Shuai Chiao / San Shou / San Da What's the difference? A complete Chinese martial arts system must contain Ti, Da, Shuai & Na.
Shuai Chiao is an ancient Chinese Fighting Art that combines the four essential components needed in any combat fighting system: Ti (kicking), Da (striking), Shuai (throwing/wrestling), Na (to hold or pin). With a recorded history of more than 4,000 years, it is the oldest form of Chinese Kung Fu. Kung Fu is an umbrella term for Chinese martial arts. Shuai Chiao is also known as Chinese Wrestling. It is designed to control the opponent by throwing him to the ground. This simple action requires skill to perform without using only your strength. It requires developing an exceptional ability to counter attacks and initiate an attack, to set up your throw for street or combat situations. Shuai Chiao was introduced to the Japanese during the Ming Dynasty. And it is quite possible that even earlier than this time period. There is little doubt that this art profoundly influenced the development of Sumo, Jiujitsu, and much later in history, Judo. Other throwing systems like Brazilian Jiujitsu, Korean Hap Ki Do and Russian SAMBO are direct descendants from Japanese grappling arts, which were in turn influenced by Shuai Chiao. Shuai Chiao’s main area of study is the throw as the finishing or controlling move; if needed, a follow through strike or pin occurs with the foot, knee or hand. The power of the throw and the impact of a person striking the ground can be of enough power that it may be incapacitating or even result in death. Likewise, throwing a person can give you valuable seconds to get away from an attacker. The sport version of Shuai Chiao omits certain throws, strikes and locks to prevent serious injuries. COMBAT SHUAI CHIAO/SAN SHOU San Shou is freestyle fighting, applying all the techniques available in all of Chinese martial arts. San Shou has existed in China for millennia and was reawakened by the Kuomintang government of China in the 1920’s as an aspect of military training; later revived once again by the Communist government for their troops’ training as well. San Shou application varies for military, police and civilian use, incorporating ground fighting and additional skill sets, like weapons disarming. The practice of San Shou is done with open finger gloves to maximize the use of grappling and techniques that would otherwise be impossible with boxing gloves. Combat Shuai Chiao is San Shou.
SAN DA San Da is a sport derived from San Shou, that can be practiced with or without ground fighting. The Chinese government is trying to unify all rules for San Da, through the International Wushu Association; under such rules, Sanda has no ground fighting and is practiced with boxing gloves. Their hope is to make the sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee and for it to be incorporated into the Olympic Games. San Da is a dynamic sport and can be best seen in the competitor’s ability to execute throws, tie ups, and the seamlessly connected individual techniques in the ring or on the lei tai. San Da is a sport like boxing, Savate and other full contact sports. We at Combat Shuai Chiao ATX feel that San Da would be a much better sport if it adopted open finger gloves instead of boxing gloves. This would fit better with Kung Fu practitioners and their traditional systems. We also feel that having follow up ground techniques with striking, pinning and joint manipulation but maintaining a one knee up approach would better represent self-defense scenarios. This would ensure greater mobility and a more favorable approach for Kung Fu practitioners, garnering more fans and competitors in MMA events. All three Chinese martial arts include Ti, Da, Shuai and Na components and emphasize throwing. San Shou and San Da can claim to be derived from Shuai Chiao, so they are interlinked. San Da is the most limited in tactics and techniques. San Shou, with its additional skill sets, is the most comprehensive with regards to tactics and techniques. Shuai Chiao is the most refined and developed with its long history and viability to this day for police, military and civilian defense.