Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is Chi Shuo (Chi Sao) Applicable in Fighting?


Taken from an Audio Recording of Calasanz


Chi Shuo vs. Figthing.

Let me give you the first concept or idea about reality towards this.

If you are a Wing Chun guy and you want to get close to me to do Chi Shuo and we are standing there the first thing I'm gonna say is you can't fight because you have to get to me.  Before getting to me... say I'm a guy from Holland, a striker  or a Thai boxer or something...  I am going to strike, so that gives me the edge towards you.

If we are standing close and both of us are killers then in Wing Chun the guy who is smarter is gonna win because remember in Wing Chun the guy who delivers the first 2 or 3 shots probably will win because it is electricity.

Put two electrodes together and there is an arc, a shock, electricity.  You see... If I fight Leung Ting I can be the loser or he can be the loser; with my power I have a little chance.  You know, everyone around me always said no matter who it would be, "Okay, Calasanz is gonna win."  People would joke, "If Mike Tyson and Calasanz get into the ring who is going to win?"

Everyone said, "Of course Calasanz."  

Today I say, "Get outta here!"  I never wanted to be against Mike Tyson anyway.  Back then maybe it would have been allowed, but with the UFC and MMA being the way they are today that fight would never happen.  You see, back then the UFC did not exist and I had done so much that people really thought I was not human.  Remember, we are talking about 1986, guy, people believed that I was something from another planet.

'seems like because from then, having been so well rounded at that point in time no one else was so multidisciplinary... and you were.'

"Exactly, Exactly, so that is why today I can put it together so... chi shuo, again if you are a fighter you don't want to start the fight at close range because now the wing chun guy is going to defeat you.  That is the difference between being a fighter and not being a fighter.

If you know Wing Chun Kung Fu and you're also a fighter you are the deadliest person on the planet.  But if you just know traditional Wing Chun and you are facing a fighter, now you have to be careful.  Leung Ting can be against a UFC fighter, but if he is not ready to take the punishment the fight might not go his way.  This is what happened in "Fighting Black Kings" when most of the Japanese defeated the Chinese.  The Chinese were just regular people doing Wing Chun as regular people.  They were not competitors like the Japanese preparing for punishment and training for the fight you know?

Now you're on the street getting ready to fight the person... if the guy knows the same amount of Wing Chun as you, you are not going to fight him.  The wing chun guy, the kung fu guys don't fight on the street.  The two of you are going to end up as friends.  "Oh you train Wing Chun and I train Cheng Chuan Longfist.  Okay, you teach me Wing Chun and I will teach you my kung fu."  But if one of you doesn't know martial arts then there is going to be a fight.  Now the Wing Chun guy is gonna take the street fighter and have him by the nose.  This is what you would do to a street fighter with wing chun.  But again, the guy didn't know how to fight, and that's the difference.

When you're talking about the guy who is trained to be a fighter going up against a guy trained in Wing Chun doing traditional chi shuo and is a very good martial artist, but isn't a competitor start from far because then you have the edge.  You can probably kick or punch the guy.  But the minute you touch the Wing Chun guy as a street fighter with no Wing Chun you have to be ready mister.  How are you going to block 11 attacks?  That is why boxers don't block.  They have to cover.  If the boxer could block that onslaught they would be blocking, but Wing Chun is more than that.  Wing Chun is electricity.  It's not just that the Wing Chun guy is throwing 11 attacks, its 11 attacks followed by blocks.  Look at the Wing Chun punch, there was no block, but there was a block.  The punch is a block and a block quickly turns into a punch if the guy is not going to block.  If the punch is thrown he's gonna block.  But the guy that doesn't know doesn't feel and ends up getting hit because he just tries to act.

So still some cannot understand why the Wing Chun guy is faster than the boxer.  Of course, the boxer defends.  The Wing Chun guy doesn't defend.  Defense and Attack go together; one technique.

