Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Explaining Kung Fu as a Way of Life

If you understand the meaning of kung fu, the inside of the ingenuity that kung fu has to offer you all based on you surrounding your the way of your life. Then you can say that in general that Kung fu can be used through out your day of work, but primarily throughout your life or within every aspect of your life.

My clients pay me for what they get in skill, but they also gave me extra money to succeed because I give people responsibility and will let them know when they are wrong no matter who they are.  They respect that about me.




Kung fu is part of success.  Okay, here are a few silly examples, you drink a lot of water and every minute you go to the bathroom and flush the toilet. You did it 40 times, so now the water bill went up. You are cleaning your teeth in the morning and leave the water is running while you are cleaning your teeth, not the cold but rather for 2 minutes you have the hot water running. Okay, you see then that your water bill doubled or even tripled. How is your kung fu? It is terrible because you are wasting.  Kung Fu is about living well and living smart.  It is knowing what you are doing even in mundane tasks.   It is using your common sense and applying it to your every day actions.

Even in a more serious example such as gun safety. Now you are literally playing with death. If you make one mistake, one negligent movement or stop paying attention even just for a moment, someone can die. It could be you or someone with you who pays the ultimate price.

Kung Fu is not just martial art. It's how you live. It's how you keep living. It's what keeps you alive in all aspects of life; not just in combat.




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Friday, April 24, 2015

The Best Striking at Calasanz Martial Arts Center

We used to say at all time, "Make sure that you learn how to fight standing first and then go to learn the ground."  But today that is not necessarily the way people do it.  You can be a Gracie who is very good on the ground and then later devote yourself to mastering stand up fighting.  Calasanz said all the time immediately after he saw the Gracie’s winning all the fights on the ground.  He just said, "What will happen when some of the strikers come along?"  They came along very fast and today the Gracies have been forced to stress on becoming strikers too.  

He taught his students the importance of a well-developed and natural power.  He repeats this phrase at all time, "Don't go to the ground but if you do you will fight on the ground, that was why Calasanz spent a lot of time teaching rolling, falling, grounding, but also in the early 80's he experienced CHI SAU which is the main part of fighting under the wing chun system, at this time he said doing CHI SAU standing is as good as doing CHI SAU on the ground, but still it requires a lot of hard work, unless you are born with a gift for the martial arts, or have some natural skill and ability.  Today Calasanz says he is one of the first to really see what is the meaning of being a well balanced martial artist and that is almost 75% of MMA today.


I remember this guy, Daniel, who came from Georgia.  He was recommended by this boxer, Vito, who knew Calasanz very well and in fact fought Calasanz when he was close to 190 and Calasanz was only 145 pounds.  Vito was considered one of the most promising boxers in Norwalk.  He was a very tough guy.  The day that he fought Calasanz all his coaches were there saying how Vito is going Pro but things did not go too well for him.  After the fight he went and got married and decided to have kids.  Meaning he did not pursue a career in boxing afterwards.  Calasanz describes Vito as a very tough boxer and one of Calasanz best friends.  Anyway, he brought Daniel from Georgia, who was training and fighting for the Gracie’s.  Vito said, there is not a better striker than Calasanz because he knew Calasanz very well, so again, he sent Daniel go and train with him.  For Calasanz it was a pleasure to meet this young promising fighter who someday I believe that he will be very good, he took just one week of training in Connecticut with Calasanz, the idea of Vito was, if you want to strike hard and be super strong, but above all do it fast then go to Calasanz in Norwalk CT.  It takes Calasanz 2 to 4 weeks to increase 25 to 35% of natural striking power in a fighter of any level.


