Calasanz’s Students: Darryl Dash

Since the early 80s, my students loved to talk about how they got started training with me and then give us an update as to how they are doing today. Here is a testimonial from Darryl Dash, my first black belt.
I always had a big interest in martial arts. In 1985, I went to a martial arts showing held in Norwalk, Connecticut by an instructor named Calasanz. I had never seen such a raw power and technique live before in my life. I was so fascinated that I joined the school. The only talent I thought I might have was the fact that I played football and wrestled in high school. It was then that my very long journey began with Calasanz. He took me through every little detail of self-defense, offense, timing, flexibility, and reflexes. I had gone through rigorous training for hours, many days per week. The dojo became my playground and my hang out, if you will. Calasanz encouraged me to come more and train harder. We became very good friends over the years. I used to visit Calasanz at a Chi Chis restaurant and talk about all kinds of things. I learned gōjū-ryū and wing chun which was as excellent combination. I earned my black belt in 4-5 years. We went over katas and technique until it became a part of me. I would be able to move and react without even thinking about it. We spent many years working on timing and balance. You will not be able to get your black belt without having control as well as all the other tools Calasanz is giving. I then turned to tournaments and was particularly interested in point fighting. There were a lot of great fighters in my region such as Billy Blanks, Mafia Hollaway, Jerry Fontinez, Islam, Michael Jai-White, and Doug Peoples just to name a few. I trained with Calasanz on perfecting my head movement and timing. I spared with students bigger than me for strength (Kenny Mosley) and smaller students for speed (Roger), these were two other promising black belts that Calasanz had in his school.
I want to thank you Calasanz, for teaching me so much and it will always be with me. It is a part of who I am today. He let me teach a summer class and work with the other students. The defense, timing and speed training saved me so many times in tournaments like the Henry Cho Tournaments held every year at Madison Square Garden. The monster fight I had with Billy Blanks who was ranked number one in Karate Illustrated. Also, the challenges of being the top student at Calasanz, an occasional black belt would come in and test me. Calasanz has a strict rule of fighting others especially with full contact. I made the mistake of splitting the eyebrow open of a black belt who wanted to test my skills and he got a trip to the hospital. I spent 14 great years training with Calasanz and doing numerous commercials and videotaping techniques and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I want to Thank You Calasanz, you have taught me so much. If I ever move back home, I’m coming back full time.
Darryl Dash


How Kickboxers Can Strengthen Their Kicks

Kickboxing, as the name suggests, is a combat sport wherein players rely a lot on their legs. Legs can be very lethal when delivering strikes to the opponent. Also, kick boxers learn to protect themselves with their legs. Thus, if you wish to be a very good kickboxer, it is important for you to have very strong kicks. Here are some tips for you on how to achieve that:


Do a lot of stretching

In kickboxing, it is important for you to be able to do low kicks and high kicks. But you would not be able to deliver them properly without proper stretching. Stretch your legs so that muscles would not be pulled as you train. A good kickboxer would spend at least ten minutes of leg stretching each morning and even longer before every workout session. Flexible legs can aid in delivering strong kicks.

Do a lot of squats

Squats are probably the best workout for legs. These cannot only increase the upper leg muscle mass but these can also help eliminate body fat. Squats can definitely help you grow your leg muscles. For starters, squats can always be done without weights. But sooner in time, you would have to do this routine with weights. You should have bigger weights as you advance in your training.

Put on some ankle weights

You might also want to put on some ankle weights as you practice your kicks. These would provide resistance for your muscles. Use them regularly as you SLOWLY do some kicks and your kicks would definitely be a lot harder once the weights are removed. Do note however that beginners are advised to wear the lightest weights as possible. Do not be too excited on putting on heavy ankle weights because these might cause injury.

Work out your core strength

Kicks heavily involve leg muscles. However, the strongest kicks are the ones that are assisted with one’s core muscles. Thus, you should always do some planking and other core training workouts at least twice a week. With a stronger core, you would not have a hard time landing your kicks where you want them to. And with a stronger core, you would also not get outbalanced easily as you kick.

