~Stay Alert!~ Even in Training

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Moving forward now we release the story of an unfortunate training accident occurring at our school.  With ever increasing speculation and wonderment push us towards full transparency and being completely open taking nothing to the grave.  The Lesson to be learned is simple, train with awareness and always be protecting yourself.

Calasanz Puts 125 Pounds on Each Leg and Splits in Two

Calasanz as a dedicated Martial Artist has never stopped training.  Today we give you a look at an amazing feat of strength and flexibility he has been preparing for.  Please, do NOT try this at home.  You can read more about how he did it and the story behind Calasanz here.

http://www.calasanz.com

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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

Dealing with Troublemakers – Rival Schools and Street Fighters: by Calasanz

If you’re going to open a martial arts school, please beware that you will have to deal with troublemakers. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen the martial arts movie where a karate teacher is busy teaching class for example, and all of a sudden, a bunch of clowns from a rival school show up and want to fight. If you think this scene only happens in the movies, you are sorely mistaken. It is not uncommon to have challengers come into a martial art school looking for a fight. As the proprietor of a martial arts school, I have seen troublemakers come in many forms, some subtle, some not so subtle. If you plan on running a martial art club, you really need to understand how this can happen and what to do about it.

We once had a rival school send a drug-crazed maniac who walked into a class with the purpose of hurting people. Another sent two women who openly wanted to challenge our female instructors. One of these women actually lunged at me! These people are dangerous intruders bent on violence. We have not hesitating in resorting to legal action by calling the police and getting our lawyers involved. As the head instructor, you are responsible for the safety of your students. Send someone else to call 911, while you try to calm the situation down before the police arrive.

Most troublemakers don’t come in packs like they do in the martial arts movies. Very often, a rival school or local street fighter registers as a student with your club and his primary goal is to challenge your students and pick fights. These people are not interested in forms, technique, or fitness. Martial art schools don’t like to turn paying students away, so I take a “wait and see” attitude. If a perspective student is so obnoxious, you are within your rights to reject him as a member of your club and tell him to go elsewhere.

Street fighters want to prove themselves. They are there to fight. I usually handle these people myself or delegate their training to an experienced fighter/instructor who will be able to handle him skillfully. I built my first school on local street fighters who came here for a challenge and ended up being loyal students. Individuals from rival schools are there to cause trouble. They are either sent by their instructors or are there on their own. Their mission is to check out your operation and cause disruptions. This comes in the form of challenges to you or your students. They will also berate your style or the way you do things. Again, I usually handle these people myself or pair them off with a skilled fighter/instructor. Whether it’s the blatant challenge or the Trojan Horse, always be vigilant. While the challenges are not as dramatic as they are in the movies, they do exist. This is a business that tends to attract this type of element.

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.bestfitnessofwestport.com

Wing Chun – An Introduction to the Balanced Art of Self Defense: by Calasanz

Two hundred eighty years ago, China was ruled by the repressive Manchus, who outlawed all weapons and forbade the Hans 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. Ng Mui, a Buddhist nun, was the only survivor, who in secret and in great danger, taught the art to an orphan girl she named Wing Chun, which means “hope for the future.”

The art of Wing Chun is a blend of hard and soft techniques that are based on the movements of the tiger, crane, dragon, leopard and snake. Wing Chun equalizes the height and weight advantage that men have over women because it brings combat in closer to the opponent’s body where length of arms and legs no longer determine advantage. Wing Chun emphasizes the principles of simultaneous defense and counter attacks, economy of motion and center line attacks, as opposed to the use of brute strength. Wing Chun is suitable for both men and women of all ages, sizes and physical abilities. Those who practice Wing Chun find that it reduces stress, increases physical fitness, increases confidence and improves overall health.

Wing Chun is the style of Kung Fu taught at the Calasanz martial arts dojo. This course delves into this ancient art that is just as practical today as it was two hundred years ago.

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.norwalkkungfu.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

Well Balanced: Based on Strong Stance.

Here at Calasanz Physical Arts we end up seeing and teaching a lot of students from other martial arts schools. The first thing I look for when evaluating them is a strong stance. Some have excellent stances while others are weak and wobbly. When it comes to stances it is easy to see what is effective and what is weak instantly. You can think of a stance as the architectural arrangement of your own body. In architecture, if the blueprint is good you will have a strong building that will be capable of managing gravity and will successfully maintain its structure when confronting forces from all angles. If the blueprint is poor the building will be incapable and will fail when encountering outside forces. When it comes to the structure of your body this is no different. A good stance is your foundation. It is where every motion spawns from. Without a strong foundational structure any thing growing from it, like a punch or kick, will be comparatively weak to the same punch or kick coming from a structure that is fundamentally sound. Without a good stance, all the fancy moves in the world are nothing but superfluous.

“Being grounded” means you’re connected to the earth. In martial arts, grounding is your ability to grip the floor or the ground beneath you in a good, solid stance. If you are well grounded, it’s harder for your opponent to throw you down or knock you off balance.

I recall an incident many years ago in my Wing Chun class in Chinatown, NY. A karate practitioner came into our school looking for a challenge. Be aware that this is not the type of thing that only happens in the movies, as I’ve experienced a lot of this juvenile behavior over the years from plenty of guys who felt they had something to prove. This guy kept trying to sweep me off my feet and try as he might he just couldn’t. Every time he came after my leg to sweep it, I dropped into a strong, grounded horse stance. My connection with the floor was so strong, even the full force of his sweep was unable to successfully accomplish the goal.

