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.
darryl-dash
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

 

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.

 

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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. 

Don’t Be So Stubborn, Be Well Balanced Instead

Here we pride ourselves not only on having well specialized trainers in specific Martial Arts disciplines, focused and competent within their respective fields; we also strive to keep searching, to keep expanding our own horizons, and we encourage our students to do the same.  We regularly tell our more dedicated and passionate students to (after a time) go elsewhere, to go learn another style, to go learn something new, to explore the world that is Martial Arts.

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While we have much to offer here at our school and can train somebody to high degree in a wide variety of different disciplines for several lifetimes, it is with an open mind that we approach our training and that of our students realizing that we are not the ‘end all – be all’ of Martial Arts training.  We recognize that other trainers and schools do have valuable skill-sets and information to pass along to the devoted practitioner that we may not necessarily have.

Recently a student of ours came to us with concerns about his course of study… Read an excerpt below or visit our blog to capture more of our perspective on the matter.

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I said, “Look, if you give me 300 life times.. that means I lived and died 299 times.. still I don’t have enough life, enough time, to teach people or to help people teach all that I know.

For example, a guy comes here and learns Cheng Chuang Long Fist, and then he wants to learn the snake.  Fortunately here he can ask that question and… Click Here for the Full Article

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~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.

Flashy Wing Chun is Flashy

Wing Chun is a principle based Martial Art.  As we teach it here at Calasanz Physical Art in Norwalk it is taught not for the purpose of “looking cool.”  It is taught for the purpose of teaching good wing chun.  Besides, good wing chun just looks cool anyways, no matter how fast or slow you are doing it!  We share with you now one of our student’s take on wing chun through:

Flashy Wing Chun

Read, Comment, Share, Enjoy!

Behind the Scenes at Satruday Night Fights

As we hosted Saturday Night Fights in the past and as we showcased a video of an aerobic workout routine featuring some women recently we decided it’d be good to see that there were actually fights at these events too!

Read More Here

So here we have it, we have uploaded raw footage of a fight that took place right here at the school (this one took place just after the ladies’ performance)  We share it with you now and if you would like to read more about the participants and their stories please visit our other page!

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

Simplicity of Boxing Revealed

Often times coaches and those not well versed in other Martial Art over-complicate the sport of Boxing.  Boxing is not the most complex thing in the world.  Defend and counter the punches.  The limitation of legal techniques within the sport eliminates a lot of those strikes and combinations that might otherwise be utilized.  Here at Calasanz Physical Art we create boxers from every day people in as little as 2 months and all focused on mastering the basics.  Good defense, head movement, simple punches and building power.  These are the foundational premises of being a good boxer and we train them here uniquely.
For more information visit our BLOG.

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Past Symbol and Logo of Calasanz

Calasanz Goes on About Jenifer Lee

Calasanz and Jenifer Lee worked very closely together during the mid 80’s.  Recently we have uncovered some old footage taken during a Saturday Night Fight that used to occur weekly here at Calasanz Physical Art.  Please follow here to read more.

Calasanz Goes On About Jenifer Lee

Calasanz – Showing what is inside the Martial Arts – Part 2: by Calasanz

(Continued from part 1) Being sent to the city to study and immediately taking this journey of wanting to be the most educated person with just one purpose: to get a good job at a good company. Already having received the news from one of the best accountants in the Dominican Republic, Filiberto Rodriguez, and at this point was teaching all sorts of clerical business on his School (Academia “Las Mercedes”), Calasanz finished high school and was sent to Popular Bank one of the biggest banks in operation.

Jennifer And Calasanz

Calasanz soon felt uncomfortable because he knew that there was something better waiting for him, and did not waste time. Because of achieving so many diplomas, the bank would let me go to study and specialize in English as a second language in order to get much higher position, and this was very early in his career. All in Calasanz mind was going to America and making a movie with this he believed he would be just like Bruce Lee, but soon he realized after coming to the US, that was much more than just being like Bruce Lee.

In the beginning he even yelled and made sounds like Bruce Lee, and then he said to himself; “wait a minute I can be myself and I don’t need any to use from anybody else because of the ability I was born with”.

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When he got to Bridgeport University in Connecticut he was the talk of the town. In less than one week he was know all over Bridgeport, and this was all based on his training methods but specifically because of his immense athletic ability which was seen in his jumping kicks and that nobody else could come close to imitate.

One month later he called the bank, I just told Mr Simon Castro who was the Vice-President of the bank, “I am staying in America, the dream is too beyond to let it go, I am making a movie and I will be Bruce Lee or as famous as Bruce Lee”.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

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