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Posts Tagged ‘kick’

Martial Arts Odyssey: Muay Boran 1

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2015 at 7:46 am

Before there was sport Muay Thai there was ancient Muay Thai, Muay Boran. Modern sport Muay Thai contains about 20 movements. Muay Boran contains hundreds. In the 1920’s when Muay Thai was codified as a modern sport His Majesty the King called the great masters together to write a book of modern Muay Thai. All of the techniques in that book have been recorded for history. All of the techniques excluded from the book are considered Muay Boran. Unfortunately, Muay Boran has never been codified. So, different masters know different techniques. Fighting Muay Thai is a way of earning a living in Thailand, but there are no Muay Boran fights. Consequently, young people abandoned the study of the art. Most masters haven’t passed on their skills to a younger generation. And now, most of the masters are old, dead, or dying. As a result, Muay boran is an endangered art. The master featured in this video is Adjan Sok Chai from Surin, Thailand, the first teacher of film star Tony Jaa. He can be seen in many of Tony Jaa’s movies, wearing almost the same clothes he wears in the video, the clothes he wears every day.
Martial Arts Odyssey: Muay Boran 1

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The Never Ending Bokator Argument

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2015 at 9:43 am

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By Antonio Graceffo

A friend sent me a Phnom Penh Post story about yutakhun khom the traditional Khmer martial art of Master Chan Boeunthoeun. In the article, Chan Boeunthoeun claims that his martial art is older and more authentic than the Bokator of Grand Master San Kim Saen. Chan Boeunthoeun has apparently gone so far as to solicit UNESCO to remove Bokator from the Intangible Cultural Heritage, martial arts list, in favor of his yuthakhun Khom. The whole argument is preposterous on so many levels. But before I explain how baseless this argument is, let me first say one thing. I have huge respect for Chan Boeunthoeun who taught his son Chan Rothana to combine traditional Khmer martial arts with bradal serey kick boxing, which Chan Rothana then used, successfully, in over 90 professional bradal serey kick boxing fights. Chan Rothana even used a combination of traditional Khmer techniques, plus bradal serey and some modern MMA to become a One FC fighter and to amass a professional MMA record of 3 wins and 1 loss.

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There should be no question about Chan Rothana’s courage, or the fighting effectiveness of his martial. He definitely walks the walk. And I respect that. But there is no evidence of any kind to prove that yutakhun khom is older than Bokator or that the word yutakhun khom even existed prior to 2012.

Leading up to 2004, Chan Boeunthoeun used to be friends with Bokator Grand Master, San Kim Saen. They had both been part of the Hopkido federation and worked together to found the original Bokator Federation in 2004. They then had a falling out, and Chan Boeunthoeun left (or was asked to leave) the Bokator federation. Chan Boeunthoeun continued to teach Bokator out of his home until about 2012, when he suddenly decided that he was one of the two last remaining masters of yutakhun khom, which he claimed was the real Khmer traditional martial art.

In 2012, The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, working together with Grand Master San Kim Saen, managed to get Bokator recognized by UNESCO on the Intangible Cultural Heritage, martial arts list. Before 2012, Cambodia had NOTHING on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, martial arts list. Thailand had Muay Thai. Japan had Judo. Korea had Taekkyeon, but Cambodia had no official martial art until 2012, when the Bokator of Grand Master San Kim Saen was recognized. Since then, a number of other Cambodians have suddenly come forward, claiming to be teaching even older styles of Cambodian martial arts. In 2004, most of those masters, including Chan Boeunthoeun, were at the national meeting in Phnom Penh when the Bokator association was founded. Many of them were founding members of Bokator. So, if they actually knew of some other, older, better martial art, why did they wait until 2012 to talk about it?

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A Google search for “yutakhun khom” revealed the earliest online mention of the art was a post in a Sherdog.com forum in 2012.

