Commentary on a Compliment from Anish on FaceBook

Comment: u are a best martial arts trainer!! Anish J.

Response: Thank you for your compliment, Anish. What I originally wanted was a great scholastic career, and I earned over 25 certifications by learning languages like English, French, Italian, etc. Then I saw the movie “Enter the Dragon,” starring Bruce Lee and that was when I decided it was all I wanted to do. I came to this country with one dream, and that was to make a movie. I achieved that goal and that film is titled “Crossing the Line.”  I was born to teach, I am sure that you have seen some of my videos.  

Anish, one of my main goals is to help students of the martial arts, who are already martial artists or teachers. It is good to know that these skills allow me to help anyone, no matter how advanced they are. I can improve what talents they already possess. My philosophy is based on you keeping your cup full of the knowledge that you have already, together, we will fill it up with more knowledge.  -Calasanz

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,NorwalkCT06851

1.800.414.9544

www.calasanz.com

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Calasanz and the Movie “Crossing the Line”: The Real Story (part 4)

My vow to make a movie in the U.S.caused me to go this far with this film. I should have known to back out when the director could not come up with a script. I never stopped saying to all my students, “I am making a movie.”  I gave myself a timetable that by 1994 I must finish this goal in order to move on, otherwise I cannot start anything. I remember Stew Leonard asking me, “Why you don’t take that money and open another school?” and I said, “Stew I must do it, I have spoken too much, now I am forced to do it, it is just ego, but everyone is starting to make faces like Hahn!”

I have come to the conclusion that I do not blame anyone other than myself.  It makes me angry and I will never forget as part of this process we owed a person $105,000. This man was not working, he was sick, and owed creditors hundreds of thousands of dollars. He came to work for me on the film and even when I paid him, he still would have had to file bankruptcy and later did. A few years after he filed, he was rebuilding his home in Greenwich. To this day I still find that hard to believe. What makes me the angriest is that the wife of this person told her husband that he would lose money and talks bad about me still. She failed to be an honest person as I paid everyone. Some of the people that received checks asked,  “What for? “You lost out with this movie, dummy.“ I kept my word that everyone would be compensated.

This movie turned into the biggest humiliation of my career. This low budget movie went from costing around $250,000 to over $1 million. I could have taken the easy way out and just filed bankruptcy but I chose not to. I could have just as easily gone back to my country, taken a great job, and lived the “good life,” but I chose to stay and do what I know and love and that is teaching martial arts. I knew that 3-4 years down the line, this movie would promote my name regardless if it failed in the past.

Marcello ran the master trailer which was the best part of the movie and a box of the most memorable pictures of me. When Marcello tried to hire someone to work with him on the movie, while interviewing this prospective employee, a man named Andrew had a dog bite him on the ear in Marcello’s apartment, and even after tried to get money from us. That was just another speed bump during this whole movie process. Nothing went the way it was supposed to go. I know now that Marcello did nothing wrong, he felt sad and ashamed that he let me and many others down. I never wanted to blame Marcello because he did so much work on this movie to try to get it right but he lacked the experience. Marcello felt that he made all the mistakes but I feel that the mistakes were all my fault and not his. Marcello’s issues were not having a solid plan and not taking the time to learn his craft.

So many people who believed in what I was doing were let down. I did nothing wrong other than trust those that were my friends, and that is why I believe that I deserve the blame for all that happened during the making of this film. Crossing The Line was a nightmare for me.  Marcello has since vanished and we have not heard from him. I would like to thank all my students that stuck by me and showed their support during this time.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851

1-800-414-9544

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

Calasanz and the Movie “Crossing the Line”: The Real Story (part 3)

Two years before the movie process, Marcello started writing the script and Richard Venture, a script writer from Hollywood, trained with me. Venture was the first to write this movie for me, he got busy and still gave me a good draft but not enough to make a movie. That is where Marcello came in. Marcello wrote many drafts but none could be used. He said, “Calasanz, the China Town script was redone more than 30 times and that was why it became the best.” He convinced me that nothing was wrong. Many obstacles happened even before starting the movie. For example, I got hurt; it was one of the biggest blows to my career because the injury did not have to happen. It could have been prevented by these people who convinced me that I was safe in the place they brought me to, but they could not help me escape from a demonstration with someone who almost cost me my life and my dream. I built my name by doing demonstrations for people. I never had to hurt anyone and no one hurt me. But on this day my skill was so beyond my opponent’s. I got pushed to stand up and do a demonstration with a chef who was a Thai boxer. I humiliated him so much that he could not take it. The people with me knew that I did not want to participate in any more demos, not until I finished my movie. I built my name by humiliating people, especially street fighters, without hurting them.