One of my students A. R. (name abbreviated for privacy) said, "I was on the street and all of a sudden I see five guys on the ground, but I don't know what he did."  If you know Wing Chun immediately you're going to make the assumption, "That must have been Wing Chun."  So this is a real story.  He recounted it several times and was disappointed.  It was funny, he said he should have taken Wing Chun.  Later when he found out, when he saw Wing Chun, he said that was exactly what he saw (Wing Chun).  Five guys on the ground that didn't know what hit them.

So yeah, Wing Chun and Chi Shuo are good for the street, but going into a cage against a trained fighter you are gonna want more than just traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Calasanz Remembers Moy Yat

Taken from an audio Recording of Calasanz



I remember I was looking for northern styles of Chinese kung fu.  I already had read about Wing Chun Kung Fu and I knew that two of the main styles in China were Long Fist, that is Cheng Chuang Long Fist and of course Wing Chun I knew about because of Bruce Lee.

My friend Angel said to me, "No, no, no.  Go to Moy Yat.  He was a classmate along side Bruce Lee."

Moy Yat
So I went to Moy Yat.  I went to his school in China Town and immediately paid $50 dollars.  They put me in front of the mirror...  I remember it so clearly.  We were in front of the mirror and they put me into a stance like a pigeon, the traditional Wing Chun stance, and showed me the first few techniques.  The lesson was Tan Shuo, with the left hand, heun, and chamber and then the same with the right hand.

"Okay, that's it for today."  they said.  I responded almost in disgust, "That's it for today?  You must be kidding.  You must not know who am I."
I started doing pushups, exercises... the incredible, doing all these things.  They got angry, but they let me stay there.

You see, when I came to this country with that dream of being Bruce Lee nobody was going to stop me.  Nobody stopped me.  I was the craziest little bastard, little gorilla, chimpanzee, black cat, cheetah... unstoppable.

During my first few weeks at Moy Yat's school I became well known very quickly.  People would come in to fight the Chinese; you know back then it was different from how it is now.  I remember specifically two occasions.  There was one guy, he must have been about 6' 4, easily 3 times my size.  He came in and we ended up doing Chi Shuo.  We were trapping and hitting each other for over an hour, but neither one of us said 'Uncle'.  It was one of the only times I would take punishment, I delivered a fair share of punishment to him as well.

While I was doing Chi Shuo with this guy the Chinese were all around looking, talking, murmuring among themselves out of the sides of their mouths behind open hands.  You see, at this point I was new at Moy Yat's school and didn't have any training in Chi Shuo, I was just reacting to him.  Fortunately, I already had the necessary skills involved from training with George Wood.  He would hold two sticks and I would rotate with the two sticks as he held them for me.  So that gave me the ability of chi shuo.  I must have ended up winning because the guy never came back. 

The other occasion took place, when a guy came in, again, to fight the Chinese.  He was sweeping and flipping them onto the floor like nothing.  They were landing very hard.  Luckily it was a wooden floor because they were landing very, very hard.  He was unimpressed.  "I come to Moy Yat and this is how they fight?"  Understand, a lot of the people training there had never even seen the dummy, let alone hit it.  They never did anything but Siu Nim Tau and rotating in chi shuo, so they couldn't take a shot, they could not fight.  He came over to me and I said, "Try doing that to me. "  When he came and delivered that kick to sweep me I did exactly what I did in the Dominican Republic.  I grounded my leg.  He came to sweep me but failed because I had grounded my leg so well and immediately I countered him.


You should have seen the Chinese when I came through the door the next day.  They started whispering; I remember one lady, this one little girl in particular, I will never forget.  She was the best of the best, probably only 75 pounds but she moved like a little cat.  She watched me non-stop, but I hear her murmuring still to the others, 'wshewsewshs... 10th degree black belt.' as she looked at me out of the corners of her eyes.  "This guy is black belt, he's 10th degree black belt, watch out for this guy shwhshsh."  They just talked and talked and talked.

