Posts Tagged ‘mixed’

Brooklyn Monk Catch Wrestling w. Sambo Steve (Parts 1 and 2)

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2014 at 11:59 pm


Sambo Steve (Stephen Koepfer) of New York Combat Sambo invites Brooklyn Monk , Antonio Graceffo to train catch wrestling with his team in Manhattan. Catch wrestling is a form of submission wrestling where you can win by submission, choke, or pin. The pin makes it more like wrestling and different from Brazilian Jujitsu, where many competitors like to pull guard. In catch, if your shoulder blades touch the ground for three seconds, you lose. In this episode, the Brooklyn Monk also welcomes Eddie Goldman, the host of the podcast, No Holds Barred. In part two, hear Eddie tell the history of Catch wrestling.
Watch Brooklyn Monk Catch Wrestling w. Sambo Steve (Part 1)

Watch Brooklyn Monk Catch Wrestling w. Sambo Steve (Part 2)

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 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 Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)



Wrestling Side Control Escape SUS

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2014 at 1:46 am

Antonio Graceffo’s wrestling teammates at Shanghai University of Sport show him how wrestlers escape from judo side control. The Brooklyn Monk finds  it interesting to explore how different arts deal with the same positions and situations.

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Watch: Wrestling Side Control Escape

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 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 Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)



Warning to Hippies and Penniless Westerners Travelling to Phnom Penh

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

By Antonio Graceffo


poverty kids BW

Warning to idiotic budget travelers from the world’s richest countries: Please don’t come to Cambodia with no money. I get email every week from people who want to come to Cambodia and train. About 30% of them are so deluded, I want to just post this, copy, paste and share, once and for all, to head off the stupid questions.

Please don’t write to me and ask me where you can get a well paying job in Cambodia, to pay for your training. It’s a poor country. Wages are well below the cost of living and jobs are few and hard to get. If you have real skills, you can apply to an NGO or an international company to do a real job, which a local can’t. But there are no casual jobs that pay well. And apart from casual teaching, I don’t know of casual jobs at all. Please don’t offer to work, clean the school, or teach English or martial arts in exchange for training, room, and board. Your labor is worth $3 a day. Room and board is worth $30. It’s not a good deal for the locals. Besides which, the people who teach martial arts are poor. They need you to pay your training fees so they can eat.

If you really want a local job, a factory job here would pay about $150 USD a month, for working 11 hours per day, 28 days a month. I get a commission for each overseas worker I recruit. So, let me know if you are interested.

Don’t tell me you are a vegan or have some sort of made-up, self-imposed dietary restrictions. The locals don’t have enough to eat. Telling them you intentionally pass up certain foods would be like laughing at their poverty. The food I eat here is often dirty and of questionable origin, but I am happy to have it. And I know a lot of locals who would love to eat for a whole day what a person from a first world country eats in a single meal.

And don’t ask me about your stupid dog. NO! You can’t bring your dog to Cambodia. (Antonio’s Law, number 141606) It is inhumane to chemically knock out your dog in Israel or Belgium or New Jersey, put it in a crate, and fly 23 hours to Cambodia. Once you get here, we travel everywhere on motorcycles. This wouldn’t be safe or maybe not even possible with a dog. Obviously the overwhelming majority of hotels won’t accept you with a dog. And since you are coming with no money and want to stay in the cheapest places, this reduces your options to almost zero. The cheapest option for a long term training stay is to negotiate and sleep in the school. But that is something you can’t do with your dog.

I think people from the west need to decide if they are rich or poor. If you are rich, live rich, and pay rich. If you are poor, live poor, and pay poor. But you can’t come to a developing country and expect to pay poor and live rich.

Please feel free to repost this to anyone who you think it might help.

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 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 Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

The Road to Dissertation

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2014 at 2:42 am

By Antonio Graceffo

a125 neck crank

neck crank chinese

Chinese technique

On the long road to writing my dissertation on the subject of Chinese traditional wrestling compared to modern freestyle wrestling:

roll over


free ji ben

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 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 Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

Psychological Analysis of Fred Schroeder the Coward of Shenzhen

In Uncategorized on June 7, 2014 at 4:00 am

Fred smack talk 8

As of March 7, 2015, Fred Schroeder, of New Jersey, USA, a pilot for an airlines in Shenzhen, China, has agreed to fight me and then backed out 23 times.

Watch it on youtube

I sent a slew of Fred Schroeder’s emails to a psychiatrist to get his take on this coward who backed out of a fight with me 14.5 times, but who has clearly watched many documentaries about me, watched my videos, and read my books and stories. Fred Schroeder has clearly followed me for a number of years, and seems to know a lot of minute details about me. This would all suggest to me that he was more than a fan. He is more like a stalker. He repeatedly talks about gay sex that he wants to have with me or my teammates, and often sends me detailed descriptions of how he raped my mother. Again and again, over a period of 14 months, he has said he could beat me easily in a fight, and blamed me for the fact that we haven’t fought. I have asked him for a fight thousands of times, and every time that he has accepted, he has backed out.

A psychiatrist’s take on Fred so far:

“He secretly admires you, wants to emulate you, and his way of doing it is by crushing you. But he knows he will lose in a real fight. So he’ll never fight you, only bait you, only make you mad, make you look like a fool.”

Now that I read about his sexual fantasies. He is always teasing you, sexually so he gets to mess with you, and mentally so he gets to fuck (mess) with you……………… So he teases you about “f—ing” you and “fighting” you. He does not have the courage to do either. He will not come to confront you personally because he can’t afford the money, and if he shows his face, he knows he will be beaten by you. You will have a great victory, while he will have a great loss. He will lose his pride, his health (get beaten up), and his money (plane ticket ). So rest assured, he will never dare to show up. What a filthy swine FS he is, insulting Mom, Jesus, your manhood, your language ability. These are just pathetic attempts to provoke you, to instigate and enrage you.

I commend you for winning arguments.Yes you deserved commendation for standing and defending yourself. But it is not worth defending. Would you fight every roadside dog that barks at you? Please consider turning down future instigations the way I did, fighting fire with water. His game, his aim, is to antagonize you and drive you nuts. Don’t fight in his terms. It is way beneath you. He lives in China , does not speak Chinese. What does he do for a living? Gay whoring?

FS mentions he never backed out of a fight, and accuses you of being jealous of him, brags about being a wine taster; something about being a pilot. That much I am just sifting and reiterating back.

It looks like he is bragging about what good things he does, and it seems that he IS stalking you, carefully reading what you have read and that is how he is able to belittle you about small details about your life from your writings which you have passed on, but for him, mean a great deal, and of which he is very jealous of.

