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Old 12-01-2008, 11:54 AM   #1
Eric Lester
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Kung Fu San Soo

Hello, everyone. I have the opportunity to train Kung Fu San Soo at my gym. I have not trained martial arts in a few years and am considering it. However, I don't really know anything about the Chinese arts.

I was wondering if anyone has trained this and has an opinion on its usefulness.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:30 PM   #2
Becca Borawski
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

How "useful" any given martial art is depends on your goals. To be extreme in an example - if my goal is to be a stick fighter, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is not useful to me. If you want to be an MMA fighter, Kung Fu San Soo is not going to be useful for you. If I want to work on breathing and relaxation techniques, fluidity and flexibility, then Tai Chi is very useful. It's not useful if I want to work on gymnastics or cardio endurance.

What are your goals in studying martial arts?
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:07 PM   #3
Eric Lester
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

Point taken.
Self Defense is my first interest.
I would also like it if my martial arts training was an assistance to my fitness. I am not active at all except for CF, so some added conditioning would probably be good.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:56 PM   #4
Rafe Kelley
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

I am going to have to disagree with Becca. San soo is not really similar to traditional kung fu but is a live competive kick boxing sport as such its carry over to MMA should be fairly good though the disallowance of knee's and elbows make it probably inferior to Muay thai as a stand up base, they are are really good at mixing throws into their stand up though which could transfer over well to MMA.

Like Muay Thai its pretty good base for self defense as well however it is a sport and as such is not designed to focus on the most effective street strategies. In my opinion a good school that is truly self defense focused is the most difficult thing to find. I hear good things about Krav Maga but have never trained it myself. Look for school that teaches live that hits all areas of combat and adresses things like fighting without gloves(how not to break your hand), that trains for ambushes, how to utilize eye gouges, bites, weapons etc.
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:32 PM   #5
Becca Borawski
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

I think the key thing in what you're saying, Rafe, is that it's going to differ between schools and instructors. My exposure to Kung Fu San Soo was not as "live" a training scenario as what you described. I'm sure it varies a lot from school to school, just like kickboxing or anything else does, and like you addressed as far as self defense also.

It's my opinion that MOST martial arts school are not teaching real self defense. There's nothing wrong with what they teach at all, just so long as you know it's not practical self defense.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:16 PM   #6
Robert Martinez
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe Kelley View Post
I am going to have to disagree with Becca. San soo is not really similar to traditional kung fu but is a live competive kick boxing sport as such its carry over to MMA should be fairly good though the disallowance of knee's and elbows make it probably inferior to Muay thai as a stand up base, they are are really good at mixing throws into their stand up though which could transfer over well to MMA.
I wonder if maybe there might different factions of this particular art. ok.. that was slightly sarcastic on my part, but hey, it's who I am..

The San Soo school I was aware of in Denver a few years back was nothing like what you're describing. They taught functional movements for self defense, and prohibited their students from competing in MMA or tournaments. They used knees and elbows as much or more than kickboxers I knew, but always with practiced forms. (I seem to recall they were called 'Fut Ga's'. (FOOT- GAA).

I thought it was a great exercise in muscle control and patience, but until one got several months, or years, of practice in, you were as likely to hurt yourself as anyone else if it came to a street fight.

But that can be true of Taekwon do too. lol.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:17 AM   #7
Eric Lester
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

Thanks for the input everyone. I believe I remember reading in their information that they either don't allow or don't encourage tournament fighting, like what Robert is saying. They claim that their art is "too dangerous" (good for marketing whether true or not, I suppose).

I may give it a go for a few weeks. Nothing to lose right?
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
Rafe Kelley
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

Hmm seems like San soo is not the same as San Shou also called Sanda which is competive kick boxing sport never mind I don't know anything abou San soo. Ask them about sparring if the don't spar or you have to train forever to get the point the allow you to spar forget it.

Here are some San shou highlights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcnT3Mx-ZTU ws/fs at least so far as guys kicking and punching each other can be. Cung Lee san shou based MMA fighter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSXWW...eature=related ws/fs

I agree with you becca I have yet to find a school in my area that was truly focused on self defense, so far just sport or art people. I choose the sport route and just try to remember its sport and what might change is geniune self defense situation.

Last edited by Rafe Kelley : 12-05-2008 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:07 PM   #9
Justin Rovtar
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

I took San Soo many years ago. The version I learned was awesome. Great for the streets, not so great for competition. It was aggressive and meant to destroy. I would recommend it.

Then I learned about Krav Maga. It is by far one of the best systems for all around fighting and self defense. It is relatively easy to learn and apply. It too is very aggressive and effective.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:17 AM   #10
Cody Harding
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Re: Kung Fu San Soo

I have trained in traditional Kung Fu for 2 years now, and Sanda for the last few months. One thing I can say about Kung Fu is it is a very general name given to hundreds of styles borne out of China. From Hung Gar to Tai Chi it is hard to say where the reality self defense starts and the internal arts end. The style of Kung Fu in which I train works well in street environments, Groin strikes, eye gouging, and basic striking are the root of the style. We do practice traditional forms and conditioning, as well as breathing techniques but there is no doubt in my mind these techniques were just as effective a thousand years ago as they are now.
Sanda has been an exciting experience for me as of late. Heavy conditioning and technical work are the core of this system. In a competitin sense it has the most exciting elements of combat (in my opinion) including striking and throwing. I think of it as Kickboxing meets Judo/wrestling. Not only is it fun but it improves your level of fitness, but may not be optimally ideal for the street. My advice to you is to seek out all info of the club you intend to join, it could be the biggest decision of your life...
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