The Phnom Penh Post story had this quote from Benoit Rigallaud, the manager of Chan Rothana and owner of the studio where yutakhun khom is taught, “’UNESCO giving bokator Intangible Heritage Asset status was a concern to the yutakhun khom community, and should be to all Cambodians, because ‘they failed to conduct a full investigation”’” Full investigation! Of what? The only evidence yutakhun khom has is the legend of a magical book of the ancient martial arts techniques which was allegedly hidden for Centuries and then finally destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

Is it possible that someone who has a financial interest in yutakhun khom being recognized has a slightly biased opinion? And, when did opinion become fact? There doesn’t seem to be a shred of evidence to support the claims of yutakhun khom having existed. In fact the word does not appear in the 1936 dictionary of the Khmer language. Neither are there any ancient writings using that word, apart from the magical book which was destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

Another quote from Benoit Rigallaud, “This is crazy, because we are talking about history and culture here, and if heritage is lost then it is gone forever.” If Benoit Rigallaud and Chan Boeunthoeun succeed in getting Bokator removed from the UNESCO list, then Cambodia will be losing its cultural heritage. And I agree, that is crazy.

As for the “history” of Bokator, I interviewed Chan Boeunthoeun, the first time, in 2007 in connection with the TV show, Human Weapon. At that time, Chan Boeunthoeun still called his style Bokator. He mentioned the book which had been destroyed as proof of the art. While telling me the history of Bokator, he told me that King Jayavarman VII, the patron of Bokator, and now apparently of yutakhun khom, and Bodhidharma (Da Mo) the founder of Shaolin Kung Fu, were “classmates.” According to Chan Boeunthoeun, Bodhidharma was Khmer, not Indian. Next, he said that King Jayavarman VII taught Bokator to Bodhidharma and Bodhidharma brought Bokator to China and called it Kung Fu. This story astounded me, given that Bodhidharma lived during the 5th and 6th Centuries and King Jayavarman VII lived during the 12th and 13th. When I asked him why history had recorded the story differently, he blamed Thailand. Those damned Thais and their political influence! They got the entire world to change the history of both India and China, just to repress the Khmer martial art of yutakhun khom.

Chan Boeunthoeun’s story, since 2012, has been that he has been teaching yutakhun khom all along and that it was yutakhun khom that King Jayavarman VII supported and that it was yutakhun khom that was in the ancient book which was destroyed.

According to the Phnom Penh Post story, “Boeunthoeun claims yutakhun khom dates back 2,000 years to the Funan kingdom of Southeast Asia, but it was King Jayavarman VII at the height of the Khmer Angkorian empire nearly 1,000 years ago who could be credited with cementing the yuthakun khom philosophy that survives to this day.”” This is the exact same story that has been told about Bokator. And, there is no evidence of either the word Bokator or yuthakun khom in any historical document in Cambodia. During the nearly ten years that I researched my book on Khmer martial arts, I also searched French documents. I searched in Thailand, Lao, and Burma. I spoke to Khmer martial arts teachers and students in USA, Australia, Canada, and Europe. And NO ONE had a book. No one had any evidence of any kind. And during those first many years, pre 2012, I never heard the word yuthakun khom. In fairness, I did here the word yuthakun used for martial art. And there was a yuthakun martial arts club that trained at the techno university in Phnom Penh. But their martial art was admittedly synthetic. They never claimed it to be original Khmer. It was basically a mix of everything from Khmer to karate, to taekwondo and even kung fu and probably judo.

But not one person I interviewed, including Chan Boeunthoeun used the term yuthakun khom.

Given the complete lack of evidence, it would seem more constructive for Khmer people to be happy that they made it to the UNESCO list at all. They should support the traditional martial art, whether it is called Bokator or yuthakun khom, and simply move on. There are so many other problems in the country which need to be addressed before tearing down work that has already been done and replacing it.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo holds a black krama in Khmer martial arts. He is the author of the book, Khun Khmer: Cambodian Martial Arts Journey. He works as a lecturer at Shanghai University. He is also a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of sport, writing his dissertation on comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. He is expected to graduate his China MBA, from Shanghai Jiaotong University, and his PhD in Spring, 2016. Antonio is also a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia, 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.

The Monk from Brooklyn, the book which gave Antonio his name, and all of his other books, the book available at amazon.com. His book, Warrior Odyssey, chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia, including stories about Khmer and Vietnamese martial arts as well as the war in Burma and the Shan State Army, is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey

See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
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Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
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Brooklyn Monk: Greco for MMA Video (Part 1)

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2015 at 11:58 pm

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In his first year at Shanghai University of Sport, Brooklyn Monk Antonio Graceffo, a wrestling major, was a member of the Chinese traditional wrestling team (Shuai jiao dui). In his second year, he began taking private training in Greco-Roman wrestling, with his coach, Hong Fang Yuan, as well as private san da, and judo training with other coaches. This video is part of a small glimpse into the research Antonio is doing for his PhD dissertation, comparing Chinese traditional wrestling to modern Olympic wrestling.

