San Soo and other arts you've learned

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San Soo and other arts you've learned

Postby andeck » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:37 pm

Hi all, I would like to hear people's thoughts on various other martial arts they have trained in. ie, "I took 3 years of Wing Chun and found it great/rubbish.... It added to my san soo / it ruined my san soo and taught me bad habits...etc etc etc."

I have no access to San Soo, but which art is good, and what should I look out for if training in it? Is it better to learn another style, or do my best with san soo forms and lessons by myself?

One suggestion was that I could try ChoyLeeFut, which is here in Australia. Anyone had any experience with it? First impressions, it looks like classical Kung Fu type style, lots of forms with the fancy animal names. Good/Bad??

I JUST WANT SAN SOO!!!!!! No BS, just reality and raw.

Any opinions of wing chun?
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Re: San Soo and other arts you've learned

Postby bigpappa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:10 pm

Well, I'll bite as I'm not ashamed. I might have mentioned this already on another thread somewhere, but here is my $.02

I took Aikido in college for a semester. Hated it, as I found it way too passive and thought many of its principles were not ideal for combat - but then again, I related everything to San Soo, so most things seem tame when comparing them. I did get better at rolling and doing breakfalls, and found their insight on the mechanics on joint manipulation to be very useful.

I did Judo for a while and got to a green belt. I took it specifically because I wanted to improve my ablility to take people down and restrain them without striking, as the job I had at the time required it. I felt my own San Soo training in this regard was lacking (Master Gatewood strongly disagrees with me on this point, well actually blames it on my training and my own deficiencies rather than the Art), so I went to Judo. Gatewood may be correct to some degree, but nevertheless I would argue that Judo met my needs for a very specific and narrow part of my ability to execute what I needed to do perfectly.

I liked Judo a lot; their mechanics on throws can be somewhat different in the way they execute them. It is a sport, however, and that should be in the back of anyone's mind when learning to do throws the "Judo way" as opposed to San Soo, as each art is aiming for different results. Judo throws are designed for the opponent to land relatively safely and injury free flat on their back for an ippon, where as San Soo throws are designed to injure, hurt, and take the opponent out of the fight. San Soo throws may not look as pretty, but they really aren't supposed to. That isn't to say that a Judo practicioner doesn't know how to be mean and throw you in a way to make you land on your head and hurt you - they do, but they don't train for it.

Quality of instruction is everything in martial arts, and different schools may be able to more effectively communicate proper mechanics and principles behind techniques than others. I've seen San Soo instructors that had (in my opinion only) horrible mechanics when it came to throws and joint manipulation, and I seen others that were quite excellent.

Since Judo specializes in throwing, they are better at it than most everybody else, and I felt that I was able to take away some valuable lessons and principles. Especially after the instructor wiped the floor with me and provided me with a most humbling experience the first day of class (after he saw me tossing a few white belts around).

Unfortunatley, I blew out my leg doing Judo, and that was the ended my Judo studies. I would have liked to have earned a black belt in that fine art.

My other martial arts studies aren't worth mentioning - merely dabbling and crosstraining from time to time with friends or other people I've met along the way; nothing serious.
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Re: San Soo and other arts you've learned

Postby bigpappa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:13 pm

So I CAN say that my experiences with Judo and Aikido did help my San Soo training overall, but I'm not recommending that you follow that path or that it even necessary. I can't comment on other styles available to you as I haven't trained in them.
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Re: San Soo and other arts you've learned

Postby andeck » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:59 pm

Thanks for your reply bigpappa. I guess one could say that in general, an art that specifically trains in one area will probably do that area better, be it judo or an arts where two men are lying on eachother on the floor. San Soo definitely does not teach ground work (maybe a few lessons, which is not much), however, as a San Soo practitioner things shouldn't end up on the ground at all. Who can say they will not end up on the ground though?

I think perhaps all people who have started with San soo would view all other arts training through the san soo glasses, and perhaps this would stop them from 'polluting' their san soo skills?!?! Anyway, thanks again.

More input?
andeck
 
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Re: San Soo and other arts you've learned

Postby bigpappa » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:48 pm

San Soo does have some ground work, but not in the sense of Judo or Brazillian JiuJitsu. Most every technique in San Soo ends in a takedown of some sort (or the opponent simply being knocked down), but the art does not advocate going to the ground and wrestling with somebody. In a street fight/self defense situation, common sense its not a good idea to roll around on the ground with someone if it can be avoided. Pulling guard and going for an armbar may work great in the studio, but on the street that can get you killed if he slams you on your head or he has a buddy who shows up to help.

Now the big dilema is whether to teach some groundfighting in San Soo schools. There are those (as evidenced on youtube) that seem to have incorporated various takedown and submission holds into their San Soo. Pretty sure Jimmy never taught rolling kneebars and triangle chokes.

However, combat evolves over time, whether it be empty handed or with weapons. As methods of combat/warfare change, the methods of which you train to counter those advances change as well, or you lose.

If someone wants to preserve and teach the art as it was taught to them, then the answer is no. If someone wants to train their students to be prepared for methods that may be employed against them due to the prevelance of those styles today, then they may choose to add things.

I guess its up to each teacher to decide what they want to do and how they choose to represent it.
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Re: San Soo and other arts you've learned

Postby andeck » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:11 pm

Yea, not much groundwork, except for a few finishing strikes to the groin and/or face. I agree that going to the ground in the street is a really bad idea. Pulling an arm bar, or wrestling into a submission hold....using san soo (without killing them) I'd say you'd end up with a leverage threatening to kick their face in or with them on the ground. Obviously by that time you'd have beaten them to get to the leverage, but still. :)

The problem lies in the fact that you cannot guarantee that you'll be standing up facing your opponent. No one has eyes in the back of their head, and although awareness is heightened with san soo training, you can still be tackled from behind, or hit in the head and wake up with someone on top of you. How far do you take this in your training? I would say, if you are someone who goes looking for trouble and makes many enemies, then perhaps it would be wise to know more than what you learn from san soo for the time when you get stabbed or tackled in the back. If your a peaceful kind of guy, you probably don't have to be watching your back, and hopefully you will not be in that situation.

Again, are you (these are generalised you's) learning san soo as the craft of san soo, or are you wanting to be fighting all the time? I'd say carrying a knife, pumping iron etc would be included if this is the case. If this is the case, then you just want to learn any fighting methods, your not perhaps worried too much about preserving a pure art.

What do you think of the following idea:

If your a teacher of the CRAFT OF SAN SOO, then I'd say you want to be teaching san soo as shown by Jimmy and people like Jack Sera. Or at least learning things from other arts for yourself and showing how, actually, san soo principles explain and enhance these techniques, and bringing it all back to san soo. ALWAYS. I remember in the Mike Rockwell seminar videos how someone points out a part of the form looks like tai chi, and he said, 'it's right in the san soo form book', and "this is the applicable use of it'. (part 12 at about 1:40)
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