Pulling On Weighted Pulleys

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Make a triangular frame from three poles and attach a pulley at the top. Dig a hole beneath the frame, and vertical to the pulley tie a rope to a large stone. String the rope over the pulley and stand about six feet away holding an end of the rope in each hand. Standing in a horse-riding stance, pull alternately with each arm lifting the stone.

There are other valuable training methods to be sure. But these few traditional methods should prove to be quite sufficient and beneficial. One who diligently practices these should definitely prove to be a very worthwhile opponent.

Figure C7


Because so much of Shuai Chiao training and technique involves throwing, the knowledge of how to fall properly is essential. Proper falling technique helps prevent injury. In order to be good at Shuai Chiao, one must also become so adept at falling that to fall from any position safely is second nature.

The quality of falling reflects the student's level of ability. It indicates the student's sense of direction, body awareness, timing, acuteness of response and reaction, sensitivity, alertness, quickness, and flexibility.

Traditional Shuai Chiao failing involves three basic underlying principles. The first principle is to make the torso round and relaxed. The idea is to make the body round as though it were a soft ball. It moves in a circular route. For example, if a square box were dropped down a slope, it would not roll smoothly. Instead it would bang on each corner and by the time it stopped, the box would be quite damaged. However, if a round ball were rolled down the slope, it would just roll and roll and stop undamaged. The second principle is to use the side of the body for contact with the ground to prevent injury to the spinal column and internal organs. The third principle is to always protect the head, knees, and ankles while landing on your side.

The Shuai Chiao falling method is slightly different that the more widely known method of "ukemi" from Judo. The traditional falling position is the following: (A) lie on one side, (B) pull up the legs while bending at the waist and the knees (C) keep the two fists behind the head, one on each side, but not clutching each other, with the forearms protecting the head and elbows just before the face, (D) tuck the chin so that it touches the chest, and keep the eyes focused on the stomach, (E) keep the knees and ankles slightly aside each other so that they do not hit each other on impact but otherwise keep the legs together to protect the groin. The primary points of impact are the shoulder and hip (Fig. 1).

There are certain situations when you cannot roll to one side before hitting the ground. For example, when you are falling face-first straight down. In that case let the outstretched palms and forearms form a flat surface to strike the ground together. Be sure to cushion the shock with your arching torso and shoulder joints. Do not allow any other part of your body to touch the ground. Keep your head up or turn it to one side. One can practice this by kneeling and then by standing and just falling forward (Figs. 2 and 3).

Figure 3

There are two basic ways to practice falls. The first is a step-by-step method. First practice torso rolling in order to make yourself accustomed to roundness. Roll forward and backward (Figs. 4 and 5). Strive for maximum smoothness and try to avoid hard bumps or rough edges.

Figure 4

Next, add waist-turning when going backwards so that instead of going straight over the spine, you land on one side {Figs 6 and 7). From now on always land on one side or the other.

Figure 6
Figure 10

Then practice from a squatting position. Stick out one leg in front and then roll backward and land on your side (Figs. 8, 9 and 10). Then practice from a standing position. First stand, then lower yourself to a squatting position, and follow the above procedure. As you become more proficient, gradually increase your speed. Pairs of people can practice this technique. Face each other and hold hands. Then lower yourselves together and simultaneously let go and follow the falling procedure (Figs. 11-14).

Figure 14

Another method of solo practice is to lie on your back, roll onto your shoulders while raising your legs straight up high in the air. Then fall to each side. This practice accustoms you to pivoting your waist while still in the air to ensure that you land on your side (Figs. 15, 16 and 17).

Figure 15

Figure 16

Figure 18

Figure 19

Figure 16

Figure 19

Figure 20

The other basic method of falling practice is forward rolling. Place your feet parallel to each other, keeping them at shoulder width. Then take a half-step forward with one foot. If you step forward with your right foot, place your left hand in front of your left foot, just a little ahead of where you placed your right foot, so that the hand and two feet form a triangle. The hand points to the right, perpendicular to the pointing of the feet. Keep your right arm rounded and place it along the centerline of your body, with the elbow pointing forward, and the fingers pointing backward with the little finger touching the ground. Then roll yourself straight forward, keeping the right arm curcularly taut, rolling over from the little finger, over the wrist, elbow, shoulder, diagonally across the back to the left hip. Hold your head immediately (Figs. 18-20).

