and mind by progressing through your style’s curriculum. You can learn the principles of your art and the foundations of its origins.

 Let’s face it. If you commit yourself to one style and study it faithfully until you have at the very least achieved black belt or black sash level, you will have developed a good foundation. In reality, earning your black belt means that you mastered the basics of that system. It is the beginning of your martial arts journey. Once you’ve reached this level, then you can explore other styles.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.westportpersonaltrainers.com

The Benefits of Personalized Attention in Martial Arts Training: by Calasanz

I have built a successful martial arts business by tailoring techniques to suit the specific needs of my students. I don’t operate like a traditional school that has a one size fits all approach. In most schools, you have to fit their mold. If you don’t, you’re left behind. My approach makes martial arts training accessible to a wider audience, so anyone can enjoy its benefits.

One of our students is a 60 year old woman who while training in The Calasanz System, became interested in the art of Wing Chun. I was delighted when she showed an interest in this style since it was created by a woman and would be perfect for her! She had been struggling with some knee problems for a long time and they were particularly bothering her during Wing Chun class. I took her aside and worked with her.

What I focused was her ability to use her entire body when she would slide or pivot to perform a block or strike. Her major problem was improper alignment. She was forcing her knees to help her pivot or slide from side to side. I told her to even out her posture and to imagine a straight line running from the top of her head, through her spine and down to the floor. I showed her how to move her body so that her whole body was in alignment. In no time, she was moving pain free and is still enjoying her Wing Chun training! Without the proper attention and adjustments, I would have lost this student.

In some classes, this issue would have gone unnoticed because the instructor doesn’t have the time or desire to personalize training. Students come in all shapes, sizes, and ability to follow class instructions. Taking the time to make the proper corrections and personalize a students training helps avoid injuries and prevent drop outs!

­Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.wiltonpersonaltrainers.com

DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE DAMAGE IS DONE! The Importance of Good Martial Art Basics for Kids: by Calasanz

As a parent, you send your child to school with the expectation that he or she will learn the basics. Basics are the building blocks of a good, solid education. As a parent, I’m sure you’d be quite upset if your child’s school to failed to teach the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic before your child moved on to more complex subjects. Why is it that parents don’t have the same expectations when it comes to martial arts training? As long as the kid is “having fun,” who cares about the basics? As long as the school gives out a lot of belts, patches and certificates to make the child “feel good,” so what?

Many parents unknowingly fall into this trap. It is vital that good basic techniques and proper body mechanics are emphasized at the beginning of your child’s martial arts training. A child’s joints are developing and care should be taken to train the child slowly and carefully to avoid long-term damage. Emphasizing good techniques that develop proper balance and coordination is key to teaching a child how to control his or her body.

There is a tendency to wait until the child is older to explain the reasons for executing techniques properly and to make physical corrections. This, in my opinion is a big mistake. Unfortunately, once bad habits are formed, they are very hard to break. We see this in children who come to us from other systems. We can easily tell if a child’s previous instructor spent any time creating a good foundation. While some schools do a great job, others fail miserably. Now we have to spend the time helping the student correct the damage already done!

Teaching children is not easy and when you have a lot of them in one room, the instructor may not have the patience, skill or even manpower to make sure that the child is moving properly. Others simply just don’t care. The consequences of this attitude, however, may result in serious injuries that may damage your child for the rest of his or her life.

Demand the same attention to basics in your child’s martial arts program. While having fun and developing “self-esteem” is nice, you wouldn’t feel the same way if your child couldn’t read because he or she never learned the alphabet!

 Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.greenwichselfdefense.com

 

Children are taught to know themselves at Calasanz Martial Arts.

Calasanz has spent many years working primarily with children and has proven to himself that he can get his message across even to young minds. Other instructors have asked him, “What is your secret? How do you teach martial arts to children so young?” The answer is simple. Calasanz explains that he emphasizes basic techniques which help at a range of different levels.