Yes, you identified it correctly that he is projecting in a severe manner, and he is trying to compete with you. Are you jealous, NO. He is the one who is jealous and he is projecting that on you. The guy just admitted he is a wino, probably drives around vineyard to vineyard, DUI, drinking , driving, disappointed with his dull life, envying your illustrious life, wishing he could be half the man you are.

He admires you, wants to be like you. With the amount of jealousy and envy that he has, he could turn out to be dangerous since he has carefully studied all about you. Continuing to respond to his challenges only escalates the tension and conflict. I had been following your heated exchanges and was amused because it reminded me of the World Wrestling champs ranting at each other before or in between matches. Now that I see you asking for advice in a 4 pp. letter full of many details and instances of actual pain, it ceases to be amusing and I realize this is getting complicated.

Let me summarize and conclude. He secretly admires you, wants to emulate you, and his way of doing it is by crushing you. But he knows he will lose in a real fight. So he’ll never fight you, only bait you, only make you mad, make you look like a fool.

About the Feud

Fred Schroeder, a pilot for an airlines in Shenzhen, China has been telling the Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo that he can beat Antonio easily in a fight, since March, 2013. The first time the two were scheduled to fight was April, 2013, but Fred Schroeder, the coward of Shenzhen, backed out. Since then, Fred has agreed to fight 13 more times, but backed out. The last time the two had any contact was when Fred sent a text message to Antonio, saying that he would kick Antonio’s butt in June, 2014. Antonio has tried repeatedly to confirm if this was a legitimate offer to fight, but as of June 7, 2014, Fred has not confirmed.

Fred Schroeder Coward of Shenzhen and his only fan, Casca Mercenario

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Fred fight prince

As of March 7, 2015, Fred Schroeder, of New Jersey, USA, a pilot for an airlines in Shenzhen, China, has agreed to fight Antonio Graceffo and then backed out 23 times.

Watch it on youtube

A guy in Malaysia, who hates me, named Casca Mercenario, thought Fred Schroeder, the cowardly pilot from Shenzhen, was actually going to fight me. So, Casca started writing to Fred, on Facebook, encouraging him to finally knock my block off. One of the many reasons Casca doesn’t like me is because I beat him in a gym fight. So, he decided I am a terrible fighter and wanted someone else to kick my butt.
This is all internet logic, by the way. It makes no sense to anyone who exists in the real world. If I am such a terrible fighter, why didn’t Casca just beat me himself? Or, why didn’t Fred fight me back in 2013, when he first said he could beat me easily?
At first, Casca was very supportive of Fred, telling Fred that, although he had never seen Fred train or fight, he knew for sure that Fred could beat me. Around this time, Fred sent me a message saying, “Many people wrote to me and want to see me kick your butt on March 13.” This was when Fred agreed to fight me on March 13th, 2014. Of course, he backed out, and the fight never happened. But he apparently used some alternative means of counting where “one” is equal to “many”, because, as far as I know, NO ONE ELSE was rooting for Fred to win , after he had backed out so many times and after he had posted gay pornography on my Facebook page and after he had said so many horrible things about raping my mother.
This is all internet logic, by the way. It makes no sense to anyone who exists in the real world. If I am such a terrible fighter, why didn’t Casca just beat me himself? Or, why didn’t Fred fight me back in 2013, when he first said he could beat me easily?
March 13 came and went, and Fred didn’t fight me. Fred agreed to fight me in a street fight on March 30th, but then pulled out. Then Casca tried to get him to fight me for April 11, another fight that Fred agreed to, but then pulled out. Each time Casca asked why Fred pulled out, Fred simply claimed that he didn’t. But this makes no sense, since Fred did agree to fight me, and he never fought me.
During the course of all of their exchanges Fred told Casca a number of lies which conflicted with lies he told me. For example, he told Casca on April 9, “I have way more access to training partners and the tools I need to fight this fucktard. It’s just a matter of time” I train at Shanghai sports university full time. I can’t imagine Fred has a better place to train in Shenzhen. We are number three in the country behind Xian and Beijing sports universities. And Fred doesn’t train full time.
April 9, he also told Casca “No I never backed out. No he never came to Shenzhen. If he would come here tomorrow I would fight the prick.” First off, he backed out 14.5 times and I have the email evidence to prove it. Two of the times he backed out my coach was involved in setting up the fight, so I also have witnesses. As for me going to Shenzhen, that was never part of the deal. But after March, 2014, I finally gave in and said I would fight him in Shenzhen if he could give me the name, address, phone number, date, and time of the venue. He didn’t. We missed two dates in Shenzhen simply because he refused to tell me where and when the fight would be held.
Eventually, even Casca, a guy who hates me, couldn’t get past the fact that Fred, the tough guy, had been ducking this fight for over a year and was obviously a frightened little girl. When Casca started pestering Fred about why he didn’t fight, Fred became rude to Casca.
Casca came back with “I guess you’re just chicken shit. You wasted my time. I thought you were a hero. But you are just as scared of Antonio as all those other guys.” (April 22nd, 9:57pm). Because Fred didn’t respond, Casca took it up a notch, “Man You shut up the minute I asked you about actually fighting him. You are a little faggot keyboard warrior. Pathetic piece of shit. You talked so big but you’re just scared.”
Fred’s final message to Casca, before blocking him on Facebook, on Friday 9:36pm
FRED: Casca, if I saw you right now I would break your neck off and stick it in your ass
You and that faggot antonio can go f–k each other in the ass until you die. Don’t contact me again you stupid f–k.”
And with that, Fred lost his only friend. Casca then emailed me a full transcript of their conversations.
I find it disturbing that Fred so frequently talks about gay sex acts that he wants to commit on me or wants my friends to commit on him or that he wishes we would commit on each other. If I made a list of all of the people I have ever known, it would most likely be in the thousands. And yet, NONE of them ever said all of these negative, horrible, disturbing gay sex things.
Also, if you read between the lines, isn’t he challenging Casca to a fight? And if so, why did he block Casca? How will that fight ever happen now?
Ah, Fred, would that this were over. But it will go on like this for the rest of your life.
To date, not sure if the funniest thing he ever said to me was “I’ll fight you when I’m ready” or “You f—ed with the wrong guy, Antonio
As of this writing, June 5, 2014, Fred has backed out 14.5 times.

