The purpose of writing this book is to introduce a Kung Fu (Chinese martial arts) style new to the Western world, even though it is the oldest of all Kung Fu styles. According to historical records, Shuai Chiao is more than three thousand years old, whereas, according to legend, Shuai Chiao was the first Kung Fu form applied in battles between tribes.
Today it is still a popular national sport in both Mainland China and Taiwan. In Taiwan both the military and police colleges require its study.
The longevity and popularity of Shuai Chiao is not only due to its value and effectiveness as a martial art, but also because the system is complete and actual, fullfledged competition is possible without injury. This is because Shuai Chiao rules of competition were developed and refined to permit real fighting and a true martial spirit, but prevent the employing of the most dangerous techniques. Consequently, the student learns and practices the full range of Shuai Chiao techniques, but only the most dangerous are barred from tournaments to prevent serious injury.
In the old days, Chinese Kung Fu was divided into four main categories, i.e., empty fist, weapons, archery and Shuai Chiao. There are four major styles of Shuai Chiao still popular, namely, Mongolian, Peking, T'ientsin and Pao-ting. The author learned Shuai Chiao from Master Ch'ang Tung-sheng. Master Ch'ang became well-known in Northern China at the age of nineteen. He was many times national champion of all China.
The author is attempting to introduce this system and art to the West and hoping to preserve this ancient treasure. In order to promote the art quickly, efficiently and correctly, this book was written one year after the author's arrival in this country. This was possible because most of the material was gathered during the author's previous coaching experience and research at the police and military colleges, and his career as an assistant to his teacher, Master Ch'ang.
Because Shuai Chiao is so new to the West, and since there are very few qualified teachers, this book was finished as quickly as possible so that the public could acquire an understanding of the basics of this art. The nationwide Shuai Chiao organization, American Shuai Chiao Association, has sanctioned this book as a teaching text. However, it should not be considered a total coverage of the complete art. Nevertheless, the utmost care was taken to maintain quality, authenticity, and a completeness of the basics. Ideally, this book should be used in conjunction with the instruction of a qualified teacher. Many activities and clinics are planned by I.S.C.A. Write to the association to see what activities are planned for your area.
Northern Dynasties (A.D. 420-581) Shuai Chiao wall paintings from Chi-iin Province.
The Chinese martial arts are mistakenly divided into internal and external styles. If this is true, Shuai Chiao includes both. The principles of most throws are similar to those of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, representative of internal systems. Also Shuai Chiao includes grabbing, striking, kicking, etc., and in this respect can be considered similar to some external styles, i.e., Pa Chi and Shao Lin. There is a traditional saying in the Chinese martial arts: "If there is distance, punch or kick; if too close, then use throwing technique." If one wants to learn the whole of the real martial arts, his art is incomplete with only punches and kicks and no throws and falls. Shuai Chiao is the only Kung Fu system that can be used in tournaments safely, objectively and in its totality so that one's true skill can actually be determined and tested. It is also a perfect physical education item.
Was this article helpful?