Sanda or Sanshou is a Chinese self-defense system and combat sport. Sanshou is a martial art which was originally developed by the Chinese military based upon the study and practices of traditional Kung fu and modern combat fighting techniques; it combines full-contact kickboxing, which include close range and rapid successive punches and kicks, with wrestling, takedowns, throws, sweeps, kick catches, and in some competitions, even elbow and knee strikes.

Not seen as a style itself, rather it is considered as just one of the two components of Chinese martial arts training and is often taught alongside with taolu (forms) training. However, as part of the development of Kung Fu the Chinese government, a standard curriculum for sanshou was developed. It is to this standard curriculum that the term “Sanshou” is usually applied.

This curriculum was developed with reference to traditional Chinese Kung Fu. This general Sanshou curriculum varies in its different forms, as the Chinese government developed a version for civilians for self-defense and as a sport.

The generalised modern curriculum practiced in modern Kung Fu schools are composed of different traditional Kung Fu fighting styles from China, but mainly based on scientific efficiency. Sanshou is composed of Chinese Kung Fu applications including most aspects of combat including striking and grappling, however when Sanshou was developed as a sport, restrictions were made for safety reasons as well as to promote it as a non-violent sport. Examples of such restrictions included no blows delivered to the back of the head, throat, spine or groin and the discontinuation of the combat when any of the fighters fall to the ground. However many schools, whether traditional or modern, practice it as an all round martial arts system with no restrictions, only adapting their training in relation to competition rules prior to the event.

Sanshou’s competitive history involved barehanded or allowing fights in which no rules existed. However, even sanshou as a competitive event developed in the military as these bouts were commonly held between the soldiers to test and practice barehanded martial skills, ability and techniques. Rules were developed and the use of protective gloves etc. was adopted.

One can see Sanshou as a synthesis of traditional Chinese fighting techniques into a more amorphous system and is commonly taught alongside traditional Chinese styles which Sanshou techniques, theory and training methods are derived from. The emphasis of Sanshou is on realistic fighting ability.

Read More
  • Meditation and Mindfulness workshop in Solent University
    Shifu Shi Yan Ming and his disciple Martine Niven visited Solent University to give a lecture and workshop in Meditation and Mindfulness. 13 participants found their way into the Spark, The Pod, Southampton Solent University. All participants learned relaxing Methods and Qi Gong techniques. In order to help induce relaxation and concentration a singing bowl […]
  • Collaboration with Solent University
    We are thrilled to announce UK Shaolin Temple’s formal collaboration with Solent University based in Southampton, an industry focused University with a strong reputation for sports, maritime, business and creative industries. Solent and UK Shaolin Temple are collaborating on a number of exciting and innovative projects. We are working closely with Solent students and staff […]
  • Opportunity China summer workshop
    Over the summer holidays the UK Shaolin Temple partnered with Opportunity China. Opportunity China offers an array of events including University visits, specialist webinars, online workshops, and pre-departure training events for teachers heading to China. The focus is on providing teachers and kung fu instructors with a successful toolkit for summer school programmes and enhance […]
  • Lion Dance for a Charity Fundraising
    UK Shaolin Temple performed at a charity fundraiser today for the Pink Champagne Breast Cancer Awareness Charity. Their event was held in beautiful Hengistbury Head. The lion dance included a Xing Long ceremony, which animates the dragon boat with a living spirit. We inaugurated the group's twin dragon boats with the help of the Charity's […]
  • Chan and the Art of Cleaning – Why we clean after every class in our temple
    At the end of each session your Shifu/Teacher will ask you to, collectively as a group, clean your training environment. This will take a few minutes at the end of each session. You may be asked to sweep the floor or clean a shelf or maybe even to put back some equipment to its correct […]
  • Annual UK Shaolin Temple Summer Camp is back
    The UK Shaolin Temple is very excited to announce that this year's annual Summer Camp will be in cooperation with Solent University Southampton. Shifu Shi Yanmin and his disciple Shifu Chen Miaoshan (Martine Niven) have come up with an exciting training and activity plan. Just as they train in the Shaolin […]

What’s On

  1. Feng Mo Gun / Demon Whirl Wind Stick

    6th November 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 29th January 2019 @ 6:30 pm
  2. Christmas Party 2018

    December 15 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  3. qigong

    Qi Gong for Healing

    27th January 2019 @ 9:30 am - 7:00 pm