The full Casca exchanges
Fred agreed to fight me on Friday March 21, in Shanghai, so I added him back on facebook. He immediately posted gay pornography on my page. So I blocked him. Then, my friend C made friends with him on facebook and is pumping him up, encouraging him to fight me.
Casca: Hey, are you going to fight that blowhard Antonio in March. They are organizing a fight in Shanghai and I bet a lot of people would love to see you kick his ass. His the info
The Battle of Shanghai MMA, BJJ, and Muay Thai smoker fight, Thursday evening, March 13, at 7 PM, at Fighters Unite Shanghai, contact Silas Maynard on Facebook
Monday 10:06pm
Fred: Hi Cascaa, sorry this went to my other messages folder. Your exactly right, blowhard is an understatement. Have you ever met him? Yes we will fight, i have offered him MANY times to come to shenzhen. So it looks like im gonna have to get to SHanghai eventually. He never stops talking shit, never!
Tuesday 8:06am
Casca: Wow he is a jerk. why didnt you guys fight on March 13? I bet he just stayed in his house that night.
Tuesday 3:53pm
Fred: I was in use until the 6th (My note fred returned to china on march 6th, that doesn’t explain why he didn’t fight me on the 13th or at any time in the previous year)
Fred: Have u ever actually met him?
Tuesday 7:24pm
Casca: Yes, i have been in the gym with him. he is a huge loudmouth. he doesnt like to train he just comes in and spars. usually he will spar like 5 or 6 guys in a row without stopping. all the coaches like that but i think hee is a jerk
Tuesday 10:59pm
Fred: Where are you now? In china? Yes he has got to be one of the most arrogant pricks I have met. He is beyond self centered and loves to start shit between people. I bet the only friends he really had are his Facebook fans
2 hours ago
Casca: I knew him in Johor bahru. he is such an asshole he walked in our gym and just because he could beat the shit out of everyone the coach made him the assistant trainer then he kept fight and winning and no one wanted to fight him but i wanted to see him get KOd About fans, he has a lot in malaysia, everyone knows him some people hate him but most people are so stupid and desperate they support him
Fred: So there wasn’t one guy who could beat him at your gym? I’m not very impressed with him. But he does seem strong and can take some punishment but besides that it seems like when he charges in at people that get nervous and kind of just react.
Casca: He thinks because he speaks so many languages like he is some god
Fred: I actually never met him. And he and I met online years ago. He asked me for a place to stay as we was thinking of coming to Shenzhen. I even let him use my VPN for free for months ( not a big deal) but he just shits all over people and all he cares about is his self image
Fred: He is not very tall but looks stocky
Casca: he is shortbut he is built like a bull and even i saw one professional karate guy kick him right in the face and he just took the guy down and beat the shit out of him but then he always talks how strong he is
Casca: Kim Lee Tan could probably beat him, but they were training partners. kim had about 30 fights then he retired and is now a referee for One Fc
Fred: Did you spar with Antonio?
Casca: yeah, he kept throwing me down and laughing at me he didnt even punch or anything, just kept throwing me please kick his ass just because he can wrestle, he thinks he can walk aroundd saying he speak 20 languages or some shit.
Fred: Lmfao
Fred: What a prick
Casca: i want to see him get his ass kicked but he just takes the guys down yeah he is a prick but unfortunately his wrestling is really good
Fred: Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean he also can’t be taken down (ME, so his strategy is to try and take me down? What a terrible idea.)
Fred: And while his wrestling is good I don’t see his submissions as anything good
Fred: When he closed the distance and has someone in the clinch I never seen anyone using their shoulder or elbows. Antonio’s dominant from the clinch. That’s about it
Casca: yeah he doesnt usually win by submissionyeah trueonly clincch is good
Fred: I bet there are many people that talk behind his back
Fred: Because they really don’t like him
Casca: sure lots of people hate him because he talks about education and phd and languages who the fuck does he thing he is
Fred: Yea, like he is a walking encyclopedia. It’s one thing to be smart and humble, it’s another to be smart and be a jackass like him
Fred: I called him on the phone today. I’m trying to set something up
(Fred called me at this point and asked me to fight him Friday in Shenzhen. Periodically, after backing out of a fight with me, he then says, “Why do we have to fight in your gym and your ring? So, I agree we can fight in Shenzhen if he can arrange a ring, and he never can. This time, he claims there is a ring, but he wont give me the name, address, phone number or contact person for the gym so I can verify that he actually set anything up. In the end, he won’t set it up. So, I won’t fly to Shenzhen, and he will claim I backed out. But funny having that conversation with him on the phone, while having this Facebook chat with him)
Casca: good when are you going to fight him?
Fred: I hope by the summer (Antonio note, when he called me it was fight that week, on Friday, not in summer. He never mentioned summer)
Casca: wow cool and you are right his submissions are bad all you have to do is take HIM down, get on top, control him and you can submit him
Fred: I hope to rock him with elbows and kick the hell out of his knees
Casca: yeah goodhe has bad knees
Fred: I heard that he does
Casca: i wonder why no one did that before? (Antonio note, laughing so hard I can barely type)
Fred: Don’t know
Casca: the only thing, you gotta kick quick
Casca: he always ties those guys up fast
Fred: He comes straight forward
Casca: yup predictable
Fred: Very predictable
Casca: yeah always the same moves sounds like you got his number, why didnt you fight him last year?
Fred: Wasn’t ready to be honest
Casca: oh ok but a bunch of times you guys said on his page that you were fighting
Fred: He has this way of getting under my skin and trying to force me to do things
Casca: yeah he is a complete asshole i dont got a better word, asshole
Fred: And then I just wind up getting pissed off because he is such an asshole
Fred: Lol
Casca: but if you were pissed why not kick his assi really want to see itcan you make a video?
Fred: Then what he will do is completely turn things around
Fred: I wanted to badly. But I know it’s foolish to fight someone when there is any doubt you can lose
Fred: Sure I will
Casca: cool but you know how to beat him sounds like a great plan kick that knee right out from under him fuck he might never fight again
Fred: Lol
Casc:a you’d like that
Fred: Let’s see how it goes
Casca: i know i would
Casca: I would just like to shut him the hell up
Casca i knew when i saw you on his page you were no pussyyou dont take his shitand you said you knew how to beat a wrestlerso i was like, good i’ll bet on that guy
Fred: Thanks. Yes I don’t. Everyone else seems to but I won’t
Casca: yeah they all kiss his ass
Fred: One of my best friends is a two time NCAA years ago
Fred: who cares how many fights he won
Fred I’m not stupid
Casca: wow you know a NCAA wrestlershit you must be good
Fred I’m good at staying on my feet. He outweighs me by 10 or 8 kilo. Not much. I am 7 years younger. And tons more faster then him (Me more faster? Also two seconds ago he said he was going to take me down.)
Casca: and antonio aint no NCAA
Casca: you know he’s not even the best one on his university wrestling team
Fred: Lol
Casca: he talked about it on facebook some of those college wrestlers are better than him so its not like he’s a champion
Fred: And just so you know, I have nothing against anyone who is gay. But when he pissed me off I would always tell him what a faggot he is because I never seen him with a woman.
Fred: Plus he calls himself a monk
Casca: good ffor yo
Casca: He ain’t monk
Casca: yeah and that language shit he talks is a lie
Fred: Probably
Casca: yeah his mandarine is like perfectbut he cant speak cantonese or haka
Fred: Lol
Cascaa: what a fuckin loser spanish and italain are a no brainer, dudes parents come from italy or some crap so whats the big deal?
Fred: Lol
Fred: Don’t know
Fred I gotta goto a company meeting now. Catch up later and good talking to you
(Antonio note: March 21: Dance, my puppets, dance. My fake Facebook profile, Cascaa, told Fred “Antonio is so full of shit. He ain’t no linguist. Sure his Mandarin is nearly perfect, but he doesn’t speak any Cantonese or even Haka.” Today, I went on youtuube and a brand new youtube account had commented on my Chinese presentation video “How about Cantonese or even Hakka?” It’s such a random thing to post on my video, I have to believe it’s Fred. Most people have never even heard of Haka. I wonder what else I can make him do? His fake youtube account is Frikandel Kroket1 )
Casca: That asshole must have brain damage. He is telling everyone you agreed to fight him today but you backed out. I know that isn’t true.
Fred: Sorry fb is banned in china and I don’t always get on. He must have emailed me like 6 times today what a fkin pain in the ass. I told him I was gonna to the gym today to see about getting the ring set up for us since this pussy don’t wanna fight on the street
Casca: Ok so did you set up the fight? when is it
Casca: 23 march
Casca: He’s on facebook saying you backed out of the fight 9 times and you said terrible things about his mom. he is such a didnt do that, did you?
Fred: Sorry I’m half asleep. No I didn’t back out of a fight.
Monday 6:06pm
Casca: Oh, so you guys never had a date to fight? because he had a list of dates that you were supposed to fight but I checked the video, he was fighting someone else.anyway, are you going to fight him in April? That would be cool.
7 hours ago
Casca: Antonio just said you agreed to fight him in April if he gave you head. Are you fighting him in April?
Fred: Hi. Sorry as fb is blocked in china and I’m very busy these days. I am going Friday to check out a ring that is here in sz. As I told him many times this fight will most likely happen over the summer. He is such a bullshitter it’s unbelievable
18 minutes ago
Casca: ok i hought something like thathe said you agreed to fight him like 9 times and quit. the asshole.just curious, why dont you just knock his ass out at fight night in april?
Chat Conversation End
(MY note: I had been planning all along to feed into Fred’s delusions and his adolescent fantasies by confirming everything I knew he already believed in. In a conversation with Antonio, Fred said that he believed Taekwondo guys were better fighters than san da guys. Which is preposterous since taekwondo has no punching, no combinations, no low kicks, no grappling, no throwing, and they don’t fight for money. anyway, in a separate conversation he told Cascaa that he thought Antonio had a bad knee and all he had to do was kick it once and it would explode. So, Cascaa just sent Fred an email saying that a Taekwondo guy kicked Antonio’s knee and it exploded. And now is Fred’s chance to fight Antonio. The strategy may backfire though. Fred allegedly believed he could beat Antonio this whole time and yet didn’t fight him. So, maybe even if he thought Antonio was crippled he still wouldn’t agree to fight.)
March 31, 2014
Casca: Dude!!! Guess who just got his ass kicked by some taekwando guy at the university and probably has to have knee surgery!
Fred: ??
Fred: Antonio
6 minutes ago
Casca: Yes, this is your cance man. fight himhis knee is fuckedmy cousin told me he cant even walk.that smartass finally got what was coming to himand now you can shut him up the rest of the way.
Fred: How did this happen
Casca: my cousin goes to that sports kindergarten antonio brags about he said antonio was shooting off his mouth about what a great fighter he was and how other martial arts sucked
Fred: Today?
Casca: yeah
Fred: So they fought ?
Casca: yeah a tKD team member got sick of antonios crap and they fought and he kicked antonios knee once
Fred: What kind of fight?
Casca: and fatasss had to be carried outi dont know i wasnt there just my cousin told me but i guess not mma or antonio would have taken him down dude opened his mouth one too many
Fred: Lmfao
Fred: Would love to see pics
Casca: i dont know if there are anybut he will need surgery and allso this is your chancefight the sonofabitch
Fred: It is that bad?
Casca: yeah his knee explodeddude it was a taekwando guythey are the best kickers
Fred: I’m surprised he didn’t write about it on fb
Casca: and antonio is like 67 years old and has bad kneeshe probably will keep it secretbecause he is so arroganthe’s not gooing to admit something like that
Fred: Dude had a very long day to do very bad weather here in Shenzhen. Gotta get some sleep. I will be in touch this week
Casca: ok but this is your shot manshut that fucker up forever
Chat Conversation End
Seen 8:41pm
Fred: With or without his knee fucked up doesn’t make a diff in the long run. I just want the chance to have a fair fight with him
Casca: yeah of course you could always beat him but this is even better for you
yeah of course you could always beat him but this is even better for you
(Fred emailed Antonio to confirm the TKD incident. This is where I screwed up a bit in my planning. Antonio, of course, had to deny that the incident happened. But meanwhile, I needed to make the incident true, so Fred would believe I was injured and fight me. I could kill Casca for putting me in this position. Fred then sent Antonio’s email response to Casca.)
Fred: From Antonio
No idea what you are talking about. I sparred eight rounds of san da today. by the way, did you fill out your form to fight me on April 11?
April 1st, 9:05am
Casca: he doesnt want to admit he got his ass kicked you know anyone could just beat his ass. you said ” I just want the chance to have a fair fight with him” so why did you turn down all of the times he tried to fight you for a year?

