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What is San Shou Kuai Jiao?

Traditional Chinese free fighting is generally called San Shou. San Shou fighting includes the four main fighting categories of Ti (Kicking), Da (Striking), Shuai (Wrestling), and Na (Qin Na). Among these four basic techniques, Shuai Jiao (Shuai) has an important value in San Shou fighting. In the past, winning a San Shou match required knocking your opponent off the Lei Tai (competition platform - 24 x 24 feet x 5 feet high) or taking him down to the ground by using the skills of Ti, Da, Shuai, and Na. Therefore, Shuai Jiao is a very important skill when a martial artist is in a real combat situation. If a fighter does not have any Shuai Jiao experience or training, the chance of winning or surviving in a San Shou match is very slim. Therefore, more and more San Shou practitioners around the world are recognizing the combat value of Shuai Jiao and incorporating the techniques into their fighting styles. Even in daily life, Shuai Jiao can be an effective tool for self-defense. Combining the Shuai Jiao skill with your own self-defense skills can be a helpful weapon to fight off an attacker on the street. Because of its practical value, Shuai Jiao is an important part of Chinese martial arts.

All the different styles of Chinese Gongfu (Wushu), have some Shuai Jiao training methods in their forms. Unfortunately, not all martial practitioner realize that there are Shuai Jiao techniques in their style. I believe this is because in traditional Gongfu training, a teacher will spend years to watch and test a student's morality to see if that student is worthy of teaching to pass on the secrets of their style. Without detailed teaching and explanations from the master, the student will only learn a lot of forms and flowery techniques. Therefore, many students practice martial arts for many years, but are not able to get the essence of their style. All they have learned are forms. It does not matter how beautiful the forms are: martial art forms without practical usage are called Flower Fist and Brocade Leg (Hua Quan Xiu Tui), which means "useless." Many people I have met said to me that their Gongfu style does not have Shuai Jiao techniques. I asked them to demonstrate their forms and then showed them the Shuai Jiao techniques in the form they just performed. They were very surprised to see Shuai Jiao techniques. Even a simple form like 24 postures Taijiquan has many Shuai Jiao techniques.

Kuai Jiao simply means "fast wrestling" in Chinese. During fighting, you will want to find an opportunity to throw down an opponent very quickly and skillfully. The fight should end quickly and you should not be tangled-up with your opponent like a bull fight.

The foundation and principles of Kuai Jiao are based on traditional Chinese wrestling. Shuai Jiao is believed to be the oldest martial art in China. Its history can be traced back thousands of years to the reign of the Yellow Emperor - Huang Ti - 2697 BC and was used to train soldiers.

 
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