Alexander Frank Castro [serradasatx]
What is your sport, and what level of commitment do you have to it?
My "sport" is the Filipino Martial Art of Cabales Serrada Escrima.
I am consistently polishing and refining my technique and helping my students to do the same.
Can you provide a link to a site where we can get to know more about you or your sports activity?
How did you get started? Who introduced you to the sport?
My journey in martial arts began as a teenager with my first teacher Sifu Salvador Dela Rosa and it was thru him that I was introduced to the diverse world of martial arts.
My training history: 1986-89 Yang & Chen style Tai Chi Chuan under Sifu Sal De La Rosa; 1989 Shuai Chiao Kungfu under Sifu Kirk Woller; 1990-95 training and competing in Shaui Chiao Kungfu under Sifu Mark J. Wong. My Serrada Escrima lineage: 1992-95 under Guro Jeff Finder. 2003-05 training under Guro Carlito Bonjoc Jr. in Stockton CA. My other FMA training experiences include Kamatuuran Kali in Oakland CA under Guro Rocky Reyes and the 2005 Bahala Na hosted Guro Dan Inosanto seminar in Stockton CA.
Do you have a coach/trainer who guides and helps you? What is your relationship with that person like?
These days the art itself is my coach and trainer and the process of teaching my students is how I continue to learn and advance my skill and understanding in my art.
How does your emotional state effect your physical performance?
Emotions can either hinder or help performance. Its ideal to have a process or coping mechanism for handling emotions and keep them under control. And consistent practice under stress is key to this experience.
How has your sport helped your personal growth?
My art has enhanced personal growth by providing challenges and the experience of seeing change within and without.
Which gives more satisfaction: to surpass a rival, or to surpass yourself?
To surpass myself
What methodology do you use to improve your technique? A special technology?
Practice, practice, practice.
There are some who are addicted to the endorphins produced by exercise. Is that a problem?
Addiction in and of itself can be problematic, and is symptomatic of some underlying issue. The practice of martial arts can help one bring oneself back into balance.
How do you control negative thoughts after a mistake, such as hitting a ball into your own team's goal or getting off to a bad start?
Negative thoughts come and go. One can either take the experience of the mistake and train to avoid repeating it or allow the mistake to become an obstacle to improvement.
Is it a good thing to have a certain amount of rivalry among members of a team?
Rivalry and competition can be effective motivators - this mirrors life in general.
Have you have suffered any serious injuries? How is morale maintained during recovery?
Fortunately I have not suffered any debilitating injuries, just accumilated alot of wear and tear over the years.
The ability to maintain morale applies to life in general and having any number of things to occupy the mind can be helpful, ie. people and activities.
Is sport a social sublimation of war?
Is Chess, Checkers, Risk and any other game a social sublimation of war? Perhaps...
It can be viewed as a sublimation of conflict, which is pervasive throughout all existence.
Knowing how to deceive the adversary can help gain points. How is this ability acquired?
Observation, pattern recognition, drills, and practice.
What plans do you have for yourself? What do you want to achieve?
To continue to teach and practice as long as I can.
What advice do you have for those just starting out?
Have a goal(s), a plan, a timeline, contingency plans, patience, and friends.
But also be prepared to walk your path alone...if you really want to accomplish what you set out to do.
There's a price for everything and you may discover that the price is too steep.
Alexander Frank Castro
San Antonio, Texas U.S.A.