FRED: Casca. 1. He is the one that challenged me. I offered him many times to come to Shenzhen. I even offered to pay that poor bastards ticket. 2. I have a full time job. I don’t have always the time off to do the things I want. 3. I told him numerous times let’s settle this like men, but he wanted it in a gym, in shanghai, on his terms but the motherfucker is the one who ran his mouth and challenged me. 4. Don’t think for one second that because I don’t post things here on Facebook that I’m sitting here doing nothing. I have way more access to training partners and the tools I need to fight this fucktard. It’s just a matter of time
April 1st, 10:50pm
Casca: so you agreed to fight him several times but then you didnt fight him i still dont understand why you did that now he is posting about april 11are you going to fight him then?it sounds like you are ready.
April 2nd, 10:30pm
Casca: are you going to fight him on the 11th or do you need to wait more than a year?
Your training is better than his? Cool. where do you train?
April 4th, 8:05am
Fred: I asked meathead about you and this was his response
A jealous jerk I knew in johor bahru. he didnt like me, but he couldnt beat me physically, so he talks crap about me, similarly to the way you call me insulting names and talk about raping my mother because you can’t beat me in a fight
Casca: that guy is an ass. i can beta him. so can you. by the way, where do you train? Are you going to fight him on the 11th? I am dying to see someone kick his ass, and anyone could.
April 7th, 9:48am
Casca: Are you going to fight Antonio on April 11? WOuld love to see you finally shut him up.
April 8th, 8:21pm
Casca: Fred, tell me the truth. are you scared of Antonio? You have backed out so many times. and now it looks like you won’t fight him on April 11. Why?
Fred: Casca, do me a favour. I realize we both cannot stand this fuck. And yes I will fight him. However I have a full time job, lived in another city, and asked him many times to come since he challenge me. So pls stop asking me. When it happens it happens
April 9th, 9:49pm
Casca: But why did you back out so many times? on your facebook you went on holiday and you had time to go many places You mean in a whole year you never had a day off? also, why did you agree to fight him and back out? Grom 2
Fred: how many times do I need to explain this to you. No I never backed out. No he never came to Shenzhen. If he would come here tomorrow I would fight the prick. So please stop asking me the same questions
Casca: But you agreed to fight him last year I saw even the gym was making the poster and you agreed to fight him a couple more times Dont you remember? He got his stupid coach involved and you posted on your page you were fighting him last april but he fought theat tomato can Aj instead
April 10th, 9:37am
Casca: That asshole posted, saying you backed out 12 times. But I know i8t couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 times, 4 at the max. so you should break his jaw.
Fred: Patience. He can write whatever he wants. He is scared to come to Shenzhen
April 10th, 11:08pm
Casca: but why did you agree to fight him so many times and back out?It doesnt really seem like you want to fight him.
April 12th, 10:28pm
You’ve been really quiet. I said, it doesn’t seem like you want to fight him because he offered for a year and you backed out every single you have a response for that?
April 14th, 9:46pm
Casca: It just seems you are scared of Antonio because you turned down all his offers to fight for a year and then you backed out a bunch of times after agreeing to fight. Do you have any kind of response?
April 17th, 10:04pm
Casca: If you wanted to fight him so bad why did you back out so many times and wait a whole year?
April 22nd, 9:57pm
Casca: I guess your just chicken shit. You wasted my time. I thought you were a hero. but you are just as scared of Antonio as all those other guys.
Friday 9:36pm
Casca: Man You shut up the minute I asked you about actually fighting him.You are a little faggot keyboard warrior.pathetic piece of talked so big but you’re just scared.
Fred responded:
Cascaa, if I saw you right now I would break your neck off and stick it in your ass
You and that faggot antonio can go fuck each other in the ass until you die
Don’t contact me again you stupid fuck
Chat Conversation End
Sent from Mobile

