Martial Arts Odyssey: Shan Kung Fu


A lot of fight fans don’t get very involved with international politics. Hopefully featuring the Kung Fu of the Shan people will help call attention to the genocide in Burma. Inside the war zone of Burma, under protection of the Shan State rebel army, host Antonio Graceffo is one of the first foreigners ever to experience Lai Tai or Shan Kung Fu. The Shan are one of Burma’s many ethnic minorities being subjected to genocide at the hands of heir own government. Meet young Master Kawn Wan, whose parents were murdered by the SPDC Burmese government army. Now, he lives on the Shan State Army base, teaching Lai Tai Kung Fu to the war orphans in the hopes of preserving the Shan culture. One of the Shan army lieutenants ominously told Antonio, “If the world doesn’t come to help us soon, your video will be the last record of our people.”

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Antonio Graceffo

Antonio Graceffo is the author of the Monk from Brooklyn, Warrior Odyssey, and several other books about Asia. He lives in China, where he is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of Sport. 

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  • Rod Power

    Very impressive Antonio, Im Rod Power teacher of way of martial arts and chinese kickboxing for over 33 years. Im also making a documentary about the K.N.L.A. Karen Army also to try and raise awareness in the world on the atrocities committed by the Burmese Junta…I just got back from the 7th Brigade and the elite 101 base camp that just this month has been taken by S.P.D.C. and D,K.B.A. Army which took most of the cassulties in the assault. The Karen Army made a stategic withdrawal and assures us the army can fight another 60 years. The title of documentary…”Last Line of Defence.” Just as Qin Shiuong the first emperor of China and the great Gengis Khan Tammugin both united the clans of their countries, Burma now needs to make a united stand.

    • Hi Antonio,I’m one of Col Yawk Serk’s nephew.It was really Heart warming about how you care for the Shan.The Shan State army now have commando troops thanks to
      you.The refugees Von now live in peace ang Col Yawk Serk just bought 12 armored tanks.But now the Burma juntas
      are now using heavy weapons.