When Calasanz first went into business and began to promote childrens’ classes a lot of parents were scared to enroll their children at the school. By this time Calasanz had earned a reputation in the area for producing some of the toughest fighters. What the parents did not see and were not aware of is that while Martial Arts training can produce a tough and durable fighter, real Martial Arts training teaches people not to fight. Calasanz emphasizes defense and respect for your Martial Arts knowledge and abilities. He teaches children never to be the aggressor and not to strike your friends, brothers or sisters because they could hurt somebody with their ability.

When it comes to childrens’ martial arts training there innumerable benefits to be reaped from such a pursuit, not all of which are physical. In traditional school or community team sports some children don’t make the final cut to get on the team and while some schools and community programs have tried to remedy this at the end of the day even those that make the team may spend a good deal of time on the bench. In martial arts training every child, regardless of their capabilities is welcomed and capable of practicing and improving themselves. This gives a child a sense of pride, that yes they can participate within a group, and yes, they can engage in physical activity.

Another benefit of the Calasanz System is that a code of conduct is put into place which promotes self-discipline, respect, and courtesy. Those whose purpose of studying martial arts to gain an aggressive edge are quickly set straight. Calasanz encourages a positive respectful attitude both inside and outside of the school.

Training in martial arts will also greatly improve a child’s concentration and attention span. It will increase their physical fitness as well sharpen their mental abilities.

Children who practice the martial arts become aware of their surroundings.

So what type of improvement do children see from the Calasanz system? Well, all of the above plus many amazing physical improvements. Improved coordination, balance, strength, power, grounding, and focus. Through the practicing of drills, coaching, sparring, forms, and katas your children will have strengthened joints and a basic knowledge of aerobic isolation and isometric movements which gives the Calasanz system its unique qualities and ultimately its name.

All of these improvements not only increase a child’s performance in their particular sport, but also in all other areas of their lives. The Calasanz System focuses on building a child by improving not only their body but also their character.

 Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.bedfordkickboxing.com

Calasanz Responsibility with Accepted Students: by Calasanz

My station as a physical trainer and martial arts instructor is something I take very seriously. While I have a lifetime of experience to share with the world, my task with any new student is to help them to understand something about their bodies and about themselves. No matter how one arrives at our Martial Arts center it is important that I give them something influential to take home with them either through action or through word.

It is my primary responsibility to ensure that our students are taught well and taught how to avoid causing injury to themselves. This is my primary role here at my studio. It must be understood that the system taught here is so effective that it can be dangerous to the over-zealous. Over and over again I have seen students come in and learn a few of our unique physical arts exercises and just over-do it and burn out. Many of whom I have never seen again after only 3 months of training. They try to push too much weight without building their power or strength using lighter weights first. The mindset here assumes that to use more weight makes for better results faster. This is logical, and yes it makes sense. But in the long term it is not useful if it causes one to quit. While it is important to use increased weight to achieve super power, this is something that should not happen until one is ready. Believe me, I understand the desire, I had it and fully entered into it. I was the first victim. My joints suffered greatly from my over-zealousness. It is why it is so important to me that I warn others and keep them from injuring themselves and making the same mistakes I did.

Learn from my lesson. Our system is amazing and beautiful, but even the most beautiful things can be poisonous. Do not underestimate it and keep your wits about you. Be careful with your body. Understand that what we do is not just for the 2 months before swimsuit season, it is for development over a lifetime, take it as such, don’t rush it.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.greenwichselfdefense.com

Is MMA Good for Kids? by Calasanz

The popularity of mixed martial arts competitions, or MMA has naturally spawned an interest in children who want to pursue the sport. This has created a rising demand for MMA instruction and most parents turn to martial art schools as their first source.

Despite its popularity, there is a lot of controversy surrounding MMA for kids. The goal in an MMA match is a knockout or submission through a choke hold or limb lock, where kids have to “tap out” to signal to their partners that it’s enough. Many find the practice of teaching children how to fight so aggressively barbaric and are calling for a ban of the sport. Many parents and martial artists are horrified at sight of young children being cheered on for attacking each other and the message that this is sending to young impressionable minds. 

Unfortunately, kids have taped themselves fighting MMA style and have posted it on You Tube, just like kids have done with backyard wrestling.  Some of the kids who post their fights are beating the daylights out of each other in their living rooms or garages. In some of these videos, there is no safety gear, no adult in sight supervising their actions nor have they had adequate training.  This is a disaster waiting to happen. 