Eat a lot of protein

Your leg muscles must be tight and hard. In order to achieve that, you have to be very particular with your diet. Your diet must mainly consist of foods that are rich in protein. Some examples include tuna, salmon, chicken, and eggs. These can definitely aid when it comes to the development of your muscles. Opt for these instead of junk like pizza and doughnuts.

At Calasanz, we specialize in martial arts and general physical fitness. Do you want to learn kickboxing? We offer lessons on that! We can help in working out your kicks so that you would be a good kickboxer. Not only do we help our students train their body, but we help develop their mind and spirit as well.

How To Make Time For Martial Arts Training

Among the top reasons why a lot of people do not engage in martial arts is that they simply do not have time. But every person is given twenty-four hours a day. So why do some people manage to have time for martial arts even if they are busy? Do you want to engage martial arts but you think you do not have time for it? Here are some tips that you need to consider:


Have an organized schedule

It is important for you to have a written plan or schedule. Basically, you must have plot down your ‘to-do’ stuff on paper so that you would be able to see how you can manage your time in a better way. There might be some old calendars or even planners lying around your home. Now is the time to use them.  Usually, people find out that they do have time for martial art after seeing their schedule.  These days, you can also make use of smartphone apps as well as computer programs with scheduling.

Sacrifice screen time

So many people these days spend more time in front of a screen more than they think. What about you? How much time do you spend in front of your computer or your TV screen? Yes, it is very fun to spend some time watching videos on YouTube or even chatting with friends on Facebook. It is also fun to have a marathon of your favorite movies. But take note that you can always sacrifice a few amounts of screen time and use it to learn martial arts instead.

Be inspired and motivated

If there is a will, there is a way. You might say that you want to train martial arts. But do you really want to do so or you are just saying it? Maybe you lack the inspiration as well as the motivation and that could be the reason why you are having a hard time finding time for martial arts. Be inspired by having a new weight goal. Be motivated by learning the numerous ways on how martial arts can be very beneficial to you. Once you put your heart into it, you will surely have time for martial arts.

Learn how to delegate

Busy too much at the workplace? Learn how to delegate. Busy too much at the home? Learn how to delegate. You do not have to do all things by yourself. Ask help whenever you need to. You should be spending time for yourself above all else. Thus, you should never sacrifice your ‘me’ time. If you can assign certain tasks to your subordinates, that would be great. If you can ask your kids to help you with household chores, then the chores would be done in the fastest time possible. After that, you can train martial arts!

It turns out that it is easy to have time for martial arts. ‘I am too busy enough’ is not an excuse. At Calasanz, we offer various martial arts programs perfect even for busy individuals. Try to take time and learn any of the martial arts programs that we offer.


Calasanz Mixed Martial Arts of Norwalk

Calasanz Landing Page 1This is one of my newest creations. It’s an ad in which shows what I am geared at helping people to become better at whatever it is their goals are. I have been creating the perfect body for over 30 years, and this is where you can start it all too. The link is at if you’d like to check us out you can call or come in anytime from 9-5 Monday through Friday, other times are available by appointment only.


Calasanz System and the Person Behind It


We have  all followed Calasanz for years. We all find Calasanz’s
advertisements all  over which is based on the reality, style, grounding,
balance, and beauty  of what he does. His popularity was won by doing and
being the first to  play the best commercials on TV, CNN, and his
commercials. Calasanz has  been on CBS, Entertainment Tonight with Patty
Davis the daughter of Ronald  Reagan, Channel 12 CT, Miss Venus USA (an
international T.V. show), and on  the front picture of many magazines. I.E.
Westport News, Fairfield News  Paper, Norwalk Hour, the Minuteman Westport
CT. He has also had a one hour  show on Channels 3, and 8.

