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Thread: Shaolin in the Ring and Cage

  1. #1
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    Shaolin in the Ring and Cage

    I thought we had a thread related to this already, but perhaps not. If anyone finds one, I can merge it in.

    I'm making a list here of sport fighters that credit some Shaolin training in their resume. Please add to this if I've missed anyone.

    Shaolin-fighter-Yi-Long

    UFC-Fighter-Roy-Big-Country-Nelson-Lohan-Shaolin

    Patrick-Barry

    UFC-s-Dan-Hardy-Shaolin-Temple-trained!


    Justin Morton (top) (Facebook/Tenkaichi Fight)
    Out of Obscurity: EFC 41, Aspera FC 22 and Tenkaichi Fight
    Bryan Henderson
    July 9, 2015

    Every week, Combat Press takes a look at three regional, developmental or international cards from the upcoming weekend, previewing from each a single fight to which people should pay close attention. We will also list other significant bouts from the card, as well as information on how to follow each promotion and watch the events.

    Let’s discover those prospects that fight in the obscurity of the regional, developmental and international circuits, waiting for their shot at the bright lights and big stage of the UFC, and those veterans looking for one more chance at stardom. It all begins here, in the small convention centers and high school gymnasiums. It all begins with promotions such as these…
    Extreme Fighting Championship 41
    Carnival City in Johannesburg, South Africa
    Event Date: July 11
    Website: efcworldwide.com
    Watch Event: Live main card on television networks SuperSport World of Champions (Africa), Fight Sports (Europe and Asia) and ESPN Player (Europe).
    Twitter: @EFCworldwide

    Spotlight Fight:
    Demarte Pena (10-0) vs. Cedric Doyle (7-1-1)

    If there’s one fighter who has truly stood out among the Extreme Fighting Championship roster, it’s Demarte Pena. Pena, who once reigned as the EFC Africa featherweight champion, shifted his sights to the bantamweight division in 2014 and quickly claimed the EFC crown for the weight class. Now, at EFC 41, he will put his title on the line against challenger Cedric Doyle.

    Pena vacated his EFC Africa featherweight crown to challenge Nkazimulo Zulu for the bantamweight title. After five hard-fought rounds, Pena emerged with the belt. The 25-year-old fights out of Fight Fit Militia and made his pro debut in 2011. He captured the EFC Africa featherweight title in just his third fight and went on to make five successful title defenses before making the move to 135 pounds. Pena has seen the scorecards six times, while only picking up two TKO victories and two submission wins. He’s seen the championship rounds in an astounding seven of his 10 pro fights. His most recent outing ended in a successful defense of his bantamweight title with a fourth-round TKO finish of Francois Groenewald. Pena is a SASCA grappling champion and an undefeated amateur Muay Thai competitor through six contests, but he also has a background in Shaolin Kung Fu, karate and judo.

    Doyle’s record varies depending on the source — Sherdog has him at 4-1, EFC lists him at 7-2 and Tapology indicates that he’s 7-1-1. According to Tapology’s listing, Doyle has four submission victories and two stoppages via strikes. Regardless of which accounting is referenced, one thing remains a constant: Doyle is 4-1 inside the EFC’s Hex. “The Dominator” didn’t get an easy task for his EFC debut, in which he met the aforementioned Zulu. Zulu submitted Doyle in the second round and continued his march toward an eventual title shot and championship reign. Doyle, meanwhile, found his rhythm in his next outing. He scored three finishes — one submission and two TKOs — before edging Matthew Buirski on the scorecards in his most recent fight. Doyle’s fighting background of impromptu boxing matches with his brother and skirmishes on the beach eventually led to an MMA career.

    Doyle has put together a solid resume, but Pena has established himself as the elite man atop the EFC roster. Pena can finish opponents via strikes or submissions, but he tends to be more of a grinder who is content to let the judges determine the outcome. It’s worked to Pena’s favor thus far. Doyle has a better finishing rate, but he wasn’t as effective against his two most notable opponents, Zulu and Buirski. Pena is another big step up in competition for Doyle, and Doyle may not be up for the task.