Watch the video on youtube: https://youtu.be/nLb88MOgHjE

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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 amazon.com. The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
Email Antonio
Antonio@speakingadventure.com
website
http://www.speakingadventure.com
Twitter
http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk
facebook
Brooklyn Monk fan page
Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

Brooklyn Monk in 3D
Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/
Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com
Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

Kaiser the Movie Trailer

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2015 at 10:50 am

Martial arts action adventure movie, shot in Shanghai with an international crew

He seemingly came out of nowhere and put the whole underworld on its toes. Who is Kaiser? Why does he kill? Who will be next…? follow us on twitter and FB to find out about his actions and his mysterious past. He seemingly came out of nowhere and put the whole underworld on its toes. Who is Kaiser? Why does he kill? Who will be next…? follow us on twitter and FB to find out about his actions and his mysterious past.

See the trailer on youtube

See Antonio Graceffo as Vincent the Supplier

Kaiser in its current form is just a proof of concept. You can help make the finished film a reality.
To get involved on https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kaiser-the-movie/x/10255799

Follow Kaiser the Movie on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009501000120&fref=ts

Greco-Roman Wrestling SUS (Parts 1 – 3)

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm

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In his first year at Shanghai University of Sport, Brooklyn Monk Antonio Graceffo, a wrestling major, was a member of the Chinese traditional wrestling team (Shuai jiao dui). In his second year, he began taking private training in Greco-Roman wrestling, with his coach, Hong Fang Yuan, as well as private san da, and judo training with other coaches. This video is part of a small glimpse into the research Antonio is doing for his PhD dissertation, comparing Chinese traditional wrestling to modern Olympic wrestling.

Watch it on youtube: Greco-Roman Wrestling SUS (Part 1) http://youtu.be/KimvmI3Eq-4
Wacth it on youtube: Greco-Roman Wrestling SUS (Part 2)

Greco-Roman Wrestling SUS (Part 3)

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 amazon.com. The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey

See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on  http://www.blackbeltmag.com

Email Antonio

Antonio@speakingadventure.com

website

www.speakingadventure.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk

facebook

Brooklyn Monk fan page

Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE

http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

Brooklyn Monk in 3D

Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

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SUS Wrestlers and San Da Fighters in the MMA Gym

In Uncategorized on May 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm

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By Antonio Graceffo

For the first time in about a year, I had no classes, no work, and no wrestling team practice for three days. So, I took my san da training mates and my wrestling teammates from Shanghai University of Sports to Fighters Unite MMA gym. In one night, we did boxing, san da, MMA, muay Thai, BJJ, submission wrestling, and freestyle. People from about 10 countries exchanged martial arts, techniques, and culture. It was an incredible experience for everyone involved, a chance to get to meet and train with new people, from different countries and different martial art backgrounds.

My wrestling teammate, Zheng Tong, has wrestled from age 9 to age 20, living first in a sports school, and then in the sports university. He was once a national high school champion in Greco Roman wrestling, but then because of a back injury, he was bedridden for two years and had to stop competing. Eventually, he trained his body back to some semblance of health and can now compete on our university’s traditional wrestling team (Shuai jiao), which is the “B” team at our university. The “A” team is the Greco Roman wrestling team, which competes at national and international level.

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He has no chance of moving up to “A” team. And after 11 years of doing nothing apart from wrestling, I suspect he is bored. So, he began cross training in san da. We actually met in a san da class, before our wrestling team began training last year. From the first time I met him, he has continually asked me about MMA. When I fought a few months ago, he asked if he could also fight on the same card. But with no boxing background, no submissions and really terrible san da, I didn’t think it was such a good idea.

About a month earlier, he received permission to begin training with the university san da team. The san da team is unique in that, although it is a university team, it is professional, not amateur. And the fighters fight in competitions for money. Most of them come from sports schools, where they learned nothing but san da for years. A few come from Tagou, a big san da school at Shaolin Temple. No matter where they come from, however, the one thing they have in common is that they have been doing san da their whole lives, much the way Zheng Tong has wrestled his whole life. Getting a late start makes it very unlikely that Zheng Tong could catch up.

