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.

507 Westport Avenue Norwalk, CT


Fight Readiness! by Calasanz

Fighting preparation has come a long way since my days in the Dominican Republic. During the very first class, I witnessed novice white belts getting their butts kicked and enduring some of the most brutal training you could imagine. Kicks to the stomach, punches to the head…for what? You were subjected to all this punishment to prove that you were tough enough to take all this punishment.

This type of training is no longer popular in today’s dojo. First off, the lawyers will tell you that your exposure to lawsuits is increased. Secondly, instructors have wised up and understand that a student must be mentally and physically prepared to jump into the ring. I’m not talking about point fighting here. I mean full contact. Not only should a student should be physically conditioned to develop strength and stamina, he should also be trained in how to avoid punishment. Learning how to properly block and evade attacks is essential.

There is enough evidence to prove that turning yourself into a human punching bag can lead to serious injuries over the years. Shots to the head for example, can lead to long-term brain damage or even death. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has indicated that 90% of boxers sustain brain injuries. Because of the risks involved, I like to emphasize blocking and evasion techniques, regardless of whether the student is tough enough to take the blow. In my school, we spend a lot of time on learning how to protect the body. While we like to fight, we also want to do everything we possibly can to avoid injuries.

I’m impressed with the training I see some of the UFC fighters go through before they step into the Octagon. Fight preparation has come a long way from the old days in the rough and tumble dojos. Brutality is no longer the way to train a fighter. Instructors paying more attention to training, conditioning and good technique are a major improvement.

 Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness


507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

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


507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

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


507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

Self Defense: Learn to Discourage an Assailant with a Single Blow

When it comes to self defense too many students forget or don’t understand the effectiveness of a single blow. In a life threatening situation, the goal is not to engage in a sparring match with your assailant.  The best defense is to strike as hard as you can to the most vulnerable area of the body and flee the scene.

This technique in Japanese is called GOKWI or OKUGI.  If you are surrounded by more then one opponent this technique becomes very important.  The window of opportunity to subdue each attacker is very small.  You can not fail to deliver the hardest strike to the most vital area of one opponent so that you afford yourself time to work on the others.

This technique is highly recommended to law enforcement and police officers in general but especially for those in narcotics and gang units. A single blow is a very simple technique, in which you can learn how to use it in a very short period of time.  It is usually combined with a block or a dodge then counterstriking with the single blow.  There are all kinds of courses which address building power in your body and the use of the single blow in a variety of situations such as grabs, car jackings, air travel attacks, weapon attacks, and much more.  Learn how to strike, do damage and get away!

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness


507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

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


507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT06851

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


Simple real life self defense: by Calasanz

Click here for great images of the Beauty & Reality of the Calasanz System!!!

Calasanz teaches simple, yet effective techniques that can be applied to real life situations making it the perfect system for military personnel, law enforcement officers, women, and children.

Someone in the military or on the police force can easily catch on and use the Calasanz System in conjunction with the maneuvers they learn in basic training or the academy, our system will assist them in hand-to-hand combat by using strong, effective strikes that will quickly end a dangerous situation.  

Children can also benefit from the system, like Robert who was brought in by his father Keith Bedel (a Marine) who was also a Calasanz student. Robert was asked, “Do you know how to make a fist?” The kid made a good, tight fist but he was taught by Calasanz to NOT attack the kids that bullied him, but rather to take a deep breath and put fear into the bully by throwing a punch that ends up one inch from their head. Calasanz tells “his kids” they are never allowed to strike anyone, only to give constructive lessons to bullies so if a bully strikes you, just block everything he throws at you, this will deter your attacker. Charles and Patty Mastellone of Ridgefield brought their two children, Charles and Chris to Calasanz because of bullying, because they followed the rules Calasanz set forth and his way to deal with bullies, their bully problem ended after two weeks of training.

Calasanz prefers to teach in a way that no one gets severely injured, even when his students take a punch they do not get knocked down due to basic, fundamental techniques taught to students from day one. Those basic techniques are reflected in physical arts which were primarily used by women until more men started using those exercises in the year 2000. At Calasanz we compare physical arts to Wing Chun because Wing Chun was created by a woman for women and now men use the ancient Chinese martial art just like they use physical arts and both are practiced around the world. Physical arts became a different way to practice martial arts techniques without having to fight, so much so that the women that trained with Calasanz in the 90s were so talented they could hurt anyone, men included. Two instances that stand out were Tom Barcello finding out how strong Rebecca James Lyon was one day, and Peter Valis with a minor injury after Dolly kicked him. Even Calasanz knew if Rebecca attacked him the way she did Tom, even he would have felt what Tom felt if he did not defend her attack aggressively.     

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851


Wasting Money at Other Schools and Seminars: by Calasanz

Many martial artists spend so much money for training that if they went and looked over their bank accounts, they would be shocked how much they wasted. Those that decide to attend a certain school or go to seminars like the ones that will not be mentioned by name hold, where you just watch people perform and get a certification handed to you, end up costing people thousands of unnecessary dollars. Once the strikers came into the MMA world, some of these type of fighters were finished and some of their students came to me to learn how to be a better stand-up fighter. This is not a knock on ground fighting but I do not teach ground work because I teach my students not to end up on the ground by building strong fighters and very good strikers. Some of my students like Chris Mottola, Kevin McIntyre, Rod, Darryl Dash, Rodney, or Peter are very difficult to bring down but if a fight ended up on the ground, they still have a great chance to win the fight. Going back even further, when I was a child on the farm and ended up in a fight, if it went to the ground I always came out on top because I was born with a gift for martial arts.

One of my former students and best friends, a talented wrestler and judo practitioner named Mike is guilty of spending too much money for training ever since he moved away. Even though Mike is training on his own now, he spent lots of money at various schools, flying out to seminars and competitions when he has time, when he should be teaching. I care because Mike is a friend and it hurt to see him pay all that money when he could have gotten all his training and learned how to be an instructor with me for a lot less.

I hope that someday Mike will return to Connecticut so I can help him establish himself as an instructor, to teach with me, and continue his evolution as a martial artist. Martial artists and future martial artists can learn from me for less cost and gain more knowledge at my school than at any expensive seminar.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851


Georgia Girl, 7, Escapes Abductor: You can avoid becoming a victim too!

Many others could potentially do the same as what this brave, seven year old girl did by escaping her would-be kidnapper. If you can remember the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy who murdered many young women, one of his smallest and tiniest victims ended up surviving because she fought back. The number one self defense technique depends on your own aggression. This little girl was on her own for a brief time in Walmart. During this attack, she defended herself by striking her assailant. Be aggressive and learn how to strike if you want to survive, do not attempt to learn how to twist someone’s arm until you become aggressive, balanced, powerful, and grounded. Many people could learn a thing or two from this young girl who was smart enough to know when she was in danger and had the presence of mind to know when to show her fighting spirit.

More Calasanz Images and Videos

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness


507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT06851