Chinese Fast Wrestling - The Art of San Shou Kuai Jiao

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Author: Liang, Shou-Yu & Tai D. Ngo
Pub: 1997 by YMAA Publication Center
Pages: 188
Ranking:Three Star Rating
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I purchased this book in the hopes of improving my Judo... unfortunately for my purpose, the techniques, although well photographed, with arrows showing direction of movement, all seemed to be not equal to the technique I already know. Their version, for example, of Seoinage, was distinctly inferior to what Judo teaches.

What I did like about this book was that many of the throws were being executed against kicks or punches... something Judo rarely practices... so there were some interesting ideas in here. For the sport Judoka, there's nothing of interest here... for self defense, there's a few ideas that are worth the price of the book.


Chinese Fast Wrestling for Fighting
The Art of San Shou Kuai Jiao

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS................................................. vi
ABOUT THE AUTHORS ............................................. vii
FOREWORD BY DR. YANG, JWING-MING ............................... xi
PREFACE BY MASTER LIANG, SHOU-YU .............................. xii
PREFACE BY TAI D. NGO .......................................... xv

Chapter 1. General Introduction
1-1. Introduction ............................................... 1
1-2. General Principles of San Shou Kuai Jiao ................... 4
1-3. The Training Stages of San Shou Kuai Jiao ................. 15

Chapter 2. Basic Training
2-1. Introduction .............................................. 17
2-2. Warm Up Exercises ......................................... 17
2-3. San Shou Kuai Jiao Basic Stances/Leg Training ............. 26
2-4. San Shou Kuai Jiao Entering Training ...................... 33
2-5. Falling ................................................... 37

Chapter 3. Basic Training With Equipment
3-1. Introduction .............................................. 43
3-2. Body Conditioning With Equipment .......................... 44

Chapter 4. Holding Leg(s) Throws
4-1. Introduction .............................................. 61
4-2. Holding Leg(s) Throwing Techniques ........................ 62

Chapter 5. Over the Back/Holding the Waist Throws
5-1. Introduction .............................................. 85
5-2. Over Back Throwing Techniques ............................. 86
5-3. Holding the Waist Throwing Techniques ..................... 93

Chapter 6. Leg Hooking Throws
6-1. Introduction ............................................. 103
6-2. Leg Hooking Techniques ................................... 104

Chapter 7. Other Throwing Methods
7-1. Introduction ............................................. 125
7-2. Throwing Techniques ...................................... 126

Chapter 8. Groundfighting/Controlling Techniques
8-1. Introduction ............................................. 157
8-2. Groundfighting/Controlling Techniques .................... 158

Appendix A. Names of San Shou Kuai Jiao Techniques ............ 179
Appendix B. Translation and Glossary of Chinese Terms ......... 182
Index ......................................................... 188



Master Liang, Shou-Yu

Master Liang, Shou-Yu was born on June 28, 1943 in the city of Chongqian, Sichuan Province, China. When he was six he began his training in Qigong, the art of breathing and internal energy control, under the tutelage of his renowned grandfather, the late Liang, Zhi-Xiang. Mr. Liang was taught the esoteric skills of the Emei Mountain sect, including Da Peng Qigong. When he was eight, his grandfather made special arrangements for him to begin training Emei Wushu (martial arts).

In 1959, Mr. Liang began the study of Qin Na and Chinese Shuai Jiao (Wrestling). From 1960 to 1964 he devoted his attention to the systematic research and practice of Wrestling, Wushu, and other special martial power training.

In addition to the advantage of being born to a Wushu family, Mr. Liang also had the chance to come into contact with many legendary grandmasters. By the time he was twenty, Mr. Liang had already received instruction from 10 of the most well-known contemporary masters of both Southern and Northern origin, who gladly instructed and inspired this ardent young man. His curiosity inspired him to learn more than one hundred sequences from many different styles. His study of the martial arts has taken him throughout mainland China, having gone to Henan Province to learn Chen style Taijiquan, Hubei Province to learn the Wudang system, and Hubei Province to learn the Nan Yue system.