Having been in the movie “Crossing The Line”  as the starring role, and
producing, he has been training celebrities,  promoting his commercials in
CT, NY, NJ, Boston.  He has trained  stars, such as Evan Lendl, Richard
Venture, Lorraine Venture, Stew and Kim  Leanord, The Hartford Whaler, and
brought to his school, Frank Dux the  Legend of Blood Sport and Paco Prieto
on only strong, Lion Heart by  Jon-Claude Van Damme. Calasanz has also
trained with Moyat, a classmate and  great instructor of the late Bruce Lee.
He has been training law  enforcement of all branches, the U.S. Military, and
Fire Fighters, Henry  Kissinger’s body guard, U.S.S. which now is Taico.

Martial Art : Something Beyond

When it comes to discuss what is actually and properly ‘Martial Art’ we are in essence discussing human expression.  While Martial Art is explicitly the study and expression of human-on-human combat with its beginnings in hand-to-hand engagement, it has progressed into much more than that now involving a near endless arsenal of weapons invented over time worldwide.  Being that weapons are the product of human ingenuity and human expression the study and mastery of weapons use must also be considered Martial Art.

As Martial Art progresses ever forward with the continued existence of humans and weapons development it is sometimes easy to forget the very root and nature behind the purpose of Martial Arts study.  Technology has progressed to such a degree with guns and bombs that the seemingly effortless flick of a finger has the capability of bringing about the gravest of consequences.  With such an easy and effective route to homicidal self defense, is Martial Arts still applicable or has it become obsolete?  If your aim is to kill, then perhaps so, but in Martial Art self-defense is but one of the many benefits that comes from disciplined and dedicated practice.

Martial Arts if practiced and thought of in the right mind is much more than just about combat.  In fact combat is a last resort for any Martial Artist.  Physically, Martial Art is about coordination and ability.  Mentally, Martial Art is analyzing an opponent and pinpointing weaknesses.  Spiritually, Martial Art is about self-knowledge, self-learning and self-control.  Should one be so taken with the notion of killing or injuring others they will soon amass a hoard of enemies as well as run out of training partners.  Martial Arts coming from the right place is more than that.  It is more than just effective techniques.  It is about development physically, emotionally and much, much more.

Smart vs. Mindless Training

There are different kinds of training and depending on where you go and how you approach it you can experience the spread.


Now,  if you go to any standard gym or any generic boxing club (or “punch factory” as I like to call them) you will be lead by the trainer giving you instruction on what to do, how many times and for how long while he yells at you, ‘push harder!’.  This may get you a good workout for the body, but the mind is left vacant or absent for the duration of the lesson.  The exercises, the repetitions, heck the entire workout is done without a sense of purpose.


As a workout is meant to better us why approach it as only physical improvement?


As a person, critical thought plays an important and active role in self development throughout your life.  It should not be put on pause or disregarded completely simply because physical exertion is involved.  Be mindful of what you are putting yourself through.  Does it make sense?  Can it be improved?  Is there a similar exercise that might be safer?  Is it even safe?  and Is it producing the results you want?  These are all questions we should be asking ourselves about our training exercises and programs

New Students : New Perspectives

Watching him work today; the student had learned about 6 movements on the dummy.  It was amazing to see the softness and control the student displayed after just 2 lessons.  It was, in a word, phenomenal.


He refused to let the student get away with a detail on the first step / turn of the form.  The way he taught the correction of the form and how to capture, look, and see a movement in its entirety simultaneously was like witnessing a miracle or having a profound realization.


This is why teaching Wing Chun or Martial Arts in general is both a challenge and at the same time greatly rewarding.  If done right it is not just a technique or movement that is being taught.  It is shining a light on undiscovered facets within an individual and then bringing that facade outward to the surface.




The surfacing of such an internal change is not always easily noticed and rarely immediate.  Often times the input is received in the moment yet the lesson is not learned until one goes through the process and takes the time to replay the experience retrospectively through memory catalyzing that change and bringing it realistically into fruition towards a meaningful shift in future reality and perspective.


