San Soo

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San Soo was not created or taught as a tournament sport, but practitioners commonly incorporate forms of limited sparring. Kung Fu San Soo does not attempt to emulate the motions of animals with elaborate forms. The basic premise of San Soo is there are no rules in a fight, so the style is techniques oriented to remove a threat as quickly as possible through the seizing the initiative and keeping the opponent off balance. Like many martial arts, San Soo can be used by smaller or weaker persons against larger or stronger assailants by utilizing technique and knowledge of reaction to make up for a lack of strength.

Techniques in San Soo are made up of Chin Na leverages, throwing, choking, joint-locking, strangling, strikes, and quick takedowns[5]. Targets include the eyes, nose, throat, base of the skull, neck, liver, spleen, kidneys, groin, and knees, and for this reason, most San Soo practitioners do not engage in full contact no-rules fighting. Techniques are commonly practiced in unrehearsed ‘freestyle workout’ sessions with carefully controlled contact. San Soo practitioners claim this method of training builds an automatic and flexible response in much the same way we learn language a few words at a time until we have full and versatile vocabularies. Training methods, historic interpretations, and modifications exist from school to school among the modern descendants of San Soo.

San Soo also incorporates training with the use of many traditional Chinese weapons. These include the staff (5′, 7′ and 9′), broadsword, hooking or ripping swords, butterfly swords, three-section staff, tai-chi sword, knife, spear, kwon do, chas and chain. The baton, not a traditional Chinese weapon, was a weapon that Jimmy Woo specialized in and incorporated into the art.


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