My other concern is the MMA tournaments for children.  While training in a well-structured class with a competent, safety conscious instructor is fine with me, you lose a lot of that control when your children participate in tournament competition.  You don’t know who your child is fighting against and how this child has been trained.  The reality is that there are many instructors and parents training their own kids, who teach them how to fight dirty and don’t both fostering good sportsmanlike behavior. 

While some of these tournaments are well organized and pay close attention to safety regulations, others are not and you are putting your child at risk. It will be tournaments like this that create an environment for serious injuries and may eventually force the government to step in. There is also a lot of concern, especially from the medical community that children who participate in MMA are prone to elbow, knee, wrist, ankle, neck and shoulder injuries.

The reality however is that children who participate in sports are always at risk for injuries whether they play football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics or even cheerleading.  Many kids also end up getting injured just by riding their bikes.  Injuries are a part of an active child’s life.  The bottom line is that if your son or daughter wants to learn MMA, you have to choose a school and an instructor who puts safety first.  So as a parent, don’t just sign up your kid at the first school that offers MMA classes.  Pay close attention to the instructor’s attitude, teaching style and attention to safety. 

ESPN and ABC’s 20/20 have both aired mainstream media investigative reports on the topic. The ABC 20/20 segment showcased Gillett’s Mixed Martial Arts Gym in Fall River, Massachusetts.  If all children who wanted to learn mixed martial arts had access to a school like this one, I would say “go for it.”  From what I observed in this segment and others featuring the same school, I found it to be a very responsible martial arts establishment.

The first thing I liked about the school is that the boys and girls in the segments wore headgear and the gloves with substantial padding. The instructors were adequately supervising the kids and actively coaching during the course of the matches. Several parents were interviewed and were very pleased with the results of the instruction.  They found their children were more disciplined, respectful and also improved in school. They also said that their kids don’t use MMA outside of the school. This is a sign of good instruction.  Interestingly, the mayor of Fall River, Robert Correia, who blasted the school, never even visited the place nor did he take the time out to talk to those involved.

Bottom line is that when any martial art, traditional or mixed, is taught by a competent instructor, a child is reaps the benefits.  Boys and girls who participate in any martial art tend to be less violent and more responsible than their counterparts.  This just doesn’t happen by accident.  Training with a qualified instructor minimizes injuries and does not teach violence. So if your child wants to train in MMA, take the time to find a good school.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.norwalkboxing.com

Wing Chun: The Perfect Style for Women – by Calasanz

Of all the martial art styles in existence, I would say that Wing Chun is perfect for most women.  While women have excelled in many styles, Wing Chun is the one art that most utilizes a woman’s natural gifts.  To appreciate Wing Chun training for women, it’s important to first look at its history.

Two hundred eighty years ago, the repressive Manchus ruled China. The Manchus outlawed all weapons and forbade the Hans, who comprised 90% of the population, to practice any form of self-defense. The Hans began to train a secret army of revolutionaries. The SilLimTemple became the sanctuary where masters of many ancient Martial Arts systems deliberated on how to create a single style that would be deadly enough to serve their revolutionary purpose, but which could be taught faster than the traditional form that took 20 years to master.

Five of China’s greatest grandmasters jointly created a new system, but before they could teach it to their secret army, the Manchus burned the temple and put the Masters to death.

Legend tells us that Ng Mui, a nun, was the only survivor of the original Grandmasters group. In secret, and in great danger, she taught the system to a talented young orphan girl whom she named Wing Chun, which means, “hope for the future.” The lineage and secrets of this extraordinary system were closely guarded for two and a half centuries.

What makes Wing Chun a fantastic martial art for women is that it equalizes the height and weight advantage that men have over women because it brings combat in closer to the opponent’s body.  At close range, the length of the opponent’s arms or legs no longer matters. It is the ability and speed to attack that is important.

Because of the discrepancy in size between men and women, a female defending herself is not going to want to engage in a prolonged battle with a male attacker. Fortunately, Wing Chun does not require the use of brute force, but rather fast, flowing movements. Women are better able to grasp the concept of softness that allows for the efficient and effective flow of movement necessary to stop an attacker. Wing Chun teaches her to quickly defend and immediately attack.  