As I got to this restaurant, the only thing that I could think of was that I did not want to participate in any demos until after the movie. I already knew that many people were jealous of my skills plus, I had a popular show on Cablevision’s public access channel. The chef was following the Calasanz Show for a long time and recognized me and planned for a demo. His intentions were to humiliate me. In the end he was the one who became the victim of humility without me having to hurt him. The chef set his mind to wanting to hurt me no matter what. He was cooking for us and as I go to sit down, this guy, at close range, delivered a kick so hard to my ankle that I injured my tibia. I tried not to go to any bars or restaurants until the movie was complete and I did anyway. These people who convinced me to go had the also persuaded me to do this demo at the restaurant, all I was really there for was to convince someone to train at my school, but the people with me wanted to see me in action. I am sure they wanted me to prove myself, which was the last thing I needed, by this time I proved myself enough. Someday I will get into the rest of what went on that day at the restaurant.

This injury caused a delay in the making of the movie and lots of money but not compared to the money that Marcello cost me. The day we started filming the movie we did not follow a script, I took my story away from him and he came up with something that was done at the spot. The script was no more and it was mostly improvised. The movie was supposed to be a low budget film and already $350,000 was spent during the first two weeks. By the time the movie was finished over $1 million dollars had been spent and we owed money to everyone. I knew that I would pay up, but the toughest part to take was all the people that we let down, including grocery store owner Stew Leonard who helped us the most. But Coast Entertainment Corporation did not have to file bankruptcy. Everyone, one way or the other got paid. Some were compensated with a membership to my school, some of them received a membership and a cash settlement. Many of the investors came to me and asked why I did that, or that I should close the company. I did not close, but I paid everyone personally.

You should know that in order to pay everyone faster, I came with these ideas. Every time something has gone wrong, I have proved that I can come up with some sort of idea or advertisement in order to recover. I have never been wrong, but 95% of the time, those that I have dealt with let me down. It does not mean that those people did it purposely. Those that know me are aware of my strong personality and loud voice, sometimes I make people angry. Those two things have cost me a great deal. Today, I understand that I overwhelmed some of those that worked with me, including my students that I have always done business with since day one.

 

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

Calasanz and the Movie “Crossing the Line” The Real Story – part 2

In 1987, two students came to my door and signed as private students, their names are John and Marcello and a friendship between us started immediately. Marcello who later became a director of commercials, wanted to do the same for me and he did. This is where Marcello got his start, he did not charge too much money because he needed the experience. He knew that it was my dream to make this movie and we started to collaborate. Marcello and I went to restaurants to talk about the movie, we always talked about the movie, I told him of my dream to make a successful film. I told him countless times that if this movie failed that it would shatter that dream. My father always believed in preventing a bad thing from happening and those words stuck with me. Marcello never had a finished script but I trusted him and he always convinced me by saying something like “Don’t worry, I know what I am doing.”

I thought about this movie for eight years and asked myself all the time, can this young guy direct it? Over the years I had always spent lots of time with various people to discuss business deals to prevent those bad things from happening if I could. I don’t believe in contracts but instead in mutual agreements. I did everything I could in those eight years to prevent any mistakes and I know now that everything I did was taken for granted. “Marcello,” I said time and time again, “This movie determines my success and my career.” We were best friends, such good friends that when he moved to the city he sent me letters to tell me what he was doing, how his life was, and how hard and how much skill he was going to put into my movie.

