How Kung Fu San Soo Differs From Karate and Tae Kwon Do
The following information hopefully will clarify any conceptions or misconceptions which you may have about Kung Fu and Karate in general. Also, it will provide you with a little background of the Art of Kung Fu San Soo.
(Below: Early Footage of Jimmy H. Woo)
Since the advent of man there has been continual disagreement and agitation which is evident though history. At first fighting was an individual matter performed in a disorganized fashion without art. As the Chinese kept their knowledge of the art much to themselves the exact details of its origin and development are very obscure. Approximately 2,000 years ago some intelligent Chinese Monks within the confines of the monastery created and organized a system of hand to hand fighting. Thus Kung Fu San Soo (Tsoi Li Ho Fut) evolved as the first organized system of hand to hand combat.
About 400 years ago this system was introduced to Okinawa (where it was adapted and became known as Okinawa-Te) and in many other parts of the Far East it underwent a radical change intermingling with native forms of unarmed defense and changing from forms using natural circular movements such as those found in Southern China (Num Pi) to hard forms consisting of theatrical postures and poses as seen more frequently in the art today. The old system underwent yet another change when it moved to Japan about 1917 and adapted itself to Japanese culture and personality.
The Public has been exposed to demonstrations or numerous methods of oriental fighting and often associates brick breaking, board breaking and toughening of the hands with becoming an effective fighter. The public image of the ancient Chinese art thus includes a number of misconceptions.
First, board and brick breaking are of a theatrical nature and have no connection with the techniques of fighting. Also, these supposedly superhuman feats are executed by trickery and under false pretenses. Second, the claim that developing callouses on the hands and breaking certain bones are methods that develop power and strength is completely an emphatically false!! Any medical doctor can verify the fact that damage and continuous injury to the bones and nerves of the hands will decrease their power and quickness.
Kung Fu is not a sport but a fighting technique. It is based on a combination of punches, kicks, strikes and blocks done in perfect rhythm and directed to vital points of the human body. The techniques can be changed instantly to suit the situation and do not necessarily follow a set pattern.
The utilization of highly scientific principles of physics involving movement and leverage as well as intense concentration and controlled breathing gives a fighter extreme power, agility, balance, coordination, humility and respect for one’s fellow man are also emphasized.
A clarification of our psychology is most important. First, confidence in oneself is the main ingredient which enables a person to perform effectively and consistently. In contrast the other oriental fighting systems claim to instill into their students a “mystical” ingredient upon which they can depend in moments of stress. In other words a crutch is given to enable the person to perform thus creating a superficial type of confidence.
We strive to develop a strong respect for our fellow man which is based on the supposition that the mind and the character of any individual cannot be completely known. Because of this supposition we know that we cannot determine who is a fighter and who is not and thus any man is potentially our equal fighter.
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