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

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

Another way I proved my skill was to train police officers.  I took my first police officer student and taught him how to move like a black belt within one month.  He spread the word as well as encouraged me to put an ad in the phone book advertising a Street Survivor course for law enforcement officers. The program was very successful and to this day, we continue to draw police officers, body guards, and security professionals to this school.  These are people who put their lives on the line everyday.  The fact that they trust us to train them and that we get repeat business from them is the best recommendation we can get for the Calasanz System.

Anyone who runs a martial arts school for any considerable length of time has had to prove himself just because of the nature of the business.  People very often come to the school with the desire to fight you because they have to prove something.  One day, a crazy Thai Boxer came through the door.  He was about 22 years old and told me that he had many fights.  While he had great technique, he lacked shin conditioning.  He had a trial lesson and he threw a kick to kill me.  Luckily, I always trained to protect my head, so his kick didn’t connect.  I then took a deep breath and we touched gloves.  I took a Chinese boxing stance and he came to hit me even harder.  I closed the gap and threw a punch to his head that could have broken his neck, but I let the strike pass through so it wouldn’t connect.  He was as pale as a ghost.  That was the end of his trial lesson.  He came to the office and signed up for a month of private lessons.

Another group of visiting kickboxers came through the doors in 1990.  They were a couple of big guys who wanted to throw their weight around.  The bigger of the two wanted to fight one of my students.  I watched him fight for a while and he was the type that didn’t like to block.  He just would take blows because he thought he was tough guy.  I put him to spar with my student Tony, who I had been training for three months.  Tony delivered a heel kick to his stomach that almost made this guy throw up.  He walked around, got back his wind and then came at Tony like he was going to kill him.  I jumped in the ring and told him that he needed to use defensive techniques; that offense without defense did not work in this system.

Some of my students enjoyed competing in tournaments and I have supported their desire to compete over the years. My school participated in competitions and demonstrations for about 15 years.  We’ve taken a break for the last 4 years, but from time to time, we send groups to compete in fighting or kata.  It really isn’t a concentrated effort on our part.  We just send them without any special preparation, just the regular training that they get here.  Even in this relaxed atmosphere, our students placed 1st and 2nd in a variety of categories against one of the best schools in the world.  The katas we teach here are some of the best for competition, even though our system is not dependent on kata.

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave.Norwalk,CT06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

 

Martial Arts American Style – Part two: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography

Continued from “: Martial Arts American Style – Part one: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography”

I had earned the reputation of one of the best waiters at Victoria Station.  I was quick, courteous and efficient.  One night, I served a table of twenty-five and worked my tail off for them.  When they were finished, they got up from the table and went into the bar.  They left me a tip of $5.00.  I went into the bar and asked if they were not pleased with the service because they didn’t leave me the customary 15%.  They were so obnoxious and condescending that I lost it.  I grabbed the biggest guy by the hair, brought him to the ground and pressed his face into the carpet with my fist.  The police were called and immediately five cops were pulling me off of this guy.  Because I had become a fixture jogging through the streets at all hours of the day and night, the police were kind enough to convince the restaurant to return this parties money so that they would not press charges against me.

It was now time to get started on my original plan for coming to the United States. I wanted to become a well-rounded martial artist.  My first plan was to spend at least two years of hard work on my Goju Ryu forms, since this was the primary martial art I had devoted the first half of my life to.  I next planned to extract three to four concepts from a group of carefully selected disciplines-Wing Chun, Cheng Chuang Long Fist, Hapkido, American Boxing and dance.  I made it very clear to all my teachers that my main style was Okinawan Goju Ryu and while I had great respect for their style, I only wanted to learn some basics.

