I stumbled upon a website last night while I was searching the net for teachers to hire (anyone interested in teaching ESL in China?) and I came across an interesting website. A San Soo practitioner went to China and visited Jimmy's home town, found his old family/friends that are still alive, and an existing San Soo school. As soon as I find this site again I will post it. I also plan on visiting these places when I have time to check the validity of his claims.Edit: http://americansansoo.net/Forum3/vie...hp?f=6&t=18Not the page I read last night but similar. I'm still looking.
Is this the same SS as the one you trained?
I thought there were no 'animal' type forms in SS. This looks like a sloppy Hung Gar derived attempt at some tiger crane stuff...
Before I came to China and while I was training in Kaju/Kick boxing/SS I would spar either at the Kaju school or in my friends kick boxing class.
Kajukenbo sparring: Little SS strikes were applicable to Kaju sparring. Most Kaju sparring was free sparring, and some point sparring. I was able to use the SS pendulum trip/take-down in close but none of the other more complicated pretty techniques worked for me. As far as striking go's some of the hammer/windmill blocks were useful at times from a distance. But if I tried to step and follow up with a technique I learned it would either be too telegraphed, miss, too slow, or I'd get countered. If I tried to be offensive with SS strikes most guys would move out of the way or counter me. Most strikes in SS are step-in strikes. The problem is SS has no sparring so you never learn proper footwork and how to set these walking forward strikes up. Shotokan has a lot of walking strikes/step-in strikes but they work because they teach you proper set-up/footwork. Watch JKA/Machida fights and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. The piston (stepping forward front kick of SS) worked well because I can fight from both stances, as did the side kick. The hand/arm strikes rarely worked.
Kick boxing sparring: San Soo was almost totally ineffective due to the boxing gloves and no trips/takedown rules. Most everything said above applies to this as well.
In my earlier years of training while doing Hapkido, JKD, MMA training, etc.. SS the way I learned it was rarely used. SS taught no fighting stance so I had to figure it out for myself, I decided to try to spar these people/styles from a half horse (similar to a Karate kumite/front stance). I learned not to step into every strike due to me missing a lot and getting countered. I learned to retract as quickly as I could which is a no no in most SS schools. I started to mix in the Hapkido stance/footwork with what I was doing. Also the strikes. They were more realistic for sparring and much faster. Basically the same thing happened when I started training MMA/kick boxing and eventually JKD. Side stance with a mix of Hapkido/SS/JKD strikes. The conditioning and hard sparring of MMA/kick boxing made me much more effective in sparring too. I learned how to defend myself against it and how to adapt TMA training to more realistic sparring.
Even though most sparring in Shotokan is point sparring I still feel it teaches a lot more realistic fighting techniques when compared to SS. I've been doing Shotokan for 2 years now and I totally love it. It's easy to adapt to other TMA styles and continuous sparring against other styles. It's very scientific in it's way of sparring too, it teaches you how to be fast, tricky, elusive, improves timing, gives you phenomenal footwork, and to be a creative stand-up fighter. It also teaches useful trips/sweeps.
SS from my experiences with the art does none of that. No sparring, no point sparring, not even one step sparring. Just LARPing theoretical counters. If you look up old Frank Woolsey San Soo vids on youtube you can see a lot of potential and far more realistic techniques. Sadly I've had little experience with this older style of San Soo and have only been exposed to the newer style that's severely watered down.
This is my personal martial arts training experiences. It does not speak for all San Soo people and all San Soo schools. This is just what I have experienced so I hope I don't offend any San Soo people. I enjoyed my time doing San Soo as a kid and into early adulthood. It was a wonderful time in my life.
I was watching this guy's Woosley san soo videos:
As far as san soo goes, I guess they look pretty good. But the thing that stood out to me was the sort of comments this guy makes:
"**** YOU ****! is that careful enough?I learned from Frank.All you san soo bitches are a joke!Lets see your VID.so we don't have to "pray" So go **** mommy"
"Jimmy Woo got hijacked by the gayass Jesus WEENIES! WE don't respect that!"
"you should understand "Jimmy" didn't create san soo .Frank would have kicked "Jimmy's" ass anyway and so would I .I worship no man.I don't need a hero,Frank or Jimmy.Who gives a **** anyway?San Soo is for people who don't want to fight!What a JOKE IT IS! "
"No block and catch,spinnie,twrillie,flippie throw.No crawl thru the legs,roll on the ground B S . A GANGSTA don't drity his duds if he can help it,and he looks bitchen while beatin' yer ass! Thats the REAL JIMMY WOO!"
"that would be 1931,he was also a china town thug .Frank was his first white student and the best,and he fought all the time.Frank didn't do san soo .what he did was better,just look at the vids.He did what he called Realkungfu and IT IS different.More powerful and deadly.It had to be because he wasn't fighting noodle armed Han Chinese like Jimmy did .He was fighting big,strong scrappers.Americans! not under fed peasants and china town "wee people"
Frank was way better than "Jimmy"."
"Jimmy was a Manchu,KFSS is an exonym of the
Han Chinese for the fighting art that has no name.
it was wrong for him to teach anyone who was not Manchu. It did not come from buddhist temples in south china . Jimmy left china after the "Warlord Period" before Mao .Until the end of the "Last Empire" all martial arts were OUTLAWED upon pain of Death.Only Manchus could Practice Martial arts.Jimmy was a Manchu!not Chinese!Chin So Dik took his American name from a Marvel comic book hero Jimmy Woo."
"No studio, no masters, no salute, no belts, no business address, no telephone, no studio theorist, no inexperienced fight virgins, no character building, no children's class, no first generation... No Bullshit..."
Apparently I've stumbled across the JFS of KFSS.
How long have you been living in China? Do you speak Chinese? My first several years in China were the same and China in general can have that effect on people, it is a world so alien to our own. Several points I want to make: I have studied Sanda in two cities and both were amazingly effective. You got fucked. In a city the size of Shijiazhuang there are probably hundreds of skilled Sanda fighters and dozens of incredible trainers. There must be Shuaijiao, as your city is between the three hotspots for it. Hebei has more Gongfu than you could ever learn and is famous in China, along with Henan. Lastly, there are probably hundreds of traditional styles, some very effective, in your city. The only way at them is through a connection. I tell everyone I meet why I came to China and have been introduced to traditional masters this way. Also ask at other schools, even TKD. Nobody actually likes TKD, they do it to pay the bills! Lastly, martial arts being available or not, Shijiazhuang is a godforsaken shithole. Move now and save your lungs. And don't waste your time with Japanese MA in China! Good luck!
I just heard that one of the major Chen-style Taijiquan masters lives in Shijiazhuang. His name is Mahong (马虹）. At least some of his students must also be around.
I have never lived in China. I have been to HK and spent most of the time while I was there immersed in MA. What I found interesting is there is as much bullshit in HK (and presumably China) as there is in the rest of the world. I think it is neat to immerse yourself in the Culture to extend your experience beyond just learning MA, but the conception that the best Kung Fu (and other MA) is in China is complete and utter bullshit. Many of the world's greatest masters have left their homelands for various reasons and you might be suprised at where you might find a true master. I know I certainly was. I literally stumbled on my teacher through a friend while I was bar tending. I was fortunate that she had spent countless days at his restaurant trying to convince him to teach again. I learned primarily in a parking lot behind the restaurant. This is my Kung Fu, and it is strong!
Please do not draw the conclusion that I am dissing China or those who have chosen the path of transplanting themselves there to learn. I just feel that those people that are under the impression that they HAVE to go there to get the best instruction is a fallacy.