During the first week of October, the 11th World Wushu Championships took place in Ankara, Turkey. Over 600 competitors from 87 countries took part in the six day event. In competitive Wushu tournaments there are two types of disciplines, Taolu and Sanda. Taolu is the forms portion of the competition. Sanda, which is also known as Sanshou, is the sparring portion of the competition.
Sanshou is a sport that has some similarities to mixed martial arts. It combines Muay Thai or kickboxing and wrestling. Opponents can kick and punch to the head and body, and take each other to the ground. The competitors wear chest protectors, headgear, and gloves, but no shin guards. Ryan Badran, a member of the U.S.A. team, was at the event in Turkey. This was actually Ryan’s first competition with the U.S.A. team but he has a lot of experience in Muay Thai. Ryan is a local amateur fighter who fights out of American Top Team Longwood.
Where are you from?
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA but I’ve lived here in Florida for 24 years.
How old are you?
I’m 25 years old.
How long have you been training for?
I’ve been training for about 7 years total.
What styles have you trained in and how long for each?
I started training in Kung Fu/SanShou at 19, did that for almost 4 years. Started Muay Thai right after that and have been at ATT for almost 3 years now.
How long have you been on the US team?
Since July 2011.
How did you make the team?
I had to fight two fights in one day. One of the fights was against the previous member of the team at my weight.
Does the team get together and train for events?
The team is so spread out that we don’t get the chance to.
How many competitions have you done in San Shou?
I have done two if you count the team trials.
What is your fight record?
I am 10-0 in Muay Thai and 2-1 in SanShou.
You compete against pros when you go to these events right?
Yes. Most of the competitors at this competition do this for a living and receive large bonuses for winning a gold medal.
How did you do in Turkey?
I lost my first match.
What country did you fight against?
How long was the event?
It was a week long.
How long were you in Turkey for?
I was there a total of 15 days.
What events do you have coming up for either San Shou or Muay Thai?
I don’t have anything in Muay Thai as of right now but I do have an International Rules Kickboxing fight on November 30th in Costa Rica and then I’ll be getting ready for the Pan American Games in Mexico in July 2012
What titles do you hold in Muay Thai?
I am the USMTA FL State Welterweight Champion and the 2011 IKF Lightweight Muay Thai Champion.
How did you get into shape for the event in Turkey?
Basically the same thing I always do. A lot of pad/bag work with strength and conditioning 3 times a week in the mornings.
Did you learn anything from the event or your time in Turkey?
I learned a lot. It was a great experience for me. I saw a lot of top level athletes from around the world, learned some new training techniques, as well as seeing where I have to be technically and physically to reach the next level.
Do you prepare differently for Muay Thai and for San Shou?
I didn’t really prepare any different. SanShou is a new sport for me so I didn’t really know what to expect or be prepared for but now that I do I will most surely train differently for the next one.
Do you need to be in better shape for one more than the other?
I’d say it’s about the same. In SanShou the pace is slower but takedowns are involved so that uses a lot of energy. In Muay Thai the pace is a little faster and then there is the clinch and knees so you expend a lot of energy there.
Anything else you want to say about the event in Turkey that I might have missed?
Not really. Just that it was a great experience that I will never forget. Learned a lot from my loss as well as watching all the other fights. Had a great time with my coach and teammates. All in all a good trip.
How did the rest of the team do?
One guy placed bronze and another would have but had his toe ripped off in his last fight.
You don’t get paid for that right/you had to pay for the trip yourself to go to Turkey right?
That’s right. I raised about half of the money and had family and family friends help cover the rest. It’s kind of ridiculous because the American team is the only team not funded by their government.
Is there a similarity between San Shou and Muay Thai or MMA or both?
I’d say it’s more similar to MMA because of the takedowns and the striking is a bit different because you have to be worried about being taken down.
What was it like competing in the IKF classic?
The classic was great. It was my first tournament and I wanted that belt bad.
How many fights did you have there?
I fought three times.
This was a two day event, how many fights did you have each day?
I had one fight the first day and two the second.
As you can see there is a lot coming up for Ryan. He is a talented fighter that I am sure will continue representing team U.S.A. well in the future. I am sure he will also win some more amateur Muay Thai titles in the future as well. Make sure you support Ryan at any event you might see him at.