Wushu Sanda / Qingda
is China’s full-contact free struggle. You can also come across the name Sanshou (lit. free hand). The term was used mainly in the west and at the beginning of organizing Wushu competitions in Poland. Sanda comes directly from the Chinese tradition of fighting on wooden platforms. Unsecured platforms with 8m x 8m square ropes were erected to a height of 60 cm to several meters depending on the masters who built them or the Wushu schools in the province. Falling off the platform threatened with serious injury, disability or even death, because swords, spears or bamboo stakes were usually stuck in the ground with the blade upwards. This form of confrontation was called LEITAI (“Platform Fighting”).
Political conditions in China brought the gradual end of Leitai. Although until the first half of the 20th century, Leitai tournaments were held in some parts of China, in which fatal accidents occurred. In order to preserve the tradition, the Chinese Wushu Fedaracja founded in 1958 in the 1980s created a sport variant of Leitai fighting, which was called Sanda (literally free fight).
Amateur sanda – general rules. The fights are fought on a platform with dimensions of 8m x 8m x 60cm, or on a mat. The fight lasts 2 rounds, 2 minutes each, and in the event of a tie, the third round is decisive. The winner of this round wins the bout. Depending on the rank of the competition, the fights are fought according to the regulations of the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) and the European Wushu Federation (EWUF). At tournaments in Poland, fights can be played in accordance with the regulations of the Polish Wushu Association (PZWushu) or the aforementioned federation.
Fights in jaw, body, genitals (suspensor) protectors, 8oz-12oz boxing gloves depending on the weight category and helmets. Until 2005, an additional protection was provided by the tibia pads. Currently, juniors and seniors in the QINGDA competition (light contact) and competitors taking part in the First Step fights are fighting in the above-mentioned protectors. Sand’s weight classes and regulations are obligatory for all federations for both women and men.
Sanda is a very versatile combat formula, basing its philosophy on 3 levels: distance, clinch, making the opponent fall. In the event of a takedown-throw, a simple rule applies: the first player to touch the mat loses points. In addition to a wide range of characteristic techniques derived from Wushu and Chinese Shuai Jiao wrestling (5000 years of tradition), Sanda is characterized by great freedom. In fact, knee kicks and elbow strikes are forbidden. Inside and outside thigh kicks, jump kicks, and spin kicks and hits may be used. Any bringing the opponent to the ground floor, low throws, high throws, cuts, takedowns, interceptions of kicks with additional techniques (e.g. hit, kick, undercut or throw) and pushing off the platform. The latter are a reflection of the traditional Leitai tournaments, and pushing an opponent twice in a round ends it with the victory of the pusher, regardless of the course of the game so far. So it is easy to calculate that four pushes are enough to win the fight. Another way to win a fight ahead of time is to knockout or have a technical advantage.
Thanks to its versatility and variety, Sanda can be a very good base style for MMA. Currently, many players from Wushu Sanda fight successfully in MMA in the Asian organization ONE Championship.
It is clear from the above that Sanda is a very dynamic, spectacular and effective fighting formula, and thanks to its versatility and variety of exercises, it is also perfect for recreational training for children, adolescents and adults.
Sanda at the Olympics
During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Wushu, including Sanda, was a medal and show discipline. This tournament was played at Olympic venues. The first 4 players from the Wushu World Championships in 2007 participated in the tournament, in 3 male and 2 female weight categories. The International Wushu Federation, supported by the Chinese government, is striving to make Wushu a permanent place on the program of the Olympic Games. In 2008, the IOC recognized Wushu as a candidate sport.
SANDA weight categories:
-48 kg, -52 kg, -56 kg, -60 kg, -65 kg, -70 kg, +70 kg Men:
-48 kg, -52 kg, -56 kg, -60 kg, – 65 kg, -70 kg, -75 kg, -80 kg, 85 kg, -90 kg, + 90 kg
The fights most often take place in the ring (less often on the platform) and apart from the techniques used in the amateur variety, single knee kicks are often allowed. In fights in the ring, push-outs are of course not allowed. The only protectors are: gloves, suspensor and a mouthguard. The fight lasts 3×3 minutes. You can win on points or ahead of time.
The most famous player from Sanda / Sanshou is Cung Le, a former Strikeforce champion who successfully fought in the UFC of the largest MMA organization in the world. Currently, the Russian Muslim Salikhov, multiple world and European champion in Sanda, is fighting in the UFC, and the ranks of this federation are joined by other players from Russia and Degestan who come from Sanda.
Qingda (literally light fight) is a competitor of the Chinese Wushu sport that is younger than Sanda. A very versatile combat formula in which, in addition to children and adolescents (juniors), seniors 18+ can compete. The techniques closely related to Sand allow for a smooth transition to full-contact competition. The benefit of starting in Qingda is the experience that the competitor acquires with each subsequent start. It is a very important element in combat sports and often determines the course of a confrontation. In addition, the junior to some extent gets used to the fight and pre-competition stress. In addition to the purely sports benefits, Qingda training translates into everyday life. Children and teenagers spend their free time in a safe way, make new friends with their peers, learn self-discipline and respect for others. Classes conducted at an appropriate angle develop the psychophysical features of children and adolescents, and comprehensive training improves motor skills and overall physical fitness. In the era of television, computer games and the Internet, it is difficult to instill systematic sports in children. However, through an appropriate pedagogical approach and showing the advantages of martial arts training, we are able to encourage children and young people to spend time actively. Not every person practicing martial arts must be a fighter.
General principles of the Qingda fight.
Qingda fights are fought in the light-contact system according to the IWUF (International Federation
Wu Shu), EWUF (European Wu Shu Federation), PZWS (Polish Wu Shu Association), depending on
the rank of the competition. In addition, Qingda rules are dependent on the age categories gradually increasing
resource of permitted techniques. In the oldest age category, ie 17 years old, players can use the full one
range of Qingda techniques.
Age and weight categories:
• 7-8 years: -20kg, -23kg, -26kg, -29kg, -31kg, + 31kg
• 9-10 years: -25kg, -29kg, -33kg, -37kg, -41kg, + 41kg
• 11-12 years: -30kg, -34kg, -38kg, -42kg, -46kg, + 46kg
• 13-14 years: -36kg, -40kg, -44kg, -48kg, -52kg, + 52kg
• 15-16 years: -50kg, -55kg, -60kg, -65kg, -70kg, + 70kg
• 17 years: as in terms of seniors