With his wealth of knowledge, Mr. Liang was inspired to compete in martial arts competitions, in which he was many times a gold medalist in China. During his adolescence, Mr. Liang won titles in Chinese wrestling (Shuai Jiao), various other martial arts, and weight lifting. Through and beyond his college years, Mr. Liang's wide background in various martial arts helped form his present character, and led him to achieve a high level of martial skill. Some of the styles he concentrated on include the esoteric Emei system, Shaolin Long Fist, Praying Mantis, Chuo Jiao, Xingyi, Baguazhang, Taijiquan, Liu He Ba Fa, Shuai Jiao, Qin Na, vital point striking, many weapons systems, and several kinds of internal Qigong.

Mr. Liang received a university degree in biology and physiology from West-South National University in 1964. However, it was a time of political turmoil, and because of his bourgeois family background, the Communist government sent him to a remote, poverty-stricken area to teach high school. Despite this setback, Mr. Liang began to organize Wushu Teams in the local community, and he trained numerous farmer-students in Wushu and in wrestling.

Then came a disastrous time in modern Chinese history. During the years of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1974 A.D.), all forms of martial arts and Qigong were suppressed. Because he came from a bourgeoisie family, Mr. Liang was vulnerable to the furious passions and blind madness of the revolutionaries. To avoid conflict with the Red Guards, he gave up his teaching position. Mr. Liang used this opportunity to tour various parts of the country to discover and visit great masters in Wushu, and to make friends with people who shared his devotion to and love for the art. Mr. Liang went through numerous provinces and large cities, visiting especially the many renowned and revered places where Wushu was created, developed, and polished. Among the many places he visited were Emei Mountain, Wudang Mountain, Hua Mountain, Qingchen Mountain, Chen's village in Henan, the Cangzhou Territory in Hebei Province, Beijing, and Shanghai. In eight years he made many Wushu friends and met many great masters, and his mastery of the techniques and philosophy of the art grew to new horizons.

At the end of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government again began to support the martial arts and Qigong, including competitions. There was a general movement to organize and categorize the existing martial and internal arts. Research projects were set up to search out the old masters who remained alive, select their best techniques, and organize their knowledge. It was at this time that the Sichuan government appointed Mr. Liang as a coach for the city, the territory, and the province. So many of his students were among the top martial artists of China that in 1978 Mr. Liang was voted one of the top national coaches since 1949. He also received acclaim from the People's Republic of China Physical Education and Sports Commissions, and often served as judge in national competitions.

After the Cultural Revolution, and despite his many official duties, Mr. Liang continued to participate actively in competitions at the provincial and national level. Between 1974 and 1981 he won numerous medals, including four gold medals. His students also performed superbly in national and provincial open tournaments, winning many medals. Many of these students have now become professional Wushu coaches or college Wushu instructors themselves. Other students have become Wushu trainers in the armed forces, or have become movie actors in Wushu pictures. In 1979, Mr. Liang received several appointments, including a committee membership in the Sichuan Chapter of the China National Wushu Association, and an executive membership of the Wushu Coaches Committee.

1981 marked a new era in the course of Mr. Liang's life, when he first visited Seattle, Washington in the United States. His art impressed every one of the Wushu devotees immediately, and the Wushu and Taiji Club of the University of Washington retained him as a Wushu Coach. In addition, Mr. Liang offered lessons at the Taiji Association in Seattle. The following year, Mr. Liang went north to Vancouver, Canada, where he was appointed Taiji Coach by the Villa Cathy Care Home, and Honorary Chairman and Head Coach by the North American Taiji Athletic Association.

In 1984, Mr. Liang became Chairperson and Wushu Coach for the School of Physical Education of the University of British Columbia. In 1985, he was elected coach of the First Canadian National Wushu Team, which was invited to participate in the First International Wushu Invitational Tournament in Xian, China. Competing against teams from 13 other countries, the Canadian team won third place.