Fred smack talk new

Fred smack talk 2

Wrestler Looks at Judo (Part 1)

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm


By Antonio Graceffo

Sensei Gary Rasanen, an 8th degree grand master of judo grabs my sleeve and my lapel, similar to a grip used in Chinese shuai jiao wrestling. He pulls me into his hip, sits down slightly, while pulling my arm across his chest, and suddenly, I am airborne. I slam, hard on the mat, as his body crashes down on top of me. Careful to maintain control of my arm, he rotates his hip toward me and widens his legs, in order to drop more weight on my chest, making it hard for me to breath. Maintaining his balance, and careful to keep his weight on me, his legs walk around my head. As he goes, I am slowly being choked with my own arm. Because of my MMA training, I can survive the oxygen deprivation without taping. But this is judo. Sensei Gary only needs to hold me in this position for twenty-five seconds. Then he will be declared the winner of the bout.

And this was my introduction to judo.



But why was I here, lying on the mat in Port Jefferson Station, at Long Island Judo & Martial Arts, with an eighth degree master choking me? The answer is, it was part of my school homework.

My PhD dissertation research, at Shanghai University of Sport, where I live and train, is a comparison between Chinese traditional shuai jiao wrestling and modern freestyle wrestling. Additionally, I also study san da, as many of the san da throws come directly from Chinese shuai jiao. Because of obvious similarities between judo and shuai jiao, I am interested in more deeply studying the art of judo. Hopefully, I will continue with this series, as I come to know more about judo.

Grand Master Gary Rasanen started training in 1968, at age 11, in New York’s oldest dojo, in Brooklyn. He once trained with the Korean Olympic team and is versed in jujitsu and shotokan karate. “It was all part of the budokan system of martial arts.” Explained Sensei Gary. “To be proficient in that style, you have to be versed in those three arts.” Keeping with this spirit of being an all-around fighter, sensei Gary’s judo school is located inside of United Studios, Progressive Martial Arts center where students were learning a variety of martial arts under the direction of Renshi Enzo Aliotta.

The reason I sought out a judo master, during one of my brief trips to the United States, was because the Chinese claim that judo and Chinese shuai jiao share a common origin. Not only did I not care if that was true, but as a doctoral candidate at a Chinese university, I wanted to steer as clear of that sensitive issue as I could. As both, a martial artist, and a guy from Brooklyn, however, it was obvious to see that there were some clear similarities between the arts. First off, we both wore heavy white jackets and belts around our waist, which could be used for gripping, controlling and throwing.
As an MMA fighter I had been exposed to Brazilian Jujitsu and was always fascinated to research the Japanese origins of that art. As jujitsu and judo are related, I was also very curious to find out about the ground fighting aspects of judo. If you ask the average person on the streets, they have most likely heard of judo. But if you asked them what it was, they would most likely say something about takedowns and throws, rather than joint locks and submissions.

“Judo has grappling, submissions, choking, arm-bars, joint manipulations… There’s a lot more to it than throwing someone to the ground.” Explained Sensei Gary. “A few years ago, 70% of fights were won on the ground.” I was wondering how it worked that some fights were won by throwing and some by submission. “If I take you down in half throw, wazari, I have to hold you on the ground for 25 seconds to get the win.”

Apparently, a Wazari is a half a point throw, which differs from an Ippon, which is a full throw, which ends a match. To end a judo match with a throw, the opponent must land flat on his back. If not, you have to go to the ground and control him for 25 seconds. Or, after the wazari, the match can end on the ground, by choke or submission, like in jujitsu or MMA.