Later on, Jon, a guy who worked for Moy Yat and who was responsible for bringing some of the bigger names in Martial Arts at the time to the school, came to me and said, "Go talk to Moy Yat."  So I went to the office and sat down there.  Moy Yat tells me, "Calasanz, we already know the skill you have."  He said, "Pay me this much and in 3 months you can teach, in one year you will have a certification and a picture with me."  It was exactly like that.

I went directly to Steve James, my boss at Victoria Station.  I said, "Steve, if you give me Saturday opening at 7 am and closing at 5 in the morning I can take wing chun with Moy Yat."  At that point I was the number one bus boy / waiter / employee there.  He said, "Of course Calasanz."  And I worked.  I worked all day and night, 22 hours.  By the time it was 5 in the morning I had about 7 or 8 hundred dollars cash plus whatever my hourly pay was at the time.  I had made the money for Moy Yat working at Victoria Station on a Saturday in just one day.

So I paid Moy Yat what he asked along with a $500 dollar fee which was what he charged anyone just to touch the dummy.  Normally nobody can see the dummy.  It was kept in a back room; maybe you could see it looking through a crack in the door, but it was kept away from the main area.  The minute anyone gave him the payment he led them to the room, took a key and locked the door.  I remember he led me there and locked the door and turned to me and said, "Okay Calasanz.  Now we go."  I'll never forget that.  At this point I am being trained privately by Moy Yat.  A lot of people who used to go there say, "But I never saw Calasanz there."  It's because I was in the back room working on the dummy.  The first day he gave me 'section 1' of the dummy and said, "Do section 1 as many times as you can.  Spend one week on section 1, then I can give you the entire dummy in 1 day if you want."  Exactly like that.

Here, this is a real story now.  This is real.  This is exactly how it happened.  When I finished there I spent 3 days just hitting the dummy.  I looked down at my arm there was nothing there.  It's all gone, all the hair on my arm gone, the skin almost gone.  It looked exactly how it looks when a snake peels its skin.  All the skin is gone, just peeled.  Think about it... hit the dummy for 1 day and still that is not going to happen.  I spent three days hitting it.  So now maybe you can understand what was the extent of the obsession that I had, that I hit the dummy enough to peel my arms entirely.  That was me Mr. Alan.  This is how, and that is the obsession that I had with being better than Bruce Lee.

Once I had completed that year we went to this cannoli place in Chinatown.  He was supposed to bring the picture and the diploma but he must have forgotten them.  Years later in 1988 I had him here for a seminar and even after calling him again and again to remind him,  "Make sure you bring the diploma."  he still didn't bring it.  You know, maybe if we do everything we can it could be that it is still over there.  Maybe someone in his family or someone over there has it because I know he would not break it or get rid of it.

Later on I figured out why he didn't want me to go and get the diploma.  Previously I had paid him no insignificant sum of money for a video of him on a projector doing the 3 forms.  Siu Nim Tao, Chum Kiu and Biu Tze.  I have the projector sitting right here in my office.  Not too long ago a good friend and long time student of mine, Mario, went to take a video of it from the projector so we could have it digital or whatever.  Ends up that on it was one of his students, a child maybe 11 or 13 years old, who was studying there at the same time as me doing siu nim tao.  So it wasn't even all three forms or done by him.  I wouldn't mind getting the forms from a kid anyway but that was a lot of money for Moy Yat to do it.  Anyway, probably he didn't want me coming and asking about that too if I went to get the diploma. 

Moy Yat, he was a good instructor.  He did what a good instructor does, you know.  He realized who I was.  He did not go and say, "Calasanz let me try to give you a lesson." and beat me up, not that he could have anyway at that point.  I respect him but he never had the capacity of giving me a lesson like that.  But he could have said that.  Instead he called me and said, "I'm gonna teach you."  That's what a good instructor does.

It's like me now.  When I see someone like that, dedicated and has passion for the Art I don't go trying to beat them up.  I want to raise them up.  For example, now I am building some of the youngest and most well rounded martial artists, the youngest masters I call it.  It's tremendous what someone with that sorts of mind-set, dedication, passion, desire and devotion to the Art is capable of learning and achieving even at a young age.  It's Incredible.