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SDSS’ Newest Masters

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In a rare moment for our company, Grandmaster DeMasco elevated three of SDSS’s most senior instructors to the level of 5th Degree Black Belt.  They will henceforth be known as Master Christine Swiatek, Master Travis Newbury, and Master Chris Schaefer.   The Promotion At the conclusion of the Sai Seminar, Grandmaster DeMasco gathered the assembled students and called these three instructors to the stage.  He explained the process of becoming a Master in this art. “After years of training, especially for this rank, they are given the ceremonial title, they are watched and observed to see if they are prepared for …

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Grandmaster DeMasco’s Sai Seminar – 2019

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By Tim Vogelman On Saturday, November 23, Grandmaster Steve DeMasco taught the Japanese Sai Form.  The ancient Sai is a two-pronged dagger-like weapon used by martial artists around the world. While its image is well known today, its history and usage are known by few and traditionally practiced by fewer. Since the late 1400s, the Sai has been used primarily as a Japanese weapon, but there is anecdotal evidence that it may have been originally imported from China. Some believe that it was first used as a farming tool for planting seeds and turning the soil and that later it …

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SDSS Shaolin Championship Tournament 2019

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Hundreds of students gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Trumbull Connecticut on Saturday for the Steve DeMasco’s Shaolin Studios (SDSS) Annual Tournament. Students competed in sparring matches and demonstrations of the various techniques they are taught in their classes.  Events include defense techniques, forms, weapons forms, sparring, and sword sparring. Participants are grouped by age and belt level, so everyone is competing against age- and skill-level peers.  Although each event selects a first-, second-, and third-place winner, each event is really a celebration of every student’s accomplishment.   Shaolin Kung Fu is more than merely an ancient self-defense system that has …

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Climbing Mountains

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Most of us hold a romanticized notion of climbing mountains.  The metaphor is irresistible.  Standing before something so much larger than ourselves, it seems impossible to climb.  Some do, and we call them heroes.  In Martial Arts, students learn that the “mountain” is only what we make of it.  Understanding this is a key to success in life, and it’s exactly what you’ll learn on your way to black belt, no matter what age you begin the journey. Grandmaster DeMasco wrote in his book, The Shaolin Way, “What Shaolin teaches, and what has evaded most of us, is that the …

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Focus – Another Advantage of the Martial Arts

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Martial Arts students develop the skills to focus in every lesson, every week, for as long as they study the martial arts.  The ability to focus will give your student a huge advantage in school, the workplace, and in every goal they set for the rest of their life. Each lesson is fast-paced and highly engaging.  Students practice front position and mindfulness.  They’re given multiple chances to follow multi-step directions.  They engage in mindful stillness AND taught the focus needed to break through barriers, both physically and metaphorically. Grandmaster DeMasco designed the program so every student is always within reach …

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Straight Outta Shaolin

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With dojos on every street corner in America, you may wonder what sets Steve DeMasco’s Shaolin Studios apart.  Here are just some of the reasons why.   Grandmaster Steve DeMasco developed this system over a lifetime spent in the martial arts.  The first-ever non-Asian to be given the rank of Grandmaster by the Great Abbot of the Shaolin Temple, he was the key figure in bringing the Shaolin Chuan Fa Five-Fist system to the United States.  As International Ambassador for the Shaolin Temple, he continues to work closely with the Great Abbot and train with the senior monks at the Temple …

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How Martial Arts Helps Your Daughter

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How Martial Arts Helps Your Son Each belt, each power stripe, and every accomplishment along the way to black belt builds the most genuine self-confidence there is.  She will learn the self-confidence that comes from genuine accomplishment. Girls and boys often experience a mild case of “impostor syndrome” when faced with a new level in life, whether it’s the next grade up in school or an elite academic environment or that next level of sports team.   Your daughter will know she earned each new belt, because she will have to prove it to her instructor and again to the test …

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How Martial Arts Helps Your Son

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Respect is central to Grandmaster DeMasco’s Life Skills Program, and probably the thing for which we are best known.  Every child is different, but Martial Arts help shape character in deep and profound ways.   Sometimes the child struggles with skills like cooperation and authority.  We don’t get into a “power game” with children. But, what we do is highly engaging.  The secrets of kung fu are ancient and compelling, even for young students. Kids learn to do the right thing because they get to do the “cool things” the instructor shows them.  We motivate students to engage in the right …

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Personalized Instruction

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At SDSS, students have the opportunity to receive semi-private instruction in addition to their regularly scheduled classes. “I started that model over 20 years ago,” said Grandmaster DeMasco. “Group classes are great for exercise, working with many other students, practicing what has previously been taught and group motivation. But, there are two major reasons for semi-private instruction.” “Learning the martial arts in a small group setting gives the student much more individual attention,” Grandmaster explains. In the small semi-private, students work on their curriculum, alongside a select group of students, most of whom are at a similar point in the …

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Martial Arts Makes You Happy!

