Training as Life, not just Part of Life

 

 

Martial Art is a lifelong pursuit after entering into it through some discipline.  As we grow and as we learn our teachers, our masters, are the most influential characters on our own personal journeys.  While many will take courses for their belts and explore, enter into different disciplines for this reason or that, the majority of students end up forgetting about their training after a poor or averse experience, or leaving it behind as if pursuit was meant for a past life. 

 

 

 

 

We train here, we train you to learn something.  To bring something home with you.  Coming here you will leave with something to keep and know forever.  A physical exercise, the next movements of a kata or form, a movement explained to open your mind to the meaning behind, a lesson about ego.  Coming to our school to learn here means you are ready to be helped, you are ready to learn, you are open minded and serious about real martial arts and real fitness in all their aspects.

 

Come with an empty mind, leave with a story.

 

http://www.calasanz.com/contact

507 Westport Avenue Norwalk, CT

203-663-6651

The Wing Chun Traditional Dummy

The Traditional Dummy Explained

The traditional wooden dummy is a staple in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean martial arts.  They do come in various shapes and sizes, but the most prevalent design is 3 arms and 1 leg.  The Dummy is especially used in the practice of Wing Chun and is used to practice techniques, build bone density and train sensitivity.  To read more about the wooden dummy, its history and its purpose please read more here

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

Why My Method of Wing Chun Training is Unique: by Calasanz

The Calasanz System includes my unique method of Wing Chun training.  While I have used my creativity to expand on the Wing Chun system, I have great respect for the traditional roots of any martial art that I have studied and great reverence for the men I learned from.  In my Bio, I talk about my training and that I learned from several instructors after I spent many years with my Goju Ryu master, Tamojoshi Sakamoto.  My reason for doing this was to become a well-rounded martial artist.  That is why I studied with others at least to the point of brown belt- to get a basic understanding of the differences.  I did however; absorb myself in the study of Wing Chun, learning the entire system from Moyat, a master based in Chinatown, New York City, by taking private lessons with him.

I studied Wing Chun because I wanted to learn a martial art from Southern China and for to balance my history of training in “hard” styles with a “soft” one.  I was also looking to work internally and expand on the philosophy taught to me by Tamojoshi Sakamoto, my Goju Ryu master.  I remember having dinner many times with him in the evening and writing down every thing he said.  He taught me two great lessons.  One is that the enemy lies within; in the obstacles I placed between success and myself.  The second was Narano-kan-nin, Surga-kan-nin.  This means that forgiving the unforgivable releases the burden of carrying anger and hatred.  Studying a “soft” style helped me integrate these lessons on a physical, mental and spiritual level. 

When I left Moyat’s school in 1980, I did so on very good terms.  I began teaching Wing Chun with Moyat’s blessing, because I wouldn’t do it any other way.  In 1987, Moyat came to my school in Norwalk and conducted a seminar in Wing Chun.  He did this out of respect for me, as well as to help my school deal with another Wing Chun school that was creating problems.  The instructor at this school gave himself the title of “Grandmaster”, claiming that he too studied under Moyat, which was not the case.  Moyat also came to Norwalk out of respect for our student/teacher relationship. When I was training at Moyat’s, he was having some trouble with people coming to the school to challenge his students.  The students taking the group classes could not handle the problem because at the time, he reserved certain training methods, like wooden dummy, only for his private students.  I had been in so many confrontations like this in the Dominican Republic that this was old news to me.  I fought any of the guys who came to his school looking to cause trouble and eventually put a stop to the problem without anyone getting seriously hurt.

My method of Wing Chun training is integrated in The Calasanz System, so my students have a well-rounded approach, not only to Wing Chun, but also to self-defense.  This integration was never meant to disrespect or criticize my Wing Chun teacher or any other Wing Chun instructor.  It is my way of expanding this traditional style to supplement its softness with the hardness of other styles, to create a well-rounded martial artist.  It is an approach that many have benefited from and enjoyed over the years.

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

The Calasanz System – Over 30 years of Excellence.

Click on this link for more great images of the Calasanz System!!!

Calasanz has spent over 30 years developing and perfecting his system of martial arts and fitness training. His unique teaching methods have helped countless men, women and children of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels enjoy the martial arts while getting fit. Here are four reasons why people like you have made Calasanz their number one destination for superior martial arts and fitness training.