Again I have seen already over 20 ideas where exercises and equipment / techniques have been used and Calasanz knows that probably 95% of the idea came from people watching him demonstrating his ability since the early 80's.  There is no doubt in Calasanz mind that he is a performer and a real fighter.  Anybody wanting to know more can read a brochure of Calasanz a life time of lessons.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cheng Chuan Kung Fu Roots and the Calasanz System


Expression is an essential component to getting your martial arts practice to “come to life.” I recognized this early on in my training and chose to study dance and gymnastics so that my martial arts would have an “expressive” and “energetic” quality.  I wanted this to come across, not only to those watching my performances, but more importantly, to myself. I knew practicing these forms of self-expression would take my forms within martial art to a whole new level.  I also ventured into other martial art styles in search of this “energy” and was fortunate to have found it in Cheng Chuan.

Cheng Chuan is a style of kung fu that is characterized by smooth, extended and fluid movements.  It is called a long range fighting system as opposed to styles like Wing Chun for example which focuses on close quarter combat or short range fighting. The system is rich in forms, weapons, and self-defense, as well as throwing and locking techniques known as Chin Na.  Cheng Chuan includes acrobatic, spinning, jumping kicks as well as fluid, circular arm movements. It is the expressive nature of Cheng Chuan that drew me to this style.  I devoted many hours to studying Cheng Chuan and it eventually became a great influence on my own martial arts style known as The Calasanz System.

Cheng chuan was a perfect supplemental art to my traditional karate training.  I liked its extension and its fluidity.  This is the exact quality I wanted to bring to my kata practice.  Martial arts students that have had no dance or performance experience tend to be stiff and dull in their kata practice until they learn how to make their katas come to “life.” So I encouraged my students to also adopt the essence of Cheng Chuan in their forms.  I’ve trained many dancers and they knew exactly what I was talking about. 

While my students performed traditional karate forms, I always encouraged them to adopt the principles of Cheng Chuan…long, flowing, extended movements. Years ago, I sent a group of students to Mas Oyama’s Kyokushinkai tournament.  This was their first time competing in a tournament so we couldn’t waste any time getting them ready.  Some of them were dancers so they were able to learn a kata rather quickly.  Many of them scored 1st place in their division because we incorporated the beauty and grace of long, extended movements and the essence of Cheng Chuan. 

Strategically, applying Cheng Chuan principles to karate katas was a good move for this tournament.  If any of you are not familiar with the Kyokushinkai style, it is one of the hardest styles of karate that you’ll ever encounter.  I say this with great respect for the style and its founder, Mas Oyama, a great martial arts pioneer.  I often sent my students to the Oyama tournaments because they were fair and honorable competitors.  I was looking to create contrast in the eyes of the judges, who had spent the day watching one hard style kata after another.  I was sure that the ability of my students to deliver these katas with rhythm and grace was a winning combination. 

Since that day, we followed the same formula. Shortly after the Oyama tournament, I sent one of my students, who had never competed, to one of the biggest point tournaments in New England.  He competed in the black belt division, incorporating the same philosophy…elongated, fluid and expressive movements that won him first place. 

I also found Cheng Chuan to be a great form of physical exercise.  Its forms practice improves coordination, flexibility and cardiovascular health.  When done under the watchful eye of a competent instructor, Cheng Chuan also helps strengthen the joints and tendons.  This type of training develops flexibility and overall support around the bones and muscles, which is especially important in avoiding injuries.

Traditionalists once frowned upon exploring and experimenting with the essence of other styles or forms of physical expression.  This is now the exception and not the rule as more martial artists seek to expand their skills.   Incorporating something new into your martial arts routine can transform a routine kata into an inspirational, uplifting form of movement. 

The Calasanz System™ has logically incorporated some of the best techniques to take your martial arts to a whole new level. If you’re stuck and feel the need to progress in your art, Calasanz has the innovative vision to tailor a whole new training program to your specific needs.

Download our training videos digitally at VIMEO:



Call or Contact : 1-203-454-2699 / / / www.calasanz.com/contact



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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It’s Never Too Late: Training At Any Age with the Calasanz System

We used to say at all time, "Make sure that you learn how to fight standing first and then go to learn the ground."  But today that is not necessarily the way people do it.  You can be a Gracie who is very good on the ground and then later devote yourself to mastering stand up fighting.  Calasanz said all the time immediately after he saw the Gracie’s winning all the fights on the ground.  He just said, "What will happen when some of the strikers come along?"  They came along very fast and today the Gracies have been forced to stress on becoming strikers too.  

