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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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 Story of Calasanz Student Kevin McIntyre: by Calasanz

Calasanz student Kevin McIntyre, an ex-marine, would be placed with others of a similar background such as Chris Mottola.  These are two of Calasanz’ favorite students, as military and law enforcement personnel often are.  The people in these fields especially appreciate and understand the simplicity of the Calasanz system and its effectiveness on the street.  Police officers can use it and often, they need it. 

Kevin Mcantyre with just three months of training stepped into the ring with a Martin Vizi.  At that time Martin was not just beating people, he was nearly killing them.  We let Kevin get into the ring with him.  Kevin did not end up defeating Martin who was much more experienced and trained, but Kevin did leave Martin hurting, something few were capable of doing.

At the time kickboxing schools were big, Kevin had been to several and they were not capable of handling him.  He was just too much.  They all sent him to Calasanz knowing he was the real deal.  Calasanz was the only one capable of teaching Kevin in this era of martial arts.  With the UFC decades away and Mixed Martial Arts non-existent Calasanz was the first one in the area who would cross the threshold of strict adherence to a specific style which was the general mindset of the times.  This novel mindset broke the mold.  All other schools at the time subscribed to a specific style and trained with minds closed to the validity of other systems.  Kevin was sent to Calasanz by several kickboxing schools which, simply put, did not have the skill to train him.  Calasanz did.  Calasanz was, and still is to this day, the real deal.  His dedication and experience speak for themselves, with over 30 years of 22 hour days in his Martial Arts center, Calasanz is probably the most well balanced Martial artist around.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.bedfordpersonaltrainers.com

Is MMA Good for Kids? by Calasanz

The popularity of mixed martial arts competitions, or MMA has naturally spawned an interest in children who want to pursue the sport. This has created a rising demand for MMA instruction and most parents turn to martial art schools as their first source.

Despite its popularity, there is a lot of controversy surrounding MMA for kids. The goal in an MMA match is a knockout or submission through a choke hold or limb lock, where kids have to “tap out” to signal to their partners that it’s enough. Many find the practice of teaching children how to fight so aggressively barbaric and are calling for a ban of the sport. Many parents and martial artists are horrified at sight of young children being cheered on for attacking each other and the message that this is sending to young impressionable minds. 

Unfortunately, kids have taped themselves fighting MMA style and have posted it on You Tube, just like kids have done with backyard wrestling.  Some of the kids who post their fights are beating the daylights out of each other in their living rooms or garages. In some of these videos, there is no safety gear, no adult in sight supervising their actions nor have they had adequate training.  This is a disaster waiting to happen. 

My other concern is the MMA tournaments for children.  While training in a well-structured class with a competent, safety conscious instructor is fine with me, you lose a lot of that control when your children participate in tournament competition.  You don’t know who your child is fighting against and how this child has been trained.  The reality is that there are many instructors and parents training their own kids, who teach them how to fight dirty and don’t both fostering good sportsmanlike behavior. 

While some of these tournaments are well organized and pay close attention to safety regulations, others are not and you are putting your child at risk. It will be tournaments like this that create an environment for serious injuries and may eventually force the government to step in. There is also a lot of concern, especially from the medical community that children who participate in MMA are prone to elbow, knee, wrist, ankle, neck and shoulder injuries.

The reality however is that children who participate in sports are always at risk for injuries whether they play football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics or even cheerleading.  Many kids also end up getting injured just by riding their bikes.  Injuries are a part of an active child’s life.  The bottom line is that if your son or daughter wants to learn MMA, you have to choose a school and an instructor who puts safety first.  So as a parent, don’t just sign up your kid at the first school that offers MMA classes.  Pay close attention to the instructor’s attitude, teaching style and attention to safety. 

ESPN and ABC’s 20/20 have both aired mainstream media investigative reports on the topic. The ABC 20/20 segment showcased Gillett’s Mixed Martial Arts Gym in Fall River, Massachusetts.  If all children who wanted to learn mixed martial arts had access to a school like this one, I would say “go for it.”  From what I observed in this segment and others featuring the same school, I found it to be a very responsible martial arts establishment.