    Pena has been an extremely effective fighter throughout his EFC career. Doyle’s a strong challenger and he won’t let Pena run away with the victory, but he’s going to have a tough time dethroning the bantamweight kingpin. Pena will draw this contest into the championship rounds, and that’s where Doyle will falter. This one has a decent chance of making it to the scorecards, but Pena could end it with a submission in the fourth or fifth round.

    Other key bouts: Michiel Opperman (11-9) vs. Liam Cleland (4-2) for the middleweight title, Lyle Karam (2-0) vs. Mark Hulme (2-1), Tumisang Madiba (3-1) vs. Wesley Hawkey (11-6), Mthobisi Buthelezi (2-0) vs. Koba Iakobidze (1-3)
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    ttt 4 2016!

    Conor McGregor equates his movement method to Shaolin:

    Conor McGregor's movement method: the missing link in MMA?
    The Irishman fights Nate Diaz on Saturday – and McGregor claims his fine recent form comes from a training regimen that looks like something out of Karate Kid


    Conor McGregor has the chance to be the first MMA fighter to hold two belts simultaneously. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
    Sam Blum
    Thursday 3 March 2016 06.00 EST Last modified on Thursday 3 March 2016 11.05 EST

    Conor McGregor fits the mold of the flashy fighter. While some of his counterparts attend media events wearing an understated t-shirt and baseball cap, McGregor is most comfortable delivering post-fight invectives in a designer suit. He sits at indoor press conferences behind a veneer of ****iness and thick sunglasses, bolstered by a professional MMA record of 19-2.

    Before his featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo last December, McGregor predicted he’d make short work of his opponent, a champion of 10 years, and guaranteed the world an explosive victory by way of first-round knockout.

    That knockout came in 13 seconds.

    McGregor’s surge to dominance could see him potentially lay claim to both the featherweight and lightweight UFC titles. The Irishman makes his welterweight debut against Nate Diaz this Saturday at UFC 196. The Diaz matchup is a consolation bout, concocted in haste after current lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos was injured in training. If McGregor wins Saturday, he’ll eventually be given the chance to hold two belts simultaneously – a first in UFC history.

    Much has been said about McGregor’s prowess in the cage, but the UFC featherweight champion claims his competitive edge isn’t just the product of freak talent or gruelling hours spent walloping a heavy bag. Rather, McGregor attributes much of his recent form to movement training – a regimen that champions free-flowing bodily rhythm and a merging of the mental and physical aspects of fighting.

    Movement training prizes a combination of mindfulness, timing and precision drills that are seemingly arbitrary – like catching wooden sticks or marauding on all-fours like a panther – and seeks to optimize one’s spacial awareness while in a fight. The training is said to help fighters navigate the rigors of combat with a sixth sense – meant distinctly for hyper-alertness – and if seized on properly, can endow an air of supreme of calm.

    McGregor now views his craft in a different light, and he has even denied he is a fighter on more than one occasion: the Irishman is now, in his own words, “a master of movement.”

    Although movement training is derided by some MMA purists as a trend that will eventually fizzle, its core tenets – fluidity, cerebral awareness and precision – have been ingrained in the martial artist’s repertoire for centuries.

    Movement training is “something that’s always existed,” says Erwan Le Corre, a prominent instructor and movement coach to former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit.

    “You look at the Shaolin monks, you look at the samurai, the warriors of ancient Greece – Spartans and stuff like that – they weren’t just swinging swords or throwing spears. They were also climbing stuff, they were learning stuff, jumping and doing all these movements geared towards becoming better fighters.”

    If Le Corre’s description of ancient warriors jumping and climbing walls seems incongruous with traditional combat training, the regimen appears even funkier in present day. Video of McGregor training before his fight with Aldo appeared online last year. It shows a montage of the fighter performing drills – presumably cobbled together in a random sequence – that might seem culled from the B-reel of a Bruce Lee movie.



