The Wing Chun Traditional Dummy

The Traditional Dummy Explained

The traditional wooden dummy is a staple in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean martial arts.  They do come in various shapes and sizes, but the most prevalent design is 3 arms and 1 leg.  The Dummy is especially used in the practice of Wing Chun and is used to practice techniques, build bone density and train sensitivity.  To read more about the wooden dummy, its history and its purpose please read more here

Dealing with Troublemakers – Rival Schools and Street Fighters: by Calasanz

If you’re going to open a martial arts school, please beware that you will have to deal with troublemakers. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen the martial arts movie where a karate teacher is busy teaching class for example, and all of a sudden, a bunch of clowns from a rival school show up and want to fight. If you think this scene only happens in the movies, you are sorely mistaken. It is not uncommon to have challengers come into a martial art school looking for a fight. As the proprietor of a martial arts school, I have seen troublemakers come in many forms, some subtle, some not so subtle. If you plan on running a martial art club, you really need to understand how this can happen and what to do about it.

We once had a rival school send a drug-crazed maniac who walked into a class with the purpose of hurting people. Another sent two women who openly wanted to challenge our female instructors. One of these women actually lunged at me! These people are dangerous intruders bent on violence. We have not hesitating in resorting to legal action by calling the police and getting our lawyers involved. As the head instructor, you are responsible for the safety of your students. Send someone else to call 911, while you try to calm the situation down before the police arrive.

Most troublemakers don’t come in packs like they do in the martial arts movies. Very often, a rival school or local street fighter registers as a student with your club and his primary goal is to challenge your students and pick fights. These people are not interested in forms, technique, or fitness. Martial art schools don’t like to turn paying students away, so I take a “wait and see” attitude. If a perspective student is so obnoxious, you are within your rights to reject him as a member of your club and tell him to go elsewhere.

Street fighters want to prove themselves. They are there to fight. I usually handle these people myself or delegate their training to an experienced fighter/instructor who will be able to handle him skillfully. I built my first school on local street fighters who came here for a challenge and ended up being loyal students. Individuals from rival schools are there to cause trouble. They are either sent by their instructors or are there on their own. Their mission is to check out your operation and cause disruptions. This comes in the form of challenges to you or your students. They will also berate your style or the way you do things. Again, I usually handle these people myself or pair them off with a skilled fighter/instructor. Whether it’s the blatant challenge or the Trojan Horse, always be vigilant. While the challenges are not as dramatic as they are in the movies, they do exist. This is a business that tends to attract this type of element.

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.bestfitnessofwestport.com

Fight Readiness! by Calasanz

Fighting preparation has come a long way since my days in the Dominican Republic. During the very first class, I witnessed novice white belts getting their butts kicked and enduring some of the most brutal training you could imagine. Kicks to the stomach, punches to the head…for what? You were subjected to all this punishment to prove that you were tough enough to take all this punishment.

This type of training is no longer popular in today’s dojo. First off, the lawyers will tell you that your exposure to lawsuits is increased. Secondly, instructors have wised up and understand that a student must be mentally and physically prepared to jump into the ring. I’m not talking about point fighting here. I mean full contact. Not only should a student should be physically conditioned to develop strength and stamina, he should also be trained in how to avoid punishment. Learning how to properly block and evade attacks is essential.

There is enough evidence to prove that turning yourself into a human punching bag can lead to serious injuries over the years. Shots to the head for example, can lead to long-term brain damage or even death. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has indicated that 90% of boxers sustain brain injuries. Because of the risks involved, I like to emphasize blocking and evasion techniques, regardless of whether the student is tough enough to take the blow. In my school, we spend a lot of time on learning how to protect the body. While we like to fight, we also want to do everything we possibly can to avoid injuries.

I’m impressed with the training I see some of the UFC fighters go through before they step into the Octagon. Fight preparation has come a long way from the old days in the rough and tumble dojos. Brutality is no longer the way to train a fighter. Instructors paying more attention to training, conditioning and good technique are a major improvement.

 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.bedfordboxing.com

BALANCED IN EVERY WAY OF LIFE: by Calasanz

I have noticed many times, immediately when someone gets overwhelmed with work the first thing is stop exercising, or training in the martial arts. When I refer to martial arts, I am talking about quality schools; a school where you learn what martial arts has to offer in a traditional, or even in a recreational way, without being a joke. Too many students train in karate, jujitsu, tae-kwan-do, etc, and the instructor just rewards them for everything they do, but the last thing they are learning is the beauty of the art which is based on other principles of life other than just being rewarded.