The first thing I liked about the school is that the boys and girls in the segments wore headgear and the gloves with substantial padding. The instructors were adequately supervising the kids and actively coaching during the course of the matches. Several parents were interviewed and were very pleased with the results of the instruction.  They found their children were more disciplined, respectful and also improved in school. They also said that their kids don’t use MMA outside of the school. This is a sign of good instruction.  Interestingly, the mayor of Fall River, Robert Correia, who blasted the school, never even visited the place nor did he take the time out to talk to those involved.

Bottom line is that when any martial art, traditional or mixed, is taught by a competent instructor, a child is reaps the benefits.  Boys and girls who participate in any martial art tend to be less violent and more responsible than their counterparts.  This just doesn’t happen by accident.  Training with a qualified instructor minimizes injuries and does not teach violence. So if your child wants to train in MMA, take the time to find a good school.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

1-203-847-6528

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

www.norwalkboxing.com

The First System to Implement ‘Items’

For so many years I wanted to have a system that could be so simple that students would not have problems challenging themselves at anytime, especially if they did not maintain a previous active lifestyle. I maintained students for years and showed them different styles of martial arts on top of what they were here studying, this way, after they earned their black belt; they already had the knowledge to build on those skills. I was not interested in belt rank, and I wanted to keep students involved at all times, but when they took a break and got out of shape, they lost most of their technique. Instead of being able to pick up an additional certification on top of their black belt, it would take many lessons since they stopped training. Had they continued their regimen, it may have only taken two lessons.

For example, one student said, “Calasanz, I have not been there and I want to take two weeks to get back in shape.” Since this student already had a black belt, I wanted to get specific with his training and get him some certifications on top of his black belt, which we call “Items” under the Calasanz System. My suggestion for his training was two weeks of mixed martial arts, certification in either American or recreational boxing, and part one of a Kata, which is great for getting in shape. I would have loved for him  to take part one in Wing Chun but it is too slow and takes longer to get in shape unless you take part one of Chinese boxing.  I told him to let me know what he prefers since there are around 700 hundred basic items, with sub-items exceeding 4000.

Before I give you another example, I have to mention Kyle. He is eight years old and is very happy to be a black belt. Once in a while, Jeff or I will ask him, “What about the next certification?” He just says, “Of course, my parents and I are all for it.” Kyle has the legs chi sau certification, and he just got the first part of Wing Chun certification. Being so young, it is exciting for him, but also it is cute to see how happy he is and how effective this program is.

Another student is a U.S. Marine named Erik, who was the first student to get 17 certifications along with his black belt. During the course for over two years, he has become one of the best qualified instructors from my school and he is getting ready to open a school in Florida which will be based on private one-on-one personal training.  He is also qualified to speak and demonstrate in a martial arts seminar.

An important item we offer is boxing, both traditional American boxing and recreational boxing. Traditional American boxing is what you are accustomed to seeing on television but recreational boxing is something you would take up without having to become a competitor. Recreational boxing will make you faster, stronger, and more flexible, grounded, balanced, to get in better physical condition, and will give you the best self defense. It only takes Calasanz a half hour to give you enough self defense, to enable you in becoming capable of surviving on the street against any opponent. You could experience a thug throwing punches at you and by closing the gap, you will not get hit and you can counter at any time. The reason why is simple: the guy on the street is not a boxer and if he was a boxer, he may not have attacked you in the first place. Recreational boxing makes it easier for you to take care of yourself without getting hit and makes it easier to hurt the attacker.

Make sure you understand that if you take a half hour of boxing to learn how to defend yourself, if there is no power in your arsenal, you have not gotten the point of the exercises and that is why we also give  you the responsibility to learn these exercises so you can practice them at home. Real defense means you are empowered to take care of yourself, your grounding, and your balance. These are the main tools you need in order to be successful on the street.

In boxing, there are a few techniques but it can take you many years to master them. It is similar to Wing Chun, there are few blocks, a few kicks and punches, but it requires talent, intelligence and a lot of work in order to be able to master that art.