What I did not know about Marcello was that he was working for one thing, to make a trailer for himself in order to sell himself as a movie director. So much money was wasted on the first attempt at making this movie and Marcello wanted a second attempt at it. I did everything to get more money and gave Marcello a second chance like I always do because I don’t believe in giving up on people. As we started the movie, I opened an account where the money to make the movie would be deposited with the producer and Marcello on that account. The first budget for the movie was gone after two weeks so this was the reason for opening another account. Within two weeks the money was gone. There were checks written to buy products that I never knew about. Two years later, somebody close to the producer came and told me that over $100,000 was taken and I was so trusting and sincere that I believed that these people were just human. Even without knowing the producer, I trusted him, he was Marcello‘s friend. One thing I noticed that when the first budget was gone, the producer felt so bad that he gave me his credit card for to charge $10,000 which I paid him as he finished shooting the movie. That should have told me that something was not right because people do not do that. Did the producer feel bad or did he just not want me to look into where the money had gone?

To be continued…

Calasanz young athletes

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

 

Calasanz and the Movie “Crossing the Line”: The Real Story (part 1)

When I first came to the United States I wanted to make my mark, I wanted to make a name for myself. Upon entering this country I had a goal in mind and I said it over and over again, “I came here to make a movie.” I heard what Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and others had to go through in Hollywood with the politics involved in making it big and I did not want to follow that path. Even Bruce Lee went back to China because of those same politics. I kept going and would not falter on my decision, I wanted to make this movie in the U.S., not my home country of the Dominican Republic. Besides, I was only training in martial arts in the Dominican Republic part time. I was respected the first time I entered a martial arts school because of my natural ability and most of all I never slacked off.  You should also understand that I was a bit of a show off, if someone wanted to take a photo with me or asked me to do a full split, I did it immediately. All that showing off surprises me when I look back at it but I enjoyed showing off my skills and I do have a strong respect for martial arts and the instructors that had a hand in my training, especially Tameyoshi Sakemoto. I gained the trust and heart of Sakemoto because I possessed a gift to be a naturally gifted martial artist and I never abused that gift. Most of my fights were won without fighting, anyone that wanted to discuss martial arts with me understood my skills and knew that I required and deserved respect. There were some cases where I won a fight but I was fortunate that it was not too serious a fight because even though I was in good shape maybe my diet was not so good, maybe I worked too hard, put too much pressure on myself, or  made too many mistakes. When you are training hard and put that amount of pressure on yourself, regardless of how good a shape you are in, you would not be at your strongest with all that stress.

When I was eight years old when I taught my four year old brother how to hurt another kid who was bullying him. Between eight and 12 years old I knew how to take a big step forward and deliver the hardest kick to a cow that connected on its belly. There is an empty space that this animal has, I would love to know the name of that specific muscle, you hit it hard and they go down for at least one minute! I used to do that all the time, until one day I got caught, before the cow got up my father came and knew exactly what happened.

As I start training in martial arts, all my friends realized that I had a talent for what I was doing. They realized that no one on the farms in the Dominican Republic could trade kicking with me including his elders. I could easily win a fight just by kicking. Fighting was something came easy to me, I could look at a person and immediately knew when to strike, bite, punch, or kick them. I would take examples from today’s self defense techniques like MMA and Wing Chun Chi Sau and I would know where to strike just by looking at a person‘s body. I loved martial arts but my father begged me to get into boxing but I wanted more than just beating someone as a sport.

In 1975 my father and I went to see a movie made famous by Bruce Lee titled “Enter the Dragon.” I knew right away that I wanted to make a film. I started planning a trip to the U.S. I knew that I could make a business out of movies and acting. I did not want to just teach anymore, I knew that I wanted to be on the big screen. I wanted to do exactly what Bruce was did. At this point I already had a diploma and a job at a bank. I was able to convince my job to let me take a break to go to the U.S. to study. I applied for a visa and got accepted to the University of Bridgeport. When I got to the university I didn’t open a book, I was more focused on anything and everything to do with martial arts. This journey to get to the U.S. and make something of myself was realized when I opened my school. After opening the school, the idea I had long ago to make a movie would finally be reality.

To be continued….

