A New Sport - An Introduction on Wushu Sanshou

By Howie Leung

Wushu Sanshou is set to burst out of the blocks to become part of the 2008 Summer Olympics,especially now that Beijing has been selected as the hosting city. But what is it? Wushu Sanshou is the practical applications of Wushu (Chinese Martial Arts). It incorporates the four main categories of fighting: Ti (kicking), Da (striking), Shuai (wrestling), and Na (grappling). In Wushu Sanshou fighters develop the ability to defend themselves at both short range and far range attacks in a real combat situation. However, what sets this martial art apart from others is that individual technique is based upon the applications hidden within the beauty of traditional Wushu forms a fighter knows. In essence, Wushu Sanshou creates the complete martial artist: agile, powerful, and balanced in forms, yet devastatingly accurate with his/her applications.

So What Are the Rules?

Wushu Sanshou is fought on a raised platform called a leitai. The participants try to score points through the first three categories of form: striking, kicking, wrestling. The fourth category of shuai is not used for two reasons. First, the dangers of joint dislocation, tendon shearing, and ligament damage are very common if applied in competition. Secondly, participants are required to wear closed gloves, preventing the use of fingers during the match. Matches are fought in rounds of two minutes, with the maximum of three rounds being fought in each bout.

As it stands, Wushu Sanshou may become the next most popular combat sport upon entry to the internation Olympics.Whether training for self-defense or for competition, it will definitely offer another means for martial artist to prove their ability and gain honor for their schools.