Since I went to my first karate school, I already understood this and I did not believe in rank. I remember seeing all these ranks on a black belt, but I also remember going to one class and not coming back for about three months, and being able to develop on my own during that time. Still, I was not completely sure where I was in the martial arts. All I knew was that I understood something that they did not. During that first class, all I witnessed and experienced was brutality and I knew “martial arts” was much more than that!

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave,NorwalkCT06851

1.800.414.9544

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

www.westportboxing.com

MMA: A Balanced Approach – by Calasanz

Martial Arts originated out of necessity.  People had to defend themselves against humans and animals and the only weapons they had were their hands and feet. The battles fought by these individuals were for sheer survival, not belts or plastic tournament trophies.  When confronting life and death struggles, the ancient warrior had to condition his body to take the brutal physical punishment his opponents dished out.  He also had to skillfully maneuver in battle to minimize the physical damage to himself. 

Martial Arts eventually came to the West and were taught by instructors trained under the “old school” system-toughen the body by exposing it to a brutal training which included lots of beatings during sparring.  I personally witnessed this at the age of 14 when I took my first Karate class in the Dominican Republic.  Students, regardless of rank, were pummeled mercilessly with no training on how to block or simply get out of the way of a ferocious attack.  Don’t get me wrong, these fighters were tough and could take a blow but at what cost?

There is brutality in many sports, especially combat sports.  We’ve seen injuries, deaths, and the long-term effects of abuse on the body in Football, Boxing, Hockey, and Karate.  And while at the professional levels in any sport, the competition is so good that it is impossible to avoid brutality, I must say I am very impressed with many of the fighters in the UFC! 

The physical training they put themselves through allows them to take strikes that would kill an average man.  As impressed as I am with the physical, mental, and spiritual preparation it takes to step into the Octagon, I am astounded at their skills in avoiding brutality.  How is it that in over 18 years of MMA that none of these fighters have gotten seriously hurt or killed?  It is because these fighters can move, avoid, slip, and escape; they have tremendous timing and blocking abilities. 

The MMA fighters have brought Martial Arts training into balance. They are not only strong and conditioned athletes, but also admirable technicians skilled in the fighting arts. This is the essence of martial arts.  This is what separates a martial artist from a street brawler.

So if you wish to be a fighter, build your body to the maximum, because it is inevitable that you will get hit and you need to be able to take it.  But don’t rely on your body (or face) to absorb all the abuse.  Avoid kicks and punches to the head at all costs; block, move, slip, evade, fight intelligently!  This will keep you in the sport longer, and you won’t end up like Muhammad Ali when you retire!

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

Physical Arts: Exercises for Any Age, Shape, Size, or Ability

When Calasanz Martinez began teaching martial arts in the United Stateshe taught Karate as he had been taught: traditional and hardcore.  He quickly observed that few people could handle this type of training.

Calasanz says, “I knew that the martial arts provided the best type of exercise.  There’s no better way to condition your body while acquiring the mental and spiritual benefits of being able to protect yourself.  But I had a dilemma.  Some people would stay for only 1 or 2 classes and I knew there were others who wouldn’t even step to my door.”

That’s where the creativity began.

Calasanz broke down what he knew about the martial arts, exercise, and the human body.  He developed a system of exercises completely unique from other exercise modalities.  The exercises were designed to be holistic, conditioning strength, endurance, tone, flexibility, balance, coordination, body unity, mobility, and well-being.  All the exercises can be modified to accommodate people with very little or limited physical ability as well as challenge those who are athletically gifted.

“My martial arts system has evolved a great deal since those days of teaching traditional Karate.  I’ve studied and incorporated wing chun, northern style kung fu, boxing, kickboxing, and now MMA, so that my students get a well rounded experience.  There’s something for everyone.  But the biggest improvement to my system has been the creation of the Physical Arts exercises.  Those are for everyone,” says Calasanz.

Many different people walk through The Calasanz Physical Arts doors on a daily basis: businessmen, stay-at-home moms, grandmothers, the physically disabled, and professional athletes.  While you may not see the soccer mom practicing the same martial arts as the professional fighter, there’s a very good chance you’ll see them side by side doing the same Physical Arts exercise!