    Under the direction of his movement coach, Ido Portal, McGregor assumes a squat position, and catches sticks as they slowly fall to the training mat. He dodges Portal’s advances with handstands, crawls on the mat like a sauntering bear, and balances a stick on his feet while lying on his back. These maneuvers may seem disjointed and experimental, but they’re deliberate, and have helped broaden McGregor’s sense of clarity amid the unceasing chaos of a UFC title fight.

    “I’ve always been fascinated by movement, and I’ve always looked at people who can move in unusual ways. I don’t just see them as people who have control of their bodies and control of their frame, but control of their mind,” McGregor said in December.

    Movement training and mind-control has subsumed much of McGregor’s devastating approach, but Portal notes that the idea isn’t a sensation or revolution, but merely a study in “perspective.”

    Portal – an Israeli martial artist and movement specialist with a niche group of devotees around the world – says the teachings offer “governing rules, laws and principles of everything you can do with the human body”. They can be applied to any physical endeavor, whether it’s “fighting, dance, somatics, or sports”.

    For McGregor, Portal has been tailoring a specific regime to optimize the fighter’s abilities and home in on his deficiencies. “We’ve been focusing a lot on footwork, on movement in space,” he says.

    Portal thinks some fighters lack a certain “quality of movements”. He helps McGregor tackle certain issues that may arise in the crux of combat, providing guidance on when to use “peripheral vision versus focused vision,” and helping him “have more efficient movements and more quality patterns”. Portal says of his training with McGregor: “We’re using gymnastics rings, we’re using a lot of very difficult quadrupedal movements to create that strength and durability.”

    It’s unorthodox, but Portal claims this kind of work “allows you to see possibilities that the average fighters don’t get to see. It touches a lot upon mindset, mental control and embodying the moment and embodying the possibilities inside the moment.”

    If there’s one payoff from McGregor’s commitment to movement training, it might have come in the form of mental calm. “It’s about entering the contest with your body supple and free,” he said in December, after deftly overpowering Aldo in a matter of seconds.

    McGregor said that his work with Portal “re-centers the mind,” and makes him feel “in control and free,” ahead of high-pressure fights.

    Because of this, McGregor says that when the bell sounds, “I see these shots, and I see these sequences and I don’t shy away from them.”

    Against Diaz, McGregor will be on the hunt for all of the sequences and hidden space that allowed him to devour Aldo, not to mention the glory it afforded him afterwards.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
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    Conor McGregor has become my favorite MMA fighter. I like the fact that he keeps an open mind to many possibilities. There is also footage (but not very much, nor as good video, on YouTube) where he's extinguishing candles with punches and kicks. And unlike MANY fighters and MAists nowadays, he's very capable of good, sharp snap roundhouse kicks, which seems to be becoming a lost art. Conor is not afraid to play around with and apply concepts that differ from the norm. And oftentimes the spirit of play is a very good thing.

    This Sam Blum guy seems rather dismissive of it all, equating Conor's unorthodox drills to "the B-reel of a Bruce Lee movie." I would have thought that "Mixed Martial Arts" should be open to all possibilities in training that could help a fighter. Conor's record speaks for itself. I for one find it refreshing to see a successful fighter who is open to thinking outside of the box; and in his case, sometimes way outside the box.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 03-03-2016 at 09:49 AM.

  4. #4
    looks like he scrambled movement drills from bjj and charge people money to learn it, very wing chun of him

    his success has less to do with extended crab walking than to his drug stack
    Last edited by bawang; 03-03-2016 at 10:01 PM.

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
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  5. #5
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    And messing around with things that don't help your figjt game gets you knocked out, see Anderson Silva, or choked out...see connor this weekend

    If he had spent less time working shoalin like drills and more time his mount defence and lead hook defence he might have done better
    Last edited by Frost; 03-06-2016 at 04:17 AM.

  6. #6
    He got rocked, he played it off and tried not to show it, but he ate a solid punch and his footwork went from beautiful to flatfooted walking...kept getting caught from there, that terrible shot was in desperation, he just gave up.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    This is 100% TCMA principle. It may be used in non-TCMA also. Since I did learn it from TCMA, I have to say it's TCMA principle.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    We should not use "TCMA is more than combat" as excuse for not "evolving".