One-on-One Training: Many martial arts clubs have a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Calasanz and his Certified Personal Trainers tailor a program just for you. Whether you’re a seasoned martial artist looking to improve your skills or a beginner looking for a great way to get fit, Calasanz and his team will work with you in creating a program that meets your fitness and martial art goals.

Science: Calasanz has spent a lifetime studying various martial arts and fitness trends. Over the years, he has dissected the best parts of each and combined them into what has become known as THE CALASANZ SYSTEM™-a unique and effective style that has wide range appeal. THE CALASANZ SYSTEM™ includes a physical conditioning program that improves your overall strength, flexibility and endurance.

Personal Choice: Calasanz has set out to disprove the misconception that martial arts are all about fighting. At Calasanz, you have a choice. Do you want to study martial arts to learn how to fight or for self-defense? Or do you want to pursue the arts for physical fitness or creative expression? You choose the path your training will take; Calasanz and his experienced trainers will get you there.

Infinite Possibilities: Staying interested in your exercise plan is very often the biggest challenge to reaching your fitness goals. You may have started a traditional martial arts or modern fitness program with the greatest enthusiasm only to get bored after having to endure a strict, dull, repetitious routine. Calasanz attributes much of his success to the variety of training possibilities available to his students. There is so much to do and so much to learn in this system that it is possible that you may never have the same workout twice. Here is a list of what THE CALASANZ SYSTEM™ has to offer:

Kickboxing, Wing Chun Kung Fu, American Boxing, Recreational Boxing, Chinese Boxing, Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate, Tai Chi Wing Chun, Street Survival & Self Defense, Wing Chun Ground Fighting, Aerobic Self Defense, Aerobic Isolation & Isometrics.

THE CALASANZ SYSTEM™ blends the best parts of these disciplines into a unified whole. You can try all of them or concentrate on one that is most appealing to you. Again, the choice is yours. There is so much in this system to choose from.

For instance, if you are interested in fitness, you may want to focus on Aerobic Isolation & Isometric. If you’d like to experience the boxer’s workout without having to get into a ring to fight, American Boxing may be for you. This program includes the exercises boxers use to burn calories and work different muscle groups. This is a popular program that helps you improve strength, flexibility, speed, and endurance by doing isometric exercises.

If you’re looking for practical self-defense, Street Survival may be for you. If you have a black belt in Karate, you may choose to round out your training with a softer style like Chinese Boxing or Wing Chun Kung Fu. If you’re looking to get into great physical shape, American Boxing may be for you.

Whether it’s THE CALASANZ SYSTEM™ as a whole or one of its components, you’ll never be bored! Let Calasanz and his Certified Personal Trainers create the program that’s right for you.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT06851

203-847-6528

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

“Siam does not teach anymore.”

“Siam does not teach anymore.”  This is a phrase you hear in regards to ancient martial arts. Today, those older, more traditional forms have been modified, especially here in America.

Being born with a gift for martial arts, being aware of the fact that when you train in the correct martial art, you can say age does not exist, it is not just that you are working out but rather what kind of work out are you doing. If a grand master comes and sees you training, immediately they would know what kind of physical activity you participate in. If you are at a gym pumping weights, do you know that all you are doing is taking years off your life?  There is a way that you can do things differently and turn your training into your best advantage. That is when we say, “Age is just a number, you can beat it.” But how many do it? Let’s makes it clear, aging occurs, you get more mature and you get older, but you can turn it around and even when you are 90 years old, you could be capable of doing anything that a 35, 40, 45 year old can do. First find the facts, find the logic, find the science, and above all else, find common sense to what you are doing.

95% of the population is not doing the right training, including those who do physically demanding work but still are not gaining much. People are going to a fitness centers, or doing martial arts are not adapting training and martial arts into their lives or as their way of life. Here comes the word, “Breathing.” Do you understand the meaning of Breathing? Probably not.  If you see a karate instructor, a physically fit person, or a body builder, approach to them and touch their body or muscle, you will notice the tightness and the amount of force wasted, meaning every second that passes they are taking days, months, or years off their life span just because they are doing something that is not helping them at all. This all comes from not breathing properly. The training that they are engaged in is just hurting them but when they are young and working out, they feel good and do not notice.