When you become comfortable doing this then try it from walking, then running, then diving, and then leaping over some obstacle. Make sure you practice both sides. The procedure is the same, only switch right for left. This type of rolling practice is very important. Although at first it may seem difficult and uncomfortable, after just a little diligent practice it should become very easy. However, it cannot be stressed enough that the student should make sure he can fall properly because this greatly reduces the chance of injury later on.

General recommendation: Do not practice these falling techniques without a teacher. When practicing forward rolling do not collapse the forward arm. Keep it stiff but slightly bent to maintain the shape of a wheel. Always keep the chin tucked on the chest with the eyes focused on the stomach.


Warm-up exercises are an integral part of every workout. Because Shuai Chiao is exhausting and demanding on every joint of the body, it is suggested that the artist warm-up for at least twenty minutes before beginning every workout. The warm-ups help prepare the body and the mind for the more strenuous practice to follow. If one omits warming up before practice, the likelihood of injury is greatly increased. This is so not only because the muscles are cold and tight, but also because the mind is not so keenly intent.

The following exercises are some of the traditional warm-ups, along with some modified solo forms to help prepare for later techniques. This brings the dual reward of limbering the body and practicing the actual techniques that are special to Shuai Chiao.

Each of these exercises can be practiced in eight counts so that they are rhythmic and easy to remember. The procedure is to loosen from the top of the body down. It is not mandatory to do just these exercises, or all of these exercises each time. But one should make sure to loosen all parts of the body.

(1) Neck rotation: rotate both clockwise and counterclockwise. Also side-to-side and front-to-back.

(2) Shoulder exercise: done from the bow-and-arrow stance. When pulling arms back, really squeeze them, (a, b, c)

(3) Stretching to each side.

(4) Hooking and hanging: it can be done one hand at a time or with both hands simultaneously, (a, b, c, d)

(6) Waist stretching with diagonal striking, (a, b, c, d)

(7) Peacock stretch: make sure that both feet point inward and are parallel to each other, and the full sole of the foot remains on the ground.

(8) Bending forward: grab the heels and keep the knees straight. Do not jerk violently, but relax and keep easing down more. The longer you can hold the position, the better.

(9) Front and side leg stretch: same principles as above. These are very important and beneficial, (a, b)

(10) Forward snap kick.

(11) Knee lifting: lift knee as high as possible while twisting the waist to that side.

(12) Back hook: reach as high as possible with the sole of the foot facing up.

(13) Forward leg kick (straight leg).

(14) Crescent (lotus) kicks: do both from inside out and from outside in. (a, b)

(15) Front corner backward cutting: cut leg backward with the heel facing up, twist waist while diagonal strike with the opposite hand.

(16) Swing leg back: kick forward while squatting, then swing leg backward and up as high as possible. (a, b, c)

(17) Parallel hooking: hook leg in backward semicircle parallel to the ground.

(18) Leg floating: coil both shins as if floating in the air.

(19) Knee rotation: squat and rotate clockwise and counterclockwise with knees together.

(20) Squatting: squat down, standing on the toes.

(See respective figures.)

Figure 2b

Figure 2c

Figure 4a

Figure 4b

Figure 4b

Figure 9c Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 10

Figure 10

Figure 9a

Figure 12

Figure 14b
Figure 13

Figure 15

Figure 15

by Matt Mollica Secretary General,

United States Shuai-chiao Association

Since 1979, when Fundamentals of Shuai-chiao was first written and compiled, the art has gained a strong foothold in the United States.

