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Personalized Instruction

In National, SDSS Ridgefield by SDSS

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

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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 …

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Discipline At Any Age

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We’ve heard about self-discipline all our lives.  If it were something we’re born with, we would all be in great shape, we would all be successful, and we would reach every one of our goals, right?  The good news is, nobody is “born” with it.  You have the same chance everyone else does to be successful. Self-discipline is a lifelong pursuit, and it is at the center of the martial arts.  Discipline is a journey, and any of us can begin at any time. Learning the Shaolin Way The Shaolin monks have a fascinating way of instilling discipline and helping us …

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Even In Weakness, There Is Strength

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In our weakness, we find our inner strength. Grandmaster DeMasco, in his book The Shaolin Way, shares some remarkable wisdom regarding the nature of weakness and strength.  It is wisdom you’ll come to understand through your journey in the martial arts.   “Much of Shaolin is about taking delicate steps along a road that is, according to Buddhists, sure to be full of potholes, which the thinking person will learn to move around or jump out of,” says Grandmaster.  In other words, the bad times will come, we’ll feel weak and vulnerable, so common sense tells us, “go around the …

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Martial Arts and Weight Loss

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Martial Arts and Weight Loss Martial arts training teaches self-defense and helps you become more centered, focused, and disciplined.  At the same time, the conditioning you’ll receive as you learn Kung Fu really will help you drop the pounds.  It’s not a weight loss program, but that usually happens anyway. Total Body Workout A typical class experience in the martial arts involves a full-body workout.   While you’re learning self-defense, you’re developing muscle tone, strength, balance, and flexibility.  It’s a level of activity that surpasses what most gym experiences can offer. Aerobic and anaerobic exercise Martial arts workouts often involve both …

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Martial Arts and Fitness

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Kung fu can help you learn to defend yourself, but great health and fitness benefits are waiting for you as well.   Conditioning Martial arts classes are taught in a high-energy, positive environment.  Because you’re always learning something new, you avoid the boredom and focus issues that come with high-repetition exercise programs. As you learn new skills and continue to refine what you already know, you are healthily raising your heart rate and keeping it there for a while.   Flexibility Martial artists learn to be agile and quick.  It’s often the key to survival in a self-defense situation.  Flexibility …

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The New Year’s Resolution You’ll Keep

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Most New Year’s Resolutions don’t last.  One source says that most of us give up in less than a month.   According to another study, the average “give up” day is January 12th.  We set goals with the intention to “live our best lives” (although few can define what that means), and we commit to spending a whole year pursuing that lofty goal.  Then, in just a few days, we’re right back to the old rut. The Resolution You’ll Keep What if you made a resolution this year that you might actually keep?!  Moreover, it’s a resolution that will change your …

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Give The Gift of the Martial Arts

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Giving the gift of martial arts is more than giving someone “fun.”  It’s giving a gift that will change someone’s life for the better. You can’t say that about a video game.     Few things have changed the lives of today’s children more than the combined onslaught of personal electronics, social media, and massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like Fortnite.  Many typical adolescents begin the day communicating with friends through text and social media.  They barely say two words to their family before leaving for school.  Then they go to a school that has become a digital playground.  Declining …

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Improving the Lives of Others

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The Shaolin Monks make an amazing commitment.  They dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others.  They give up all their earthly attachments, live a life of simplicity in a temple at the foot of Song Mountain, and spend their lives studying the Shaolin Arts.   Most of us can appreciate that, and perhaps even admire these individuals.  But, we probably can’t relate to it. After all, we have busy lives. Family, friends, work, school, study, bills…and can any of us remember the last time they got to the end of their “to do” list?  The difference between a …

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Our attachment…to attachment

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The Shaolin Monks are some of the fiercest fighters and most compassionate people on the planet at the very same time.  These people decided to give up all worldly belongings and attachments to study Shaolin and Kung Fu. It is, by any standard, a radical commitment.  Yet somehow, through hardship, war, and multiple destructions of the temple, these radical warriors of compassion have endured for over 1600 years. Grandmaster DeMasco is the International Ambassador of the Shaolin Temple, and he has studied and written extensively on the Shaolin Monks.  One of the more radical concepts he reveals is the notion …