I heard that some of the best martial artists and boxers were in New York City.  I was curious to see how my skills would match up against boxers, so I trained at Gleason’ Gym for a while.  I also studied tai chi from a master who lived there.  As a sign of respect for this man, I paid him $4,000 to come to Connecticut to correct my form.  I also studied Cheng Chuang Long Fist and wanted to learn four forms very well.  My teacher however, didn’t understand.  He was interested in teaching me over ninety forms!!  This would take a lifetime and was not part of my plan.  While I respected his skill and what he taught me, we started having philosophical differences.  Another instructor would call me into his office every two weeks and badger me about my training.  I explained where I was coming from and that our deal was that I pay in exchange for lessons.  Once I achieved an advanced rank in his school, he started giving me problems.  He was under the impression that I wanted to teach his style, but this could not be further from the truth.  I wanted to learn some basics.  I had already envisioned how my system would look like and I didn’t want to be confined by one style.  I shook his hand, wished him well and haven’t seen him since.

I then went to study with Moyat, a Wing Chun master who also had a school in New York City.  Challengers would come to the school from time to time to fight Moyat’s students.  Many of his students, even those who had been with him for many years, were not allowed to use the wooden dummy.  The  wooden dummy is a martial arts training tool that is indispensable in learning how to fight.  I was not about to back down from a challenge.  I went on to fight some of these karate practitioners who wanted to challenge the Wing Chun system.  Wing Chun is a very practical martial art and a lot of these guys learned how effective it was when we took them on in the name of our school.  Moyat saw my skill and told me that I could be teaching Wing Chun within four months if I applied myself to intensive training.  I accepted his offer.

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

Calasanz DVDs

The ancient, Eastern method of teaching the martial arts required the student to watch the instructor and then mimic his movements without one word being exchanged.  Western students demand a lot more explanation and often ask too many questions.  This leads to over-analyzing on the student’s part, making the learning process much more stressful than it really needs to be.  Perfection of the movements in the Eastern sense comes with time as the student matures. Sometimes, it’s best to just watch, see the bigger picture, and then start practicing.  

In keeping with this ancient tradition, Calasanz has created a series of instructional DVDs designed to help you grasp the “bigger picture.” Watching the DVDs at home or here at the dojo before class lets you know what to expect and helps you relax the mind as you visualize yourself doing the movements. The result is that if you do your “homework,” your time in class will be more productive.  The reason being for watching the DVDs at the Center is to keep you from making excuses if you bring them home, most of the time it makes impossible for you to spend 10 minutes them before going to the School. 

Calasanz offers over 700 videos covering topics such as basics, forms, self-defense, weaponry, kickboxing, Regular Boxing  Recreational Boxing, Wing Chun, Goju Ryu, traditional and 20 Arm Wooden Dummy, Chinese Boxing and physical conditioning through Calasanz Physical Arts. Special DVDs are also available to help you improve your athletic performance in non-martial art related sports like golf, tennis, soccer, baseball, football, and ice hockey.  The DVDs are easy to understand and are a great instructional tool for students at any level of training.  

Modern technology now makes it possible for you to have a private session with Calasanz for the mere cost of a DVD. Special rates are available for members of the Okugi, Rinkiohen and Young Athletes program.  

Make an appointment with Calasanz today to choose the right DVD to help enhance your martial arts training! Young Athletes will be watching the DVDs upstairs, they will spend 10 minutes either before their session of during their session. Many of the Young Athletes who train privately upstairs with Calasanz, they don’t have to worry, Calasanz already knows what DVDs best for them.

Young Athletes-Enhanced Athletic Performance through Martial Art Training

For over 20 years, Calasanz has helped young people improve their athletic performance in youth hockey, football, soccer, tennis, little league baseball and competitive martial arts. Calasanz Young Athletes program, is a consolidation of the best movements of karate, kung fu, boxing, kickboxing and Chinese boxing into an exciting program designed to enhance your child’s performance in his or her sport. 

Participants begin by learning the basics.  Strength training and stretching exercises are emphasized to develop muscular endurance and increase flexibility. Balancing and plyometric exercises are incorporated to maximize control over the body while in motion.  Breathing techniques traditionally practiced in the martial arts are also taught for the purpose of bringing a fresh supply of oxygen to the body and helping the athlete remain calm under pressure.  The program also offers other benefits such as developing concentration, stamina and hand-eye coordination.  

