Shuai Chiao uses powerful throws and strikes, but little ground fighting. Modern Shuai Chiao is often called "the practical application of Tai Chi Chuan", with the same evasive techniques : blending with, then overcoming, an attacker's force. While the emphasis for beginning student is on the throwing methods, Shuai Chiao students also practice punching and kicking. Most of the classic throws are demonstrated from a punching, kicking, or grabbing attack, and use "chin-na" joint grasping or locking techniques instead of depending on a grip on a jacket. These characteristics make this ancient art a very effective form of self-defense in modern times.
Shuai Chiao emerged around 2,000 years ago. It was originally taught only to the military elite. Starting in the Ch'in Dynasty, Shuai-Chiao was demonstrated in tournaments for the Imperial court. During the Ching Dynasty, China maintained a camp of 300 full time fighters who trained for competition with China's allies. Today, Shuai Chiao is still taught primarily to the military and police in China and Taiwan. It is a Northern Chinese martial art that was not well known in the south until the 1930's. Shuai Chiao was introduced to the United States in 1978 by Dr. Chi-Hsiu Daniel Weng.
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