On the way to the MMA gym, Zheng Tong took me and my san da training mate, Jiang Huaying to meet a retired san da champion. He had been retired for ten years, but he still looked powerful. His head and neck were perfectly square. His arms and chest were big. But his belly hung over his belt. He poked at it and said, “I really should start exercising. But I don’t want to. I don’t even want to work. It’s too hard.”
When Zheng Tong told him that I was 47 and still fighting, he instantly said, “You see! This is the difference between us and the foreigners. The foreigners have the inspiration to fight. But with us, Chinese people, someone has to make us fight. And we only fight for money.”
I told him that I once fought in Thailand for three dollars.

The retired san da champion had an amazing way of reading people. When I sat down, he said to me, “Your legs are very powerful, but have no flexibility, so your kicking must be very bad. But, your entire body is proportionate, your shoulders, arms, and back are all as large as your legs, so you are probably good at wrestling and boxing.”

He had apparently watched Zheng Tong learning san da at the university and said, “Zheng Tong is very powerful, but he lacks movement, flexibility, techniques, and mindset to learn san da. He can never do it.” While I thought that was a bit harsh, I agreed. My guess, however, was that Zheng Tong could learn MMA, and I told him so. In addition to his wresting skill, Zheng Tong has two very positive attributes. He is strong and fearless. I really think you would need a very large gun to stop him if he decided to come after you. With minimal boxing training…correction, not boxing, just punching…with very minimal punching training, I believe Zheng Tong could learn to use his wrestling, take guys down, control them on the ground, and ground and pound them to take the win.

The retired san da guy had apparently watched a lot of MMA videos. MMA seems to be a staple of the new, younger generation of Chinese athletes, especially the fighters. He understood some of what he watches and he said. “I believe the most important skills in MMA are wrestling and boxing. I think kicking is almost useless because it’s too easy for people to catch the kicks and just take you down.”

He was an interesting guy, with a lot of opinions and a lot to say about fighting, strategy, mindset…He reminded me of one of those old kung fu masters in the movies, except that he was only 32 years old. He poured tea and told us the facts of life, san da style.

“In a fight, you have to relax. Just relax and breath. If you are too nervous or too excited, you will use up your energy too quickly.” He explained. “People think fighting is physical, but it is mental. You can’t just be like a muscle machine. You have to use your brain and think. You have to see how your opponent is, what he does, and adjust your techniques.”

The retired fighter cooked us a huge meal, which we appreciated. Living in the dorms at the sports university, we don’t get home cooking too often. Afterwards, we headed to the MMA gym.

That night, I got to spar about 6 rounds of stand up, 1 round of MMA and countless rounds of submission wrestling, where I was submitted, an equal number of times. It was cool seeing my SUS teammates and classmates sparring and training with the MMA guys. A lot of foreigners who live in China live in a bit of a white bubble, where they don’t have much quality interaction with Chinese people. Other than their girlfriend they may not have any Chinese friends. So, I was glad the western students had the chance to meet my awesome teammates. Similarly, my Chinese friends were so happy for the experience. At the university, I am the only foreigner in wrestling. And my friend AJ and I are the only foreigners in San Da. It’s still a novelty for the Chinese athletes to train with foreigners. Afterwards, I heard Zheng Tong bragging to some Chinese friends, “I sparred with foreigners. There was even a black guy.”

Zheng Tong and I did both MMA sparring and boxing. And in both cases, I really couldn’t believe how bad his boxing was. He just ducked his head and ran at me swinging wildly. Then he would crash into me and try to take me down. In MMA, he would get the takedown, but from the ground I would always take him down and get the win. In boxing, when he crashed into me, we would have to break. Each time we broke and reset, I would get about two really solid, clean punches on his face. Then he would crash into me again, and we would break and reset. Eventually, those two solid punches, every thirty seconds or so, added up. I could see the retired san da guy shaking his head, like, “This is never going to happen.”

Afterwards, the retired fighter scolded Zheng Tong. “Your legs are too strong and stiff, so you can’t kick. Your movements are all wrong because you have been wrestling your whole life. And you can’t learn the san da movements because it’s impossible for you to undo what you have practiced for so many years.”

