Buddhist monks in China perfected this effective fighting art many centuries ago. The combinations of kicks, punches, strikes, leverages, throws, take-downs are based on scientific principles of physics. When these combinations are directed to vital parts of the body, using balance, coordination and timing, They are extremely powerful and effective. The techniques can be changed to fit any given situation and do not follow a set pattern. These natural, circular movements of San Soo make it a common sense fighting art.
Since the art was developed and used for protection of life, rules of fighting can not apply. Therefore, San Soo is not a sport and not used in tournaments or competition. San Soo is referred to as a "life changing art." As students study the art it builds confidence in their ability, which can be influential to all aspects of their lives. A respect develops for fellow human beings because you can not know another person's ability or character as a fighter when you meet them. However, if you must fight you have the confidence to do your best and stand up for what you believe.
Though there are many principles, concepts, tactics and applications of the art that can take years of study to master, a person can defend their life with one technique when it is executed correctly. So whether you study the art for 30 years or 3 months, the physical exercise, coordination, mental awareness and self-defense ability are all benefits that begin to develop when you become a San Soo student.
"Building the Complete Fighter"
- Master Bill Hulsey
Many people do not know this but Jimmy H.Woo and Frank Woolsey established a working business partnership back in the early 60's Jimmy ran the established studio in El Monte, Ca. and Frank opened a new studio in Downey, Ca. The training that Jimmy H.Woo (Chin Siu Dek) sanctioned and Frank Woolsey taught in the Downey school, was how I began my training. I was there for six years before I transferred to Jimmy's school in El Monte.
Training in the Woolsey school was not haphazard, lessons were not just randomly handed out. They were lesson plans laid out by Jimmy H. Woo and taught by Frank Woolsey. The lessons were taught in categories. Each lesson in each category had a name number assigned to it. The names of the categories are Ah-soo, Fut-Ga, Choy-Li-Ho,Top-ga and Numpi. Learning one of these lessons gave you the skills and coordination you needed to learn another lesson further down the line.
Life in the old Woolsey school was rough to say the least, pain was an every day experience and injury was always just another punch away. Discipline was never a problem. If you didn't have any, you would be beaten until you either got some or quit. I was there for one reason and one reason only; I wanted to learn how to fight like the devil himself, and I wasn't going to let a little pain stop me.
Each new student, including myself started on number one Ah-Soo, roughly translated means "focus of the Chi". Simply put, Ah-Soo gives a man a great ability to punch with single action or multiple combinations of punches. Powerful blocks and stances are also secured. After practicing these lessons for between six months to a year, a student will become very powerful and can accurately and decisively hit an aggressive moving target. Your hands are now coordinated and it's time to begin Fut-Ga training.
Fut-Ga, roughly translated means "the way of the monk". The function of these lessons was to effectively coordinate your hands to work with your feet. Fut-Ga, unlike the defensive Ah-Soo lessons, are offensive and require you to approach your opponent from any one of eight different angles. Completion of the Fut-Ga Lessons will have doubled your effective power and the body extremities are now coordinated enough to work as a single unit. Launching multiple attacks, utilizing punches and kicks at the same time, is now not only possible but very feasible.
Choy-Li-Ho ( the three families of San Soo), utilizes single action punches and kicks but is very strong in leverage, pressure points, joint locks, throws, flips, hyper extension of nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as many varieties of bone breaking, including arms, legs, back and neck. Power is not a concern here as leverage in paramount in this training. When you put the Choy-Li-Ho training together with the Ah-Soo and the Fut-Ga training you are now beginning to build a complete fighter. However, there are still some important elements missing.
Even though you have learned three categories of lessons, each on their own extremely outstanding and effective, you still need something to bring them all together. Learning to throw a punch and a kick or set a leverage is useless to a student of any Art unless he is taught how to use it in a combat situation. This is where Top-Ga comes in. Top-Ga combines all the skills and movements you have previously learned and puts them all into one. These lessons are spectacular to watch when executed correctly by a professional. They are incredible and beautiful. They are powerful and fancy, but they come right to the point. They will hurt you really bad. Words can't describe these lessons. They must be seen and felt to fully understand their worth.
NUMPI (continuous circular attacking methods)
What can I say? Numpi is why you are studying the Art. Don't leave home without it. Numpi lessons are the finest hand to hand combat lessons ever devised by a man. Don't let anyone or any article, book or journal tell you any different. These lessons and the elements you need to make you a great fighter. Numpi offers phenomenal powerful punching combinations that are second to none on the street or in the studio. Numpi cuts in at angles, uses your opponents power against himself, utilizes economy of motion and makes whatever aggressive movement your opponent tries to use against you incorrect, Against Numpi, it doesn't matter what your opponent does, it is wrong. Numpi is taught to be both offensive and defensive, but best of all, Numpi will work for you.
"You can take my life but not my confidence"
By: Grand Master Jimmy H Woo