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Old July 15, 2001, 10:48 AM   #1
Dave3006
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Kung Foo San Soo - opinions?

I recently watched a San Soo class. I am curious as to any opinions of this art. My first impression was that it would not work in real life. Primarily due to the type of sparing they did. The attacker would step in and throw a punch at half speed. The defender would then execute a host of techniques as the victim stood there and contorted with each blow. People don't just stand there and let you beat on them in real life. In real life, adrenaline also minimizes the effect of pain. The fighters in the class did not attack at full speed and with the use of feints and combination attacks.

The whole thing seemed pretty silly. I am curious if anyone else came to the same conclusion.

(I have 10 years of Shotokan and 5 years of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)
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Old July 15, 2001, 02:25 PM   #2
Spectre
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I am a martial artist, and I do understand and believe in the value of learning the technique slowly and correctly before trying to execute at speed.

That said, some of us give no recognizable response to pain stimuli while under adrenalin dump , so relying on pain response alone is bad planning. I have personally been subjected to nerve attacks by the HEAD of the system I train in, and given no response until my skin was about to be deeply punctured. Fortunately, we do not rely on pain alone, but also timing, distance, and good, old-fashioned bone breaking.

Like any machine, the human body is stopped by:
1. Structural failure
2. Hydraulic failure
3. Electrical failure

Pain may work on many, but it will not work on the ones you need to worry about, who may well be the ones who would attack you.
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Old July 15, 2001, 09:51 PM   #3
chokeu2
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I too am a martial artist. I have been at it roughly 20 years with most of my experience, luckily being in truly combative arts. San Soo, CAN be an effective art to use. It is similar to Muay Thai, which, if you so some research is very highly regarded as one of the best striking arts in the world. It is strictly combative, there is not really much sport aspect to it. Although competitions in the states for thai tend to water is down.

Tell us what you have in mind for your training. I will do my best not to be partial! I have predominantly trained in Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Kali for the 20 that I have been involved. And I have a school that teached thai and bjj here in the states as well as Brazil. One of my guys recently one the heavy weight title in the Abu Dhabi Competition. Which, if you were to follow grappling, you would learn that is a major competition. At any rate...

Determine why you want to learn to fight. And then, the characteristics of this art can be better assesed for you.
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Old July 15, 2001, 10:28 PM   #4
Dave3006
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Abu Dhabi Competition is well known among BJJ competitors. I guess the thing that I question most about San Soo is the lack of resistance the opponents give each other in training. People like to slam "sports" oriented martial arts. However, I believe a persons skill set in any of the martial arts will only reach the highest level when your opponents are resisting you 100%. I was lucky enough to take private lessons from Rickson Gracie for 6 months in Laguna Niguel when I first started learning Jiu Jitsu. When I asked him what he thought of my Karate, he asked me "how do you KNOW it will work?". "Have you ever knocked someone out?". In karate, we pull all our punches. I have to say I have never knocked anyone out. We get points for what WOULD be effective techniques IF they would land full force. Rickson's point was that in Jiu Jitsu, the opponent resists 100% and the goal is submission over simply scoring a point. Of course, their are rules in Jiu Jitsu sparring that disallow certain techniques. However, for a day to day training system, it is the closest thing to simulating a real fight because of the resistance aspect.

On the flips side, a person could train for 30 years in Aikido or San Soo and never really know if it works. No full resistance in the training method.

Dave
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Old July 16, 2001, 07:47 AM   #5
chokeu2
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Very good points Dave. That is why I have stuck with BJJ and Muay Thai. They are very realistic and they work. My partner, because I am by no means the brains of this training outfit is one of the original Gracie students. He has been doing it for over 45 years... Some San Soo schools train very hard. Some train much like a thai school. If you have had the foresite to train BJJ with Rickson, then you can appreciate thai, I am sure. Have you considered searching for a thai school?
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Old July 16, 2001, 10:02 AM   #6
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If I had to pick the most effective striking/grappling combination, it would be BJJ and Thai kickboxing. In karate, we use the ball of our foot or the instep for a roundhouse kick. I will never forget the first time someone did a Thai kick with their shin to the back of my leg!!! It almost dropped me. And, the guy held back. What a difference in effectiveness. The only downside to this type of kick is that you don't want to hit anything hard. It must be a soft target. See the attached file if you have a strong stomach.
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Old July 16, 2001, 10:04 AM   #7
Dave3006
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If I had to pick the most effective striking/grappling combination, it would be BJJ and Thai kickboxing. In karate, we use the ball of our foot or the instep for a roundhouse kick. I will never forget the first time someone did a Thai kick with their shin to the back of my leg!!! It almost dropped me. And, the guy held back. What a difference in effectiveness. The only downside to this type of kick is that you don't want to hit anything hard. It must be a soft target.

Email me if you want to see a video of a Thai boxer breaking his leg when he hits the shin of his opponent.

dave@on-trak.com
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Old July 16, 2001, 03:43 PM   #8
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i seen that video. that was freaky.
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Old July 17, 2001, 03:12 AM   #9
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Dave, are you referring to san shou, sometimes called san da or 'Chinese Fast Wrestling'? It is a Chinese kick-boxing/free wrestling art and currently taught to Chinese Law Enforcement and military personnel.

San shou, when properly taught by a competent instructor and used with purpose and heart on the street, is as effective in a street fight as any other fighting skill.

The throws, cranks and takedowns in san shou are initially taught in slow motion, to enable the students to get a good 'feel' for the movements.

Once learned, the throws, cranks and takedowns are used in full-speed, full-contact sparring where your opponent is actively trying to punch and/or kick your lights out.

The san shou classes I've seen do not emphasize ground-fighting beyond a grasp of breaking loose and getting back to your feet. They seem to take the view that grappling on the ground is a wonderful opportunity for allies of your foe to kick and stomp you to a fare-thee-well.

Which does tend to mirror real-life street, bar and trailer-park fights that I've seen.

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Old July 18, 2001, 08:42 AM   #10
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Well said LawDog.
Check out a guy named Cung Lee if you want to see the ultimate outcome of a good San Shou fighter. He is a competition guy, but it would not be hard to see how the things that he does in the ring can be carried to the street. Much like the art that I am partial too, Muay Thai (and of course BJJ... )
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Old July 18, 2001, 05:03 PM   #11
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Lawdog, they called it "Kung Foo San Soo". They started with a warm up and then forms. They then spent about an hour where one person would punch or kick at an opponent. The defender blocked, counter attacked once or more to some vital point, and then tripped, threw, or jointlocked his opponent. Overall, the mechanics of their techniques were weak. Because the person attacking was not actually trying to score, their timing was not being developed. And, worst of all, the attacker stood there while the defender executed all these bad things on him. These guys make the assumption that their first technique will stun or disable. The more I think of it, it kind of looked like a stunt acting class for movie fighters.

Needless to say, I won't be signing up.
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