Kungfu Grappling

In addition to striking skills inherent to Chinese Kungfu (Punches, Elbows, Knee and Kicking Techniques), Chinese Martial Arts also include a wide of grappling (takedown and joint locking) techniques.  Two Chinese systems that emphasize and specialize in grappling techniques specifically include Shuai Jiao and Qin Na.  To better understand these two arts please read more and watch the videos!

Shuai Jiao: (As Described by the Yin Cheng Gong Fa Association)

Shuai Jiao is commonly translated as Chinese wrestling.  It is a special fighting system which teaches practitioners how to set up a trip and throw an opponent down.  Also considered a sport, Shuai Jiao can be used for purposes of either performance or competition and is governed by a set of rules to determine what constitutes a well-executed performance or a win. According to Shuai Jiao rules, punching, kicking and
locking skills are not permitted, and if any part of the body other than a competitor’s feet touch the ground, that  competitor loses the match.

In Chinese, Shuai means “to throw down,” and Jiao refers to a “stumble or fall caused by a trip.”  Shuai Jiao  research is focused only on the skills needed to trip an opponent and throw him to the ground. Ground  techniques are not researched because if you find yourself in a position to need them, you have already lost. There is nothing you can do to win from a position on the ground given the Shuai Jiao rule that your feet are the only part of your body that can touch the floor.

Shuai Jiao practice focuses on the throwing skills in great detail, and for this reason, its throwing skills differ greatly from those used in Judo and in western-style wrestling. Strictly speaking, the common translation of  Shuai Jiao as “wrestling” is not accurate since no true wrestling skills are involved in Shuai Jiao practice. A more accurate translation would be simply “throwing”.

Whether Shuai Jiao is used for performances, competition or fighting, there is only one training system and one set of skills. These skills, however, are applied differently depending on the situation, and different sets of rules apply to performance and competition. As for Shuai Jiao fighting, all rules are ignored.

Qin Na:

Chin Na or Qinna is a Chinese term describing techniques used in the Chinese Martial Arts that control or lock an opponent’s joints or muscles/tendons so he cannot move, thus neutralizing the opponent’s fighting ability. Chin Na features both standing and ground based grappling techniques.

Chin na of one school may differ from that of another. There are over 700 traditional techniques in the White Crane style of Chin Na alone and even more present in other styles. Many Chin Na techniques resemble those found in other grappling based arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Depending on the school and instructor, Chin Na is assembled in different ways. Some Chin Na systems resemble Brazilian Jiu Jitsu due to their focus on ground grappling. Another may be more similar to Judo due to their focus on standing Rou Dao (the soft techniques of Chin Na). The next school may appear more like Hapkido due to their focus on wrist and small joint locks. Currently, there is no universally accepted systemized form of Chin Na. Instead, each school varies due to the instructor’s training and/or personal preference of focus.

While techniques along the lines of chin na are trained to some degree by most martial arts worldwide, many Chinese martial arts are famous for their specialization in such applications. Styles such as Eagle Claw (Ying zhua quán), which includes 108 different chin na techniques, Praying Mantis(Tánglángquán) the “Tiger Claw” techniques of Hung Gar (HongJia), and shuai jiao are well known examples.

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5 Responses to Kungfu Grappling

  1. I like your site I would like to stay in touch on the subject of martial arts ana self defense.

  2. Frank ohare says:

    Hello , I am a martial artest of most I know American kenpo which is a combination of many types of martial arts , kick boxing and western boxing. I am investigating which of the ground styles would work best for me. So I look forward to seeing more of you’re art. Frank ohare.

  3. Nova says:

    do you guys teach Chin Na

    • lucas says:

      We do talk about Chin Na for various applications of movements related to our Kungfu and Tai Chi forms, and we practice joint locking in our Combatives class but we do not teach Chin Na specifically. In Sept of 2017 we will be looking to expand our current course offerings to include Sanda/Sanshou. In this class we will include Chin Na techniques related to clinch fighting and take downs.

      • Mugan says:

        You guys are bringing back Sanda/Sanshou? Cool!

        What combative classes do you teach? Does it include disarming weapons (knives, firearms, etc) or is it just modern self-defense?

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