Chinese Traditional Wrestling (shuaijiao) Week 3

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm

???????? ???????? ????????

By Antonio Graceffo

Wrestling became an integral part of my full time training regimen which began in June, at the Shaolin Temple. At Shaolin, I trained strength, conditioning and San Da (Chinese kick boxing which includes takedowns) for six weeks, training four times a day. After Shaolin, I trained two weeks of MMA in Shanghai then went to the wrestling school in Beijing.

After the first two weeks of training at the traditional wrestling school in Beijing I returned to Shanghai for a week, to complete my registration for Shanghai University of Sport, where I will be studying wrestling. The traditional wrestling I study in Beijing will be part of my dissertation research, writing about all forms of traditional and ethnic wrestling in China, a three year project.  During my week away from the wrestling school, the Sifu gave me a series of exercises to complete every day, a two hour workout, which would help me to improve my wrestling, by stretching and strengthening my muscles and tendons, while helping to make the wrestling techniques instinctive.

On my first morning back in the traditional wrestling school, morning training was the easiest I had had in months. Somehow we did everything I normally do, but finished a little faster and I was less tired afterwards. Then it hit me why. I had had the previous two days off. It was the first time since I started training again, back in June, that I had two consecutive days off. Wow! Talk about making a world of difference on my fatigue level. Afternoon training, we did sparring and Sifu was pleased with how well I was able to defend and get reversals. But when I threw my opponents, aggressively, I often reverted to western techniques or half and half. For example, I took a leg, Western, but then used an inside hook trip, Chinese. Once, I took his back and body slammed him. I think you could say that is 100% Southern, as in WWE.

What I decided, and maybe I am wrong, is that I will have to accept that the Chinese throwing techniques will come slowly. Maybe the first step is that I am figuring out how they attack me and how to stuff their throws and or get a reversal. In fact, most of my points today came from reversals. Then, maybe later, I will be able to attack and win, using Chinese techniques. I wrestled my largest training brother today, Lee Yuan, and he beat me every time. He is both the largest and the best in terms of technique. But I still think I held out slightly longer than I did in the first days of practice. Next time, or maybe next-next time, hopefully, I will do better against him.

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




Brooklyn Monk fan page

Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: