The birth of my system I must say coincides with my very birth. From the day I was born I’ve known the natural workings of the human body. How it works, how to optimize. Even when I was a child in karate class, I would hide my movements from my instructor because I didn’t want to get in trouble.
Throughout my years I’ve learned to apply the knowledge I was born with regarding the functional movements of the body to real fighting situations and have also developed it into a physical system for naturally improving the body. The system is called Physical Arts. It utilizes natural holistic movements and is aimed at the long term development and maintenance of the human body over a lifetime.
This is not a “get ripped” program. It is not a superficial body building regimen. It is Physical Arts. It is making your body into a walking masterpiece. Welcome to Calasanz Physical Arts.
Over my lifetime I have spent every day dedicated to martial arts. Somehow I knew from the time I was a child that this was my calling. The first martial arts school I attended was a Karate School. Upon visiting this school I noticed that there were a lot of punches landing between the two contenders, too many. For me fighting is not trading blows and determining the winner by who has the best physique. A real fighter will defend against an attack and then try to connect with the target. While the karate approach may be a good way to condition the body to take a punch, it is not real fighting.
Real fighting is common sense.
First, be aware that your body performs best when it is in perfect working order. To have a broken arm in a fight is a great disadvantage when fighting a two armed man. Protecting the physical body is of primary importance in a fight. It is essential and foundational. Your body being in perfect working order gives you the best chance of survival. This is achieved by blocking or evading successfully. Essentially, a good defense is imperative.
The next element of real fighting is to be able to disable or eliminate the threat to your physical body as quickly as possible. This is achieved through Wing Chun. The body that remains fully functional for longer and acts most efficiently and effectively is bound to prevail.
Now we come to size. Size is something a lot of people deem to be a good judge of strength and even fighting ability. Often times people will fear an opponent due to sheer size. Let us consider now, two rifles aimed towards two watermelons. Place in front of one, 10 inches of marshmallows. Place in front of the other 1 inch of steel. Which watermelon would you stand behind if the triggers were flicked? Size doesn’t seem to matter much now. While it should be taken into consideration, it is not always of great importance, and this is no different when it comes to fighting. Similarly the size of the man matters not, but it is his mettle, his character, what he is actually capable of that holds greater bearing.
It has been proven again and again in the real world, as well as in boxing, and other martial sports. Frequently a larger opponent with an incredible physique is set against a smaller man who’s physique is comparatively lacking. While the larger man seems more formidable, this is merely in appearance. It has been seen repeatedly that a contender inferior in stature can easily be victorious with superior technique. A phenomenal physique can only give someone an advantage up to a point. If technique is lacking and a contender’s offense is unwieldy, it is easy for a proficient fighter to penetrate and take advantage of an opponents untrained flailing, capitalize on exposed vulnerabilities, and dismantle his opponent. It is important to realize that just because you have the biggest body it does not mean that you are capable of functionally using that body to be effective in a fight.
Street fighters, for example, believe they are good fighters based on the fact that they are aggressive and willing to fight. However, when a street fighter squares off with someone who is a trained and an accomplished practitioner of the art it is clear within seconds that their overly aggressive approach does not work. I experienced this first hand in the early 80’s when street fighters would challenge me and my students constantly. No doubt in an attempt to debunk me personally and the system I have come to develop. In time I would place a sign on the door welcoming challengers. I remember two gentlemen distinctly, Jay and Kenny.
I met these two gentlemen in Norwalk in 1987 after attending the same gym for a time called George’s Gym. Jay, at this point, was considered the biggest body builder in CT. He also did not like me very much when I started going to that gym and everybody wondered how long I would stay there given his disposition. Kenny, now, was known at this time as the “Terror of Norwalk”. Everybody knew him either from getting in trouble or simply knowing of his preceding reputation of beating young guys. George’s Gym at this time had, without a doubt, some of the toughest street fighters coming through there, not to mention some volatile body builders as well. I remember telling somebody, “I need one week here before everybody is training under me.” And it was just exactly that which ended up happening. After demonstrating to Jay my power, speed, endurance, and grounding, based purely on martial arts skill, Jay signed with me immediately for a month of private training. I remember, also, Jay being at the gym pressing 1500 to 2000 pounds with his legs using a machine.
One day I put Jay to the test and asked him to pick up his leg and push against my stomach. Jay could not even do so much as make me budge, and in less than a second I was showing Jay a new way under my system. There was a difference of understanding between our two mindsets. In his mind, and in that of much of the Western world, to push iron and pack muscle onto his frame was the ideal. This is achieved through monotonous movement and mechanical repetition creating tight, inflexible muscle.
In my mind natural, flexible, long muscle built through physical art is what brings the ideal into fruition. This is achieved through exercising motions that naturally accommodate the anatomy of the human body and develop real strength by engaging the entire body as a whole. Synchronizing breath and motion into pure, fluid, natural, transformative moments of life itself. To this day he remains a faithful convert.
Kenny, on the other hand is a bit of a different story. He is 6′ 5″ and always made his mark on his opponents. As we continued to spend time in the same building his frustration with me continued to fester and grow. He eventually took the liberty to invite every member of the gym to come and see how easily he would defeat me. The terror of Norwalk once more coming against an opponent to validate his status in front of everyone; his ego eager for all to gather and see for its own satisfaction. Only this time he did not know who he was up against, me, Calasanz.
On that day, the fight was over almost as soon as it began. We touched fists, and from that moment sympathy ceased to exist. The fight, it had to be stopped in less than 10 seconds after a single blow. I had placed the heal of my foot into Kenny’s hips, and after taking the shot Kenny’s gait was knocked off its axis and he would not walk properly for a time afterwards. The kick was powerful enough to nearly dislocate Kenny’s hips and caused stop to his offense immediately. I can’t remember if he ever came back.
After that day I ended up training many of these street fighters, and I trained them for free. Over time they would go to competitions and compete in my stead. Within three years the name Calasanz was recognized all over the United States and even internationally. Fighters under my system were making significant impressions every where they went spreading the name, Calasanz. One competition in particular stands out in my mind, one involving KYOKUSHINKAI where two of my students won. Each of them competing within their own brackets and finishing on top.
Looking closer now at the KYOKUSHINKAI practice itself, it is a brutal form of martial arts popularized in the 1980’s. When competing, full force kicks are thrown towards opponents’ heads or anywhere else for that matter and no protective gear is used. Punches are allowed but are only directed towards the chest. Often times in a KYOKUSHINKAI tournament there will be a great number of knock downs and knock outs from head kicks. The kick being the most powerful weapon an unarmed fighter possesses, you can imagine the danger in combating someone trained in this practice. My students competed with full confidence and continued to win the tournament in their respective brackets.
Again, keep in mind that at this time KYOKOSHINKAI was a very popular martial art with a multitude of dedicated practitioners making it vital for a competitor to practice as more than just a hobby. In such brutal competition one must really have their wits about them else he may get knocked out, or even killed, very quickly. My students showed their talents. Both of them victorious under my coaching and Physical Arts Body Development system.
Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness
507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851