Once again, I mostly agree with the retired fighter. I don’t see how starting at less-than-zero Zheng Tong is going to be able to learn san da well enough to compete against guy who have been doing it their whole lives. But, in MMA, if he can get the takedown against me, he will definitely get it against guys who have less wrestling training. And as I said, I was usually only able to hit him twice before he took me down. A better fighter might be faster or more accurate and could maybe KO Zheng Tong on the way in, but we could teach him to cover up. Also, he will improve in his speed and takedown ability. We were sparring with boxing gloves on. With MMA gloves, he may get the take down faster.
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The other guys I brought with me that night was my san da training partners Jiang Huaying and Ren Zhiying, The san da guys at the university have all heard of Muay Thai, but never got a chance to see it up close or experience it. Ren Zhiying really enjoyed learning some techniques from the Muay Thai coach. Nowadays, some san da tournaments allow knees. So the Chinese fighters need to learn them. But the Thais are the real masters of the knee. The Muay Thai coach showed Ren Zhiying how to step out at a 45 degree angle with the back foot, before throwing a front knee. This takes you out of the way of any answering punches, and puts you right in your opponent’ blind side, for your follow up punches and kicks.

The huge, powerful, hard-core Muay Thai coach, Karl, was willing to get in the ring and spar with Jiang Huaying, who only weighs about 65 kg. One of the big differences between Muay Thai and San Da, which the coach was able to teach Jiang Huaying was to catch and kick.

In san Da, they practice catch and throw drills a lot. When you catch the opponent’s kick, you throw him to the ground. In Muay Thai, they use some of the same catches, but when they catch, they often kick the base leg. This was new for my training mates and they instantly saw what a deadly weapon the catch and kick was

Next, Zheng Tong did submission wrestling with my MMA coach Silas Maynard. Everyone was impressed that Zheng Tong. With no jujitsu experience at all, he was able to get the take down and stay in dominant position, holding off the submissions for a long time. All of the Greco guys on my wrestling team have a handful of power submissions which come from Greco Roman wrestling. The most common ones are a kind of arm triangle and a couple of neck cranks, which cut off your breathing. But the Greco chokes, while scary to normal people, usually won’t tap out someone with BJJ or MMA experience. Bjj/MMA people know to just relax. On top of that, the Greco choke is not tight enough to completely stop your breathing. Zheng Tong got one of these chokes on Silas, but obviously, Silas was able to wait it out and escape. At one point, Zheng Tong wrapped his arms around both of Silas’s legs, lifted him off the ground and slammed him. In the end, Silas won each of the submission rounds, usually with a neck crank. But it was clearl that Zheng Tong could learn MMA.

I wrestled both Silas and one of the students, named Tyler. Silas choked me, neck cranked me, and otherwise submitted me every single round, and was never in any sort of danger. Tyler got the better of me in most of the rounds we wrestled because we were both confused about the rules and both were disqualified several times. We only did one round of submission wrestling, and I won, largely because I controlled his legs. When I was at wrestling camp in Cambodia, earlier in the year, they taught me how to grab the opponent’s legs, continue to hold the legs, and use the legs to control and pin him. I wasn’t sure if holding a leg was such a great idea in BJJ, because maybe you were setting yourself up to get submitted. But once we started wrestling, I saw that if I controlled the legs, I avoided triangle chokes and arm bars. So, I snaked up Tyler’s body, controlling the legs the whole way, till I found full mount.

On our wrestling team at the university we often cross train in shaui jiao (traditional wrestling) and freestyle wrestling. Most of my teammates have a background in Greco Roman wrestling. A lot of the guys ask me to teach them some MMA wrestling, and a few, like Zheng Tong and me, cross train in San Da. With guys like Jiang Huaying, who only learn san da, I teach them traditional wrestling or MMA techniques that they can use in San Da to get a better takedown or as a better defense against the takedown. Brining these guys, with all of these martial arts backgrounds to the MMA gym, where they were exchanging techniques with Muay Thai, BJJ, and submission wrestling was the truest spirit of mixed martial arts. I am seriously grateful for this opportunity.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of sport, writing his dissertation on comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. He is martial arts and adventure author living in Asia, 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 amazon.com. The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
Twitter
http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk
facebook
Brooklyn Monk fan page
Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1
Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

