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Martial Arts Styles Do Exist

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2015 at 10:22 am

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By Antonio Graceffo

Recently, I saw a Facebook video of a grappling competition, between a freestyle wrestler and a Brazilian Jujitsu practitioner. There are a lot of Youtube videos with titles like “Muay Thai vs. Kyokushin” or “Kung Fu vs. MMA” but what I liked about this particular video was that both practitioners were wearing the clothing appropriate to their art, which made them easily identifiable. The wrestler wore his singlet and wrestling shoes. The BJJ fighter wore a grappling shirt and shorts. The next thing that was special about this match up was that both men fought according to their distinctive styles. In this modern era of open grappling tournaments and MMA fights, most champion fighters are so well-rounded that the imprint of their original martial art is often barely visible.

The litmus test, for a fighter looking like his or her style, would be Ronda Rousey, who, in spite of being incredibly well-rounded, and in spite of having won her UFC 190 fight completely with striking, usually looks like a judoka. Watching her fights, it is generally clearly obvious that she comes from a world-class judo background. Lyoto Machida definitely owes much of his success to the fact that he fights like a karate man and both grapplers and strikers find it difficult to break inside of his unusual footwork. Another example would be Cung Le, whose san da background is evident in his MMA fights. But, when GSP defeated world-class wrestler Matt Hughes, did he really look like a kyokushin fighter? Or is there anything about Roy “Big Country” Nelson to suggest that his first martial art was kung fu?
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In this video matchup between the wrestler and the BJJ practitioner, the BJJ guy kept trying to pull guard, to take the fight to the ground, where he would have the advantage. The wrestler was clearly looking for, and got, the takedown, which is his strength. Once he engaged, the wrestler executed a suplex, followed by a high-crotch takedown. He slammed the BJJ guy so hard that the referee stopped the match.
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It was the comments posted on this video which caused me to write this article. “its not the name of the style… Its the practitioner”, “Jujutsu is wrestling, Judo – is wrestling”, “There are not ‘greco technique ‘ of ‘BJJ technique , ‘judo technique’ or ‘free style technique’ There are only ‘RIGHT TECHNIQUE’ and ‘WRONG’”.

Recently, I have heard a lot of people claiming that there are no martial arts styles, only “good technique” and “bad technique.” But this is simply not the case. Some techniques are similar across multiple styles, for example, a shoulder throw can be used in judo, shuai jiao, submission wrestling, or even san da. But other techniques are not. And if a particular style lacks a particular technique, the practitioners normally don’t drill the defense to that technique. Boxers, for example don’t practice sprawl, because there is no single or double leg takedown in boxing. Wrestlers don’t practice passing the guard, because that situation doesn’t exist in wrestling.
Styles definitely exist. And for that reason, when people wish to excel in mixed style events, like open grappling tournaments, or MMA fights, the best fighters tend to be complete fighters who train in multiple styles.

As anecdotal evidence proving the existence of styles, let me present the findings of my summer research. This summer, I travelled for three solid months training and filming Martial Arts Odyssey. My journey took me to Shanghai, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, New York, Singapore, and Johor Bahru. Along the way, I trained and/or filmed the following martial arts: san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, catch wrestling, sambo, submission wrestling, judo, boxing, and Brazilian jujitsu.

In san da training, we spent an hour catching kicks. Kick catching is not taught in Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, catch wrestling, submission wrestling, judo, boxing, or Brazilian jujitsu.

In Greco-Roman wrestling we were practicing dropping to one knee and executing a fireman’s carry (without touching the opponent’s leg). This method is not taught in san da, shuai jiao wrestling or boxing.

In freestyle wrestling we were working on cat’s cradle pin. This technique is not taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, or boxing.

In freestyle, we also worked on ankle-pick which is not done in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, judo, or boxing.

In shuai jiao wrestling we practiced jacket grabbing drills. These techniques are not taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, Kepap, catch wrestling, submission wrestling, boxing, or Brazilian jujitsu.

In kepap class the students were learning how to execute a knife attack. Offensive knife fighting is never taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, catch wrestling, boxing, sambo, submission wrestling, judo, or Brazilian jujitsu.

In Catch wrestling we were learning knee and ankle submissions. These techniques are forbidden, and thus not taught, in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, boxing, or judo.

