WHAT IS NATURAL POWER? by Calasanz

Calasanz was about nine years old when he noticed a man insulting a lady. That man was around 22 years old, tall, and physically fit. Even at a young age, Calasanz defended the lady. If no one intervened, the fight may have ended badly for the man. I trapped this man’s head on a fence covered with barbed wire and I was choking him. I was a strong kid and thankfully for that guy, someone broke up the fight.

I was loved and famous since I was two years old with most of my fame coming from dancing, singing, and working harder than anyone else on the farm. At the age of seven I was milking 20 cows. On top of being so strong, I had high energy and my parents could not control me. One particular fight was against a young man named Alvarado who was insulting my cousin Jose.  Jose was not fighting back, so I jumped to his defense. Alvarado was older and twice my size and normally would have helped defend me did not have to interfere because I was kicking Alvarado so hard that all he could do was try to survive. This fight even became popular among the neighbors and was talked about for quite some time. I kicked like a mule in that fight. What I did to Alvarado back then was karate. I was able to teach my five year old brother how to counter attack. My brother got into a fight one day and applied what I taught him and at one point punched a kid so hard that he was down for almost three minutes. There were some bad kids around; we were the well behaved, educated kids, who did not take abuse from anyone.

Now I can reflect back to when I played softball. I was young, responsible, popular, and I worked at a bank. The bank had a softball league, so they convinced me to play, knowing that as a kid, I was a very good player.  Even though at this point in life, I was dedicated to martial arts and stopped playing other sports like baseball and softball. I decided to play the season and we won the championship. I gained popularity by hitting the ball so hard. All the players would laugh at me when I stepped up to the plate but I always turned those laughs around by getting hit after hit. During one of the games, a teammate and police officer named Brian, who was as big as a football player, and me weighing 120 pounds, both went to catch a fly ball. Second before Brian crashed into me, he screamed and said, “Look who I am crashing into today.” Brian ended up getting the worst of the collision and almost cried.  I was 16 years old and just 120 pounds.

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

A Conversation about Basic Hard Striking Techniques

Below is a online conversation between Calasanz and two students discussing the YouTube video “BASIC HARD STRIKING TECHNIQUES” (shown above). The video clip shows Calasanz demonstrating how to effectively block a strong right hand from an opponent and counterpunch off that block with a powerful right hand of your own.

Calasanz: Dariusz, my experience with this is much better now, I have matured more, and now I can do this even faster. One day you should pass by and I will give you a demonstration of this video. You will love it. Even if you are in Norwalk one day, just come and say “hi” and I will talk to you for five minutes. It will be enough to improve your defense on the street. And don’t forget, if you are ever in trouble on the street, try to win the fight without fighting and that makes you not just a better person, but above all, a more skillful individual in the martial arts.

Dariusz K: I support what I believe. You showed me how to improve that power punch and I remember the feeling when the heavy bag sounded much better after only one minute of the instruction you gave me. Good stuff. Thanks.

Christopher C: See also how his feet are positioned after the strike which enables him to block right away!

Dariusz K: Watch Calasanz footwork while power punching. That makes all the difference in the world. Try it on the heavy bag next time to see instant improvement.

Calasanz: Dariusz, thanks for your observation. If you are ever around, pass by and we will elaborate even more on this. Thanks again for your comments.

Calasanz Martial Arts Drills and Point Sparring.

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

Teaching the Calasanz System – Part One: A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography

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

I earned my reputation as an instructor by training about 25 street fighters.  I was new to this country and interested in creating a name. I chose street brawlers because they had the confidence and endurance to fight.  It was my job to teach them martial arts techniques and self-control necessary for tournaments.  It took me about 3 months to get them ready to fight under my school’s name.  They impressed everyone who saw them fight or perform.  People wanted to know who there instructor was.  This was the first step I took in creating a reputation.  It was the beginning and helped draw more students to my school and win me respect in the community.

In 1986 I rented space out of a hardcore bodybuilding gym called George’s Gym.  It wasn’t the easiest environment to be in.  Some of the bodybuilders were obnoxious and believed that a body built by steroids was all they needed to be good fighters.  I had no doubt however that it would not take long before everyone respected anyone wearing the Calasanz logo.  I told my students that within a few weeks, we would attract a lot of business from the gym.  One of the bodybuilders who came through my door was a 6’4” bully who invited everyone in the gym to come to my school and watch him beat me up.  I aimed a kick to his hipbone and disabled him in 15 seconds.   After this incident, our school was constantly training bodybuilders.  The people who witnessed the fight that day and the bully himself sent us business!  He even went so far as referring his victims to us.  He would tell them “go train with Calasanz so he can teach you how to fight!”  By the way, we sold a lot of clothing bearing the Calasanz logo because my school had earned such a good reputation that people wanted to wear our logo.  The purpose for wearing our clothes was that no one would mess with you if they thought you trained at Calasanz.  This was the name I created.