What better venue to learn about and change yourself than martial art??


Learn to use your body.  How it works as a unit.  Feel more aware, confident and “in your skin”.  Feel more confident and more in control of a situation knowing you have the ability to defend yourself.  Learn body anatomy, get the body working all together.  Be coordinated.  Think for yourself.  Be independent.  Be confident.


Bruce Lee in an interview said that the people he trained were not looking for a fight; they were seekers of knowledge and that in the end all knowledge is self knowledge.   So what are you actually learning in martial art?  You are learning about yourself, you are learning about who you are, what you are, what you are capable of and much, much more. 

We Don’t Mind

August is nearly over and you haven’t lost that belly fat you promised yourself to for bikini season.  We don’t mind.  Come in and we will teach you to take care of it.

August is nearly over and you haven’t picked up that new hobby you’ve been meaning to try out.  We don’t mind.  Come in and learn how to defend yourself.  You will be more comfortable at the park flying a kite.

Its August and you still haven’t figured out how to throw a good punch.  We don’t mind.  Come in today and we will give you the best techniques.

August is nearly over and you still have the same lacking in self confidence.  We don’t mind.  Come in and we will teach you how to carry yourself.  You will be more confident knowing you can defend yourself at all times.  Self-control, awareness and propriety will boost dramatically.

Its almost September and you haven’t met the world’s number one most well balanced martial artist.  We don’t mind.  Come in, take a lesson, or meet Calasanz today.

New Content up as well.  Sneak Peek Below.

People were violent, training, not caring who they hurt, punching one another.  “Seeing these guys hurting each other, and hitting each other. And I said, ‘You’re not gonna hit me.’ And at that point I closed the gap.  I raised my front leg; when they throw a punch it bounces off the leg, when they throw a kick I cover and all cover came from something I practiced myself on the farm as a 5/6/7/8/9 years old [kid].”  (read more…)

If you’re not in our area DON’T WORRY we have a MASSIVE archive of video available from wing chun to karate to boxing to mma and more.  Sign up at our INTERDOJO.


(You can also read about the design and purpose of the Interdojo here)

Commitment Is the Best Way to Learn

If you walk in to a Martial Arts Institution you are lucky first of all to be let in.  Back during a more simple time the Monastery or place of practice would not take in just anyone as is common today.  A student would first have to prove their desire to study and more importantly to study at that particular establishment as space and resources were and still are realistically limited everywhere disregarding variations in geographical location and trade.  The school would want to make sure those admitted would be committed and serious about their learning and training over time.

You see, one does not walk in and become a master instantaneously after a single lesson.  A student approaching Martial Art with this sort of mindset  is setting himself up to disappointment and ultimately to withdraw from practice.  It is not a conducive mindset to REAL learning.

The old story goes that the student would knock on the door and when received be told simply to go home, to go away.  This is the first test of will to separate the pretenders from those truly ready to enter into to the role of ‘student’ within.  If the person left, clearly  their desire was merely a passing notion; a fleeting sentiment.  The student who stayed (sometimes for extended periods, days or even weeks at a time being given little if any attention, and if lucky food to survive) would be noticed by those masters, those others within.  As the gurus deemed them ready and worthy of their time either by character and manner of approach or by unshakable will the student would be granted access to begin training and learning there.

Nowadays things have moved away from this ancient way and Martial Arts has become more commercialized especially since the 80’s as an avenue for revenue.  These days a Black Belt from any studio or school does not carry the same weight and gravity it used to.  It no longer requires the time and dedication, the skill and qualities that were once necessary to be an eligible recipient.  At many places these days, a Black Belt is merely a sign of monetary investment rather than of dedication and skill.

That is why we prefer to work with people on a commitment basis.  That way we have more time with our students to give them the training and lessons they really desire.

Commit Your time.  Dedicate Yourself.  (Read More Here)

Calasanz Physical Arts                               
Norwalk, CT 06851
507 Westport Avenue
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