At Phoenix Rising Kung Fu San Soo, we acknowledge the physical and psychological benefits and we train in practical self-defense, but we do not compete or spar for points.
This is because Kung Fu San Soo is a traditional and practical combat art.
According to "Inside Kung Fu Magazine":
This is not a spectator sport. San soo is a savagely effective fighting style that trains the warrior to instantly adapt to any combat situation.
First, you have the brutally effective fighting style of kung-fu san soo, founded by grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo, a style that is popularly associated with the phrase, "Tread lightly, and carry a big stick." This is not a sport or a game, but a warrior discipline. While some martial arts styles focus on a specific technique - as with judo for throws and karate for kicks and punches - san soo teaches the full family of techniques, which allows the fighter to adjust their style according to the situation they are in. The punches and kicks, the leverages, the nerve attacks, the takedowns - all directed to vital parts of the body - are executed in a perfect rhythm that can make the flow of movement compelling, even beautiful, to witness. But at its very core is also a raw brutality that emphasizes the san soo focus on self-defense.
"San soo is to the point," describes Frater. "You go for the most critical, vulnerable points of the body. You eye gouge, you bite, you try to kick the joints out; you do things as brutally as you possibly can to get to the end of the fight as quickly as possible. Maximum results with minimal effort."
In Chinese the term "Kung Fu" (sometimes written as "Gong Fu" or "Gung Fu") can literally be translated as "working man" but carries with it the connotation of "craftsman" or "artisan" instead of that of a mere laborer. In the West, "Kung Fu" refers to the numerous styles of Chinese martial arts popularized in the last half of the 20th century by Bruce Lee movies and the "Kung Fu" television show. While Kung Fu is used to refer to almost all Chinese martial arts, it should be noted that, in form and practice, the Chinese martial arts can differ from each other greatly.
It is believed that all Asian martial arts originated from China and, over the millennia, spread over the continent, and, eventually, from the East throughout the world. If true, this would make traditional Chinese Kung Fu the oldest systematized combat arts in existence.
While it is often difficult to separate fact from legend when talking about ancient history, there is no doubt that the peaceful Chinese Buddhist monks were very instrumental in the creation and propagation of the martial arts in Asia, and therefore, by lineages long forgotten, the originators of almost all of what we, as Westerners, think of as martial arts.