Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Behind the Scenes - Saturday Night Fight

The two fighters featured here are Luca Cappoza, fighting in all black, for Calasanz' Norwalk school, and John, fighting in the white shirt for Peter Mottaza's New York City school.


Transcribed from an audio recording of Calasanz

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 And so the story goes...  


 
       Round 1            Round 2

Peter is a great instructor, a Greek guy, and a real guy who taught good martial art.  Prior this night in 1992 Peter had such respect for me that he told John to come and take 5 classes privately with me before stepping into the ring with any of my guys and he even paid for it himself.  For him to do that and tell that to a guy so young, so fit and so experienced was just unbelievable.  Just imagine the respect he had, and the lack of ego required for him to go and pay $100 an hour for his student to come take private training with me before taking the fight with my guy.  I still cannot even believe it, Peter is just incredible.

Because, if I would be a guy to be seen, I know that Bruce Lee was considered a Grand Master since day one.  But the beauty of it is that the people that knew him, of the people that knew Bruce Lee, they even knew that I was stronger and my martial art was superb in comparison with his martial art.  Now before you go calling 'blasphemy' understand, we are not talking about movies, we are not talking about as an actor.  Bruce Lee was a tremendous actor.  But to see that happen, to have that happen to me in real life, to experience a rival instructor scheduling his fighter to take 5 classes of private training with me before fighting one of my guys, its just incredible, even crazy.
 
Again the same thing happened with another fighter Michael Blazzie. If I remember correctly I think his instructor at the time was Tiger Schulmann.  Unfortunately Michael ended up in Norwalk Hospital for 10 hours in a coma when his bout came to an abrupt halt.


But moving on.. For me to experience those guys, to be training those guys and hearing them talk so much at the same time that I am training them to fight my guys...  John in particular would talk to me, "Oh my goodness Calasanz, I'm going to knock this guy out, I'm going to knock him down in seconds this is my fight.  It will be over so fast."  I mean, its just crazy, that I'm training him to fight one of my guys who has trained under me and here he is talking talking talking.  "Okay Calasanz, you are going to help me but I don't even know if I need that help."

Then to see later what happened in the ring... its almost ludicrous.

Luca Capozza prior to this fight had been trained only minimally in French kickboxing.  He trained with me for about 1 month then went off back to Paris.  He came back to me a while later and out of nowhere told me, "I want to fight."  So I told him, "Okay, you are going to fight Peter Mottaza's guy John.  He's not a regular guy though.  Really, you are not at his level.  He's a guy who has many fights and trains in Brooklyn and the Bronx.  He's a good fighter.  But Luca, I tell you, if you train with me for 8 hours just on counter attack, you can fight this guy, you can fight John and defend yourself."  I told him this and he agreed even after being told about John's superior skill; and he trusted me.

So I trained Luca for just 8 hours on counter attack.

When you look at the videos you can see all the counters, the great defense.  It's amazing what we did.  Luca, a guy who was just the equivalent of a casual yellow belt stepping into the ring against a guy who had participated in more than 70 fights.  Against a guy with a black belt, a guy with such precise and such strong punches.  Against a guy with the ability to throw a kick strong enough to knock down anyone it lands on.  Luca was just amazing, his performance was just amazing.  He was ducking punches or blocking almost everything and countering beautifully.  He ducked a lot of punches.  He ended up only taking a handful of solid blows while the rest ended up being blocked off or glancing at best.  What an incredible fight that was.  What a performance.

I can only imagine to be Peter, watching his guy getting knocked down, getting up, then knocked down again, up and down, up and down.  But, there was nothing I could do, I mean Peter respected me a lot and all I can say is sorry to Peter.  I mean, you were so respectful sending your guy to me like that.. but in the end his loss was not your fault or mine.  I know you are a great instructor, a great teacher.  It's just that John did not listen at all.  His focus was always towards fantasizing about how he was going to hurt our guy instead of focusing on learning or training.  But again, in the end reality had a nasty way of sobering him up.

All this was done based on the Calasanz system.  The fact is that Luca's success during that fight was because of only 8 hours training with me, Calasanz, because of training the best defense, because of training the counter attack.  Incredible.

... So, that is the story of all these things going on during Saturday Night Fight.

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Story Provided and Inspired by: Calasanz
Transcribed by: Alan Wedell
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