In MMA and in freestyle wrestling, you are generally just looking for a win, by any legal means. But when you start practicing a specific art, such as judo or shuai jiao, the question always arises “Do you just want to win? Or do you want to use the art?” For example, my shuai jiao team at the university is complete made up of former Greco Roman competitor, except me, I come from an MMA background. If we wrestle just for the win or just or the takedown, I would generally put my money on my teammates vs. nearly any club team in Shanghai. But, having said that, this year, 2014, my team pulled out of the national shuai jiao championships, because they were afraid they would be disqualified or penalized for not using proper shuai jiao techniques.

I asked Sensei Gary if there was some similar situation in judo. He explained, “There are three types of judo instructors: technically sound, but no competition, or someone who loves competition, but whose techniques are not on par with a technically sound black belt, or others who can teach you to compete on Olympic level.”

There are a number of high profile MMA fighters who come from a judo background, but apart from: Ronda Rousey, Karo Parisyan, Fedor Emelianenko, and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, most are from Japan and Korea: Yoshihiro Akiyama, Dong Hyun Kim, Satoshi Ishii, Kazuhiro Nakamura. So, that may be one reason why we don’t think as much about judo. If you start digging, however, you find that most of your favorite Japanese fighters and even some American wrestlers and others have studied judo.

Judo is a subject we talk about a lot in MMA gyms, but it is not an art that most MMA people have trained. MMA gyms typically have instructors for Muay Thai, BJJ, and maybe boxing and wrestling, but judo is the least common. While MMA fighting is still illegal in New York, Long Island is an absolute hotbed of high school wrestling and the location of a number of famous MMA schools. So, I asked Sensei Gary if he had any MMA guys coming to train with him.

“We do MMA a lot,” explained the sensei. “But MMA guys don’t like to take judo because they want to learn to throw, but they don’t like to get thrown.”

I laughed, telling Sensei Gary about the first time I ever attended a judo class, about twenty years earlier. “In that one lesson, I got thrown five hundred times. And I decided, learning judo was for the young only.”
“That’s traditional, old school judo.” He said, smiling. “That takes a pounding on your body. I believe it’s the most demanding martial art on your body.”

One of the questions that comes up in the MMA gyms is about the gi. Fighters wonder if an art which wears and throws from a gi would translate well into shirtless MMA.

“When you teach the guys judo-for-MMA how do you modify the techniques?” I asked.
“I try to put them in ring situations.” Said the Sensei. “We don’t have a ring, so I put them against the columns, and I say ‘how would you get out?’ to teach fighting off the cage. I leave the gi on, and they think they can grab it. But when they do, that works in my favor.”

In Chinese wrestling, we also use a jacket, and yet I think it’s good for training. Wrestling with the jacket gives you phenomenal grip strength. And most of the techniques can be modified to work without a jacket.

Sensei Gary concurred, “95% of all judo throws can be done without a gi. With a gi, you grab the sleeve. Without the gi, A guy throws a punch, and he is giving you his body the same as when he grabs you with the gi.”

The same is true of MMA and san da. The throws often come from catching the opponent’s kick, or timing your shot for when he really loads up on that right hand and throws a huge punch. And actually, one of the things I like about the gi vs no gi discussion is that the throws in san da come from Chinese wrestling. So, in a given day at the university, I may walk into practice and find out we are doing the exact same throw in both classes, but one with a jacket and one without.

We had heard a rumor, in the MMA and wrestling world, that it was illegal to touch the legs in judo. Sensei Gary confirmed it. “New rules, cannot grab the legs.” That is a big difference between judo and Chinese shuai jiao. In Shuai jiao you are permitted to grab the legs. But, this also parallels what I said earlier about my team pulling out of the national championships. The guys on my team, myself included, tend to get a lot of our throws by doing body locks or by taking our opponent’s legs. While these techniques are legal in shuai jiao, they are not the true, Chinese jacket techniques.

Because many MMA and san da throws come from catching kicks, I asked if that was something they learned in judo. “Catching kicks would not be something you would practice in judo.” Sensei Gary went n to say that said that they didn’t actually practice catching kicks. But he still won a fight against a karate practitioner, using his judo skills. “The minute the fight started, the guy took off his gi top.” Ostensibly so Sensei Gary couldn’t grab him. But this didn’t stop the experienced judoka. “I did a roll out into him, locked his head and did a hip throw, and went right into an arm-bar.”

Many of the Greco guys on my team do the same thing. They suddenly grab the head, execute a throw, and go straight into a submission. In Greco, they use a variation of an arm triangle, choke, or neck crank as a pin/submission. But the rules say that one arm has to be inside the choke, in other words, you must grab BOTH your opponent’s head and arm to be within the rules.

“What about body locks?” I asked. “Are they legal?”
Sensei made it sound like body locks were hard to achieve in a judo match. “You start apart.” Began Sensei Gary. “When the referee says ‘go’, you step in and grab your opponent’s gi, in the basic hook up position.” So far, this was the same as in Chinese wrestling. There are seven basic grips in Chinese wrestling, but usually, at the beginning of the match, you will try to grab the inside of your opponent’ sleeve and his lapel. The basic judo position was very similar, except that in judo, you were forbidden to reach inside of the sleeve. You had to grab the outside. Another huge difference was when Sensei Gary said, “You can use the jacket to choke, just like in jujitsu.” Chokes and joint submissions are illegal in Chinese shuai jiao wrestling.

Sensei went on to explain some of the basic fundamentals of judo. “There are 8 basic forms of off balancing your opponent. There is no set way of walking during the match. In practice we learn how to walk, but in competition, you move wherever you need to move, naturally.” He added, “You should be able to move in, like in wrestling.”

The sensei told me that his high school finally added wrestling his senior year. So, he only got to be on the team for a single season. “I just threw and threw the opponent, until the coach said, ‘you can’t just throw the guy.’” I guess those judo reflexes were ingrained, because he told another humorous anecdote. “I also did the same thing in a karate tournament. I threw the opponent and got disqualified.”

Sensei took me into the practice room to begin the workout. The warm up was similar to wrestling. The students did rolls, flips, break falls, crawls, and so on. After warm up, the first thing they taught me was the basic hook up position, grabbing the lapel and the sleeve. No sooner had I completed the grip on a senior student, Sensei Pete, when Sensei Gary said to me, “don’t hang on him.” In wrestling, usually when we lock up you want to begin wearing your opponent down by making him carry your weight. So, you hang on him. In judo, Sensei said to stay relaxed and a bit more upright than in wrestling.