In 1986, Mr. Liang was again elected coach of the Second Canadian National Wushu Team, which competed in the Second International Wushu Invitational Tournament held in the city of Teinstin, China. This time, 28 countries participated, and the Canadian team earned more medals than any other country except the host country itself. Mr. Liang's role and achievements were reported in 14 newspapers and magazines throughout China, and the performances and demonstrations of Mr. Liang and his team were broadcast on the Sichuan television station.

Mr. Liang has not limited his Wushu contributions to Canada. He has given numerous lectures and demonstrations to Wushu professionals and instructors in the United States. Adherents of many disciplines, including Karate, Taiji and others, have benefited from Mr. Liang's personal touch. In addition to instructing in such cities as Houston, Denver, Boston, and New York, Mr. Liang was invited to several cities in Italy for seminars in 1991. Mr. Liang has also judged in the National Wushu Tournament in the United States, and has produced an instructional video program teaching Liangong Shr Ba Fa Qigong in conjunction with the Chinese National Qigong Institute.



Mr. Tai D. Ngo

Tai D. Ngo was born in Viet Nam. In his adolescence he lived and traveled to various regions in Viet Nam and China, and became fluent in both languages. In 1981 Mr. Ngo came to Boston for school. In 1985, while at Northeastern University studying Electrical Engineering, Mr. Ngo began his martial arts training at Yang's Martial Arts Association (YMAA). Under the guidance of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, Mr. Ngo learned Shaolin Long Fist and Shaolin White Crane Gongfu and Yang style Taijiquan.

After graduating from Northeastern University in 1988, Mr. Ngo went to work in the field of computers, and continued to train with Dr. Yang, eventually attaining the rank of Assistant Instructor. He then began to teach Shaolin and Taijiquan at YMAA Headquarters in Boston. In 1989, Mr. Ngo met Master Liang, Shou-Yu and learned Hsing Yi, Baguazhang, Chen style Taijiquan and was introduced to San Shou Kuai Jiao.

Since 1991, Mr. Ngo has been a top competitor in national martial arts tournaments in the United States. In 1992 he won the Men's All-Around Internal Styles Grand Champion at the United States National Chinese Martial Arts Competition in Orlando, Florida. In the same year he finished top in all the events he competed in at the United States Koushu Championship in Towson, Maryland. Also in the same year, Mr. Ngo was invited to join the United States Chinese Koushu National Team, and competed in the 7th World Koushu Tournament in Taiwan.

In 1994, Mr. Ngo won two gold medals for excellent performances in the World Grand Wushu Festival, the "Oberon Cup," held in Shanghai, China. He also toured and performed in many cities and towns in China with the North American Martial Arts Team, led by Master Liang. After returning from China, Mr. Ngo again won the Men's Internal Styles Grand Championship at the United States National Chinese Martial Arts Competition in Orlando, Florida.

Mr. Ngo continues to teach and train under Dr. Yang at YMAA Headquarters. He lives in Malden, Massachusetts. This is his first book.



Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

It is commonly known in Chinese martial arts society that in order to fight effectively and survive in a battle, any proficient martial artist must acquire four basic categories of fighting techniques: kicking (Ti), punching (Da), wrestling (Shuai), and Qin Na (Na). Technically speaking, wrestling was designed to deal with kicking and punching, Qin Na (i.e., joint control) was created to cope with wrestling, and kicking and punching were to be used against Qin Na. You can see that these four categories mutually support and also conquer each other. That means in order to become a proficient martial artist, you must master these four categories, which exist in every Chinese martial style.

When Chinese martial arts were imported to Japan, kicking and punching became Karate, (The Dao of Barehand), wrestling became the root of Judo (The Dao of Softness), and Qin Na built the foundation of Jujitsu (The Dao of Soft Techniques). Later, the combination of Judo and Jujitsu became today's Aikido (The Dao of Harmonizing Qi).

For example, it is commonly recognized in Japanese Karate society that the root of Japanese Karate was Okinawan Karate, and Okinawan Karate originated from the Chinese Southern White Crane style of Fujian province, China. Not only that, it is recorded in Japanese documents, Collection of Ancestor's Conversations, Volume 2, Biography of Chen, Yuan-Yun that Chen, Yuan-Yun (587-1671 A.D. Ming dynasty) was the person who brought the "soft techniques" (i.e., wrestling) into Japan in 1659 that became today's Judo.