    You can have Kung Fu in cooking, it really has nothing to do with fighting!

  7. #7
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    Song Yadong

    This looks promising.

    MMA: From Shaolin temple to MMA star - meet China's 'Monkey King'


    MMA star Song Yadong has recently replaced "The Terminator" as his fight name with "The Monkey King", in reference to the mythical Chinese hero Sun Wukong.PHOTO: AFP

    PUBLISHED NOV 23, 2018, 5:23 PM SGT

    BEIJING (AFP) - Song Yadong was so obsessed with Chinese martial arts that he convinced him mother to pack him up and send him off to learn at the feet of the famous kung fu masters of Shaolin.

    He was just nine years old at the time.

    "I had watched a lot of kung fu movies, so I wanted to be like my heroes, like Jet Li," said Song. "I went to Shaolin and I trained, getting up each day at 5am. It was harder than I ever expected."

    A decade later and Song's thirst for action has led him into the ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and on to the biggest stage in mixed martial arts.

    "I left Shaolin after two years and then I learned about MMA," said the 20-year-old. "I like the action, I like the fact every fight tests you and that you always have to work to be the best fighter you can be."

    Song is at the forefront of the Las Vegas-based promotion's push into China, the country many consider the spiritual home of all martial arts, and the Tianjin-born fighter is among nine locals set to take part in the UFC's first fight card to be held in the Chinese capital.

    Saturday (Nov 24) night sees the UFC Fight Night 141 event at Beijing's Cadillac Arena headlined by a blockbuster bout between heavyweight contenders Cameroonian-Frenchman Francis "The Predator" Ngannou (11-3) and American Curtis "Razor" Blaydes.

    But there is little doubt where Chinese fans' attention - and hopes - will rest.

    "It will be the biggest chance for us Chinese fighters and for the sport to grow in China," said Song, who will face American Vince "Vandetta" Morales on Saturday night.

    Song's rise to the UFC has captured China's attention, as has the origin story he carries with him.

    When he was 15, Song was so focused on becoming a professional MMA fighter that he used a forged ID card to convince local promotions that he was 18, and legally allowed to fight.

    "I was super-aggressive back then," said Song. "I just wanted to fight so I used the fake ID. I looked strong enough so they believed me."

    After plying his trade in domestic and regional fight promotions - and racking up a fight record of 10 wins and three losses - Song received a surprise call last November, just weeks before the UFC was set to make its debut in mainland China.

    Called in to replace an injured fighter on the UFC Fight Night 122 card, Song needed just over four minutes to choke out India's Bharat Khandare. He has since backed up that performance with a second-round knockout of the Brazilian veteran Filipe Arantes in Singapore in June, and so comes to Beijing on a 2-0 run and with a 12-3 win-loss record overall.

    "There is still a lot of room for improvement in my skills," said Song. "I am focused on winning step by step, fight by fight. I have been training with (UFC Hall of Famer) Urijah Faber and his Team Alpha Male in California and I am learning.

    "Chinese fighters need more experience but soon we will be a force."

    The UFC currently has 11 Chinese fighters on its books, a mix of established stars such as the veteran welterweight Li "The Leech" Jingliang and rising stars such as Song and female strawweight Zhang Weili, with all three in action on Saturday.

    This week the organisation announced an investment of around US$13 million (S$17.8 million) in what it called the world's biggest MMA academy in Shanghai, designed to help Chinese fighters make the transition from smaller fight promotions to the UFC octagon.

    Song has recently replaced "The Terminator" as his fight name with "The Monkey King", in reference to the mythical Chinese hero Sun Wukong.

    He believes China's rich history in martial arts has the country - and its fighters - well positioned as MMA continues to take hold.

    "We have the history in China," said Song. "This is only the beginning."
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  8. #8
    Not just Shaolin, but I think quite a lot of longfist or northern styles have a great shot in the ring. The biggest thing is learning to adjust to the format. Even pure BJJ isnt really used and it gets adjusted a huge amount for MMA. Muay Thai for MMA really looks nothing like Muay Thai from traditional Thai rules stylistically.