While I enjoyed training street fighters, it was now time to expand my system to society-at-large.  My new philosophy is to meet the student where he or she is and find out what it is that they want to get out of the martial arts.  I always ask a new student, “do you want to learn how to fight, are you interested in fitness, self-defense or competition?”  Whatever the answer, I tailor a program that will suit a student’s needs.  Regardless of the program they choose, I balance their curriculum so they get a complete taste of the system, while focusing on their particular goal.  We always work with a goal in mind.  I have found that students who train for hours with no particular goal end up getting bored or frustrated.  Every time you walk on the floor to train, you must think about what you want to get out of it.  Training goals should also be adjusted from time to time to reflect a student’s new interests, lifestyle and abilities.  This way, training always has a purpose.

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

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

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

My training in different schools, both here and in the Dominican Republic, has taught me that a martial artist with true skill doesn’t have to fight.  He can win respect by his skill and confidence.  If you have skill and confidence, you don’t have to lift a finger.  Let your training speak for itself.  I had another experience in that same Darien school.  I had another classmate who I sincerely believe could have beat me if we fought prior to my intensive kicking training.  I was able to take on anyone in the class in a full contact challenge now that my legs were super strong and fast.  I have to admit however that I would probably lose at point or Olympic fighting, which is a very common form of sparring in most martial arts schools.  I was used to full contact fighting, so fighting for points made no sense to me.  While I have great respect for those who train hard to engage in point fighting only because I admire their dedication to training, I sometimes think that they are lulled into a false sense that they can really fight full contact. 

An aikido practitioner came to class and challenged me to a fight because he heard that I was very strong.  He was much bigger than I was, but that didn’t bother me.  I grabbed him and he wasn’t able to move my hands.  I executing a takedown and sent him crashing to the floor.  I had him pinned to the ground and he called the head master of the school, a very talented martial artist.  The teacher told him how to get out of it by going with my power instead of going against it.  I was very impressed with his answer, but I was angry at this guy for calling the teacher over in the first place. 

When I worked as a bartender there was a tall, strong customer who was curious to see how strong I really was.  I politely turned him down, but everyone kept encouraging me to do something.  One day, the bar was full.  He started challenging me again, so I gave in.  He grabbed me and I have to admit, he was pretty strong.  I could barely move my wrist.  I took a deep breath and was able to twist his wrist so hard that everyone in the room heard a “crack.”  I ended up breaking his thumb and he had to spend four weeks in a cast.  I felt really bad about it, but he just wouldn’t let up.

I eventually got very tired of working in a restaurant.  There were a lot of rude, nasty customers to deal with.  I remember this one guy who was treating me like dirt while I was waiting on him.  He left me a tip that was so paltry it was insulting.  I was so insulted I followed him into the parking lot and stuck his tip into his mouth.  This was a nightmare for my employer, since this guy was a big shot who later complained to the headquarters.  Surprisingly enough, I was not fired from my job.  My general manager told the headquarters that he didn’t want to fire me because I was too profitable to the restaurant.  In retrospect, I know that I over reacted.  I just got so frustrated.  It was also a message to me that maybe it was time to move on.  I had been getting increasingly frustrated with the customers.  I knew that it was time for a change.  One of my friends encouraged me to open my own school.

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography: The Early Years – Part Two

I recall another incident where a friend of mine was being picked on and he was too afraid to stick up for himself.  Again, here was someone larger than me, but I didn’t care.  Some of my friends wanted to help me fight him because we were so unevenly matched, but I wanted to take him on myself.  I used my legs, kicking him relentlessly.  When my father heard that I was yet again in another fight, he was angry until he heard that I won the fight!!

One of my first unofficial students was my little brother.  He was being challenged to fight by one of the local bullies.  I told him to drop back after the kid started fighting and punch him with all his might.  He did just what I told him and knocked the guy out.  All the work with the cows taught me not only the power of the legs, but also the advantages of a powerful and speedy counterattack.  I incorporated this philosophy into my system, which is largely based on effective deflecting blows and followed with counterattacking techniques.

While my father did not approve of the fights I would get into, understand that I was never the aggressor.  I didn’t start fights needlessly, nor was I a bully.  When I fought, it was to defend another or myself and in some instances, to prove a point.  Where I grew up, it was part of the male culture to be strong and not back down from a fight.  So while my father didn’t’ condone fighting, he admired my skill and courage

I left my family farm and went to Santiago to continue my academic studies.  It was there that I was first exposed to the martial arts after seeing a karate demonstration, lead by a man named Rafael Martinez, who would later become my good friend and teacher.  I took my first class where I was taught high, middle and low blocks, reverse punch, and a front, side and roundhouse kick.  I took these few movements and practiced them for three months straight before I went back to the school again.  It was during this time that I focused on developing my power.  Three months later, I returned.  With just the few techniques that I had mastered, I was able to successfully spar my classmates and gain their respect despite the fact that I was three times smaller than anyone else and that most of them were black belts. These were not your average karate practitioners; they were killers.  While martial arts today are more of a recreational sport, back then, you had to fight for your life.  There was no referee, no rules, and no pads. 