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave.Norwalk,CT06851

1-800-414-9544

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

Staying True to Yourself in the Martial Arts and in Life: By Jeff Prescott

Staying true to yourself. I have heard this phase many times over the years of my life. However, very few people actually achieve this. Over the past 13 years I have trained in the Calasanz System, and have not encountered someone who embodies this phase more than Calasanz himself. While many martial arts schools come and go, Calasanz has strongly endured for over 30 years because of his unwavering passion and devotion for the martial arts, and his own personal vision for the development of the Calasanz System. Calasanz has achieved his level with hard work (training and working 24/7 around the clock) and has never accepted short cuts or taking the easy way out as far as his training or business. Calasanz has received multiple offers where he could have just closed shop and taken off. For example, Ron Howard wanted to use Calasanz in a movie directed by Jean Claude Van Damme, But Calasanz was determine to fulfill his dream to make his Own movie “Crossing the Line” on his own terms. In the early 90’s, against great odds, Calasanz achieved his dream and the film premiered on the east coast and his home land of theDominican Republic. Many people have goals and dreams, but few actually achieve them on the highest level, staying true to yourself is how Calasanz achieves his goals and dreams, and will continue to do so.

 Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave.Norwalk,CT06851

800-414-9544

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

“I’d like to offer you the chance to transform your body and your life.” Part 3: Coming to America

Calasanz left home to continue his banking studies at the University of Bridgeport, but his real passion was to continue his Martial Arts career in the United States, and to make a Martial Arts movie based on his philosophy.

Calasanz opened his first dojo in Norwalk, the early 1980’s.  By then he had created a unique system of training body, mind and spirit, so that extraordinary progress could be made by his students, in record time.  His innovative approach to the Physical Arts combined his vast knowledge of Martial Arts, with dance and movement, strength training and self-defense techniques.  He developed a method that allowed each and every student to work within his or her own limits, without injury or brutality, and without burn out, yet able to excel in every area of physical expertise.  Calasanz students had such a unique fighting style that they won tournament after tournament, and the fame of the Calasanz system spread rapidly.  Law enforcement officers come to him for training… professional athletes come to him to enhance their performance… young men who wanted to enter the professional fighting arena flocked to him.

Martha at Calasanz Physical Arts on Facebook.

Come and train with us because you want to train like a competitor without being a competitor- Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness: 800.414.9544 – www.calasanz.com

The Story Behind Calasanz’s “Crossing the Line” Part 2

Eight years had passed since Calasanz came to the U.S. to make his movie and it seemed that that time was slipping away.  His students goaded him constantly, asking him, “Hey Calasanz, when will we ever see this film?”  Even though the time and circumstances were not ideal, Calasanz felt compelled to act and realize his dream. 

One of Calasanz private students, an aspiring filmmaker who we’ll call Mike, wanted to help Calasanz with the film.  So the team started by making a few commercials and eventually turned its attention to producing an independent film.  

One of the first things they needed was a good script.  Calasanz had been developing his version of the perfect script for over 10 years, but needed his ideas to be formalized by a professional.  Another student who was a Hollywood scriptwriter gave Calasanz some good ideas, but it needed more work.  Mike agreed to get the script in working order. This would require many revisions and Calasanz was assured that it would be ready. 

Sounds good up until this point, but many obstacles got in the way.  Calasanz suffered a shin injury in a bizarre situation that hampered his ability to train as well as keep his business afloat. (See:http://blog.calasanz.com/2009/05/27/how-one-out-of-control-cook-changed-my-life/) On the day that production was supposed to start, the script was nowhere near completion.  Frustrated, Calasanz took his original script out of the director’s hands and from that point on; the movie became an improvised production.  

Financial problems also plagued the movie.  The first version of the film was not up to Calasanz standards and the only way to improve it was to invest more money into its production.  While many involved in the making of the movie were well intentioned, inexperience proved to be very costly.  

The price tag quickly escalated from a budget of $350,000 to almost a million dollars.  Calasanz did whatever he could to raise the funds to make the movie, including borrowing from friends and students.  When the movie did not produce the financial rewards expected, Calasanz was left with a pile of debt. Advised by many to discharge these debts in bankruptcy, Calasanz refused, and made it his mission to pay back all his investors with cash, memberships, or a combination of both.  