Next, Sensei Pete threw me. He controlled my right arm, with his left hand, stepped in sideways, put his right shoulder into my right shoulder, braced my right leg with his right hand and fell into me, taking me down, landing on top of me. We have almost the same technique in both san da and shuai jiao, except that you pull the opponent forward, and he lands face down, rather than this one where he lands on his back. San da also has very similar ones, where he lands on his back, but where you attack from the side. The advantage of this judo technique, where he lands on his back, is that you land on top of him, and you are still controlling his arm. So, you can fall right into side control or a submission. In san da, or shuai jiao, on the other hand, you don’t want to fall with the opponent, or you will lose points.

One of the primary differences between judo and my Chinese arts is that in judo, you can go with your opponent and continue fighting on the ground. In san da or Chinese shuai jiao wrestling we can only throw and stop. And you lose points for falling with the opponent even if you land on top.
Master Gary refined the technique for me. “You’re not just falling into him. You’re driving your hips into him and taking him straight back. Next, the sensei transitioned from the same setup trapping the right arm across his body with his left arm, stepping in with his hips, but then, instead of using his right hand to brace my right leg, he used his right arm to grab my head. Once he had control of the head and one arm, he did a classic judo hip toss, dropping right into a submission on the ground

I told Sensei Pete that this was similar to a Chinese technique. He said, “Yeah, sambo too… because how many ways are there to throw someone?” He was right. While every art has some unique throws, probably the vast majority of throws across all of the grappling arts will be similar, except where the rules specifically forbid them. For example, MMA, san da, shuai jiao, and free style wrestling all use single-leg take down, double-leg takedown, and fireman’s carry. But they look a little different in each of the arts because of the rules. In the Chinese system, you have to squat, rather than kneel, because the rules prevent you from touching your knee to the ground. Judo, on the other hand, doesn’t use these techniques, however, because you aren’t allowed to touch the legs.

Next we moved from the throw to side control. In judo Sensei Gary showed me to grab the opponent’s belt and use it to control him on the ground. In Chinese shuai jiao, we also grab the belt and use it to control and throw the opponent. But there is no ground fighting in shuai jiao. In MMA and freestyle wrestling we fight on the ground, but we don’t wear a belt. So, this was a new concept for me.

Down on the mat, Sensei Pete, let me side control him, to see if I could hold him, or if he could escape. In MMA, once you are on the ground, you have to choke, submit, or pound your opponent for the win. In wrestling, you have to pin him. In judo, you just have to keep him down for 25 seconds to get the win. Obviously, Sensei Pete was fighting really hard. Occasionally he would get one shoulder blade off the ground. I thought maybe that meant the clock stopped. But Sensei Gary said, “The clock is still running. All you have to do is control him.”
Next, Sensei Gary let me throw him and try to control him on the ground. As soon as we hit the ground, he reversed me, and wound up on top. He said, “You have to move quickly once you’re on the ground.”

I asked if you were permitted to fight off your back and use your legs on the ground. Sensei Pete said that you were, and that they had all of the same triangle chokes and arm bars as in Brazilian Jujitsu, except that it wasn’t as refined as BJJ. BJJ, since its inception, has specialized in these techniques. So, naturally, they are very developed.

Sensei Gary showed me a slow smother, from side-control. It was very unpleasant. Even though I could hold out because of MMA training, you only have twenty five seconds to escape. So, I still would have lost. It’s not an easy task, trying to get an eighth degree Grand Master of Judo off of you.

I asked a lot more about ground fighting, prompting the two senseis to point out, that judo is not wrestling. If the opponent lands in a position other than on his back, you only have a very few seconds to put him on his back and pin him, or you have to stand up and restart. It seems that the real art, the preferred win in judo, is that you throw the guy once, and make him land flat on his back. But if that doesn’t happen, you can go down with him, control him, pin him, choke him, or submit him.

“It’ a lot more than throwing.” Said Sensei Gary. “Whatever came from the Gracies came from judo first.”

Back on our feet, Sensei explained, “There are three parts of judo; Off balancing, entry, and execution.”

Some of the standing, judo control positions involved trapping your opponent’s arm in your bicep, while pulling his sleeve with the other arm. In wrestling and san da we have exactly the same position, BUT we would jam our shoulder into the opponent’s underarm for more control. Sensei Gary showed me that you shouldn’t do this in judo, because you were leaving yourself open to getting choked from behind.

Practicing one of the throws I fell on my opponent and Sensei scolded me. “Don’t fall on the guy!”
“But I thought you said we should fall on the opponent and control him.” I protested. Sensei said, “Yeah, but we are just practicing. Don’t fall on the guy in practice.” Sensei Pete laughed and added, “We want the guy to come back.” It made sense. If you do 300 throws a night, it would be really painful and injurious to have the opponent fall on you each time.

Another difference between judo and Chinese wrestling was that in judo you are allowed to do a sacrifice throw, where you throw yourself to the ground, with the opponent. In Chinese wrestling, this is discouraged. In san da it’s not allowed at all anymore. In judo, not only were you allowed to go with the opponent, but it seemed you were allowed to hit the ground first, as long as you rolled over into top position and controlled him.

One of the ways I typically get points in Chinese wrestling is that when the opponent goes for an over the shoulder hip throw, I body lock him, lift and throw. The judo guys had a nice counter to my counter, when I body locked Sensei Pete, he simply drove in with his hip, drove through me, and took me down, exactly like the very first throw they had shown me that day. And true to the spirit of judo, true to the concept of using your opponent’s strength and power against him, the harder I body locked Sensei Pete, the harder I hit the ground, because I was basically pulling him into me, which gave him the momentum for the throw.

The two senseis showed me a whole series of sit-through throws which required little or no energy. The main problem with taking these techniques back to China, however, was that, in a sit-through, you hit the ground first, before you opponent. Then, you rolled your opponent onto his back. For Chinese wrestling, you would already have lost a point by falling on your back. These techniques would be good for wrestling or MMA, but some of them couldn’t be done without a gi. Still, learning as many sit-through techniques as possible is extremely beneficial. That way, when you are fighting, no matter what situation comes up, you have a sit-through ready to go.

It was time for me to go. But, before I left, I asked the two senseis for some final words of wisdom. Sensei Gary said, “Judo is referred to as the gentle art. It’s gentle for me. It just hurts the guy who’s falling.”

Sensei Pete said that in studying judo, “You learn a lot about yourself and your inner strength.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “And sometimes, you get to choke-out the Brooklyn Monk.”

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 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 Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

SUS Wrestlers and San Da Fighters in the MMA Gym

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


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.


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.

