San Da Sparring Shaolin Temple

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm

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After six weeks of learning San Da at Shaolin Temple, forty-six year-old Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo, invites his friend twenty-six year-old AJ Richardi to come to the temple for Antonio’s first sparring session. AJ is a San Da fighter from Shanghai Sport University and a former Muay Thai fighter in Thailand. For Antonio, this was his first ever experience with amateur San Da.

Watch: San Da Sparring Shaolin Temple

San Da sparring allowed kicks, punches, knees, and throws. If you throw the opponent, and remain standing, you get two points. If you throw the opponent, and go down with him, you get one point. If you throw the opponent out of the fighting area, you get four points. And if this happens twice in one round, you win.

Because AJ was fitter, younger, stronger, and more experienced in San Da fighting, Antonio decided the best strategy was to cover his head, drive in with punches and push AJ out of the fighting area, racking up points.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

Warrior Odyssey, the book chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia is available at The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at

See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on

Email Antonio




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