In sambo we were learning knee compression submissions. These are not taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, judo, or boxing.

In submission wrestling we worked on turtle defense and reversing an opponent who was turttled up, so you could get the pin. Turtle position doesn’t exist in san da, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, or boxing.

In judo we learned how to use the opponent’s gi top to choke him. This is not practiced in: san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, Kepap, catch wrestling, submission wrestling, or boxing.

In boxing training, my coach, Paddy Carson, was helping me improve the rhythm of my three-punch combinations. Punching isn’t taught in Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, catch wrestling, submission wrestling, judo, or Brazilian jujitsu.

At Brazilian jujitsu class we were learning spider guard. These skills are not taught in san da, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, shuai jiao wrestling, catch wrestling, or boxing.

Styles clearly exist. For this reason, to be a complete fighter, one must study multiple STYLES.

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.
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: 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

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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Wrestling Stars, Shanghai University of Sport (Part 1)

In Uncategorized on January 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm

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Antonio Graceffo’s wrestling teammate, Zheng Tong, at Shanghai University of Sport interrupted Antonio’s san da training session, asking him to help film a movie-style fight scene. Although great at real wrestling, they had no clue about movie fighting. The final scene lasted about 8 seconds but took over an hour to shoot.

Watch it on youtube: http://youtu.be/XCso3iykpAU

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

Greco-Roman Control Position (SUS) Video

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2014 at 5:10 am

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By Antonio Graceffo

As part of the research for his PhD dissertation on comparative forms of wrestling, the Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo, is learning Greco-Roman wrestling at Shanghai University of Sport. Greco is a very challenging form of wrestling which prohibits any kind of attacks to the legs. You can neither grab your opponent’s legs with your hands, nor trip your opponent’s legs with your own legs. Greco wresters rely on tremendous upper body strength to clinch with and take down their opponents. This video features a special appearance by Kirk Thomas, a former Canadian provincial wrestling champion who trains part time, with Antonio, at Shanghai University of Sport.

Watch Greco-Roman Control Position (SUS) on Youtube:

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

The historical Development of Western Wrestling an Overview

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2014 at 11:34 am

Antonio Graceffo’s paper, The historical Development of Western Wrestling an Overview” has been published by Wrestling Roots

Abstract: A brief time-line overview of the development of western wrestling; from the oldest known image of wrestlers, dating back to 3000 BC Sumaeria, to the ancient Olympics, Pankration, the gladiatorial games, Greco-Roman wrestling, catch wrestling, modern Olympic wrestling, professional wrestling, to modern-day MMA.

3000  BC The earliest images of western wrestling were found in Sumeria, dating back to around 3000 BC. (Terry)
2600 BC A Bronze figurine of two wrestlers was found in Khafaji, Iraq which dates to around 2600 BC. (Dellinger)
2300 BC Images of wrestlers were found in an Egyptian burial tomb, dating to around 2300 BC. (Carroll)
2000 BC The Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2000 BC, gives one of the first literary references to wrestling, when Gilgamesh wrestles against Enkidu. (Squared Circle, June, 2013)

Read the rest at Wrestling Roots

http://wrestlingroots.org/the-historical-development-of-western-wrestling-an-overview-antonio-graceffo/

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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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Join the Brooklyn Monk fan page on Facebook
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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

Shuaijiao Wrestling, Shanghai University of Sport (Parts 1 and 2)

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2014 at 12:58 am

???????? ???????? SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC 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. While studying at the university he trains and competes as a member of the Chinese traditional wrestling (shuaijiao) team. Most of the other team members come from sports schools where they learned freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling. The team focuses on traditional wrestling but also practices free style and Greco. Antonio periodically teaches his teammates some moves from MMA grappling. It’s interesting to compare the different styles of wrestling, and to see how they would translate into MMA competition. Many of the instincts of a freestyle or Greco wrestler would actually be a bad decision in an MMA fight. For example, on the back wrestlers roll to their stomach to keep from getting pinned. MMA fighters roll to their back, so they can keep fighting and avoid the choke.

Shuaijiao Wrestling, Shanghai University of Sport (Part 1)

http://youtu.be/lS_YMKHP0gU

Shuaijiao Wrestling, Shanghai University of Sport (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 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