Master Chad Zawisza

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 12:50pm — webmaster

Q: Where were you born?
New Britain, CT which is about 20 minutes away from my school.
Q: When did you start your martial arts training? How old were you then?
I started training in Kempo at 12 years old. I was on the wrestling team in High School for four years and then in my twenties I got back into the martial arts. In the late nineties I started training in Tang Soo Do under Master Fernandez in Southington.
Q: Have you trained in any other styles?
In addition to Kempo and Tang Soo Do, I have studied some Aikido, Philippino Stick and knife fighting and also Wing Chun.
Q: Do you specialize in any particular area of the martial arts?
My primary focus is on traditional forms, then self-defense, then weapons.

Q: What weapons do you train with?

I train with the traditional weapons; bong, sword & dagger
I also use kama, kali sticks and nanchucku. I feel that as students become more comfortable with the basic techniques, the help students to open their minds. It gives their techniques extension and allows them to have more reach.

Q: How long have you been teaching Tang Soo Do?
I was a red belt when I started to teach. So, it would be at around 12 years. I taught with Master Fernandez for a long time & ran the school for him for a while. When he closed his school I started my own and branched off.

Q: Master Matthews also teaches in your school, how long have you known him?
We have been together since white belts. We came up together, through lots of hard times, and have tested together.
It is a nice brotherhood that we have and I attribute that to the martial arts.

Q: Looking back, what are some of the moments you remember best?

I went to my first Federation World Tournament as a Gup and ended up placing in it. When I saw the black belt competition, and the demos, the whole atmosphere was empowering to me and I knew I wanted to be a part of this, and that this was what I wanted to do.

I remember when I first met Grandmaster St James when he came to Master Fernandez school. I was impressed with the way he presented himself, the knowledge he has of the history and tradition. When he came again accompanied with Grandmaster Washington from Australia it was awesome. It was such an honor to be in their presence. I want to share that with as many people as I can. I want people to feel the same as I did. That’s why I got into teaching and opened my own school. I know what Tang Soo Do has done for me and when you practice the philosophies they teach, it is a very empowering feeling.

Q: What are some of the ways has Tang Soo Do helped you?
It has helped me become more level headed. I don’t let my emotions control me anymore. I am a calmer person. I have become more organized in life, more goal oriented and driven. It is like learning your first form. You have to learn one technique at a time. I view everything in life the same way now. That has helped me achieve a lot of things in life. When you go up in rank, you learn that there is no rush. You take your time and learn it and continue on to the next step, or the next part of the form or whatever the case may be in your life. I believe it has given me the right mind set.

Q: Do you teach full time or do you have a profession outside of the school?
I have a full time marine canvas & upholstery business.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?

I want to say that I have become a lot more humble through my training. The humility and loyalty aspects of the code I hold in high regard. I have a higher understanding of other people and life, because of Tang Soo Do.

I have learned the most from teaching and working with other masters. I learn so much from my students. Being in class and seeing what they do, helps me grow. I hope that it is the same for every instructor, out there. I am there to help them and by helping them, they help me. I tell my students all the time, ‘I don’t want you to be as good as me, I want you to be better’, that is why I am there. The fulfillment of teaching is what drives me to the studio every day, to become a better instructor so I can help my students better

Kwang Jang Nim Washington & St James, say they are only at the tip of the iceberg. I can understand why, as I move higher in rank and I get more knowledge, it is amazing what you don’t know.