Kung-Fu expert and opera singer Claudio Mascarenhas, who will be teaching us geeks how to Fight Like a Super Hero, took a few minutes to answer some questions for Geeks OUT!
Thanks for joining us, Claudio!
First of all thanks for the opportunity and interest in my work.
If you could be a superhero, who would you be?
If I could be a superhero, without any doubt, I would be the WOLVERINE! He is my favorite hero! We have a lot of things in common, both in the way that we fight and in our personalities.
You practice a kind of Kung-Fu called Wing Tsun. Can you tell us a little about how it differs from standard Kung-Fu?
The main difference between Wing Tsun and the other styles of Kung-Fu is that Wing Tsun was made by a woman to defeat any other attacker. Her system was revolutionary at the time in that it did not rely on strength. Today many special forces like German SWAT, FBI, CIA & other special groups use Wing Tsun because it is very practical and ease to learn.
How can learning Kung-Fu help a mild-mannered geek in his-or-her everyday life?
I've been training in Wing Tsun for many years, but just recently I started to feel that actually Wing Tsun has been training me all these years. The most important qualities that it gives to me are clarity and simplicity. They have a paramount importance in a good life.
What can a geek expect to take away from your class next week?
The more they expect, the less they will get it. Expectation leads to frustration, and frustration leads to destruction. But if they come with no expectations, a clear head and an open heart, they can have a once-in-a lifetime experience. I will work with their energy levels and relaxation through breath in the first phase of the seminar. Then I'll introduce the concept of how to express the human body in the space. Then, I will touch on how to use these concepts in daily life, fitness, and self-defense.
Have you used Wing Tsun in situations outside a controlled martial arts match?
I was a bouncer for three-and-a-half years in some not-friendly places in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Even though we learn martial arts, we hope that we never have to use it in a real situation. Unfortunately, I had to use it and I can tell you from my own experience what works in the heat of the moment.
On top of being a martial arts instructor, you're a trained opera singer. Have you ever stunned an opponent with your voice?
Many years ago in Rio, my home, I was walking at night on the beach and 2 guys approached me. When they got really close, I start to sing opera as loud as I could! They took off in another direction right away! Either they thought that I sung too pretty to be robbed, or I'm completely nuts!
You got to play a video game character recently in Street Fighter: The Later Years. Any other exciting roles we can expect to see you in?
I am writing my first Martial Arts movie right now! Lets see how it goes! Beside this, I am working on my first book and other small treats.
Thanks for talking to us, Claudio!