So, How do you develop good grounding? First of all, do a lot of stance work, it is simple, if you want a good stance you must practice it as with anything else. The biggest mistake a lot of new martial artists make is to quickly learn their basic stances and then never pay attention to them. Practicing stances, both stationary and moving (forwards and backwards) should be done routinely.

The benefits that come from the simple act of holding a strong stance are often overlooked and really there is no better way to develop good grounding. The old-timers used to love to see how long they could hold a horse stance and this is really a good practice. Get into a good horse stance, do not move your feet and watch the clock. See how long you can hold it until your legs literally start to shake and you feel like you just can’t take it anymore. Log your time and work on increasing your time. You will see how strong your legs get and how powerful your stance becomes. Remember, martial artists who practice grounding exercises don’t need to do squats, leg curls or leg extensions in a gym, their grounding practice develops their legs properly and naturally without the risk of serious injury.

You can also practice your stance work with a partner. Get into a stance and have your partner try to get you off balance. This will test the strength of your stance. Another exercise I like to do at my school is to have one partner push their opponent, while he or she drops into a strong stance. This gets you accustomed to grounding while in motion. You can practice this with any basic stance within your style.

Next, pay close attention to your stances while practicing katas. Be aware of your foundational structure and make sure that with each transition, your stances are strong and grounded. Putting some effort behind your stances not only improves your katas, but you’ll notice that you have more control over your legwork when fighting. You will grip the ground better when necessary and your supporting leg will be rooted enough so you can deliver strong kicks with precision and balance. In the end a strong stance is the best place for any martial artists to start!

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

The Benefits and Considerations of In Home Personal Training

There are many things to consider when choosing a personal trainer for fitness, martial arts, or both.  One of the many considerations is having a personal trainer come to your home to take you through a workout.  There are many benefits to having an in home trainer, but there is also some things for you to consider.

One of the benefits is the convenience.  Think about it, no driving to and from the gym or studio, which also means no driving in traffic.  No getting in your car sweaty, smelly, and dirty, in fact you can run right up stairs and take a shower in your own bathroom.  That’s right, no more grimy locker room showers.  Have a home office?  How great would it be to respond to email, take important phone calls, or check stock quotes in between exercises or techniques?

Having a personal trainer come to your home also gives you the convenience of time.  The drive to and from the gym can take 10, 20, 30, sometimes 60 minutes out of your day.  Those are precious minutes that can be put to good use by stay at home moms who are running around all over the place for the family. 

In home trainers are also great for people who like privacy and/or anonymity.  There are those among us who at times prefer not to be in the eye of the public and there are others who would just like to keep their training and exercise regiment private.

The type of equipment you need in your home depends on the type of workout you plan on doing.  There are some training regiments that need very little in the way of equipment and your trainer may even be able to bring these items with him/her.  But if you are looking for a workout using weights and machines you may have to have a room dedicated strictly to exercise.

All in all, you can stay in shape, be more productive in other areas of your life, and enjoy a healthy activity in the beautiful home you’ve created!

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 Street Survivor Classes

 Click this link more Calasanz Street Survivor images!!!

Calasanz has taught self-defense to law enforcement officers, security professionals and laypersons for over 30 years. Street Survivor, the Calasanz Physical Arts approach to self-defense, is simple and effective. It has always been his philosophy that complex self-defense techniques take so long to learn that most of the population is not interested in spending years training in the martial arts. Additionally, it is literally impossible to access these techniques during an attack because of the intense adrenaline response. Street Survivor condenses the essential basic survival techniques into a straight-forward course that will help you gain a new sense of awareness and confidence. It also has a common sense approach that teaches you tips on how to avoid confrontations in an overstressed, road rage society. Street Survivor is really about being aware of your surroundings and avoiding conflict.

The study of self-defense begins with making a connection to your physical body. That is why each class includes learning and practicing the fundamental exercises outlined in Calasanz Body Conditioning System. It is important that you develop strength, flexibility and endurance so that you are able to handle a physical confrontation. Students use Calasanz book, Creating the Body You Want, as the blueprint for preparing their bodies to get the most out of this course.

The next phase of the course consists of learning how to use your body as a weapon. The goal of this course is not to learn how to trade punches with an attacker, but to strike as hard as possible to your attacker’s most vulnerable body parts, then move or run to safety. The arms, legs, knees, elbows, feet and hands all possess hard striking surfaces. You will learn how the different parts of the human anatomy can be aimed at an attacker for maximum effect.

The second part of the course teaches you how to turn everyday objects, such as canes, umbrellas, briefcases, car keys, pens, pencils or hot beverages, into weapons. A weapon is an extension of the arm and the same techniques that you use to strike with an empty hand can be used as a weapon by applying empty hand skills.

Many altercations end up on the ground. Learning to fight from a prone position is particularly important for women since an attacker’s intention is often sexual assault. The focus of this portion of the class is to learn how to fall properly in order to minimize injuries. You also learn a few simple principles of groundfighting and how the basic strikes and kicks can be delivered from the ground.

The last part of the course is defense against weapons. What do you do when confronted with a weapon wielding attacker? Defense against a weapon presents special challenges that will be explored in this portion of the course. The only time to fight someone with a weapon is when you really believe someone intends to use it against you. Basic defense against knives, guns and clubs is taught as well as dealing with attacks from different angles.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com