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave.Norwalk,CT06851

800-414-9544

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

Calasanz and the Circle of Martial Arts

Part 1 – Calasanz

Imagine a complete circle represents all there is to know and master in the martial arts.  The circle pictured represents all that Calasanz knows and has studied in the martial arts.  Notice the space at the top; this space represents what he does not know.  There is always room for improvement and new things to learn.  Therefore, the circle will get closer and closer, but never become complete.  The quest to become such a well-balanced martial artist for Calasanz is multi-faceted and has been a result of environmental factors and natural innate abilities.

The act of doing martial arts requires a high degree of athleticism and a knack for performing in front of people.  Calasanz was blessed with both from day 1.  Whether he was up first thing in the morning at a young age doing grueling farm work, honing his god-given strength, endurance, and athletic prowess; or singing and dancing for all the people in town by night; it was all the foundation for his life’s work.

Street fighting also prepared him, before he even took a martial arts lesson.  Growing up in a 3rd world country like the Dominican Republic, he had no choice but to defend himself, friends, and family against bullies and thugs.  After he started martial arts at 15 the fighting didn’t end.  He would go to different dojo’s to challenge the best students and would attempt to take on hordes of people with just his nunchucks!

Even when he started martial arts it came very easy to him, he had everything in him he needed athletically, intellectually, and experientially to become one of the world’s most well balanced martial artists.  But there are many people, who, in there particular athletic or intellectual line of work who have this potential, but most fail due to lack of drive and poor work ethic to develop their gifts beyond anyone else, but not Calasanz, for the next 30 years of his life, and even up to today he would spend hours training, studying, and teaching martial arts.  This is how he has come so close to completing the circle, natural talent and a relentless drive.

Part 2 – The Calasanz System

One can only imagine the information, opinions, and theory’s one man has after hours and hours of study day after day, for years.  From his experience and ability, Calasanz was able to take the most useful techniques and attributes from all the martial arts he studied, and combine them together into a unified system, he called this The Calasanz System.  This is much like what Bruce Lee did in the 60’s and 70’s, and what MMA does today.  The main difference though between Bruce Lee, today’s MMA, and Calasanz, is that Calasanz did not completely discard all the material he thought “useless” as the others have.  He understands that he would not have completely understood their “uselessness” had he not tried them, and future students would not be as wholesome as him if they did not get a chance to experiment with the “uselessness”.  So in his eyes, these particular techniques and attributes actually do have a use; they have the ability to make the student a more wholesome, well-rounded martial artist.

So there is, in a sense 2 parts of The Calasanz system 1) The combined, blended, unified system of karate, wing chun, boxing, kickboxing, ground fighting, and physical arts consisting of only the techniques and attributes that work.  2) The complete versions of all the arts that make up The Calasanz System, other martial arts, and supplementary exercise systems.  Part 2 focuses on The Calasanz System.

The Calasanz System is a system of martial arts techniques and exercises that prepare the body and the person to defend themselves against violence, whether controlled (combat sports) or uncontrolled (abusive attack, self defense, street fight).  The system has a track record of teaching beginners a number of techniques that they can use immediately to protect themselves and help them understand the dynamics of a violent acts (controlled or uncontrolled) faster then most martial art in the world. 

The system also includes a set of holistic exercises called physical arts that build strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, balance, body unity, and proper alignment.  Many of the physical art exercises are also functional; meaning that a technique is being learned at the same time the person is conditioning his/her body.

Simplicity, power, centerline, interplay of hard and soft, simple blocks, counterstrikes, reactions, bone conditioning, head movement, and physical arts.

Part 3 – Complete Art Systems and other Martial Arts within The Calasanz System

Imagine a circle inside a bigger circle.  The inner circle represents the Calasanz System the outer circle is one we’ve spoke of before representing all techniques and knowledge in the martial arts and all exercises systems. 