When Chinese martial arts were imported to the West in the 1960's, the majority of techniques focused on kicking and punching. In order to make the contents of Western Chinese martial arts training more complete, I have written four Qin Na books to introduce the art of seizing and controlling. However, the Chinese wrestling arts are still not well-known or understood by Western Chinese martial artists. In order to fill this gap, I have been encouraging Master Liang to write a few books about Chinese wrestling. Master Liang is well known as an expert in this field, and he has won several gold medals in wrestling in China.

I am very happy to see that with Mr. Tai D. Ngo's help, this wrestling book is finally available to Western martial artists. In order to preserve the martial arts that have been developed over thousands of years of human history, we must put what we still know into books and on video. This way these arts will not become lost treasures.

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming June 11, 1996



Master Liang, Shou-Yu

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) 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 (If the reader is interested in this ancient throwing art, please refer to the Traditional Chinese Wrestling book by Master Liang, Shou-Yu & Tai D. Ngo, coming soon from YMAA Publication Center). In general, most of the Kuai Jiao techniques introduced in this book are based upon traditional Chinese wrestling. This book will introduce about 75 Kuai Jiao techniques for San Shou fighting, and the Traditional Chinese Wrestling book will have more than 300 techniques. If you have a strong foundation in traditional wrestling, it will help your Kuai Jiao skill greatly.

The contents of this book are built upon the foundation of the traditional Chinese Wrestling training. Therefore this book can be used as a reference for martial artists of all different styles. Mastering the techniques in this book will help to bring your fighting ability to a higher level. However, the primary goal of this book is not just for martial artists who love to fight, but rather for all martial arts lovers with an interest in learning and exploring this art. You can easily incorporate these Kuai Jiao techniques into your training. The movements of these techniques are simple and very easy to learn.

The primary goal of this book is to introduce San Shou Kuai Jiao (Fast Wrestling for Free Fighting) for self defense. However, we will also introduce some ground fighting techniques in the last chapter of this book. One of the reasons is that quite often when you fight, you may fall or be taken to the ground by your opponent. These ground fighting techniques are very useful and also easy to learn.

When practicing, it is not enough to just run through the forms and techniques. You must have a strong basic foundation in order to become good and efficient in the art. This book also introduces some valuable traditional basic training methods with bare hands and with equipment cultivate and enhance body conditioning and train this art's specialized skills. These methods have passed down from generation to generation. The training methods are simple and refined, and can be fun, challenging and exciting. I hope the reader will enjoy the book and find it helpful.

Here I would like to take this opportunity to express my special thanks to my brother Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming for his encouragement and his many forms of assistance for this and other books.

I would like to thank Al Arsenault for his contribution of all the techniques in the last chapter of this book, which he both demonstrated and wrote. He has studied martial arts since 1971, with special interest in street applicable techniques from a wide variety of martial arts including Judo, Jujitsu and Qin Na. Mr. Arsenault also trained Shuai Jiao in China. He attained the rank of 3rd degree black belt in Nisei Karate-do in 1986 and is currently founding president of the International Sansho Do Association and is a 4th degree black belt in this discipline. Mr. Arsenault's profession is a Tactical Trainer, Crowd Control Member, Non-Firearms Weapon Expert and First Class Career Constable (since 1979) for the Vancouver Police Department in Canada.

Also I would like to thank my students Sam Masich and Huen Siu Hung for their time and energy and participation in the photo shoots. Sam Masich has studied martial arts since he was young, including Judo and different Chinese internal arts. Sam was member of Canada's first National Wushu Team in 1985. He won two United States National Tai Chi Championships in 1987 and 1988. He also has a very deep understanding of, and experience in the art of Tai Chi pushing hands and teaches seminars in Canada and the United States.