Wrestling for San Da

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm

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By Antonio Graceffo
It’s no secret that MMA in the US is dominated by former wrestlers. In fact, 8 of the 10 current UFC champions are former collegiate or high school wrestlers. In China, MMA is dominated by san da fighters. MMA in China pays a lot better than san da, which attracts a lot of fighters, even if they lack the ground skills. One reason there haven’t been a lot of Chinese fighters in MMA outside of China is because China MMA pays better than anywhere else in Asia, at least for beginners and journeymen.
Before coming to China to study san da and wrestling, my thought was that, if you stay on your feet with a san da fighter in an MMA fight, they will head-kick you and knock you out. They have very tricky kicks. They are lightning fast and incredibly strong. Also, the pros have serious experience. China is a bit like Thailand, where you have guys in their early twenties who have already had 40 fights. There are san da fighters who grew up in Tagou, Shaolin Temple school or in one of the many sports schools, who have been training over ten years by the time they turn eighteen.
Before coming to China I believed the way to win against a san da fighter in MMA was to take him to the ground. The problem I identified, however, was that san da also includes throws, so the experienced san da fighters have good takedown defense. Now that I have been training in China for nearly a year, and had a chance to fight, spar, and wrestle with a lot of san da guys (although, admittedly, not the top tier guys) I still agreed that the way to beat them in MMA is to take them down. As for the second part, about them having good takedown defense, that is true, but only in san da rules.
In san da, you can only clinch or attempt a throw for about three seconds before the referee will separate you. So, in my first many months here, I found that if I just hung on the guys, and hung on them, forcing them to carry my weight and defend the takedown for ten, twenty or thirty seconds, I could eventually wear them down. At some point, you will feel their strength leave them, and you can complete the throw. In MMA, however, you need to be careful when employing this strategy, because they could be hitting you with knees and elbows while you are waiting for them to fall.
What I have decided in the last few months, since my wrestling has improved, is that the san da fighters only have takedown defense against san da throws. While san da does allow body lock throws, throws from the clinch and throws employed as part of an attack, 80% or more of throws in a san da fight come from catching the opponent’s kick and then sweeping or tripping him. One of the things that made Cung Le such a unique and successful san da fighter was that he fully utilized his collegiate wrestling skills in the san da ring. Cung Le was famous for using body locks, as well as suplex wrestling throws. These are techniques that most san da fighters have no answer for. Because 80% of san da throws are related to catching kicks, 80% of the san da takedown training is also dedicated to the kic- catching throws.
At Shanghai University of Sport where I train, we have never worked on any of the san da throws that are unrelated to kick catching. When I trained at Shaolin Temple, we learned a double-leg takedown and a body lock, lift and toss throw. But that was it. And we didn’t practice them that much. Most of our time was spent doing catch and throw drills.
Once again, my experience may not be typical of everyone who studies san da, but even if we allow an error margin of 20%, we can still see that most of san da grappling training is related to catching kicks.
Someone once said rules made styles. And now that I am constantly switching codes of fighting, I can agree. Last year, for example, not counting matches that were part of our university wrestling training, I had 7 amateur fights: 3 san da, 2 MMA, one boxing, and one wrestling. My wrestling team at the university specializes in Chinese traditional wrestling but we also cross train in freestyle wrestling, including doing internal matches in both styles. With the exception of boxing, all of the fights involved some wrestling, but they all had different rules. Different rules will force you to employ different techniques.
The first difference between san da wrestling and freestyle or MMA is, as stated above, the time difference. In a san da fight, a san da fighter only has to defend the takedown for about 3 seconds. That is a lot different than having to defend for ten or more seconds in wrestling and virtually unlimited in MMA. Even with the kick-catching throws, the ones where the san da fighters have the most experience and skill to avoid the takedown, they are only used to hoping around on one leg for three seconds. Try hoping around on one leg for twenty seconds while someone your same weight is trying to pull you down. The time factor is a game changer.
Another important factor is what I like to call the do-or-die factor. In san da, if you throw your opponent you can get one, two, or three points. And points are nice, but they aren’t worth dying for. In MMA, if you are a grappler, getting your opponent to the ground may be the difference between winning or losing the fight. So, when you go for the take down, you are fighting with do-or die ferocity. Once again, the san da fighter may not be used to this. When a san da fighter agrees to fight MMA obviously he will change his training. He may have an MMA coach and a Brazilian Jujitsu coach. He may train hard. But the reflexes and skills that helped him win in san da are second nature to him. They are ingrained behaviors and tendencies that may be hard to untrain. If he is a veteran of 50 fights where giving up a takedown was only a 2 point loss, maybe he would let it go more easily than if winning or losing depended on the takedown, like it does in MMA.
Some of the san da fighters who wish to fight MMA have asked me to help them with their training. And no matter how much we drill, they are so used to breaking off the engagement once they take someone to the ground. There is always a slight moment’s hesitation that could cost them the fight. The same thing happens to the wrestlers on my team who are trying t learn some MMA. When they get the opponent on his back, they are so used to pinning him, they forget that he will keep fighting from the bottom position and either get a reversal or a win. A momentary loss of focus is all it takes for the tide to turn.
Another rule that is different from san da to wrestling is that san da does not allow you to drop your knee on the ground while going for the takedown. San da also doesn’t allow sacrifice throws. Therefore, at least in my experience, the san da guys are not prepared to defend against these techniques. Once I realized that, I was able to complete the throw most of the time against my sparring partners. If I catch a kick, I instantly drop my whole body weight on the leg, dragging him to the ground. In the clinch, I utilize the Chinese leg-hooking techniques from traditional wrestling, but as soon as I hook, I drop my whole body on the leg I am attacking. I practice a lot of saltos and throws that I can do from the clinch, with either one or two underhooks, whereby, I go down with, and land on top of my opponent.
The trick seems to be to always use throws that san da doesn’t have. For example, if a san da fighter takes someone’s back in standing, he may do a lift and toss or a front trip, but he won’t do a BJJ sit-through, because that would be zero points in san da. But in an MMA fight, it would b a perfect way to take the san da fighter down and get on top of him.
Sometimes a san da fighter will go for a high single or double-leg takedown. When he does, you can sprawl and use a guillotine or front headlock to drag him to the ground by simply kicking your legs out behind you and dropping to the ground. The san da fighters I have trained with had incredible neck and back strength. If we fought san da rules and I tried a front headlock throw, they could simply support my body weight, no matter how hard I tried to lean on them and drive them down. But when we fought MMA rules, the second I kicked my feet back, I became really heavy, and they couldn’t remain standing.
Having said all of the above, there is still one huge problem to fighting a san da guy in MMA. Namely, you have to get past his kicks before you can even think of taking him down. If someone has a good way to do that, without getting kicked unconscious, please let me know.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of sport, writing his dissertation on comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. He is martial arts and adventure author living in Asia, 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 amazon.com. The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
Twitter
http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk
facebook
Brooklyn Monk fan page
Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1
Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