In 1980, Grandmaster Ch'ang Tung-sheng arrived from Taiwan, R.O. C., and began promoting the art of Shuai-chiao by traveling and giving demonstrations and workshops to Kung Fu organizations, police departments, and universities. Grandmaster Ch'ang and the author demonstrated Shuai-chiao for the first time in the United States on May 3, 1980.

Grand master Ch'ang developed a standardized system of ranking, certified judges, registered black belt instructors, and internationally accepted tournament rules. This information is contained in the U-nited States Shuai-chiao Association Handbook which is distributed to all members.

Grandmaster Ch'ang and Shuai-chiao were the focus of an international scale Kung Fu exhibition which was held in the fall of 1983 in San Francisco. The exhibition featured performances by the Grandmaster himself, as well as the author and such well known Kung Fu masters as Adam Hsu, Brendan Lai, John Wang, Y.C. Wong, Lai Hung, Y.C. Chian, Tat-mou Wong, Sean Kao, George Xu, and the Uni

Founders of the A.S.C.A. (i-r) Will Chan, C. Daniel Weng, Adam Hsu, Fred Wu, Hsing-peng Jeng, and Felix Jih. American Shuai Chiao Academy, Cleveland, May 26, 1979.

Shuai Chiao demonstration given at KimptonJr. High, Stow, Ohio, May 26,. 1979.

Founders of the A.S.C.A. (i-r) Will Chan, C. Daniel Weng, Adam Hsu, Fred Wu, Hsing-peng Jeng, and Felix Jih. American Shuai Chiao Academy, Cleveland, May 26, 1979.

Shuai Chiao demonstration given at KimptonJr. High, Stow, Ohio, May 26,. 1979.

versity of Texas and Ohio State University's Shuai-chiao teams. Ch'ang presided over four United States national tournaments including teams from California, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

The author, Master Chi-hsiu D. Weng, was officially promoted by Grandmaster Ch'ang to the level of 6th degree Black belt on October 30, 1982 and later to 7th degree Black belt August 8, 1985. Master Weng was appointed to serve as Chairman of the I.S.C.A.'s Teaching Standardization Committee, and Tournament Committee. The AAU selected Master Weng as a member of their Kung Fu Committee in February of 1984.

The unexpected death of Grandmaster Ch'ang on June 18, 1986 left the world with many unanswered questions about Shuai chiao. With his passing, he took with him many secrets that have yet to be discovered by those who practice the art.

However, Grandmaster Ch'ang did leave some documented works that are currently being used by some major universities and many Shuai-chiao organizations in their curriculum such as the standardized belt rank system that has been adopted by the U.S.S.A.; instructional videos and books; and the poem of Shuai-chiao. This 30 character poem, which contains the essence of the Pao-ting style of Shuai-chiao, has passed on through generations and is now the central core by which the true spirit of Shuai-chiao perpetuates.

Master Hsing-peng Jeng and the author demonstrate at Stow, Ohio, 1979.

Grand Master Ch'ang with the author (who was then representing the A.S.C.A. Cleveland branch) at sisterhood ceremony.

The "Flying Butterfly," King ofShuai Chiao, Grand Master Ch'ang Tung-sheng with the author after their Shuai Chiao debut public demonstration in America, Stow, Ohio, May 3, 1980. (photo by Margaret Newman)

Grand Master Ch'ang Tung-sheng and the author demonstrate Shuai Chiao for the first time in public in the United States, May 3, 1980.

\ Embracing
Harmonious Hand

Responding to applause.

After the Demonstration at Stow, Ohio.

Demonstration given by Grand Master Ch'ang and the author, Pick Congress Hotel, Chicago, July 26, 1981. (photo by Fred Hernandez)

Meeting the students before giving a Shuai Chiao clinic at the American Shuai Chiao Academy, Cleveland, May 1981 (Mother's Day).

Giving lecture before the action.

Showing a way of controlling.

Showing a way of controlling.

Couple Silhouette Images

Showing a Shuai Chiao basic form "cracking.

Correcting David Dance's Shuai Chiao training posture "Leaning-forward-to-search-for-the-sea. "

Showing a Shuai Chiao basic form "cracking.

