San Shou
(Full-Contact Fighting)
San Shou

San Shou (Full-Contact Fighting)

San Shou, sometimes referred to as Sanda, is the international sport of Chinese full-contact fighting. As a competition format, it was created by the China National Sports Committee, with the first formal tournament held in 1982. Its rules and format differ from competitive sparring, which make for strategic differences in fighting. Some of the most important differences are: full-power strikes are allowed, as well as throws and takedowns, and protective gear covers the body. Points are awarded for strong hits and takedowns, and the winner is determined by either points or by knockout.

Since full-contact strikes are legal, striking power can determine the winner of a match. San Shou's less restrictive rules demand much more from the fighter: explosive power, solid defense, and both striking and throwing ability.

San Shou has evolved to the level of world-wide competition, with a rules set standardized by the International Wushu Federation. However, those rules are usually adapted for more local competitions.

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