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It’s true.  The martial arts can make you a happier person.   Release Endorphins It’s a well-known fact that martial arts provide great exercise.  Nutritionists have told us that a martial arts workout raises your heart rate and helps you burn hundreds of calories.  All that exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals naturally released by your body. Doctors often call these “feel good chemicals,”  because they create a positive, happy feeling and can help improve your outlook on life. Stress Relief It’s just as well known that Endorphins relieve stress.  So does hitting a bag! When you’ve had a rough …

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Kung Fu Summer Camps

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Kung Fu Summer Camps! Send your child to spend a week or two with us this summer!  You’ll be glad you did. Our summertime camps are designed to fill those lazy summer days with fun, activity, and of course, lots of martial arts. Each instructor runs things a bit differently. But each day involves Kung Fu classes, games, crafts, and a snack. Each day has its own theme, so kids have a structure but avoid boring routines. Camp is for everyone. You don’t have to be an SDSS student to try Kung Fu Summer Camp! In fact, many of our …

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The Best Trained Instructors in the Industry

In Leadership, National by SDSS

Last Friday, April 27, Grandmaster trained instructors in our SDSS of West Hartford Studio. “We promise you the best-trained instructors in the industry.”  Grandmaster made this promise to all our students when he founded the studios that bear his name. All SDSS Instructors take lessons weekly with Senior Master Mikael Meyer, SDSS President.  In addition, all instructors study under Grandmaster DeMasco himself. This guarantees that your instructor is up-to-date and that his/her skills are at an instructor’s level.  In addition, Grandmaster teaches instructors in leadership, Shaolin philosophy, and the Life Skills program that is at the core of all SDSS Instruction. Here …

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SDSS Black Belt Test and a BIG Surprise!

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SDSS is so proud of our latest class of Black Belts. Students from all over the northeast gathered at SDSS of West Hartford.  Grandmaster DeMasco was, as always, present to oversee the test and promote these students. In our discipline, students earn belt ranks through discipline, study, and finally, a belt test under an SDSS Certified Instructor who also carries the certification to give belt tests.  Senior Master Mikael Meyer, the SDSS President, oversees testing for much of the Northeast. Junior Black Belt can only be conferred by a Certified SDSS Master.  The rank of Adult Black Belt can only …

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Sparring and Sword Sparring Tournament 2019 – Connecticut Edition

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Connecticut’s SDSS Martial Arts Studios were proud to present our first ever Sparring and Sword Sparring Tournament on Saturday, April 6, at the  Marriott in Trumbull, CT.  Students from all over the state participated across a host of belt and age ranges, from younger students right through the teen years. SDSS President, Senior Master Mikael Meyer, presided over the event.  “We introduced this as an event during our regular Shaolin Olympics,” he explained.  “It quickly took on a life of its own.  I wasn’t surprised by how popular the event became.  It adds a whole new dimension of fitness, focus, …

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Grandmaster DeMasco discusses Black Belts for younger students

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In SDSS, we have three levels of Black Belt; Junior Black Belt, Zhongi Black Belt, and Adult Black Belt.  As parents we’ve all heard someone boast, “my child made black belt in a year,” or “my child made black belt second degree at age 10!”  The SDSS approach is very different.  Grandmaster DeMasco gave us a few minutes of his time to talk about why we take all our Black Belt ranks very seriously, and how each program is designed to meet the needs of our students at every level of learning. Three Levels of Black Belt Grandmaster began by explaining …

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Student Spotlight – Cameron from Keene

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How many of us can say they’ve stayed with something – anything – for your entire life?  That’s a real commitment. And that’s just one of the remarkable things about Cameron from our Keene, NH studio  He is the subject of this month’s Student Spotlight. “Cameron was the very first student we signed up at the Keene Studio,” said Master Mark Giordano, the Chief Instructor.  His dad signed up later on. “Kung Fu became something we could do together,” said Cameron. And this young man stuck with it, too. Fourteen years later, Cameron holds the adult rank of First Degree …

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Victim No More

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You don’t have to be a victim. Whether you’re a child looking to overcome a bullying situation or an adult hoping to heal after a violent crime, the Martial Arts can give you the self-defense and life skills you’ll need to take back control of your life. Learning to be aware and take control Most students are surprised to find out that most self-defense isn’t just about punches and kicks. Our students learn the mental awareness they need to know how to handle just about any situation that comes our way. Sometimes self-defense does mean hitting back. But sometimes, it …

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Grandmaster Tours Brazil With The Shaolin Message

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In February 2019, Grandmaster Steve DeMasco, Founder of Steve DeMasco’s Shaolin Studios and the International Ambassador of the Shaolin Temple, visited Brazil to bring the message of Shaolin to martial arts students all across that beautiful country.    From the projects to Ambassador From his earliest days as a poor kid growing up in the projects, helping others has defined Grandmaster’s life.  It is no wonder that when the Great Abbott Shi Yongxin elevated the first non-Asian to that rank, he chose our own Grandmaster DeMasco.  A few years later, he was named the Temple’s International Ambassador. His mission is …

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The Perfect Valentine – The Gift of Self Defense

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This time of year people look for ways to show their loved ones how much they care and why.  We call it “Valentine’s Day.” Some will propose marriage, some will give lavish gifts, and the card store shelves will be bare.  Be thoughtful and kind to the people you love. And, at the same time, we have an idea for a gift that will say, “I care about you and want you to be safe.”   Give someone in your life the gift of self-defense.  Don’t let her be the next victim. The sad facts of violence against women It …