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Wushu Sanda (Combat)

"Wu" = Military or Martial,"Shu"= Art

(Chinese: 散打; pinyin: sanda; "Free Combat")

Sanda is a modern hand to hand combative sport that adapts various components of the Chinese martial arts. Sanda also known as “Sanshou” entails at the highest level, full contact striking, kicking, and throwing competition between two athletes held typically on a 4’ raised platform known as a “Leitai”. It is just one of the two components (taolu and sanda) of Wushu training and is often taught alongside with taolu routine training. It can be referred to as the practice of martial applications in a realistic environment and in combative sparring competition. The rules and regulations of sanda were created at the same time the modern standard taolu curriculum was adapted by the Chinese government. This curriculum was developed by experimenting with the Chinese military experiences in close range and hand to hand combat with reference to many of the traditional Chinese martial arts "Kung Fu".

The champion is decided through the results of either a final point tally at the end of three (3) – two (2) minute rounds, by point accumulation, absolute victory, default or by knock out. Junior level international competitions are held for youths 15-18 years of age using one and a half minute rounds under elaborated rules of contact and protective measures.

Points in Sanda competition vary based on the method of attack and as well the targets acquired. Legal striking techniques include punches, low kicks, high kicks, throws, take downs and in higher levels reverse spinning techniques. Emphasis is placed on clean and clearly visible attacks to either the legs, trunk or head of an opponent. However, the most valuable ability of a fighter is to throw or push an opponent off the “Leitai” platform.

Fighters are only allowed to clinch or grab for a few seconds. If the clinch is not broken by the fighters, and if neither succeeds in throwing his opponent within the time limit, the referee will break the clinch. Elbows, knees, attacks to the back and joint locks are not allowed in Sanda competition and are penalized.

Points for Sanda are determined by 3-5 corner judges and the rules are enforced by a platform referee and the head judge. A fighter must earn the approval of the majority of corner judges to win each round, or by successfully taking an opponent off the “Leitai” twice within the round.

Most Sanda competitions held are based on a “knock out” system, whereas only the winner of each bout continues to fight to win a tournament championship.

Fighters wear an internationally adapted set of equipment that include head gear, chest protector, 8-14oz gloves and in some classes leg protection. There are 11 Internationally recognized weight categories for men and 7 for women but may vary based on the requirements of each competition.