KICK                                       PUNCH                                      THROW


    San Shou / San Da literally means scattering hands/arms or scattering / unbound strikes, and refers to free combat. Lei Tai is the old name referring to the platform it is fought on. Originally a win could be achieved by knocking the opponent off the stage, nowadays this has changed to a 3 point score, a platform without ropes or edges forces the fighter to 'stand his ground' or else learn to move extremely quickly and sharply, perilous edges exist in real fighting - walls, drops, terrain. San Shou tries to simulate these factors. Scores can be obtained through striking or cleanly felling an opponent or landing on top of him after a throw, or by using sacrifice techniques, however the 3 second wrestling rule still applies and prolonged stand up or ground entanglements are broken up. Originally Lei Tai fighting could include weapons, think of the kung fu movie "Fearless", so the reasons behind discouraging protracted engagements with a single, possibly armed, individual become evident.

Today in general San Shou refers to amateur fighting - head gear, no elbows or knees, and San Da - pro-rules no head gear, and elbows/ knees allowed.

San Shous 4 characteristics compose of:

Die Pu: Striking (kicks, punches, elbows, Knees etc.)

Shuai Jaoi: Throwing / Wrestling

Chin Na: (Seize / Hold) Joint Locks, grips and twists etc.

Dim Mak: 'Spotting' Point / Pressure Strikes, Regardless of popular belief this is not about crouching tiger/ hidden ropes, nor does it simply involve striking. It more correctly refers to targeting and the application of pressure to areas that enhance the effect of techniques. These targets should not be 'out of the way' but natural and efficient. This pressure need not be applied by the fingers nor even the arms, get the idea?

Today the main bodies responsible for san shou competition are the IWUF, IKF and IMAF.