All of this knowledge as you get older, become more mature, and gain more intelligence, converts into skill, then skill converts into understanding and that is when you find the answer to the phrase “Siam is not teaching anymore.”  Watch the movie “Kickboxer” starring Jean Claude Van Damme and you will see a lot. When you, as a teacher of the martial arts, primarily Kung Fu, start understanding the secrets behind it, sometimes you want to pull back from making others feel better, helping them live longer and have a better life. All of this is based on the reality of life and that is, if there is not trust on your part towards these people, then it will not work. Yet, many masters still insist on hiding or preserving their secrets and pulling back from teaching, they do not feel that you deserve it and that is the real truth.

Many believe the Chinese have discovered the secret to a longer life. If you understand the beauty of life, the beauty of a longer life, then you would think otherwise. 10 years extra of life, even one year is great, you would see more of this world than you would have seen had you not lived in whatever extra time you were granted by discovering these secrets to longevity.

The reason that Calasanz became so popular and one of the most respected names in the martial arts world is because in the early 80’s he was working 24 hours a day training his guys to promote him and that is exactly what they did. They promoted and made Calasanz’s name, and not just because they looked good doing it. It was because Calasanz, together with his students, were doing the incredible and still doing it, and he does it better in the present day, in a more organized way.

 Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851

1.800.414.9544

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

The Story of Calasanz Martial Arts and its Students

Calasanz came to the United States with a dream. That dream was realized after watching Bruce Lee in the movie “Enter the Dragon.”  Coming to America to make a movie became a goal for Calasanz. To promote his name, he chose over 60 students, most of which were the best street fighters alive. In the early 80s, the best street fighters were here in Norwalk, Connecticut and were citizens there as well. Calasanz devoted his life to the martial arts because he was born with a gift for it. Calasanz is not a regular black belt, he is more than that and he has proved that, not just in America, but as a 14 year old he went to take a class at a karate school and did not return to the school for three months. Why? He noticed too many mistakes but mostly he did not like the excessive brutality. In his mind, he said “There is no reason for this.” Going back to those Calasanz chose to promote, these students were courageous people, but also they were nice human beings. His students were not thugs; they were good people just like Calasanz.

Calasanz’s students that helped promote the system are Darryl Dash (Dash has a separate blog entry dedicated to him), who was the first black belt in the system, John Courtney (the man who really helped Calasanz to succeed and to get where he is today), but there are many others like Mike Gibson, Roger Mayers, Joe Perreira, Reggie Blackwell, Bill Sullivan, James Cassanell, Tyre Stwart, and Patrick Murphy. They will never be forgotten for their contributions. After 1987, when the business was up and running, many students came along that are great friends to Calasanz to this day. He considers them to be as close as family. Some of them deserve to be mentioned:  Robert Sapiro, Grace Luppino, Noram Bloom, Mario Contaccesi, Dee Hohn, Angel Llanos, Peter Valis, Chris Schrade, Gerry Manning, David Been, Dennis Grimaldi, Beth Arthur, Renee Fortin, Rod Kathabi, Dave Tartaglia, Jeff Prescott, Adam Colberg, Andrew Dominick, Luis Vega, Wesley Elizabeth Cullin, Bill Smith, Amy Gery, Tom Barcello, Dalila Willian, Jennifer Li, Rebecca Lyon, and of course Jacquie, Ron Lake, and hundreds of others.

Calasanz can only name so many people since there have been so many students over the years, some of them not only learned martial arts from him, but they helped out. Calasanz will always remember them, and he hopes they will always remember him. 

Calasanz came to the U.S., he wanted to promote his name. Two days after being here, his name became very popular in Bridgeport,Connecticut, especially at the University of Bridgeport; they could not believe what he was capable of doing. They asked him to put on an event for the freshman students, and soon after that, Calasanz was called upon to put on a show to be seen internationally on TV, called back then, Miss Venus USA. Being there really helped Calasanz to believe that he would become as good as or better than Bruce Lee.

Today, Calasanz is promoting his system that started in 2001, but also the school is also promoting Goju Ryu is his own way and dubbed it Calasanz Goju Ryu. Students or teachers from other styles of Goju Ryu will learn that this system is one of the most practical and realistic styles in the world today.

Calasanz Main style, Goju Ryu, Wing Chun, Cheng Chuang, Chinese boxing, Wing Chun Ground Fighting, General Kickboxing, MMA, Boxing, and Recreational Boxing are the roots of Calasanz Physical Arts.

