Discovery Channel-ish documentary from CCTV International on the history of shuai jiao:
Very interesting. It shows just how the lines between performance and combat are blurred when discussing historical martial arts. It might be possible to draw a parallel between the Shuai Jiao of the early 20th Century and the beginnings of professional wrestling in the West around that time.
I wish the documentary spent a bit less time focusing on Shuai Jiao and the Imperial court, but otherwise, it was an excellent documentary.
This link has more, from which this quote:
From these events the competition rules were formalized and completed, and they are still in use today. Secondly, since the competition was so intense, it really pushed the development of the skills, as well as the training system, making them more detailed and refined. Another important factor that pushed the development of skill was the lack of any weight divisions. The smaller wrestlers had to have very good skills just to remain on the team. Also, in most competitions, the winner was decided by just one throw. Together, all of these factors combined to drive the development of Shuai Jiao skills to a very high level.
Such was the environment for about 250 years. In each of those years over 400 hundred of the best wrestlers in the country stayed together everyday, practicing and researching under incredible pressures and incentives. You can easily understand what the results would be.
Because of the unique nature of the Manchurian’s rule, it was during this period that the traditional Chinese Shuai Jiao skill merged with Mongolian and Manchurian Shuai Jiao skills, gradually forming a new system. Today, the modern, main stream Shuai Jiao skill and training system are directly inherited from this system.
I sort of wish they had explored the folk aspects of Shuai Jiao more like that Wrestling Roots guy does.
Guess you can't stuff everything into a 30 min. documentary.
My sifu at Sanshou (who have a traditional kung fu background whose fucking chinese name i dont remember, ill get back to it later) used to teach us a lot of Shuai jiao projections and holds, i found some quite usefull.
Interesting..thanks for putting that up.