Huen Siu Hung was also member of Canada's first National Wushu Team in 1985. He has studied a wide variety of Chinese martial arts and has trained in Chinese wrestling since 1985. He has won many gold medals in martial arts competitions in China and the United States.

This book is a collaboration between myself and Mr. Tai D. Ngo. It has been a great pleasure to work with him on this book. He is originally from Viet Nam and his profession is in the field of computers. He loves martial arts and trains very hard. He has participated in many martial arts competitions in the United States, Taiwan, and mainland China, and is the 1992 and 1994 United States National Chinese Martial Arts Competition Grand Champion in men's internal styles.

In addition, I would like to thank Tim Comrie for his photography, Al Loriaux for his help in the last chapter of this book and many YMAA members for general help, including Andrew Murray for his editing.

Liang, Shou-Yu



Mr. Tai D. Ngo

Since I was a boy, learning Gongfu is something that I always wanted to do. I was first introduced to Gongfu by a close friend of my brother's when I was nine years old back in Viet Nam. My training, which only lasted a year, was interrupted by war. During my adolescent years, I traveled and lived in different places in Viet Nam, China and Hong Kong. There were times that martial skills were highly valued for self-protection. Naturally, my desire to learn martial arts was strong, and has not lessened.

It was not until 1985, when I attended Northeastern University in Boston to study Electrical Engineering, that I had the opportunity to meet my teacher Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. The introduction was brief and quite unique. I asked Dr. Yang what style of Gongfu he taught. He told me that he taught Shaolin Long Fist, Southern Shaolin White Crane, and Yang Style Taiji. He started to explain and demonstrate a few Qin Na techniques on me. His execution of the Qin Na techniques was most impressive and painful. I dropped immediately to the floor. When I got up, I told him I would be back tomorrow to join the class. I've been training with him ever since.

In the late 80's I had the good fortune to meet Master Liang, Shou-Yu at one of his seminars. His knowledge of internal and external Gongfu styles and of Qigong is vast. Born into a martial arts family, Master Liang had the opportunity to meet many legendary grandmasters. Over the years, I had the opportunity to learn Xingyiquan (Hsing Yi Chuan), Baguazhang, and Chen Style Taijiquan from Master Liang. Also in one of these seminars, I was first introduced to Shan Shou Kuai Jiao. I was immediately fascinated with the effectiveness of the art and started to realize how important Shan Shou Kuai Jiao was to my martial arts training.

Although Master Liang is well known in many styles of Chinese martial arts in China and in North America, few people know that he is an expert in Chinese wrestling. In fact, during his adolescent years, Master Liang won many wrestling matches in private challenges and public competitions. During the political turmoil of the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976), Master Liang trained many farmer-students in Wushu and wrestling to defend their homes and villages.

The material in this book is a culmination of Master Liang's many years of extensive experience. I was responsible to help Master Liang translate, compile and write some basic theoretical information. But because of my inexperience in writing martial arts books, all my writing has been checked and corrected by Master Liang and my teacher Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.

When my teacher asked me if I could help Master Liang write this book, I hesitated because I knew it would be an important commitment, and also because of my limited understanding of the art. But with the encouragement of Master Liang and Dr. Yang, I gladly accepted the task. It is a great honor to help Master Liang introduce this exciting art to the public.

This book is the first book written in English to introduce the art of Shan Shou Kuai Jiao with complete traditional training methods. For those readers new to the art of Shan Shou Kuai Jiao, this book may serve as a thorough introduction to the art. In chapter 1, we will discuss the basic principles, basic requirements and training stages of the art. In chapter 2 and 3, we will introduce barehand and equipment training for body conditioning. In chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7, we will introduce different varieties of throwing methods. In chapter 8, we will introduce some basic ground control techniques.

Here I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to Master Liang, who believed in me and gave me the honor of helping him write this book, from which I have benefited the most by learning so much. Also, I would like to give special thanks to my teacher Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming for his encouragement, insight, and technical advice. Thanks to Al Arsenault for sharing his knowledge of ground fighting in chapter 8. Finally, thanks to Andrew Murray for helping to clarify my writing and for general editing.

Tai D. Ngo



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