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Pushing Yourself: Four vs. One MMA Fight Night (Parts 1 and 2)

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2014 at 1:10 am

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It wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about endurance, finding your limits and pushing yourself as far as you can. At Fighters Unite Shanghai, fight night, March 13, 2014, Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo gets an opportunity to get into a ring with 3 professional san da fighters and one amateur MMA fighter on the same night. For 9 months prior to this event, Antonio had been training on the traditional Chinese wrestling team at Shanghai University of Sport, where he also cross-trains in san da. As the Monk has notoriously poor speed and kicking ability, the question he hoped to answer was whether or not he could weather the fast and powerful kicks of the san da fighters and if he could get them to the ground before they Ko’d him. On a personal level, he wanted to push himself, to see if he could fight more than once in the same night.
On the same night, Coach Silas Maynard took on three opponents and simply laughed about it.
Pushing Yourself: Four vs. One MMA Fight Night (Part 1)

Pushing Yourself: Four vs. One MMA Fight Night (Part 2)

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 amazon.com. The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey
See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on http://www.blackbeltmag.com
Email Antonio
Antonio@speakingadventure.com
website
http://www.speakingadventure.com
Twitter
http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk
facebook: Brooklyn Monk fan page
Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE
http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1

Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)
http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com
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Captain Khmerican

San Da, Shanghai University of Sport (Parts 1 through 4)

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2014 at 2:53 am

IMG_4227 IMG_4234 IMG_4263 ?????????????   San Da is a Chinese kickbixng art which includes kicks, punches, and wrestling takedowns. In September, 2013, Antonio Graceffo began studying for a PhD at Shanghai University of Sport, where he is writing his dissertation (in Chinese) about comparative forms of Chinese wrestling. San Da is included in his research because of its wrestling component. Special guest star, Aj Richardi, US San Da fighter and Masters Degree student at Shanghai University of Sport.