I also learned something about myself in the course of my three months of training.  I knew that I had a natural talent for the martial arts.  I believe that when you are given a natural talent, no matter what it is, that you should pursue it.  I was determined to take the gift that I was given and develop it to the best of my ability.  I also knew that I could not abuse my talents and that I would only put them to good use.  That is one of the reasons why I decided to make martial arts my business. 

to be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave. Norwalk, CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography: The Early Years – Part One

I was raised on a farm in the Dominican Republic.  One of my earliest memories of the fighting arts was through my father’s fascination with boxing.  I remember how he used to get excited every time his favorite boxer landed a punch.  My father wanted me to be a boxer.  He and some of his brothers were considered the strongest men on the farm.  He noticed the same family traits in me and encouraged me to go into boxing. He saw at an early age that I had natural talent and power. He even offered to sponsor my career in it.  Although I didn’t take the path of a boxer, my father respected the fact that despite my power, I was not a bully.  Being exposed to boxing as a young child, I always knew that I wanted to be a fighter but I didn’t see the point of two people getting into the ring to fight for no reason.  The mission behind my desire to be a fighter wasn’t about titles, trophies or glory.  It was about self-defense and defense of others.  It was about sticking up for the underdog. It was about survival.

As a kid, I was very creative and liked to entertain people in town by singing and dancing.  I was also a very hard working farm boy and my family and neighbors took notice.  So did my classmates who were very jealous of the attention I was getting in the neighborhood.  I started having problems in school and knew that at some point, I was going to have to stand up for myself.  I didn’t tell my parents what was going on and resolved to deal with the problems myself.  While part of me was scared, another part of me was very excited.  I had always identified with the underdog and was a defender of those who were picked on or unable to fight back.

I remember one day when I was ten years old, my father sent me downtown on a horse to pick up a 200-pound bag of rice.  As made my way back home, I noticed a man insulting one of the women in my neighborhood.  I yelled at him to leave her alone, but he yelled back “Listen little rabbit, you are too small to tell me what to do.”  I jumped off the horse and went after this guy who was about three times my size and age.  I fought as hard as I could.  Finally someone broke up the fight.  I thought I was going to choke him to death!!  My father found out about it and told me never to do that again, especially against someone who had so much physical advantage.  The woman never forgot what I did for her that day.  That was the greatest reward.

It was at this time that I also realized the power that could be generated in the legs.  I was milking one of our cows, which was in a particularly bad mood that day.  So she kicked me!  I got so angry that I got up, took a step back and kicked her in the stomach, knocking her down.  My father saw what I had done and gave me a spanking.  Even though I was being punished, I couldn’t believe what I had done. 

To be continued…

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness

507 Westport Ave, Norwalk CT 06851

www.calasanz.com

www.interdojo.com

www.the-perfectfit.com

Hard Work and Effort in the Calasanz System pays off!

JustinMartyrJr has made a comment on Leo the Story behind his Martial Arts Training Calasanz.wmv:

Comment: Great form for a white belt becoming yellow, credit the teachers to in helping him to understand & generating power.

Response: Thank you for your complimentary comments. Not only do we appreciate them, but so does Leo. He is a very hard working student and his confidence level shot up 100% as a result of his martial arts training.  He is one of the rare students who are willing to accept the traditional form of training that the Calasanz System offers only those who are willing to put in the effort.  By traditional training, we don’t mean a lot of “yes sir, no sir” and lots of bowing. We mean someone who is willing to integrate training of mind, body, and spirit and become mature adult and well-rounded martial artists. We will gratefully pass on your compliments to the student. Best of luck!

Calasanz has earned his reputation as an instructor

Comment: These are “pointless techniques, that will get you killed in the street”, and you can be sure that those who understand how you are attacked on the street would immediately make sense of what this lady is doing.

Response: Since the mid-80’s, Calasanz has earned his reputation as an instructor, especially with members of law enforcement.  He has taught self-defense to numerous police officers, special agents, state troopers, bodyguards and military personnel.  Men and women from these professions still come to his school. If his techniques were “pointless” and would “get you killed in the street,” his school would have closed a long time ago.  Calasanz has been very innovative with his use of power, speed and flexibility.  His system is focused on counter attacks that work for women.  The woman in this video is one of the strongest he has ever encountered after training in his system.  Her hip and torso power is extraordinary, which make her defensive movements powerful.

Quality of Execution and Self Defense

Anyone can execute a block or a strike, but not everyone can do it with balance, power, flexibility, and style.  The quality of the execution is what is most important.  If you follow the young lady in the video closely, you can see that she has a very good block.  Notice when Calasanz swings how she naturally drops back and moves her head to evade the strike. She then immediately returns a counterattack. At this point in her training, will she be able to hurt someone?  No, but it is crucial to teach good technique first and then develop more strength and striking power. There is a difference between training in martial arts and boxing as a way of life and training for competition.  Nobody is really ever ready for the streets because what goes on there is very unpredictable. If you want to produce a good street fighter, then you need to find someone who has no fear. Technique for this person is just icing on the cake.

Calasanz Self Defense and Sports Training information

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!