    I think Shaolin and Northern CMA would change even LESS in this format, but its big hang ups are mostly cultural ones.

  9. #9
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    Song

    I know he's just got two posts as of this one, but I'm giving Song Yadong is own thread beyond just Shaolin in the Ring and Cage & China MMA. I'm also copying this to our Monkey King thread for cross-ref.



    UFC 239: China’s Song Yadong – inspired by Jet Li and the Monkey King – is out to conquer the world

    The 21-year-old Chinese phenom blows veteran fighter away in Las Vegas and sets his sights on UFC Shenzhen
    ‘Kung Fu Monkey’ trained outside Shaolin Temple as a child before turning up at Team Alpha Male – and Hall of Famer Urijah Faber is his biggest fan
    Mathew Scott
    Published: 7:59pm, 7 Jul, 2019


    Song Yadong celebrates a win at UFC Singapore. Photo: Handout

    If Alejandro “Turbo” Perez had managed to eye the clock just before his head hit the canvas he might have seen that 2:04 of the first round had elapsed in his bout against Song “Kung Fu Monkey” Yadong.
    What’s more likely, though, is that Mexican’s lights were already out, and that he woke seconds later simply wondering what the hell had hit him.
    Fans across North America were left pondering the very same thing.
    Not much had been known, stateside, about the 21-year-old bantamweight (14-3, two no contests) before Sunday’s heroics at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and a huge right hand ended the night for a Perez who was eight years older and of considerable more experience, in UFC terms at least, at 21-8-1.
    Embedded video

    Niall McGrath

    @niallmcgrath4
    Here’s the finish from Yadong

    ��pic.twitter.com/G5lnX98R9h #UFC239

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    Hall of Famer Urijah Faber had been preaching from the MMA pulpit ever since Song turned up at his Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento asking for his skill set to be fine-tuned.
    In Vegas over the past week Faber had been telling all who listened what Song was all about, continuing a sermon that started in Singapore back in June last year, not too long after he’d started working with the Chinese fighter.


    Song Yadong at UFC Shanghai. Photo: Handout

    “All this kid wants to do is learn,” Faber said back then. “You teach him something and he wants to practise again and again. You almost have to force him out of the gym.”
    But Asia – and China in particular – has over the past 18 months taken the rising star from Tianjin to heart, as has the world’s premier promotion as it spreads its reach through the region, and into the Middle Kingdom.
    As the second-youngest fighter on the UFC’s books Song stood smiling, once his arm had been raised and his record in the promotion had been stretched to a 4-0 that now includes two performance of the night bonuses. Song just keeps stepping up.



    “I was practising that punch. My coach made that call for me to train that specific technique,” Yadong said. “I was prepared to fight all three rounds. I didn’t expect to finish the fight so fast. I’m very happy with the win. I want to fight a top 10 opponent next.”
    He’s certainly earned it and the UFC certainly know they’re on to a good thing.
    There’s the Song origin story, for starters.


    Song Yadong poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at the Mandarin Oriental on in Singapore in June 2018. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

    So keen was the young Song on finding a career as a fighter that his family agreed to send him to the kung fu schools that line the walls of the famed Shaolin Temple when he was just nine years old. It was a tough life, long hours of training and chores.
    But Song says that it still wasn’t enough. He wanted not so much to train but to fight.
    “I had watched a lot of kung fu movies, so I wanted to be like my heroes, like Jet Li,” Song said last year. “I went to Shaolin and I trained, getting up each day at 5am. It was harder than I ever expected. I left Shaolin after two years and then I learned about MMA. I like the action, I like the fact every fight tests you and that you always have to work to be the best fighter you can be.”


    Song Yadong (right) in action at UFC Singapore. Photo: Handout

    And so the journey shifted to MMA and to a fake ID that had Song inside the MMA cage at the age of 15. He drifted through the regional promotions while still a wide-eyed teen – from One Championship, through Kunlun Fight and Wu Lin Feng. But then came a late call-up as the UFC made its debut in Shanghai in November 2017.
    Little, again, was known about Song until, that is, he demolished India’s Bharat “Daring” Khandare (5-3) and looked for all the world that he was born to fight among the world’s best, despite the fact he was still 19.
    After Sunday’s fight, and after hardly raising a sweat, Song called on the UFC also to throw him back into the fray as part of its Shenzhen card on August 31.