San Da, Shanghai University of Sport (Part 1)

http://youtu.be/uVTu9jKeh-g

San Da, Shanghai University of Sport (Part 2)

http://youtu.be/LKdqJ5lvAE0

San Da, Shanghai University of Sport (Part 3)

San Da, Shanghai University of Sport (Part 4)

 

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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 amazon.com. The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at http://www.blackbeltmag.com/warrior_odyssey See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on  http://www.blackbeltmag.com Email Antonio Antonio@speakingadventure.com website www.speakingadventure.com Twitter http://twitter.com/Brooklynmonk facebook Brooklyn Monk fan page Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE http://www.youtube.com/user/brooklynmonk1 Brooklyn Monk in 3D Order the download at http://3dguy.tv/brooklyn-monk-in-3d/ Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor) http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor) http://brooklynmonk.podomatic.com

民族传统体育学术前沿

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm

IMG_4223 (2) IMG_4233 (2) SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC研究生 姓名          东尼   

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民族传统体育学术前沿

这节课,我们有许多有趣的教师。我们的老师告诉我们关于他们的研究中,我们学到了很多东西。戴国斌老师教给了一个非常有趣的演讲。他知识非常渊博武術的主题。戴国斌老师教我们关于武術的历史和文化.他还教我们做研究和写我们的论文。他写了许多关于武术的历史和文化的论文和文章。这是有帮助的,博士生导师,他的论文,我们可以尽量多看。通过这种方式,我们可以学习如何做更好的研究。但是,我们也可以学到很多关于武术的知识。

 

他总是要求我们很好的问题,如“什么是武术?”这个问题似乎很简单。但实际上,这个问题是非常困难的。他问我们这类问题让我们思考,让我们做更好的研究。

 

姜传银老师是我们的散打老师,他还教了我们一个很好的演讲。他问套路和散打之间的区别是什么。在一段时间内,我们讨论这个问题。然后,他告诉我们,套路和散打之间的区别是对手。你可以一个人做套路。但是,你需要一个对手做散打。在我们的散打课,姜传银老师告诉我们永远不要害怕你的对手。他告诉我们,只有三个对手,你应该担心。你应该怕的人谁不想要钱,谁不想面对的人,人谁不想要的生活。两个戴国斌老师和姜传银老师告诉我们是一个很好的博士生,我们必须尽我们所能读。他们告诉我们,阅读一切关于我们的主题。我们应该阅读,我们可以多篇。通过这种方式,我们可以学会做自己的研究。

 

两个刘静老师和云崖老师在美国做研究。这是对我来说非常有趣,因为美国是我的祖国。他们说,体育教育在美国的许多有趣的事情相比,中国体育教育。她告诉我们,在中国,教育和体育教育是由政府管理。美国教育和体育教育并非由政府管理。教育和体育教育是由许多个独立的协会管理。该协会是私人的。所以,在美国的教育和体育教育的显着变化因地区。

 

在中国的体育教师在学校的全职雇员。在美国,许多体育教师是兼职员工。例如,他们有一个全职工作,在其他地方,他们也教运动在一所高中兼职。她还注意到,在美国,很多孩子都很胖。但是,在美国先进的体育节目都非常优秀。因此,这是一个有点怪。中国有一个系统的体育学校和体育院校。美国没有。在美国,每所学校或大学都有自己的团队和培训计划。因此,队伍的质量和培训计划显着变化从一个地区到另一个。

 

 

她也作出了评论,美国的学校有很多优秀的体育器材,这是在中国制造的。但她从来没有发现同样的设备在中国。

在我们班的第二部分,她告诉我们,她的研究涉及到太极拳。在美国,不少人练太极拳,因为对健康的益处。

 

虞定海老师做了很多研究太极拳。他告诉我们,太极的历史和文化。他谈到了太极的做法和解释健康的好处。在太极拳中有某些特定的声音,我们可以使这将帮助我们呼吸,我们的能源。他告诉我们,关于太极拳健康的好处有很多的研究。

他去法国教太极发现,太极拳和中国武术是中国以外的非常流行的。现在,世界各地的人了解中国武术。