New Students : New Perspectives

Watching him work today; the student had learned about 6 movements on the dummy.  It was amazing to see the softness and control the student displayed after just 2 lessons.  It was, in a word, phenomenal.

 

He refused to let the student get away with a detail on the first step / turn of the form.  The way he taught the correction of the form and how to capture, look, and see a movement in its entirety simultaneously was like witnessing a miracle or having a profound realization.

 

This is why teaching Wing Chun or Martial Arts in general is both a challenge and at the same time greatly rewarding.  If done right it is not just a technique or movement that is being taught.  It is shining a light on undiscovered facets within an individual and then bringing that facade outward to the surface.

 

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The surfacing of such an internal change is not always easily noticed and rarely immediate.  Often times the input is received in the moment yet the lesson is not learned until one goes through the process and takes the time to replay the experience retrospectively through memory catalyzing that change and bringing it realistically into fruition towards a meaningful shift in future reality and perspective.

 

What better venue to learn about and change yourself than martial art??

 

Learn to use your body.  How it works as a unit.  Feel more aware, confident and “in your skin”.  Feel more confident and more in control of a situation knowing you have the ability to defend yourself.  Learn body anatomy, get the body working all together.  Be coordinated.  Think for yourself.  Be independent.  Be confident.

 

Bruce Lee in an interview said that the people he trained were not looking for a fight; they were seekers of knowledge and that in the end all knowledge is self knowledge.   So what are you actually learning in martial art?  You are learning about yourself, you are learning about who you are, what you are, what you are capable of and much, much more. 

Everyone has some type of natural talent: by Calasanz

I am writing on this topic to inspire you.  Everyone has some type of natural talent.  Some people are well aware of their natural talents and do all they can to cultivate them.  Some aren’t and even go so far as saying that they have nothing to offer the world.  I have taught martial arts instructor for close to 30 years and I can tell you this is not so.  I advise my students to take a survey of their lives, from the time they were children to the present.  Pay close attention to what you liked to do and what you were good at.  It may take a while, but a good inventory and some contemplation will lead you in the right direction.

I grew up in the Dominican Republic.  When I was just 9 years old, I witnessed a 22-year-old jerk insulting this lady.  He was tall, fit and obnoxious.  I instinctively went after him in defense of this woman.  I trapped his head on a wire fence and started choking him.  A couple of adults intervened and pulled me off him. 

I remember a fight against this guy named Alvarado.  He insulted my cousin, Jose, who couldn’t fight and was afraid to stand up to him.  I came to Jose’s defense against this guy who was twice my size.  No one interfered because I kicked this guy so hard that he could do nothing. 

As a child, I taught my 5-year-old brother to fight.  He especially had to learn how to counter attack.  We spent some time on some counters and at the next fight he got into he hit the kid so hard that he couldn’t get up for 3 minutes. 

Please understand that my brothers, cousins and I were well-behaved kids.  We didn’t go around looking for fights, but where I came from, if you were insulted or attacked, you had no choice but to defend yourself and your reputation against bullies.  There was absolutely no way around it. 

There was however a positive aspect to growing up in that particular neighborhood and having those experiences.   When I surveyed my life as a young man, I was able to see that I had a natural talent for fighting and teaching

I could have done what so many young men from the Dominican Republic do and pursue a career in baseball.  I was an employee at Banco Popular and played on their baseball team.  I was very good at what I did and even came out of my martial arts training for a brief time to help them win the championship. 

But baseball was not where my natural talents could be best utilized.  I received great satisfaction from the martial arts.  The only place where I could pursue my dream was in the United States, so I came here and never looked back.  The joy of teaching my brother and others how to defend themselves led to teaching and I am proud to say that I have established one of the most successful martial arts schools in the world.

Pay attention to your past.  I took my fighting spirit and turned it into something positive.  What is your natural talent?  By looking at the past, you may just create a whole new future.

Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness / 1-800-414-9544 / www.calasanz.com / interdojo.com / www.the-perfectfit.com

Calasanz Physical Training Images

Video as an instructional tool for the Calasanz System

Comment: Why drop your hands every time you kick?

Response: Thank you for your comment.  What you are watching here is a set of drills. Calasanz’s reality based system includes a lot of focus mitt work emphasizing power strikes.  Your observation is correct in that the student leaves himself totally vulnerable.  What you are not seeing is the corrections made by the instructor regarding the student dropping his hands between attacks.  The YouTube video was instructive for the student in watching his form and later correcting it with his instructor’s guidance.

They Look Like a Bunch of Ninjas!

You Tuber:

These guys look like a bunch of ninjas ! nothing to do with Okinawan stuff.

Response:

Thank you for your comments, but I wouldn’t exactly call these people “ninjas” just because they’re dressed in black. They are simply beginners learning how to do basic front stance, horse stance and low kicks. Nothing ninja-like, just some basic techniques. In three months of training, these students, some over 50 years of age, as yourself, have gained coordination, have gotten stronger and have learned some self-defense. Calasanz has modified traditional arts for practical purposes, and has been criticized for it by those who really don’t comprehend what he is doing.

Lessons for Children

When working with young students (ages 8 to 18), there are all sorts of kids, from shy to boisterous. Sometimes you’ll have a kid who comes and sits down while everyone else is exercising. A good Teacher either lets him sit alone or approaches him with a constructive lesson. Offering a lesson is the right thing to do in the martial arts.