Dan Hardy recounts time training at Shaolin temple in China

Dan Hardy

Long before Dan Hardy established himself as one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC welterweight division and a UFC commentator, he trained at a Shaolin temple in China.

Hardy looked back on this incredibly interesting chapter of his martial arts journey in a recent post to Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Shaolin Temple, China. Nineteen years old, thirteen years into my #MartialArts training. Practicing forms with the straight sword, between morning and afternoon training sessions. I wasn’t there long enough for the Sifu’s to begin my sword training, but my determination (and stubbornness) was too great. I pieced this sword together out of bits of broken weapons I found in the Temple grounds. Bound it together with string and tape, and watched the monks practice to see what I could pick up. After a few weeks of training outside of the usual ten hours a day, my teacher finally gave in and taught me the first form. I loved it. The beauty and grace of the movement, coupled with the precision stabbing techniques, spoke of what #MartialArts represents to me. Broadswords, although dramatic and powerful, wasn’t as clinical as inserting the point of a straight blade into vulnerable targets, piercing vital organs and stealing the life from a human. The more precise the movement, the more refined attack, and the deadly accuracy one would need to deliver a killing thrust, speaks of a higher level of skill and mastery. In feudal Japan, Samurai had the #Katana sword. They also had armor, which offered some protection against blades and arrows. Ninja, on the other hand, didn’t have armor, so to compete with Samurai, they developed the #Ninjato, which is a straight sword. This also required, not only a good understanding of the human body and its vulnerabilities, but also the weak spots on the Samurai armor. Going blade to blade with a Katana, the Ninjato was inferior. You couldn’t slash with this blade. It had to be thrust point-first into the gaps in the armor, to kill their adversary. This required an incredible amount of skill, and a calmness to deliver the deadly strike in the heat of an exchange. People say ‘skills pay the bills’, but in their case it was the difference between life and death. Master your weapons, master your technique, but most of all, master the application of your technique. This is where the true skill of a fighter is demonstrated. ⚔️

A post shared by Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) on

“Nineteen years old, thirteen years into my #MartialArts training,” Dan Hardy began. “Practicing forms with the straight sword, between morning and afternoon training sessions.

“I wasn’t there long enough for the Sifu’s to begin my sword training, but my determination (and stubbornness) was too great,” Hardy continued. “I pieced this sword together out of bits of broken weapons I found in the Temple grounds. Bound it together with string and tape, and watched the monks practice to see what I could pick up. After a few weeks of training outside of the usual ten hours a day, my teacher finally gave in and taught me the first form. I loved it. The beauty and grace of the movement, coupled with the precision stabbing techniques, spoke of what #MartialArts represents to me.

“Broadswords, although dramatic and powerful, wasn’t as clinical as inserting the point of a straight blade into vulnerable targets, piercing vital organs and stealing the life from a human. The more precise the movement, the more refined attack, and the deadly accuracy one would need to deliver a killing thrust, speaks of a higher level of skill and mastery.

“In feudal Japan, Samurai had the #Katana sword,” Hardy continued. “They also had armor, which offered some protection against blades and arrows. Ninja, on the other hand, didn’t have armor, so to compete with Samurai, they developed the #Ninjato, which is a straight sword. This also required, not only a good understanding of the human body and its vulnerabilities, but also the weak spots on the Samurai armor. Going blade to blade with a Katana, the Ninjato was inferior. You couldn’t slash with this blade. It had to be thrust point-first into the gaps in the armor, to kill their adversary. This required an incredible amount of skill, and a calmness to deliver the deadly strike in the heat of an exchange.

“People say ‘skills pay the bills’, but in their case it was the difference between life and death,” Hardy concluded. “Master your weapons, master your technique, but most of all, master the application of your technique. This is where the true skill of a fighter is demonstrated.”

What do you think of this awesome trip down memory lane from Dan Hardy?