When you train in martial arts, it is just a way to feel better, to strengthen your joints, your balance, your grounding. You must feel that you don’t have to just hurt someone, it is for fighting but it the way of the warrior, so fighting must be part of what you are leaning, that is the part that differentiates you from other people. Someone is swinging at you, and you are avoiding their attack without hitting the person.

When talking about the Calasanz System, this is martial arts that is completely balanced all around, develops your confidence, self esteem, balance, flexibility, joint strength, and can rehabilitate any part of your body which has been injured before. Learning self-defense techniques the Calasanz way, we make sure that you understand what works and what does not work. Learning something that you do not have to think, your body does it as muscle memory, you get pushed you recover into a balance, somebody swings, and you duck or move the head out of the way.

Martial arts means putting the time in to do things better, dealing with your friends better, with more confidence, including your family, wife and children better, so martial arts just mean success and balance in every way of your life.

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.greenwichrecreationalboxing.com

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

Wing Chun – An Introduction to the Balanced Art of Self Defense: by Calasanz

Two hundred eighty years ago, China was ruled by the repressive Manchus, who outlawed all weapons and forbade the Hans to practice any form of self defense. The Hans began to train a secret army of revolutionaries. The SilLimTemple became the sanctuary where masters of many ancient martial arts systems deliberated on how to create a single style that would be deadly enough to serve their revolutionary purpose, but which could be taught faster than the traditional form that took 20 years to master. Five of China’s greatest grandmasters jointly created a new system, but before they could teach it to their secret army, the Manchus burned the temple and put the masters to death. Ng Mui, a Buddhist nun, was the only survivor, who in secret and in great danger, taught the art to an orphan girl she named Wing Chun, which means “hope for the future.”

The art of Wing Chun is a blend of hard and soft techniques that are based on the movements of the tiger, crane, dragon, leopard and snake. Wing Chun equalizes the height and weight advantage that men have over women because it brings combat in closer to the opponent’s body where length of arms and legs no longer determine advantage. Wing Chun emphasizes the principles of simultaneous defense and counter attacks, economy of motion and center line attacks, as opposed to the use of brute strength. Wing Chun is suitable for both men and women of all ages, sizes and physical abilities. Those who practice Wing Chun find that it reduces stress, increases physical fitness, increases confidence and improves overall health.

Wing Chun is the style of Kung Fu taught at the Calasanz martial arts dojo. This course delves into this ancient art that is just as practical today as it was two hundred years ago.

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.norwalkkungfu.com

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness Presents – Executive Black Belt Intensive Training: by Calasanz

Ask yourself these questions: Is stress consuming you? Do you feel as though you are sleep walking through life? When was the last time you did something for YOURSELF!

People in Fairfield County are considered to be some of the most successful and hardest working in the country. With this success however, comes a lot of sacrifice. I’ve had busy professionals walk into my school feeling as though they were in a downward spiral and too exhausted to crawl out. Interestingly enough, after several months of training I saw a dramatic change.

Do you want a change? I have taken over 30 years of experience in martial arts training and created a program that will help you re-focus and re-energize…Calasanz Executive Black Belt Intensive. The first step is re-focusing. You and I will set a goal. Do you want to earn your black belt, lose weight, and get stronger? You tell me what you want to accomplish. I will create the program to get you there.

Next we revitalize. You and I will put your program in motion. Please understand that this is not your average workout. This is an intensive program and it requires a great commitment on your part of at least 2 hours per week. I know it can be hard at first, especially if you’ve done little or no physical training in a long time. That’s why I’ll work with you to slowly build up your strength and stamina.

The program contains a variety of disciplines to suit your personal preference. If you want to take out your frustrations on a punching bag, I can develop a boxing program for you. For the ladies, if you want to lose weight and look good in a bathing suit, I recommend Aerobic Isolation™.  If you’ve always been curious about Chinese Kung Fu, I can introduce you to the world of Wing Chun, the martial art practiced by Bruce Lee. If hardcore martial art training is what you’re looking for, the Calasanz Executive Black Belt Intensive program includes physical conditioning, martial arts training and one-on-one sparring. I have trained people in programs ranging from 3, 6, 9 or 12 months so we can develop a plan that works for you.

Bottom line is that this program works! It’ll work for you like it’s worked for so many who have walked through my doors. Whether you’re a new student or current student looking for a new challenge, let’s start today.

Get Ready! -Calasanz

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.westportpersonaltrainers.com

Children are taught to know themselves at Calasanz Martial Arts.

Calasanz has spent many years working primarily with children and has proven to himself that he can get his message across even to young minds. Other instructors have asked him, “What is your secret? How do you teach martial arts to children so young?” The answer is simple. Calasanz explains that he emphasizes basic techniques which help at a range of different levels.

