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

Continued from “A Lifetime of Lessons – Calasanz Extended Biography:The Early Years – Part Three”

Santiago is a tough city.  When I first arrived, I had to quickly become accustomed to surviving in an urban environment.  There are two stories that stick in my mind to this day that involved two local tough guys.  One was named Calier, the other, Dario.  Calier was so bad that the police didn’t even want to deal with him.  I remember he tried to fight me one day.  I hit him with a right and he went flying over the hood of a car.  I was surprised because I barely put a lot of power into the punch.  This altercation turned into a nightmare.  I was concerned about his bad reputation.  Fortunately, things cooled down after a while.  The other guy, Dario, thought he was above the law and demanded respect from everyone. Dario was one of the most accomplished mechanics in the Dominican Republic.  He worked on racing cars and was the manager of one of the biggest body shop in town.  I had gotten a part-time job with him in order to make some extra money.  Dario was determined to pick a fight with me.  One day he got his wish.  Unfortunately for him, he found himself on the ground with two broken teeth.  The next day, over 25 neighborhood kids, including two of Dario’s brothers, came to see me and start taking classes with me. 

Two months after I started my martial arts training, I was asked by some friends to come to a town called San Jose de Las Matas to perform for them and their girlfriends.  I was just a white belt at the time and all I focused on was martial arts, work and school.  I put on a comedic martial arts demonstration and even had some black belts come and watch.  My performance was very aggressive and funny, and no one even bothered challenging me. I would go on to do many demonstrations in the Dominican Republic and in the United States, including my Super Breaks.  

One of my closest friends, Felo, had come with me to the first karate demonstration.  He started training in karate on the same day I started.  He couldn’t continue his studies, so I became his teacher.  Four months later, Felo was fighting black belts. There was a local martial arts club that needed a teacher.  Now Felo was in competition with me and wanted this job badly.  Felo challenged me to a fight to take place at the martial arts club.  Felo was much bigger than me. We started by teaching a formal class.  We then had a sparring session were the students fought each other as well as with us. Finally, Felo and I were left standing.  He came after me as if he wanted to kill.  I threw one of my favorite kicks.  I threw an extremely hard kick that landed on his head.  His mouth, ears, and eyes started to bleed.  Felo retired from martial arts after the match.  I had used this kick on an earlier challenger who came after me with the same vengeance as Felo.  He was smart enough to quit after he saw me throw the same kick.  

As a martial artist, I had no desire to compete in tournaments.  There were plenty of opportunities in the Dominican Republic, but I wasn’t interested.  I wanted to become a real fighter.  This meant fighting without pads, rules or referees. I upset my teacher once when I refused to enter a karate tournament he was sponsoring.  I took it upon myself to find out who won the point-fighting category.  I was determined to prove a point.  I didn’t believe in using gloves.  I found the winner, challenged him to a match and beat him.

 To be continued…

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Developing self-control as a martial artist

Developing self-control for a martial artist is essential for many reasons.  First, Calasanz trained many fighters who competed in point and semi-contact tournaments.  If you have no self-control, you will get disqualified and the fight goes to your opponent.  Secondly, a martial artist who lacks self-control in a fight will be judged harshly in a court of law for using “excessive force.” You have to know when to stop and when enough is enough.  Lastly, over the years, Calasanz has had a number of people stop by the school to “challenge” either Calasanz or one of his students.  His philosophy is to teach the intruder a lesson without beating the daylights out of him…just enough to get his point across. Calasanz demonstrates amazing self-control and is not just doing it for the purpose of “showing off.” All Calasanz students have faith in his technique and the fact that he’s never hit anyone by accident when demonstrating. An experienced martial artist without self-control however is a scary thing.  

Calasanz Personal Training images and videos!

Yellow Belt Test Sparring Evaluation

You Tuber:

What is this really?
I don’t get whats the point with this video.

Response:

The video is entitled “Hard Sparring Evaluation Test” so if we must explain the obvious, it is a belt evaluation test of a white belt testing for yellow. What makes it notable is that the man trained hard for 2 months, never having taken a martial arts class in his life and is actually holding his own.

Pass By Techniques, Sparring without Brutality

Hitting someone doesn’t take a lot of skill. Hitting a well trained moving target takes skill, but passing by someones head at full speed without hitting them, without hurting them, but certainly sending a message of what could have been…takes the most skill:

Great Traditional and Contemporary Martial Arts Mix

These videos show the versatility of the Calasanz System and the components that help produce well-balanced martial artists. These videos show exciting board breaking footage, weapons training, weight training, flexibility exercises, sparring with students, forms, basic techniques, focus mitt training, bag work, kickboxing matches, wooden dummy workouts, and much, much more.

Just One Arm

There was a once a one-armed instructor training a young student, but the instructor was getting beat.

He approached Calasanz and asked for training. Calasanz agreed. Within half a year Calasanz disciplined the one-armed student. Above all, Calasanz taught him how to learn. A constructive lesson was applied without punching or kicking. This lesson was done with less than one minute of sparring.

To be continued…

Stay at Peace with Yourself

At one point I was watching this guy fight. He was confused because he was being beaten by another person that was equally matched. When I told him to simply continue his work he said,”I am too strong and I am scared of hurting someone.”

He never fought again. One day he said, “I stay in shape but I’ll never fight again.”

Two years have passed and I’ve never seen him spar again. In a way he wanted to keep his ego intact but at the same time he was smart enough to say, “let me stay in shape. I train martial arts but I can not fight.” As a Teacher, I wish he would have said, “I am no longer fighting because I just can’t put it together.” That would have been the better way for handling this situation.

Combat Sports Instructional Videos