SClogoThe Shuai Chiao Kungfu Club at The Ohio State University (return) 

Frequently Asked Questions No, beginners can wear regular sweat pants, or the same type of loose martial arts pants worn by karateka, and a T-shirt for practice. Long pants are strongly recommended. All of the traditional Shuai Chiao techniques can be applied without a special uniform. Advanced students wear a special Shuai Chiao jacket for competition and hard practice. The heavy jacket (much like a Judo Gi) allows students to apply leverage and grips in friendly competition that are accomplished with more punishing Chin-na joint locking methods in the traditional techniques. No previous experience is necessary to join the Shuai Chiao Kungfu Club. Our club is composed of students at all levels, from beginners to black belts. After a group warm-up, the students usually split into groups to work on different levels of technique. Beginners are carefully instructed from the ground up in the basic forms, techniques, and safe falling methods. Beginning students are not used as "throwing dummies" by the advanced students. Yes, previous study in another martial art will usually help your progress. Most martial arts share some basic principles of movement and technique. Learning to stand and move with strength and balance, training the body for flexibility and the mind for focus are key elements in many arts and sports. On the other hand, there will be aspects of Shuai Chiao that are very different, especially from some of the "harder" Japanese and Korean styles. The blocking techniques are largely derived from Tai Chi, so they appear very soft to a hard stylist. Shuai Chiao also has some footwork and body movements that are rarely found in other martial art styles. Yes, Shuai Chiao has techniques for all shapes and sizes. Small people worry that they will not be able to throw a large person, and that kicking and punching will be more effective. But actually, just the opposite can be the case. By using a large person's momentum and weight against them, a small person can send them flying to the ground with far more force than a kick or punch. Anyone practicing Kungfu regularly with proper instruction will improve their physical strength and power. More importantly, they will also improve their mental focus and toughness. One advantage Shuai Chiao has is the ability of trained students to go out on the mat and fully apply their throwing techniques without hurting each other. You can practice full-power controlled techniques in Shuai Chiao sparring, but you cannot practice full-power kicks and punches on an unpadded friend just to test their effects! One of the first things we teach all students is how to properly fall. Once you have mastered the basics, which usually takes about four sessions, you can take a fall from most throws with very little discomfort. Our normal Club practice is on a wrestling or gymnastics mat. The mat is well padded and absorbs most of the force of landing. Your ability to fall with control will continue to improve until you can leap head-first, several feet through the air, and land safely on almost any surface, even hard concrete or asphalt, with only minor bumps and scrapes. This ability may be the most important martial arts technique you learn. We all tend to fantasize about having to use our fighting skills on the street, but it is far more likely that you will slip on some ice, trip on stairs, or crash on a bike. Knowing how to fall properly, and doing it automatically, can spare you a trip to the hospital or even save your life.

SClogo The Shuai Chiao Kungfu Club at The Ohio State University (return)