Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
San shou (散手) or Sanda (散打) is a form of Chinese self-defense and a martial art. It consists of free-fighting and is composed of various aspects of wushu styles. The two main styles that san shou is composed of is kickboxing and shuai jiao , a Chinese form of wrestling.
San shou was developed by the Chinese army in the 1960s, which was a decision of the Chinese government. Various traditional styles were studied, as well as old-style lei tai fighting competitions, and a choices were made from these combined with modern insights. One can see san shou as a modern form of wushu, in which an attempt was made to combine the essence of the various traditional wushu styles.
As unarmed self-defence, san shou is complete, as it includes throws, locks, chokes, kicks, hits, etc.
As a sport, san shou is practiced in tournaments. Various techniques that are part of the self defence form of san shou are not allowed during these tournaments, like elbow hits, chokes and arm locks. Furthermore, it is possible to defeat the opponent by moving him outside the ring, which of course would not be an important criterion in self-defence. Continuous punching to the head is now allowed. Fighters are only allowed to clinch for a short few seconds. If the clinch is not broken by the fighters and if no one succeeds in throwing the opponent, the referee will break it up.
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