After the basics, it’s on to the martial art portion of the program. The kicks, punches, blocks, strikes, stances and footwork unique to each discipline are what make Young Athletes an effective athletic training program. The techniques of Calasanz Kickboxing and Goju Ryu Karate yield explosive leg power along with shoulder and forearm strength.  Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu and American Boxing techniques help develop powerful hip movements and increased hand speed, while Chinese Boxing enhances grounding and balancing skills.  

Young Athletes is designed to complement your child’s athletic performance and teach him or her how to train safely and intelligently.  Participants who put the time and effort into this program will enjoy the results. It’s also a fun and exciting cross-training alternative.

A Warning to Consumers of Martial Art Services

What is A “Truly Authentic” Internal Art?

Calasanz Wing Chun

Calasanz and Mario

Message from You Tuber:

No doubt the guys a tramendous athalete. I dont mean to take anything away from his endeavors or your training aspirations. My point is the ‘authenticity’ of true internal boxing and its principles. If you truly desire to gain knowledge and learn, I will be happy to direct you to some very good sites. Me and my partner will be setting up a gym very soon. I intend to make some video. I’ll let you know

Response:

Thank you for your recent comment. While we appreciate your offer to direct us to “some very good sites,” that will be unnecessary. Calasanz has run a successful martial arts business for over 30 years and frankly, doesn’t need your help. In regard to the “authenticity of true internal boxing,” what makes you think that what you have learned over the years is “truly authentic?” A Chinese Master once told me in private that to really learn the internal arts, you must either have a lot of money to devote yourself to full time study or be totally broke so you can join some temple that will teach you in exchange for your servitude. Both involve a full, lifetime commitment and you will not find this knowledge on a “website.” Calasanz trained with some great internal artists, but when the time came to defend his “internal arts” master’s school from trespassers looking to start trouble, it was Calasanz that had to do the fighting. The ‘internal” artists retreated in the background.

Wing Chun

Unique Wing Chun Approaches and “Internal Arts”

You Tuber:

Movements look too segmented to me. but then again, not evyone has had the privelage to study other true chinese boxing styles like tai chi, pa kua, or shing yi. from the feet to the legs to the waist, up the spine and out the fingers. one flow of chi.

My Response:

If you watch 50 videos of various people doing Wing Chun on YouTube you will discover two things. One is that all of them approach their Wooden Dummy training differently with their own individual style. This includes masters and lay practitioners. The second thing that you’ll find is that all of these people have to endure stupid comments by idiots who are not pleased with their unique approach.

You Tuber

I just watched another video with this guy. Although he’s obviosly an accomplished martial artist, and I dont want to take anything away from anyone, he is not performing true chinese boxing. wing chun is an internal art. this guys strength and speed are purely external. This is what happens when an external martial artist incorrectly learns, or has an inability to ‘relearn’ his source of speed and strength. It is difficult.

My Response

Contrary to your inference that Calasanz trained with less than competent instructors, we’d like to inform you that he has indeed trained with some of the most respected masters in the martial arts. What Calasanz has chosen to do however, is to expand his traditional training. Interestingly enough, when Calasanz trained in a tradition Wing Chun school in Chinatown and a rival school showed up to start trouble, his classmates turned to Calasanz to defend the school’s honor. If we have to spell it out, he was the one who did the fighting. The internal martial artists stood on the sideline and watched. Is “guts” an “internal art?”

Wing Chun Super Control

Calasanz practices control techniques using both Wing Chun and Chinese boxing.

COACHING ADULTS: SKILL, PRACTICAL FIGHTING

Calasanz is coaching Sokha Ross, a Mauy Thai Kickboxer who trained with the monks in Cambodia. Calasanz has Ross and other students incorporate a little Chinese boxing into their training session.

Evolved Wing Chun: Simplcity and Power

Here Calasanz takes traditional exercises and combines them with strength and cardio exercises. In the first segment of this video, Calasanz incorporates the use of weights along with Chinese boxing techniques. Next is some power training on the wooden dummy, including leg chi sau.