In the eyes of the world, Calasanz may have failed because his movie wasn’t a blockbuster.  In fact, Calasanz doesn’t look at it this way. The making of the movie had many successes beyond what you see on the screen.  Calasanz was a pioneer in making movies in the State of Connecticut. Now in 2009, Connecticut is one of the premiere locations in the country for moviemakers.  Calasanz made his vision come true in the 80’s and saw the potential for creative works in this state.  Calasanz also used the making of the movie and the publicity surrounding it to promote his name, which has proved to be invaluable as far as promoting the goodwill of his martial arts business.  He also learned there were many people who believed in him. That’s why it was so important for Calasanz not to file for bankruptcy.  

Not many people out there can say that they actually made their own movie and paid for it. The movie played in theaters on the East Coast and also in the Dominican Republic, where Calasanz is a national hero.  In the end, Crossing the Line was a great success.  It all really depends on how you measure it. 

Images and videos of Calasanz Martial Arts

The Story Behind Calasanz’s “Crossing the Line” Part 1

Walk into Calasanz dojo or visit his website and you can’t help but notice the posters for his movie, Crossing the Line.  Most students and visitors can’t resist picking up a copy of a movie that was made right here in Fairfield County.  In the film, Calasanz stars as Jose Fernandez, a hard-hitting kick boxer and martial arts instructor. Jose rises to stardom after winning the world championship. His popularity attracts the attention of Jimmy Scarfone, a local hoodlum and owner of sleazy strip clubs, who becomes obsessed with the fighter’s new celebrity status, and begins to stalk him. Jose’s every move becomes the subject of Scarfone’s Americas Most Violent Videos. Soon Scarfone finds the ordinary life of a fighter is not exciting enough and sets about to change that. A series of violent encounters, lead to the eventual kidnapping of the champion.  

What you may not know about the film is what led up to its making and why it was so important for Calasanz to put his neck on the line to produce an independent movie.  

Calasanz was born in the Dominican Republic and like most boys his age, enjoyed action movies.  In 1975, his father took him to see Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and he was hooked.  His mission in life from that day forward was to come to America, make a movie and become as famous as his matinee movie idol.  While his father wanted him to become a competitive boxer, Calasanz wanted something more than jumping into a ring and beating up on his opponent. There was a spiritual aspect to the martial arts that drew him to it. From that point on, he did everything he could do to make his dream come true. Calasanz went to the city to pursue his academic studies and quickly found a traditional martial arts school.  He trained long, hard hours, studied and worked at a bank to support himself.  All along, he kept his goal in sight. As a valued employee, the bank wanted to invest in his future, so they agreed to send him to the United States on a student visa to study English as a second language.  Once he set foot on U.S. soil, Calasanz never cracked open a book, but instead jumped head first into the martial arts.  

Calasanz made his desire to make a movie well known to anyone who was willing to listen.  All his students and colleagues knew that his sole purpose for coming to America was to make an independent martial arts movie without having to deal with the politics of the mainstream movie industry. He’d heard about how Bruce Lee had to actually leave the United States and make movies in Hong Kong because the industry had a hard time respecting a foreign actor.  But in order to do get this movie made, Calasanz needed money and time, two things that are in short supply for a martial arts teacher busy building a business from the bottom up. 

 Images and Video of Calasanz Martial Arts

Crossing The Line

In the movie Crossing The Line, Calasanz stars as Jose Fernandez, a hard hitting kickboxer and martial arts instructor. Jose rises to stardom after winning the world championship. His popularity attracts the attention of Jimmy Scarfone, a local hoodlum and owner of sleazy strip clubs, who becomes obsessed with the fighter’s new celebrity status, and begins to stalk him. Jose’s every move becomes the subject of Scarfone’s Americas Most Violent Videos. Soon Scarfone finds the ordinary life of a fighter is not exciting enough and sets about to change that. A series of violent encounters, lead to the eventual kidnapping of the champion. Awesome fight scenes make Calasanz’s debut a must-see for the martial arts enthusiast. Crossing The Line was produced in Fairfield County, CT by Coast Entertainment. The movie played in theaters on the East Coast and in the Dominican Republic, where Calasanz is a national hero.

Calasanz Karate, Kung-Fu, Kickboxing, Boxing, & Physical Arts.