Correcting David Dance's Shuai Chiao training posture "Leaning-forward-to-search-for-the-sea. "

Showing the importance of landing in a right way. Correcting Marc Nance's landing posture.

With the establishment of the I.S.C.A., Grandmaster Ch'ang (President) developed a standardized system of ranking, certified judges, registered black belt instructors, and internationally acceptable tournament rules. This information is contained in the I.S.C.A.'s Official Handbook which can be purchased by writing to the Ho-i Martial Arts Academy.

The American Shuai Chiao Association, as a result of the growth and development of the I.S.C.A., has merged with the larger, international organization. The author, Master Daniel Weng, was officially promoted by Grandmaster Ch'ang to the level of 6th Degree Black Belt on October 30,1982. Master Weng was also appointed to serve as Chairman of the I.S.C.A.'s Teaching Standardization Committee, and Tournament Committee. The AAU selected Master Weng as a member of their Kung Fu Committee in February of 1984.

The Legendary Flying Butterfly, Grand Master Ch'ang Tung-sheng, watches the author displaying a figure of the Leg Tangling Throw from the Ming Dynasty, now posessed by Grand Master Ch'ang—Shuai Chiao Clinic, Larkins Hall, The Ohio State University, April 16, 1981.

Embracing Throw.

Grand Master Ch'ang countering the author's attack in the 1983 Shuai Chiao and Kung Fu Exhibition—University of San Francisco, October 29. (As seen in Chinese newspaper—Chung-pao, October 31, 1983). See next page.

The author demonstrating the Leading Arm Kick Throw with Mark Milter, former President of The Ohio State University Shuai Chiao/Kung Fu Club, in the 1983 Shuai Chiao and Kung Fu Exhibition—San Francisco, October 29.

Shuai-chiao in the United States Today by Jan-Yu Weng, President of U.S. S. A.

After the death of Grandmaster Ch' ang, his followers separated and formed different organizations. Dr. Weng formed the United States Shuai-chiao Association in 1987. In 1992 the U.S. S.A. took a team representing the U.S.A. to Paris, France and won the Team championship. Three years later, Team U. S. A. returned to place second only behind the China. Since then, USSA sponsored tournaments have appeared all over in major tournaments such as Tat-Mou Wong's International Tournament, AAU National Kungfu, The Great Lakes Tournament, Martial Arts Extravaganza, and The Chinese American Athletic Tournament of the Bay Area which has been designated as the national tournament for the USSA.

The USSA has maintained the standardized belt ranking system and Poem of Shuai-chiao passed on by Grandmaster Ch * ang.

The USSA has also taken an active role in San-shou tournaments with many members joining and winning. Shuai-chiao athletes have been able to show the effectiveness of Shuai-chiao in the full contact tournament even despite being allowed only 2 seconds to throw an opponent.

Currently the USSA has over twelve branch holders and fourteen affiliates all over nationally and internationally. Certain goals of the USSA are to preserve the art of Shuai-chiao as passed down by Grandmaster Ch'ang, and promote Shuai-chiao in universities and public schools both nationally and internationally.

Despite the different organizations nationally and internationally, the USSA maintains its goal to grow in strength and numbers as a legitimate organization by conducting • teaching certification seminars, black belt clinics, ranking tournaments. It is only through this that Shuai-chiao can maintain the integrity that it deserves.

As we go on to the next era in Shuai-chiao, we must work together as mutual practitioners of Shuai-chiao. We must remember that Shuai-chiao isn't just throws and forms but a philosophical way of combat that is dynamic and adaptive to surroundings. With that in mind, it is important to understand that Shuai-chiao cannot simply be explained with words but with the poem and the interpretations of the practitioner who understands it.

Finally, The span of Shuai-chiao practice is beyond its techniques. It is the origin that all Chinese martial arts comes from and will continue to be the framework in the context of Wushu.

Photo of a Shuai-chiao throw embodied with Tai-chi-ch'uan, from the book "Ch'ang Style T'ai-chi-ch'uan", by Dr. Daniel Weng.