When Calasanz first went into business and began to promote childrens’ classes a lot of parents were scared to enroll their children at the school. By this time Calasanz had earned a reputation in the area for producing some of the toughest fighters. What the parents did not see and were not aware of is that while Martial Arts training can produce a tough and durable fighter, real Martial Arts training teaches people not to fight. Calasanz emphasizes defense and respect for your Martial Arts knowledge and abilities. He teaches children never to be the aggressor and not to strike your friends, brothers or sisters because they could hurt somebody with their ability.

When it comes to childrens’ martial arts training there innumerable benefits to be reaped from such a pursuit, not all of which are physical. In traditional school or community team sports some children don’t make the final cut to get on the team and while some schools and community programs have tried to remedy this at the end of the day even those that make the team may spend a good deal of time on the bench. In martial arts training every child, regardless of their capabilities is welcomed and capable of practicing and improving themselves. This gives a child a sense of pride, that yes they can participate within a group, and yes, they can engage in physical activity.

Another benefit of the Calasanz System is that a code of conduct is put into place which promotes self-discipline, respect, and courtesy. Those whose purpose of studying martial arts to gain an aggressive edge are quickly set straight. Calasanz encourages a positive respectful attitude both inside and outside of the school.

Training in martial arts will also greatly improve a child’s concentration and attention span. It will increase their physical fitness as well sharpen their mental abilities.

Children who practice the martial arts become aware of their surroundings.

So what type of improvement do children see from the Calasanz system? Well, all of the above plus many amazing physical improvements. Improved coordination, balance, strength, power, grounding, and focus. Through the practicing of drills, coaching, sparring, forms, and katas your children will have strengthened joints and a basic knowledge of aerobic isolation and isometric movements which gives the Calasanz system its unique qualities and ultimately its name.

All of these improvements not only increase a child’s performance in their particular sport, but also in all other areas of their lives. The Calasanz System focuses on building a child by improving not only their body but also their character.

 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.bedfordkickboxing.com

Why My Method of Wing Chun Training is Unique: by Calasanz

The Calasanz System includes my unique method of Wing Chun training.  While I have used my creativity to expand on the Wing Chun system, I have great respect for the traditional roots of any martial art that I have studied and great reverence for the men I learned from.  In my Bio, I talk about my training and that I learned from several instructors after I spent many years with my Goju Ryu master, Tamojoshi Sakamoto.  My reason for doing this was to become a well-rounded martial artist.  That is why I studied with others at least to the point of brown belt- to get a basic understanding of the differences.  I did however; absorb myself in the study of Wing Chun, learning the entire system from Moyat, a master based in Chinatown, New York City, by taking private lessons with him.

I studied Wing Chun because I wanted to learn a martial art from Southern China and for to balance my history of training in “hard” styles with a “soft” one.  I was also looking to work internally and expand on the philosophy taught to me by Tamojoshi Sakamoto, my Goju Ryu master.  I remember having dinner many times with him in the evening and writing down every thing he said.  He taught me two great lessons.  One is that the enemy lies within; in the obstacles I placed between success and myself.  The second was Narano-kan-nin, Surga-kan-nin.  This means that forgiving the unforgivable releases the burden of carrying anger and hatred.  Studying a “soft” style helped me integrate these lessons on a physical, mental and spiritual level. 

When I left Moyat’s school in 1980, I did so on very good terms.  I began teaching Wing Chun with Moyat’s blessing, because I wouldn’t do it any other way.  In 1987, Moyat came to my school in Norwalk and conducted a seminar in Wing Chun.  He did this out of respect for me, as well as to help my school deal with another Wing Chun school that was creating problems.  The instructor at this school gave himself the title of “Grandmaster”, claiming that he too studied under Moyat, which was not the case.  Moyat also came to Norwalk out of respect for our student/teacher relationship. When I was training at Moyat’s, he was having some trouble with people coming to the school to challenge his students.  The students taking the group classes could not handle the problem because at the time, he reserved certain training methods, like wooden dummy, only for his private students.  I had been in so many confrontations like this in the Dominican Republic that this was old news to me.  I fought any of the guys who came to his school looking to cause trouble and eventually put a stop to the problem without anyone getting seriously hurt.

My method of Wing Chun training is integrated in The Calasanz System, so my students have a well-rounded approach, not only to Wing Chun, but also to self-defense.  This integration was never meant to disrespect or criticize my Wing Chun teacher or any other Wing Chun instructor.  It is my way of expanding this traditional style to supplement its softness with the hardness of other styles, to create a well-rounded martial artist.  It is an approach that many have benefited from and enjoyed over the years.

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.norwalkkungfu.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