From Shaolin Monk to MMA Star - the Rise of China's 'Monkey King'

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It's official: the number of Chinese traditional martial artists successfully entering the world of combat sports is increasing's an event. Just like this young fella, Sang Yadong, whose passion for fighting is so strong that he even faked his ID in order to be able to compete. This is the success of a Shaolin Monk who turned to MMA.

Shaolin Monk to MMA

Sang Yadong, a very very young man already achieving great success in the combat sports world. Song's success story started as a little 9-year-old boy when he convinced his mother to send him to train in a Shaolin Temple.

Shaolin Temple

"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 5 am. It was harder than I ever expected."

We have already spoken many times a lot about the incredible and transforming experience of the Shaolin Temple here. Yet, the theme is very vast and fascinating, so if you'd like to deepen it a little bit you can check out our articles about it.

After training with Shaolin Masters, Song decided to pursue his new MMA dream and, a decade later, managed to get himself in the UFC rankings in almost no time.

song yadong

"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."

About the Fake ID

Just as it happens when a particularly talented individual rises to the top in little or no time, Song captured much attention on himself and on his unique origin story. When he turned 15 he was too legally too young to compete, so he just faked his ID card in order to pursue everybody to let him fight.

Song Yadong

"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."

You can find the original article here.

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