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  • What Is Shuai Chiao Kung Fu?

Shuai Chiao or Shuai Jiao (pronounced shwai-jyau) is is Chinese fast wrestling. It is the oldest form of Chinese kung fu as it originated more than two thousand years ago.  Shuai Jiao is similar to Judo and has many movements that throw the opponent to the ground. 

Shuai Jiao offers unique takedown techniques not found in other styles

Shuai Jiao Kung Fu

Almost without fail, wrestling or grappling techniques are the first combative techniques to be invented in ancient civilizations.

China, one of the oldest civilizations on earth, has an ancient form of wrestling called Shuai Jiao. The throws of the art, resemble Japanese Judo. Or more accurately, Judo throws resemble Shuai Jiao. Shuai Jiao is the predecessor to Judo. Informed Judo practitioners will admit to this. 

One of the very first records of the art of shuai jiao comes from about 2,697 b.c.

In ancient times, one of the Emperors of China fought against a rebel named Chih Yiu and his army. The emperor's forces used horned helmets to gore their opponents using a primitive form of grappling called "jiao di" (horn butting). This ancient form of grappling eventually evolved to become Shuai jiao, a martial art.

However, the martial art today is much different than its ancient counterpart. Modern Shuai-Chiao is a culmination of all of these ancient kung fu grappling, wrestling techniques. The kung fu techniques have evolved to a very high level of efficiency and sophistication.

Shuai Chiao is the now basis of the Kung Fu military and police training in China. Also, Shuai Chiao is a national sport in Taiwan.

In fact, shuai jiao, like most chinese martial arts, has 4 major elements of fighting techniques

These 4 elements work well when used in combination. Striking, kicking, throwing, and submission locking techniques should intertwine to make the practitioner fluid at all ranges of combat. Generally speaking, incorporating throwing techniques into a martial art that focuses on striking will make both styles more effective.

First, the philosophy of Shuai Chiao as a self-defense art is: to use punches, kicks and joint locks in addition to throwing the opponent to the ground. All self-defense scenarios will involve both striking and grappling. Once an opponent is stunned it is much easier to throw them. 

Shuai Jiao Tournament

Throwing techniques taught in this class use the principles of yin and yang

Throwing techniques taught here, use the principles of Yin and Yang. These principles rely on the natural, physical laws of balance.

These techniques uproot and throw the opponent very quickly. Yin and Yang is the concept of opposing forces acting in coordination with each other. Yin and Yang mean balance. Shuai Chiao uses the opponent's own body position is used against him. Fast-moving footwork and leg sweeps are combined with techniques that control the opponent's upper body. 

This creates a push / pull action that resembles the yin and yang symbol. For example, you push on the opponent's shoulder while sweeping his legs backward so that his upper body goes in one direction while the lower body goes in the opposite direction. 

The emphasis of these techniques is to blend with your opponent's force. You want to use this momentum to slam them to the ground. The earth will literally be an always-available weapon that you can take with you wherever you go.

The idea of using the ground as a weapon is a very practical idea

Anytime you throw your opponent there is a chance that he will sustain secondary injuries caused by the fall. It's important to know the difference between take-downs and throwing.

A take-down is a technique that you execute with the intent of continuing the fight on the ground. Brazilian Jujitsu practitioners use take-downs to get their opponent into a ground fighting situation (which is their comfort zone). Throwing techniques in Shuai Jiao, revolve around the idea that slamming your opponent on the ground is a good way to incapacitate them.

The difference in the nature of a sport martial art versus a combat martial art is many. In a traditional Shuai Chiao martial arts competition, only throws could be used. We focus on taking this grappling art and adapting it to apply to real-world self-defense.