I have also found that women are very good at developing the sensitivity needed to successfully engage in a Wing Chun practice called “sticky hands.”  The purpose of  “sticky hands” is to learn how to react quickly and efficiently depending on the opponent’s attack. It’s been my experience that the women I have trained over the years tend to master this practice a lot faster than their male counterparts. 

In addition to helping women develop overall physical fitness, Wing Chun tones the hip, buttocks and stomach area where women tend to store fat. There’s no better way to develop “buns of steel!” Wing Chun generates explosive power from the lower body with the use of proper stances, shifting and leg and hip movement. Women tend to pick these techniques up very quickly and when properly trained, are amazed at how much power they can generate.

Ladies, if you’re looking for self-defense and a great overall workout, this art was tailor made for you!  Find yourself a good Wing Chun school and see for yourself!

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.norwalkboxinggyms.com

Traditional Training – Not for Mainstream America: by Calasanz

I had the chance to relax and watch one of those great Chinese martial art movies.  You know the ones with the subtitles and great sound effects.  The film caught my interest because it was about Wing Chun, my absolute favorite martial art.  The actors displayed some of the most beautiful techniques I have seen that rivaled those of the late Bruce Lee

In one scene, the master is working with a student who apparently is one of his favorites.  The master however doesn’t coddle him and make life easy.  Instead, he demands perfection.  He yells at the student for his mistakes and tells him he is the dumbest and the most fool of any student he has ever taught.  If you have ever seen any of these movies, you will notice that the masters are extremely demanding and verbally abusive.

The film illustrates the reality of traditional martial arts instruction. I was trained this way and so were my instructors.  This was also the way my father raised me.   Today we call it “tough love.” 

I learned over the years that this method of teaching doesn’t work in this country.  American students who have had no exposure to traditional teaching methods often feel insulted when a teacher admonishes them, when in fact the truth is that he wants them to shine.  Also, many students look at their relationship with their martial arts instructor as that of a consumer and a service provider.  This is contrary to the tradition of respecting the master regardless of what he dishes out.

This doesn’t mean that I throw out useless and insincere compliments just to make students feel good.  Students who come from other systems sometimes tell me that they were complimented so much by their instructors even when they knew themselves that they weren’t performing correctly.  This I refuse to do.  We still have an obligation to teach and teach well. 

Too much coddling is counterproductive and creates an illusion in the mind of the student.  So while I’ve changed my ways for mainstream America, I haven’t stopped demanding that they give it all they got.  I’ve just changed my approach.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.norwalkboxinggyms.com

CALASANZ SAVED MY LIFE!

How? Let me explain, my name is Julie and I was diagnosed with Diabetes 24 years ago. I am 80 lbs over weight and saw a vision of my future, it was not good. Over the years I would go to gyms and (come on ladies) you know what it is like being over weight and walking into a gym, do I need to say more?

I have always been interested in Martial Arts but have always thought I was too “out of shape “ to ever even try, until a friend told me about Calasanz Physical Arts. With a few phone calls, I found myself entering Calasanz’s studio. Meeting with Calasanz himself as he showed me around the dojo I never felt more at home. Apprehensive about working out, Calasanz promised me I would not harm myself in any way. Every person I met male or female said hello, shook my hand and bowed with a smile and said Welcome! I found myself signing up and thinking this must be a fluke. As I came back the next day, everyone in the dojo said hello, bowed, smiled and said welcome. It has now been 2 months, and I have been receiving 1 on 1 personal training and have learned so much in a short period of time. Learning how to stretch, breathe, train for endurance, develop muscle tone, strength and flexibility all in a simple yet complex way that has done wonders for me. I look forward everyday to working out (something I never thought I would never say) and I feel like a child in a candy shop saying what’s next?  

My blood sugar has come down 10% my blood pressure has come back to normal, and I can now go though my life without running out of breath. The weight is taking time but I know it is coming off with each movement I make. There is no CAN”T at Calasanz. All are welcome, all are accepted, take it from me I am a tough one to convince and it has been the best decision I have ever made.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com