ABOUT SHUAI CHIAO
More About Shuai Chiao
Shuai Chiao is the oldest Chinese bare-handed
fighting style which incorporates the principles of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
Shuia-Chiao emerged around 2,000 years ago. It
was originally taught only to the military elite. Starting in the
Ch'in Dynasty, Shuai-Chiao was demonstrated in tournaments for
the Imperial court. During the Ching Dynasty, China maintained
a camp of 300 full time fighters who trained for competition with
China's allies. Today, Shuai-Chiao is still taught primarily to
the military and police in China and Taiwan. Shuai-Chiao is a Northern
Chinese martial art that was not well known in the south until
Shuai-Chiao was introduced to the United States
in 1978 by Dr. Chi-Hsiu
Daniel Weng. Dr. Weng started martial arts training at age 11,
beginning with judo. After achieving second degree black belt in
judo, he began study of Shuai-Chiao from Grandmaster Ch'ang Tung-Sheng.
Dr. Weng spent 20 years studying Shuai-Chiao with Grandmaster Chang,
including 10 years as Shuai-Chiao instructor at the Taiwan Central
Police College. Dr. Weng is an 8th degree black belt in Shuai-Chiao,
and is president of the U.S. Shuai-Chiao Association.
There has been a large growth of interest and
participation in Shuai-Chiao during the past several years. Major
Chinese martial arts tournaments now include Shuai-Chiao divisions.
Shuai-Chiao fighters have also competed successfully in San Shou
(full contact fighting) competition. The five-man U.S. full contact
team sent to the 2nd World Wushu Championships included three Shuai-Chiao
Shuai-Chiao integrates striking, kicking, throwing,
tripping, grappling, joint locking, and escaping methods. Shuai-Chiao
fighting principles are based on T'ai Chi Ch'uan, but techniques
are applied with more force. There are 30 theoretical principles
of Shuai-Chiao; the six major principles are: absorbing, mixing,
squatting, hopping, turning, and encircling.
Shuai-Chiao fighting strategy emphasizes maintaining
balance and controlling the opponent. Tactics emphasize throwing
the opponent while maintain a joint lock, then following with a
vital point strike. There are 36 major throws in the system, with
3600 combinations. Shuai-Chiao is notable for joint attacks and
Shuai-Chiao has a belt ranking system. The succession
of belts is: white, green, green-blue, blue 1, blue 2, blue 3,
black. There are ten degrees of black belt. The 10th degree is
reserved for the founder of the lineage, the late Grandmaster Ch'ang
Tung-Sheng. There are currently no holders of 9th degree black
Competition is similar to actual combat, except
that strikes and kicks are allowed only in conjunction with a throw.
Also, joint attacks are discouraged. Match is three falls. Point
is awarded upon completion of the throw with control maintained
over opponent. There is no pinning nor submission holds in Shuai-Chiao
competition; in actual combat the throw would be followed by a
finishing strike. Victory in tournament competition is required
for advancement to blue belt and above.
There are a dozen stationary training
stances to train strength and flexibility. Twenty moving forms
train the position and footwork used in approaching, joint locking
and throwing. Wushu high kicking exercises train leg strength and
flexibility. The kicks most often used in Shuai-Chiao fighting
are low kicks and sweeps. Unique to Shuai-Chiao is "belt cracking",
which uses the uses the uniform belt in exercises that train strength
and proper position. Throws are practiced in exercises with a partner,
then in sparring. Sparring is practiced at all levels, as soon
as the student has mastered breakfalls. A typical class consists
of stretching exercises, Wushu kicking, forms practice, throwing
and breakfalls, and sparring.
Shuai-Chiao styles are categorized by region.
The four major regional styles are Mongolian, Peking, T'ientsin,
and Pao-ting. The USSA teaches the Pao-ting style.