Santa Clara Valley
San Shou Freefighting Club
Our San Shou Club meets Monday nights from 7 to 9 PM at QI Dojo IX in Gilroy, California, for an hour of directed training followed by an hour of San Shou style sparring. It is preceded from 6 to 7 PM by an hour of solo training in advanced Tai Chi Chuan and related Internal Martial Arts led by the Chief Instructor.
The 7-8 PM Training hour focuses on the areas of participant's weaknesses. For instance, Boxers might not have much training and experience in kicks and sweeps. Kickboxers might have only a rudimentary background in arm and fist based striking and might be totally clueless when it comes to converting an incoming punch or kick into a takedown or throwdown. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Judo practitioners might, likewise have only limited ability with hand or leg striking.
One Friday evening each month, we hold a special evening of sparring at a professional boxing gym up the street where we have use of a sanctioned boxing ring so participants can train different aspects of San Shou competition fighting in a realistic confined space setting.
The Monday night San Shou Freefighting class dues are $150/mo. The once/month San Shou sparring event at the nearby boxing gym costs $25 per person, including participating members and their guests (including family, friends, trainers, trainees, observers, etc.)
San Shou is the full contact expression of Chinese internal martial arts. In the West it is better known as "Chinese Boxing". In modern terms, it contains 3 major elements of martial interaction: 1) Striking with Hands and Arms (Boxing), 2) Striking with Feet, Legs and Knees (Kickboxing) and 3) Standup grappling (takedowns, uproots and throw downs) (Tui Shou).
San Shou is differentiated from MMA styles of competition fighting in a number of important respects, but the most obvious is that a throw down or takedown involving both competitors going to the mat doesn't continue for more than a second on the mat (just long enough to see if the original throw down or takedown was reversed to the advantage of the one originally thrown).
The metaphorical idea behind the name San Shou is the breaking of a Lotus Root... When the root is bent until it breaks, the fibers inside continue to be unbroken and continue to link the two halves of the root. The idea is that the separation from one's opponent while applying striking methods as opposed to the obvious ongoing contact involved in grappling is only apparent and the apparent distance between the contenders is in fact made up of energetic connections between the two players.