For more information see www.shuai-chiao.org

List of United States Shuai-chiao Association Major Events

December 1992 US Shuai-chiao Champion Team First International Shuai-chiao

Competition, Mayor's Cup, Paris, France. January 1995 U. S. Shuai-chiao Team 3rd International Shuai-chiao Competition

Mayor's Cup, Paris, France. December 1998 U.S. Shuai-chiao Team takes Third place in First Beijing

International Shuaijiao Championship October 1999 Dr. Weng throws his son Jan-yu Weng on the cover of Black Belt magazine and has an excellent featured article on Shuai-chiao. April 2000 Creation of the Pan-American Shuai-chiao Federation that include the countries of the United States of America, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Venezuela. May 2000 Dr. Weng has the Essence of Tai-chi Video part one & two and poster based on his creation of the Tai-chi Monkey Story covering the Principle Tai-chi techniques with self-defense applications produced by T. C. Media.

Suggested Readings

1. "Shuai Jiao for Full Contact Sparring," Wushu Kungfu, spring 1992, pp.26-28.

2. "Shuai-chiao Form, Wushu Master, Spring 1992, pp.38-49."

3. "Shuai-chiao Fighting Techniques", Wushu Master, Summer 1992, pp.5-12.

4. "Shuai-chiao Hidden Techniques", Wushu Kungfu, Fall 1992, pp.23-26.

5. "Shuai-chiao Infighting Techniques", Wushu Kungfu, Winter 1992, pp.49-51.

6. "Shuai-chiao: Fighting Art or Popular Sport?" Wushu Kungfu, Spring 1993, p. 11-13.

7. "Shuai-chiao Infighting Part 3" Wushu Kungfu, Summer 1993, pp.26-29.

8. 7A. "1st International Shuai-chiao Tournament in Parisl", Wushu Kungfu, Summer 1993, p30-32.

9. "infighting Shuai-chiao Part 4", Wushu Kungfu, Fall 1993, pp4-6.

10. "The Growth of Shuai-chiao-lnfighting Hand Techniques #5", Wushu Kungfu, winter pp. 14-17.

11. "The Modern shuai-chiao Ranking System", Wushu Kungfu, 1994, pp.65-67.

12. "The Poem of Shuai-chiao Unveiled", wushu Kungfu, 1994, pp.28-31 (Dr. Weng & Jan on cover)

13. "Taiji and Chin-na: Analysis for Fighting", Kungfu Wushu-Gigong, February 2000, pp.36-40.

Black Belt magazine

"Chang Dung Sheng: The Butterfly that can Kill, Black belt, July 1983, pp.20-26 (Grandmaster Chang on the cover)

"Scotch Tape Kung Fu", Black Belt, March 1986, pp.86-89

"Four Blades of Shuai-chiao", October 1999, Black Belt, October 1999, pp. 32-40 (Dr. Weng and Jan-yu Weng on the cover)

Inside Kung-fu

"Shuai-chiao.. .The Oldest Style of Kung-fu", inside Kungfu, March 1977, pp.22-24. Foreign

Italy "Shuai-chiao Lotta Chinese", Kungfu Magazine, February 95, pp.46-47 briazil "Shuai-chiao" TECNICA 1999, pp. 12-14.


ORDER FORM on Works by Dr. Daniel Weng



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1. Fundamentals of Shuai-Chiao $ 21.95 The Ancient Fighting Art Textbook

2. Fundamentals of Shuai-Chiao $49.95 The Ancient Fighting Art

Companion Videotape (50 min)

3. Ch'ang Style T'ai-Chi-Ch'uan $ 18.95 Modified Short Form Textbook

4. Ch'ang Style T'ai-Chi-Ch'uan $44.95 Modified Short Form VHS

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5. The Essence of Practical T'ai-Chi Vol. 1 $29.95 Movements Unit 1-6 VHS Videotape (55 min.)

___6. The Essence of Practical T'ai-Chi Vol.2 $ 29.95

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