He taught his students the importance of a well-developed and natural power.  He repeats this phrase at all time, "Don't go to the ground but if you do you will fight on the ground, that was why Calasanz spent a lot of time teaching rolling, falling, grounding, but also in the early 80's he experienced CHI SAU which is the main part of fighting under the wing chun system, at this time he said doing CHI SAU standing is as good as doing CHI SAU on the ground, but still it requires a lot of hard work, unless you are born with a gift for the martial arts, or have some natural skill and ability.  Today Calasanz says he is one of the first to really see what is the meaning of being a well balanced martial artist and that is almost 75% of MMA today.

I remember this guy, Daniel, who came from Georgia.  He was recommended by this boxer, Vito, who knew Calasanz very well and in fact fought Calasanz when he was close to 190 and Calasanz was only 145 pounds.  Vito was considered one of the most promising boxers in Norwalk.  He was a very tough guy.  The day that he fought Calasanz all his coaches were there saying how Vito is going Pro but things did not go too well for him.  After the fight he went and got married and decided to have kids.  Meaning he did not pursue a career in boxing afterwards.  Calasanz describes Vito as a very tough boxer and one of Calasanz best friends.  Anyway, he brought Daniel from Georgia, who was training and fighting for the Gracie’s.  Vito said, there is not a better striker than Calasanz because he knew Calasanz very well, so again, he sent Daniel go and train with him.  For Calasanz it was a pleasure to meet this young promising fighter who someday I believe that he will be very good, he took just one week of training in Connecticut with Calasanz, the idea of Vito was, if you want to strike hard and be super strong, but above all do it fast then go to Calasanz in Norwalk CT.  It takes Calasanz 2 to 4 weeks to increase 25 to 35% of natural striking power in a fighter of any level.

Again I have seen already over 20 ideas where exercises and equipment / techniques have been used and Calasanz knows that probably 95% of the idea came from people watching him demonstrating his ability since the early 80's.  There is no doubt in Calasanz mind that he is a performer and a real fighter.  Anybody wanting to know more can read a brochure of Calasanz a life time of lessons.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Practice, Practice, Practice

The only way to get better at something is to seek out an external source of knowledge to educate yourself on the topic be that through a book, video, tutor or any other source you might imagine and practice.  Even with all the knowledge and learning assistance in the world there can be little progress without practice.  The blacksmith's apprentice can watch his mentor for decades yet will never be capable of creating good instruments if he does not at some point begin to wield the hammer for himself.

As we draw the comparison to martial training there is only so much someone can help you through explanation and word.  At a certain point there is no more use for words and the only thing left is action.  So do your learning.  Read books.  Watch instructionals.  Get personal instruction.  But mental training is only half the battle.  You have to put in the work!  Get physically involved!  Much like the blacksmith's apprentice watching can only take you into a mental understanding of the techniques.  It will never give you the experience as to how performing the technique actually FEELS.

So do me a favor, I want you to get up out of your chair or step away from you desk right now and practice your jab.  

How does it feel?  Is it a confident jab or are you still wondering what a jab is?  Is your arm extending straight or is your elbow flailing?  Do you have a stance or do you look like you are waiting for a bus?

Go on.  Practice!  It will do your jab much better than sitting here reading!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Simplicity is King

Calasanz Martial Arts Center has been in Norwalk for over 3 decades.  When you set out to get started learning a martial art either for sport or for recreation you have to ask yourself why it is you would go to any particular school.

