Maybe there really is beauty in San Soo Kung Fu after all:

Vicious, deadly, destructive. The beauty lies in its efficiency and utility of motion. The biomechanics behind the techniques are scientifically sound and have been in use for hundreds of years in their current configuration, and have been developed over thousands of years within other systems. San Soo did not reinvent the wheel, it improved it. Gone are the stances and postures that merely waste time and announce your intentions. We do not drop low into postures that only the physically gifted can spring out of, this is theatrics, and while entertaining, holds no advantage in a real confrontation. We are not animals, so why imitate one? Learning the interaction of human physiology and biomechanics is a much better goal than learning how to look like an insect. The complexity of the human structure, the fluidity of motion and ability to think through given problems all lend themselves to the beauty of San Soo. We humans hold a beauty that no other species possesses, that of superior intelligence. When watching techniques I am often amazed by the dynamic of simplistic nature of the strikes or holds done in a manner which is complex in its design so as to create a certain chain reaction of events to render the opponent defenseless. There is a certain beauty to the destructive nature of San Soo, much like a thunderstorm can seem beautiful as it lights the sky. The movements, the efficiency, the principles that make the techniques work make this a beautiful art.

Reactions: the invisible half of San Soo

Kung Fu Training in San Soo Kung Fu is a unique experience. The training philosophy, when followed, creates a solid foundation and a fluidity of motion when techniques are called upon. At first we train slowly and deliberately, creating muscle memory. We start simple and learn the basic strikes and how to use the different weapons of the body: knees, elbows, fists, forearms, etc. During this initial training we learn to consciously yield an appropriate distance to incoming attacks; this serves two purposes. First, the person executing the technique gets to see and understand what will happen when he strikes a target on a person since the workout partner must yield as if struck. If punched to the midsection, the partner should bend over as if struck. This allows a visualization of what the follow-up strike should be, and create the proper muscle memory. The San Soo practitioner will strike an opponent so his body reacts naturally to open up the next target or position for a follow-up strike or technique. This also teaches the partner to absorb and flow with strikes. The training partner stays safe by yielding, learns to absorb blows, and how to roll and fall without being thrown or manipulated to the ground. By reacting correctly we learn how to reduce or eliminate an opponent’s ability to cause us injury, regardless of size and power; if he can’t deliver a strike to his target, he cannot hurt us. As the give and take continues, the flow becomes smooth and refined allowing more speed and confidence in the workout. With continual practice over time the practitioner increases the speed during the workout and the training partner moves at an equally rapid pace. This allows a vigorous and realistic application of physiologically destructive techniques. Each target will, when struck, create a different reaction in the body. By reacting correctly we help our training partner learn and understand the effect of strikes to the body.

Hatfield's San Soo Kung Fu 



 San Soo is a varied but straight forward art - it is truly a step above all other fighting arts. The art will not fail you People are the variable. Not the art. Execution, determination and willingness to go the full mile with the technique is paramount to San Soo. It's like showing up to a fight with a gun but then only trying to use it as a bludgeon . One must be prepared to pull the trigger. How many fights have been stopped by low blows or eye pokes in MMA? These are accidental contacts, sometimes with very little determination. It's a SPORT. It can't compare. San Soo is a combat system made to systematically destroy an opponent. Point blank. End of discussion. The San Soo fighter must escalate the viciousness of the attack in an instant to immobilize an opponent and instill pain and fear which is a result of severe damage to the body. The human condition has conditioned us to not be able to take a fight to the extreme. It's like having to eat bugs if lost in the wilderness to survive. Some just succumb rather than lower themselves to a baser instinct for survival. San Soo initiates with this instinct - it is the pinnacle of fighting. Real fighting. Real survival. Real combat. Imagine closing in on an opponent that delivers a barrage of attacks to vital areas with full force and determination to blind, maim, and even kill you. Every move you make is met with a strike meeting you half way before you can finish a movement. San Soo trains the reactions of the human body and anticipates movements to the point that techniques flow rhythmically one after another without thinking through them, they just happen naturally and catch an opponent way behind trying to get out of the storm of pain and misery that San Soo Kung fu delivers to an opponent. Theatrics and tricks have no place in real fighting. Breaking boards and delivering double flying kicks that could never really deliver any power or dispatch two opponent simultaneously are for show. Power does not come from theatrics but dynamic tension and speed. Speed delivered to the opponent in the smallest possible weapon surface will deliver devastating results. Making your fist as tight and small as possible keeps it from absorbing kinetic energy into itself as it strikes and the reduced surface size delivers more force per square inch causing a more traumatic strike. The winding and unwinding of the body also creates great power, speed and torque. The strikes of San Soo are meant to disable an attacker, not score points. San Soo fighters punch through their targets. This causes maximum impact and moves the opponent in predictable ways. A slight jab to the nose may only irritate an opponent while a strike that looks to target an area behind the opponent will cause his head to snap back deeply and cause the shoulders to follow and either cause him to stumble quickly back or his hips to pop forward if he stands his ground, opening a quick kick to the groin. In the same way people are conditioned to not commit these acts of extreme violence, most opponents are likewise conditioned and not expecting this to happen to them. It is the element of surprise of San Soo. It is not just using surprise to launch an attack but the surprise of the manner the attack is delivered. The vast amount of techniques is also a real advantage for San Soo practitioners. There are multiple lifetimes of available material to learn. One never stops learning, never hits a wall where the system is learned front to back. The techniques are modular and can be combined to create an endless barrage of pain and damage to an opponent. Regardless of positioning or circumstances, it is probable a San Soo fighter has practiced from the angle he finds himself in, and against the strike his opponent is trying to deliver. San Soo is a complete system of fighting that builds a confidence from training such a varied amount of techniques against a training partner, that reactions are natural and do not need thought through. This confidence then translates to a lack of hesitation as well as the ability to mentally defeat your opponent. By showing a supreme confidence you give your attacker cause to wonder. No one wants to fight a game opponent. Doubt and fear creeps into the mind of your attacker. You have won before the fight begins..