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 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 Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)


In Uncategorized on May 19, 2014 at 10:57 am

指导教师 戴国斌
博士生姓名 安东尼(Antonio Graceffo)



号称“铁锤”的Matt Hamill是最为著名的残疾格斗士,他既是一名听障摔跤手,又是一名MMA的格斗士。Matt受其在残障社区的明星地位的激励,因此他想证明一个身患听力障碍的残疾人同样能够在职业体育圈里成为最为优秀的运动员。Matt Hamill说,我要证明给所有的人看我可以做到。(Mowl)
“全球100百万患有听力障碍的残疾人,在UFC中而我是唯一一个身患听力障碍的残疾人格斗士,每次在我打比赛的时候,那些身患听力障碍的同胞都会发邮件给我,我每天都会受到3000份的邮件”Matt Hamil. Matt1976年出生,他生下来就是聋子,他的父母是个朴实的农民,他们对待Matt像对待正常孩子一样,他们跟Matt说话,还让他在农场上工作。(BRAKOB)
因为他的父母,Matt Hamill学会了读唇语,而且讲的也很好。农场上的工作让他变得很强壮,之后他的祖父帮助他加入了摔跤队。起初,教练不想培养Matt,因为听力障碍交流很困难。(The Hammer). Hamill的教练不得不在小黑板上写技战术告诉Matt应该怎么做,很多时候会闹出笑话,Matt因为听不到训练结束的口令,他会继续很努力的训练,因此他的对手总是被挨打。并不知道这种做法已经结束,他会攻击他的队友。但教练后面意识到Matt可能会是一个冠军,他变的很高兴去训练Matt。


因为他是一个摔跤冠军,他拿到了摔跤奖学金去美国普渡大学读书。但是因为听力上的障碍他上课无法理解老师的授课内容,学业变的很糟糕。他的父母为了让matt能够正常的接受教育,他们得知罗彻斯特理工学院有听力障碍教育课程,因此他们抵押自己的房子来支付matt的学费。在RIT他第一次接触到美国手语. 在RIT,Matt主修工程学,并且参加了摔跤队,他在学校的摔跤成绩是213胜,3负。(ZVRS)并且顺利毕业拿到了电子工程学的学位。Matt Hamill三次夺得NCAA第三级联赛摔跤的全国冠军,在2011年的听障奥林匹克运动会,他还获得了古典摔跤的银牌和自由摔跤的金牌。
Matt是在一家酒吧的保镖。有一次两个美式足球运动员打起架,Matt轻易的把他们扯开。那些酒吧现场的人看到那一幕建议他应该参加终极格斗锦标赛(UFC),它是全球最大的自由搏击组织。(ZVRS)在UFC,Matt Hamill有一个非常成功的MMA格斗生涯。迄今为止,号称“铁锤”的MattHamill是唯一一个站在UFC八角形擂台上的患有听障的格斗士(BRAKOB ) 当Matt在格斗的时候,他听不到教练给他的指导,在我上拳击台只前,我只专注我比赛的战术,我所有的注意力都集中在对手身上,然后把我的战术落实到对手身上,但是这是一个无奈之举。”(Whittaker)
他的教练说:“对我来说,因为他的听力障碍要尝试跟他交流感觉这是最为无助的感觉之一。但是在比赛过程中,节奏是很快的根本就来不及交流,所以都是他自己站在擂台上完全依靠自己来比赛的,那种感觉就像你眼睁睁的看一个人溺水身亡”。 (Deafreview)
“UFC 终极格斗士号称“铁锤”的MattHamill尽管出生就是个聋子但是他没有让他的残疾阻碍他的梦想。”(Whittaker) Matt Hamill的教练Duff Holmes说在MMA那些有毒瘾人群中部分人获得成功是受到的听障人群的激励。Matt他是听障人群里的英雄,他很看重听障人群对他的支持。


Sunny是一名听障泰拳格斗士。他是来自马来西亚的一个小岛的少数民族。Sunny的教练Alvin Lim他是我的好朋友,他让队中的所有的泰拳格斗士都学习手语。Alvin为了让其他泰拳格斗士能够和sunny正常的交流他把手语课程内容写在武术馆的一块白板上让其他队员学习。Sunny在一个晚上拿到了他的第一个MMA的冠军,马来西亚的听障协会也到现场观看了他的比赛,每个人都为他感到骄傲。有一个过来观看比赛的听障人士他讲到,我们来到这里就是为了证明听障人群同样能够像正常的马来西亚人一样参与到各种生活事务中去” 他说,“我想向世界证明了聋人可以做任何事情。”
我在柬埔寨的拳击教练Paddy Carson,他已经教导我十年了。他教授我职业拳击和MMA格斗技术。60岁高龄的Paddy他仍然上拳击台每天教我训练,但是之后因为他身患癌症,他的腿被截肢了换上假肢。他康复了以后,Paddy继续做我的教练,他每天站在拳击台上教我训练。当他生气时,他仍然会用他的假肢踢我的屁股。在Paddy的腿还没有截肢之前,他说,年轻人总是软弱和懒惰。现在,只有一只腿的他仍然比其他的年轻人要强壮的多,这一点我为我的教练感到自豪。

1. 为了让残障人士知道,他们也可以实现自己的梦想
“我是个聋子但是我并不会为此伤心。我知道除了听力障碍我一定有别的天赋,虽然我不知道但是我对现在的我很满意”( Deaf Review)

2. 第二个原因,为什么残疾人运动比赛是重要的,因为比赛可以他们感受到自豪感

只有一条腿已经60岁高龄的Paddy Carson,他仍然战斗在一线的职业拳击教练席上。

有“铁锤”之称的终极格斗士Matt Hamill天生就是聋子但是他却没有让残疾阻碍他的梦想(惠特克)
3. 第三个原因是残疾人体育比赛的重要性在于这些人可以激励我们

BRAKOB , A Matt Hamill fighting in silence,, Mar , 2013
Deafreview staff, Hammer 2.0: Matt Hamill Coming Out of Retirement at UFC 152,deafreview, Sept, 2012
The Hammer, Film Harvest, Fifth Year Productions, TapouT Films, October, 2011
Mindenhall, C “Hamill an inspiration for deaf community”, ESPN Mixed Martial Arts, May, 2011
Mowl, A Inside the Cage With Matt Hamill, deafnation, 2011
TUF, The Ultimate Fighter, Season 3
Whittaker, G The Franchise Exclusive Interview: Matt Hamill, MMA HANGOVER, Feb, 2009
ZVRS: Exclusive Interview With Matt Hamill, Deaf YouVideo

Wrestling for San Da

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





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 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 Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

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