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Sanda 散打, also known as Sanshou 散手 (Free-Hand), is the official form of Chinese sport kickboxing which was developed by the military based upon the ancient practices of Lei Tai (platform) fighting, traditional Kung-Fu, and modern combat sports.
The emphasis of this style is on close range, rapid successive punches and kicks with wrestling, leg catches, throws, takedowns, and leg sweeps.
One of its unique features lies in its flexibility to incorporate techniques from any other fighting style according to the lineage and experience of the instructor. At SHAOLIN Martial Arts Canada, the combined skills of both Shaolin and Kempo are employed, forming our own unique Sǎndǎ style.
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Recognizing that Sǎndǎ is based on traditional high impact martial arts skills, when re-developed as a sport, restrictions were put into effect for obvious safety reasons. As such, there are no blows to the back of the head, throat, spine, or groin, followed by discontinuation of the combat when any fighter has been thrown, taken down, or fallen to the ground. Things that would otherwise be seen as fair game in traditional combat/self-defense training.
Current Sǎndǎ regulations are governed by the International Wushu Federation (IWUF), which oversees international events.
In Canada, the sport of Sǎndǎ is overseen by National Sporting Organization, Wushu Canada, which has Provincial arms in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia.
In Wushu Canada, there are two types of Sǎndǎ practiced: Light Performance and High Performance.
Light Performance is a progressive, light-contact structure by which a participant can safely develop their skills from Novice to Advanced levels before making the switch to High Performance.
High Performance involves training for Semi and Full Contact events in Provincial, National, and International level events. This requires a lot of physical training and conditioning, and participants must be of appropriate age (14) and skill levels to compete.