View Full Version : Shorthand in San Shou

Ben Gash
05-15-2000, 06:34 PM
I was at a tournament last month, and during the forms events there was this group of shorthand guys doing very short, very tense techniques (they had this permanent grimace that looked like they were constipated).
However, in the san shou, they were kickboxing, throwing longarm kicks and punches (obviously without spectacular success as they weren't trained for it).
Has anyone else observed this?

05-15-2000, 08:08 PM
Yes. I have.

It is called the art of Collective Training. This is where practise and use differ, and that what is being taught can not, by any definition, be called Kung Fu.

[This message has been edited by nospam (edited 05-16-2000).]

05-15-2000, 09:30 PM
Are you familiar with the form and it's purpose? Forms are designed to train specific areas, much like weight lifting isolates specific muscles. In application all areas are utilized at once. Wing Chun is considered to be a short hand style, yet in application we are taught the following generalities:

1) long range use large linear movements
2) medium range use medium movements
3) close range use large circular movements

We do not use short movements at close range like some people might expect. (These are just generalities of couse and there are exceptions). However, we do practice short hand movements because this is where most of the power is generated and by isolating this we can concentrate on power generation through proper technique.

Of course another explaination would be that these guys JUST PLAIN SUCK!!!!!!

05-21-2000, 11:01 AM
One thing I've observed is that most of the traditional practitioners entering san shou at these Chinese Martial arts tournaments have no business being there. A lot of them have not trained for full contact, haven't adapted their techniques to the san shou lei tai, and really have no idea how to fight san shou style. They end up getting mopped up by actual san shou athletes like Cung Le's guys or schools that have actually prepared and conditioned their representatives for san shou. I disagree with the gentleman that said san shou cannot be considered kung fu because I've seen many kung fu techniques applied extremely well in san shou by guys who knew what they were doing. I've rarely seen a better example of the devastating effects of intricate Chinese kicking techniques and shuai chiao than in san shou. You can't judge it until you've seen the guys who are really good. With regards to shorthand techniques, those aren't used very often in san shou. There are several reasons for this. First of all the use of boxing gloves negates the possibility of any sophisticated hand movements that is essential to good shorthand fighting. Second of all most san shou fighters are shuai chiao fanatics. they love picking up their opponents and doing some painful throws. This has actually become a trademark aspect of san shou that clearly distinguishes it from any other form of kickboxing. This presents a problem for shorthand fighters because as soon as they get in close enough to use shorthand technique, their opponents close to grappling range, pick them up and slam them before they have the chance to do a close range exchange. San shou is really more oriented towards kicking range and grappling range than it is to punching range. This is not to say that there is never any kung fu punching in san shou. I've still seen fighters apply basic punching technique pretty well. There have been for example some wing chun guys who've used a modified version of the ling wan choi straight blast as well as the power punching of wing chun quite powerfully. I've also seen hung ga guys in the east coast ripping up their opponents with basic hung ga punches.

05-22-2000, 10:22 PM
After checking out the san shou this weekend at Taiji Legacy, I wasn't too impressed. I remember 5 or 6 guys NOT doing Thai kickboxing- at least 2 thai kickboxing schools were present, one of which was tearing through the competition. Of the 5 or 6 guys who weren't fighting thai, 3 of those had any success in the early rounds; I missed the later rounds, and only made it back in time for an unsanctioned brawl between 2 superheavyweights, which ended up being the last match. The fighter that the monks from Houston brought looked like he was fighting a mix of wushu shuai chiao and thai boxing; he practically got killed. He somehow magically won the first round with some weak throws, which looked more like tripping/stumbling, than actual throws. He did 2 leg scissors, and his opponent only went down to his knees, had it been a real fight, his opponent would've crawled up his body to deliver the punishment, or would've just stepped back up while he was laying there and kicked him to oblivion. The guy ended getting 3 8 counts in the second round, and I'm suprised he was still conscious with all the head shots he was taking.

Some things I didn't like, besides kung fu people trying to fight Thai, against thai; was pitiful footwork, lack of techniques (combos were working really well, even intricate long-fisted ones, the people who stripped their forms down to their "power strikes" pretty much got killed), and breath control. There's no excuse to get gassed like these opponents were (midway through the first round) if you've been training forms properly. They all looked tensed up while in their guards, and I've always heard, even in the external styles I've taken, that this is a bad thing. The 5 or 6 guys that I mentioned, were not really guilty of this, and some did really well against opponents a lot bigger and a lot stronger than they were. I learned a lot from watching, but knowing that if I entered, that i'd have to go up against 250 and 260 pound monsters (I'm 230), keeps my interest purely academic.....for now.

BTW- I much preferred the fighters in the "continuous light contact" rings to what I saw in the san shou ring. There were more people there fighting true to their style. The wing chun people in particular; though honestly my first thought was "hey! hsing yi!" (it made me realize that the two styles are pretty similar).

Disclaimer: the opinions stated above are my own, not my teacher's nor anyone else's; based upon my meager, and insufficient knowledge of fighting, and kung fu.