CHINA VS. THE WORLD – SANDA FIGHT
On January 21st, 2011 the city of Kunming in Hunan Province hosted the ‘China vs. The World’ Sanda Full Contact Fights. Top fighters from Morocco, Spain, Thailand, USA and Brazil arrived in China to take on the challenge. Representing the USA & Brazil were two Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy fighters, Guilherme Faria and Aécio Dantas.
China’s fighters from Tibet, Mongolia and Hunan’s official Sanda team were all gold medal champions so this was set as a professional fight with three rounds of three minute durations. The rules allowed for elbow & knees strikes as well as takedowns. Fighters wore no protective gear and fought wearing only eight-ounce gloves. Adding to the excitement of the event were two mixed martial arts fights, special effect lighting, a very enthusiastic audience, television crews from Beijing and countless media reporters.
Team Leader Master Tat-Mau Wong, Team Manager Master Gao Mei Jing; and USA & Brazil Team Coach Sifu Francisco De Paula arrived with Tat Wong fighters; Guilherme Faria and Aecio Dantas. All were jet-lagged after a very long fight but were excited and nervous at the same time. It was also an honor to have Great Grandmaster Poon Sing joining the team as Technical Advisor.
Grand Master Tat-Mau Wong
“ Kunming is at extreme high elevation. As soon as we arrived you could feel the effect of the elevation. The China fighters were all used to the elevation and of course are amazing fighters anyway, so this made it even tougher for the fighters from the other countries.
Sihing Guilherme Faria – USA & Brazil
After a great kickboxing fight in Fresno, California in December 2010, I returned back to my home in Brazil. Suddenly, I received an email from my Master Tat Mau Wong. I was invited to fight in CHINA! I had dreamt of this moment my entire life; like most Sanda fighters do. I didn’t know what I was going to face there, but I knew I was going to fight in CHINA.
I faced many hard times, the Chinese diet, jet-lag from long flights, short time to prepare myself, dropping weight, cold weather and high altitudes. These are hardships I faced that made me a stronger person and fighter.
Finally, after the lunches, dinners, meetings and trainings, it was time for the fight. I fought the Chinese's team captain. The Chinese athletes were great fighters and very friendly in person but, in the ring they were real monsters and we faced them as warriors. The result was a draw. However, it was still a victory for me. Bravery, integrity and respect were learned and developed. I can’t wait for the next challenge
Sihing Aécio Dantas - Natal – Brazil
In late 2010 I received an invitation to fight in an Sanda event in China. This was an incredible opportunity that I could not refuse. I believe that this is a dream that every sanda fighter has. The preparation phase was quite difficult, because at that time I was far away from my teacher, so I had to train just by myself and with my friends. Yet, with the help from my teammates, I prepared myself well for what would surely be the most important and difficult fight of my career. Thankfully before my departure to China, my teacher, professor Jose Balestrini was with me for the final preparations.
Then I traveled in the company of Sifu Francisco De Paula, my teacher´s master, and the other athlete, Sihing Guilherme Farias, who later turned out to be a great friend. We faced the difficulties together, especially the weather and the different kind of food, that I was not used to eating in Brazil. In China we were welcomed by Master Tat Mau Wong and Grandmaster Poon Sing, with whom I interacted during the ten days I was present in China. During that time I had the opportunity to learn much about Kung Fu, respect and life.
Always supported by Master Wong and Sifu De Paula, we gave our best. The fight was very difficult, and despite having lost some confidence in the first round, I managed to finish and make a good fight until the end. I lost the fight by points, but I gained a lot with the experience. I learned a lot on this trip, and this experience is certainly more important than any victory. As my professor Jose Balestrini always say: “A victory or a defeat is temporary, what you learn from that is forever”.