There are parts of the outer circle that exist within the inner circle.  And the outer circle contains the arts that Calasanz has mastered: Goju-Ryu Karate and Wing Chun Kung Fu; the arts that he has studied to at least brown belt: aikido, judo, jujitsu, chen chuan long fist; arts that he has studied such as dance, ballet, jazz, and ballroom; combat sports he has competed in and/or trained others in: boxing, kickboxing, MMA, full contact karate, and point fighting; exercise systems he has trained in and taught: aerobics, isometrics, weight lifting, and calisthenics; and all other martial arts and exercise systems he has not trained in and taught, but can see inside of (more on this in Part 4) such as: ninjitsu, yoga, Pilates, tae kwon do, krav maga, northern and southern kung fu’s.

American boxing, American kickboxing, MMA, full Goju, Wing Chun, and Kung Fu forms.  Combine the Calasanz System with anything you want, while Calasanz may not agree with your choices he is not the type of teacher to abolish your actions or step in the way of your path, rather he walks on the side and just makes suggestions but lets you chose your own path.

 Part 4 –  Calasanz

In part 3 it was mentioned that Calasanz could look “inside” martial arts that he has not even studied.  This is not as far fetched or egotistical as it might seem with some proper explanation. 

Einstein’s Unified equation, thirst for knowledge and natural ability (vertical leap), broken down to the most basic, general rhythms and movements of the body, allows him to see inside technique and body attributes so like a doctor prescribes medicine, Calasanz can prescribe certain techniques to develop, exercises to do, and critiques on performance to enhance any type of martial arts or exercise techniques.

Leo’s Story: Teenage Transformation through the Martial Arts

 

I’m a mother who has been taking martial arts classes at Calasanz Physical Arts since January of 2010.  During the cold winter, I noticed a young teenager named Leo, who trained with Calasanz on what seemed to be a daily basis. Leo was a quiet kid who didn’t speak much.

Having two grown sons of my own, it was very natural for me to be concerned for Leo. I tried to be friendly and say hello on occasion but I got no response. I tried to rationalize an explanation for his behavior. I thought, well, teenage boys are not very chatty or the days were so dark and cold that maybe Leo suffered from the “winter blues.”

Five months later, I found myself working out with Leo on the upper deck at Calasanz dojo. I expected the usual silent treatment, but on this day, he actually said “hello.” I was in shock! I was even more surprised when I saw this boy hit the bag with strong, precise, kicks and punches.  I was so impressed that I asked him to demonstrate some kicks in slow motion. For the next 20 minutes, not only did Leo patiently show me how to execute these kicks, but he also took the time to explain the mechanics of each technique for my benefit. I saw a major change in Leo. He was now a secure, well-mannered, disciplined young man who was highly skilled in the martial arts. 

I mentioned my experience to Calasanz and it was then that I learned more about Leo’s journey. Leo joined Calasanz about a year ago at the age of 14.  Leo had some difficulty when he first joined but Calasanz was confident that he could help. He’s worked with kids like Leo before and knew exactly what to do. With a lot of patience and amazing coaching skills, Calasanz worked with Leo every day.

A year later, Leo now teaches an adult martial arts class at Calasanz. He is an inspiration for anyone who comes into contact with him.  Who would have known that a year of martial arts training would have yielded such amazing results?

The martial arts are not just about developing the body; a good instructor and supportive environment can also bring out the spirit of the individual. What emerged was a strong, courageous, and confident young man. Martial art training is not about producing the “ultimate fighting machine”… but rather producing a person of great character. As a mother, I can only imagine how proud Leo’s parents are of his transformation.

Here is more video of Leo:

Calasanz Monday Night Fight School

Interested in MMA????  Short on cash and time but want to get in a good workout?  Drop-in on our Monday Night Fight School!  Learn the basics of mixed martial arts fighting at Calasanz Physical Arts, Monday nights, from 6-8PM.  Different instructors who will guide you in building a well-rounded martial arts background present new topics each week.  Start with a great conditioning workout and then go on to learn striking fundamentals like punching, kicking, blocking, footwork, and the use of elbows and knees. Classes progress to submission techniques from judo, wrestling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu under a qualified instructor’s supervision.  No pre-registration, no contracts, and no traditional training. Just mixed martial arts at the drop-in rate of $15.00 per class! You pick the nights you want to train! No previous experience is necessary! If you have experience, this is a great way to keep your skills sharp!