    Song Yadong is now 4-0 in the UFC. Photo: Handout

    That event features a first for China as Zhang “Magnum” Weili (19-1), who faces Brazilian champ Jessica Andrade (20-6) for her strawweight belt and looks to be crowned the first UFC champion from her nation.
    Last month, the UFC opened the doors on its multimillion dollar Performance Institute in Shanghai, with boss Dana White declaring it’ll be a “game-changer” for local fighters.
    Song will no doubt see what’s on offer there, as will his good friend and Team Alpha Male gym pal Liu Pingyuan (13-5), the fellow bantamweight who’s up next for China, against American Jonathan Martinez (10-2) on the UFC Fight Night 155 card in Sacramento on July 13.
    Embedded video

    Nick Baldwin
    @NickBaldwinMMA
    If you need pointers on how to pronounce Song Yadong's name, the UFC bantamweight prospect has you covered.

    12
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    Chinese fighters are on a 15-6 UFC record since the start of 2018, and Song for one believes things are only just getting started.
    “I will be working towards the belt,” he told the media after Sunday’s win. “I don’t know when it will happen but I’ll be working hard, waiting for the chance to happen.”
    ****, this weekend in Sacto, but I'm already booked for the ITKFA Championships.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  10. #10
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    nice, its dope to see fighters with solid Shaolin training get into the cage/ring. Though we all hear it, in Ch'an the competitive side, ad some will argue the martial side, of our gong fu isnt the focus, still I hope to see more Shaolin warriors dominate mma in the future.
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

  11. #11
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    James Yang


    ONE CHAMPIONSHIP'S JAMES YANG TRAINED FOR THREE YEARS IN SHAOLIN TEMPLE IN RURAL CHINA

    SEP 13, 2021
    In a matter of days, one of James Yang’s life dreams will come true as he makes his mixed martial arts debut.

    The life of the 32-year-old has been full of adventures so far. The One Championship lightweight traveled around the globe to pursue fulfillment as a person and a martial artist. Now, he is scheduled to take on Roel Rosauro at the upcoming One “Revolution.” Before switching to MMA and training under Matt Hume at AMC Pankration, Yang had a life-changing experience in a Shaolin temple in rural China.

    “When I was 17, out of high school, my plan was, you know, I was going to take six months off in Northern Shaolin martial arts academy,” he said. “It’s near a city called Siping in Dongbei, North-eastern China. It actually bordered North Korea, it’s very high there. The closest city, Siping, is about an hour away. That’s the closest city. It’s an hour away by taxi car. I was in rural, rural China. Even the nearest village was like six, seven kilometers away. We had nothing up there, it was living on this hill. At the academy, it wasn’t just shallow martial arts. They had Shaolin, but they had ba-ji[quan], Chen-style tai chi and Sanda, which is like Chinese kickboxing. They had a big mix of martial artists.”

    The recollection of what happened while staying in China resembles some kung fu movies from the 80s, in which the young apprentice has to go through a series of challenging tasks to subdue his ego and grow his patience.

    “I planned to for six months, come back, go schooling, do the whole typical thing, right, get a job and all that, but what I ended up doing was staying there for three years in that academy. I got this opportunity as a foreigner to perform with the demo team, and that’s a huge opportunity, like not a lot of people get to do that. Just to get an idea, we trained like eight hours a day, right? You get like two hours of hot water at night to shower and there’s like moldy, crusty facilities and everyone crams in there at night. Bathrooms are like all squatters, you’re literally looking at somebody while they’re watching you taking number two or whatever. It’s just that kind of situation.”

    Yang also talked his experience as a performer at Cirque du Soleil and commented on Demetrious Johnson’s loss to Adriano Moraes and the global ruleset that One adopts.

    Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog began in 2018 and now he covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.
    There's a vid behind the link

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