Let me be honest here.  No matter what school you go to your first visit to a school / gym / dojo is going to be exciting and you're going to be very excited to get started.  There is something inside every person that is awakened when you bear witness to and experience these different activities.  You automatically can think to yourself, "Wow, I can do that!"  or perhaps more inquisitively you might ask yourself "That looks so easy, why don't I do that?"  and let me tell you, it is very simple.  It is no secret as to how or why people are capable of what they do.  It is just a matter of setting the mind to do it and going to do it.  Even if you start out with very little skill keep in mind that everyone crawls before they walk and walks before they run.  The only difference between those who can and those who can't is action.  It is not so difficult to understand what makes someone great at what they do.  It is, simply put, a matter of continued discipline, dedication and revision.

What makes our approach so effective and the reason why our school has been able to remain here is because of the simplicity and the approach we take to training.  Come to Calasanz to take something home with you.  Train to beat the competitor without competing.  Learn the basics.  Keep your training simple.  Calasanz has been teaching and working with people and within the martial arts exclusively for decades and his skill and knowledge cannot be denied.  If you want to come somewhere to learn something right this is the place.  It is somewhere you will learn about yourself and you will learn the methods to improving your coordination, flexibility, power, grounding and technique developed by Calasanz over his career.

Countless people have come through to learn something here and left with something they will remember forever.  Fledgling athletes improving their balance and coordination come to excel in their sport after training here for periods as short as 2 months.  Great athletes even come here to improve and to become dominant on the field and court.  Martial Artists come here to improve their fighting skill and broaden their horizons becoming well balanced and more open.  There is something for you here no matter what you're looking for.

So when you want to learn how to kick, when you want to get into kickboxing for example, when you want to try something new and branch out to a new style of martial art, this is your school.  You can learn it all here.  We have trainers who teach Karate, Kung Fu, Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, BJJ, Fitness and Self Defense.  There are countless avenues to take with your training all ready to be taken.  Take the first step and call or email to schedule a free trial or just stop by during business hours.  We are open 7 days a week!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Not Wrong | Just Different

The best martial artists are those with open minds.  While every person has a style that speaks to them it is hard to be respected as a person or martial artist if there is not acceptance of others' ways and an openness to learning new approaches and methods.

It is commendable and demanding of respect when a person decides to dedicate themselves to a specific art and work within that sect of the martial arts community.  Yet it is deplorable when this same person scoffs and sneers at others efforts within a different sect.

While it is no doubt true that certain styles or approaches are more effective there is still validity within the practice of those so-called "less effective" styles.  Each person must decide for themselves why it is they practice.  After all, Bruce Lee did say that in the end all knowledge is self knowledge, including knowledge of martial arts.  Upon continued dedication the practitioner learns about himself in ways of which he was previously ignorant.  For example you will learn by taking just one kickboxing class how flexible / inflexible you are.

Getting back on point, when it comes to the different approaches, styles and training methods of different martial arts it is of course still another thing all together to come to blows and to fight.  That is to say that there can be a big difference between what you train for and the way a fight can go, especially out in the real world where there are any number of objects within the environment let alone the possibility of concealed weapons or firearms.

Now I could go on and say how useless it is for someone to spend their life learning empty hand forms and that they should instead take krav maga or Aikido to learn about disarming and control through joint manipulation.  But it would be against common sense to say that it is useless to learn a form.  For it has its own beauty and use there within.  Discipline, control, learning body mechanics through movement and developing strength, power, flexibility and muscle memory of technique and perhaps the public performance of this form would even inspire others to seek out and enjoy the world of martial arts.

So what is the best and most effective martial art?  It is a trick question.  First you must ask yourself, "What is my goal through practice?"  From there you poke around and decide which art is a good fit for you.  Take note now as well and don't let yourself get brainwashed as so many do within their own space.  The first martial art you dive into will forever be a large part of your life but don't let it weigh you down or cloud your mind when branching out to something new or conversing with someone with background in a different style.  There is much to be learned but it is difficult for that learning to occur through closed doors.

Take your knowledge from school to school always filling your cup more and more.  Remember what you learn and be open to receiving more and more.  Again, when two martial artists meet it is not that there is one wrong and one right.  They are simply different and it is through appreciation and acceptance of this difference that both can learn and grow.