This is just an idea of how far Calasanz is going with his martial arts system.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851

1.800.414.9544

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

FIND THE RIGHT INSTRUCTOR

THERE’S AN ANCIENT CHINESE PROVERB WHICH SAYS, “IT TAKES YEARS FOR THE STUDENT TO FIND HIS TEACHER, AND THE TEACHER HIS STUDENT” SIMPLY PUT, NO ONE STYLE OF MARTIAL ARTS IS RIGHT FOR EVERYONE. THE SIMPLE FACT IS, DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS EXCEL AT DIFFERENT STYLES OF MARTIAL ARTS. WITH THE WELL ROUNDED BLEND OF WING-CHUN KUNG-FU, JAPANESE KARATE, KICK BOXING AND FREE-WEIGHT WORKOUT PROGRAM. YOUR SEARCH CAN BE OVER. YOU CAN FIND OUT NOW WHICH STYLE OF MARTIAL ART IS BEST SUITED TO YOU. THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE AT CALASANZ. WHETHER YOU ARE MALE, FEMALE, YOUNG, OLD, NEW OR EXPERIENCED IN THE MARTIAL ARTS, CALASANZ CAN HELP YOU FIND YOUR SPECIAL PLACE IN THE WORLD OF MARTIAL ARTS TODAY!

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave.Norwalk, CT06851

1-800-414-9544

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

Tournament Fighting or Training for the Streets? – Part Five: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography

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

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

Tournament Fighting or Training for the Streets? – Part Four: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography

Continued from: “Tournament Fighting or Training for the Streets? – Part Three: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography”

I was often asked by some tournament promoters to come and help out with judging and giving my famous Super Break demonstrations during intermission.  When I helped with judging, I saw that a lot of cheating was going on.  Judges would show a lot of favoritism and ignore the scoring of points when it didn’t benefit their students.  I was very careful to capture every move and to score fairly.  I was also very fair when my own students fought and would award the points to the one who deserved it.  

At this one tournament where I was a regular, the promoter had tremendous respect for me, my system and my students.  I remember the first time they were introducing all of the masters and of course all of their ranks, some included 5th, 6th and 7th degree black belts.  Then they called me and I just had a black belt.  Everyone looked at me and expected that I would have some high rank.  I never pursued a higher rank because I wanted to be a well-rounded martial artist.  I didn’t want to get locked into one system for the rest of my life.  I wanted to see the whole logic behind the martial arts.  In addition, I am of the opinion that a lot of these ranks are artificial and self-created.  I remember one guy who claimed to be a Grandmaster of Wing Chun.  I found this hard to believe considering he was only 29 years old.  He took out an ad in a local newspaper where he applauded himself for being elected Grandmaster of Wing Chun by an association that he started himself!!! 

As an instructor, I am constantly asked about my school’s tournament participation and how many trophies I myself have won.  I’d like to start off by saying that I have great respect for martial artists who devote their time to training for kata and point fighting competition.  It takes a lot of discipline and hard work to pursue these goals.  What I object to is the public’s perception that the sign of a great fighter is winning lots of tournaments.  Unfortunately, today’s martial art tournaments look more like gymnastics and dance routines.  Some instructors who do well at tournaments, but have no street fighting experience try to convince their students that they can teach them how to protect themselves on the streets.  A person would have to train for many years in a traditional martial art before he would be able to use it on the streets.  Growing up in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic gave me a lot of street fighting experience when I wasn’t even looking.  Part of being a man were I come from meant that you didn’t back down from a challenge.  This went on even after I started taking martial arts.  Men would always challenge each other to knock down, drag down fights.  In 1975, one of my first instructors, a brown belt killer, who was twice my size, wanted to fight me despite the fact that I only had a few lessons in karate.  Finally, he convinced me to fight.  Because of my experience in street fighting, they had to stop the fight by pulling me off of him.  No matter how many belts, stripes, degrees or trophies you have, nothing beats the experience you get on the streets.

In 1995, I started making my movie, so we weren’t very focused on sending people to tournaments for about 4 years.  Several opportunities did present themselves and they were too good to pass up.  One of my students, Jim Calvi, had his own school called Force Three Tae Kwon Do.  I was interested in proving my skills as an instructor.  I trained a group of 12 students to participate in the 1996 Olympic trials in both kata and fighting.  Because we were not a tae kwon do school, we competed under the Force Three name because the competition was limited to practitioners of Tae Kwon Do.  Some of my students ended up having to fight each other for the gold medal.  I didn’t care that they weren’t fighting under my name.  All I cared about was to prove a point and that my skills as an instructor could be applied in a variety of areas. 

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com