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San Shou Dui Da

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:46 am
by fchai
Hi Fellow Practitioners,

I have recently been searching the web (Youtube) for a video of a fluent and accurate demonstration of the Yang Family San Shou Dui Da set. I was taught this set by my former teacher, Master Chen Fei, about 30 years ago. Since his passing more than 20 years ago, the students I practiced with have all gone their separate ways. I now practice this set, both the A and B parts (90 moves in total), by myself. I am interested in seeing how others do this form, so as to correct my form, if I have inadvertently modified the movements. If anyone knows of a link to a site which demonstrates this set, I would be grateful. The notes I have on the San Shou Dui Da set credits Yang Cheng Fu as the originator of the form.

Yours in this most enthralling journey,

Re: San Shou Dui Da

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:41 pm
by Louis Swaim
Greetings Frank,

Some say that the Sanshou duida form was put together by Chen Yanlin, so I'm not sure it was Yang Chengfu's creation. Here's a link to Chen Yanlin's description of the routine, in Chinese and in English, translated by Paul Brennan: ... ou-dui-da/

Also, you might have good luck finding videos of the routine by typing in the Chinese term in Youtube or Google: 太極散手對打.

Sanshou, by definition, is random and spontaneous, so the choreographed sequence of sanshou techniques is a bit of a misnomer. Nonetheless, it's a neat sequence, and good for training.

Take care,

Re: San Shou Dui Da

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:01 am
by fchai
Greetings Louis,

The notes I have on the san shou dui da set have the identical drawings to those used by Paul Brennan. The translation is slightly different but that is to be expected. Interestingly, my former master included two additional moves between 14 and 15, a "Ward off slanting upwards" and a "Push (An)". It has always puzzled me as to why these moves had no corresponding drawings associated with them, as did all the others. Clearly it now would seem that these were his own personal additions, but do not in any way disrupt the flow of the set. I will now compare and study the description of the moves and glean what I can from them.

I will do as you suggest and search using the Chinese rather than the pinyin.

Many thanks, you have, as always, been a great help and a source of much instruction.

With much appreciation,

Re: San Shou Dui Da

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:05 pm
by DPasek
Note that the Brennan translation also includes photographs (which were published in 1936) of Tian Zhaolin and Huang Yuanxiu demonstrating two sanshou form moves. Tian Zhaolin is credited by some as having taught Chen Yanlin and to have provided most of the material for the 1943 book that Brennan translates.

It seems most likely to me that the sanshou sparring form was created by, or by someone associated with, Yang Shaohao (1862-1930), or by one of Yang’s ancestors or teachers (possibly by Yang Banhou, 1837-1892, as one source that I found claims); note that he did not have many students, perhaps due to the brutal nature of his training and because only family members and closely tied friends were taught by him (not the general public like with Yang Chengfu). The version in the Chen Yanlin book appears to have come from Tian Zhaolin (1891-1960), while a slightly different version appears to have come from Xiong Yanghe (1888-1981[1886-1984?]). Both Xiong Yanghe and Tian Zhaolin are thought to have studied with (been disciples of) Yang Shaohao.

If your version does the applications close to what is shown in Chen’s book, then the following application videos are ones that I would recommend. The teacher’s skill level appears to me to be higher than most performance versions that I have seen (there are quite a few online videos of this version, fewer of the Xiong version).


If the first B move is a ‘punch under the elbow’ rather than just the connecting/deflection without a counterattack, then I can also direct you to videos of the other version.

Re: San Shou Dui Da

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:27 am
by fchai
Greetings Dan

The information you have provided is much appreciated. The set demonstrated in the video is very similar to the one I am familiar with, but with some variations. Your comments on where the origin of the set comes from were very interesting. My former master was about the same age as Tung Hu Ling and was likely instructed by both Tung Ying Chieh and Tung Hu Ling. Certainly the forms I learnt appear to still be taught by Tung Hu Ling's son, Tung Kai Ying.
With the information provided by both yourself and Louis Swaim, I should be able to refresh myself with some degree of confidence on the 散手對打 (san shou dui da). My thanks to you both.

With much appreciation,