San Shou Kuan – means Chinese Kickboxing Association.  It has been formed a group of forward looking martial art instructors led by two Chinese Kickboxing Senior Masters, Peter Kennedy and David Nicholls MSc. (Sports and Exercise Science) who have over 50 years teaching experience in Martial Arts and working with other senior instructors from a variety of backgrounds including active military instructors in Special forces and instructors from  other “styles” or schools.  (Supplemented with training in various UK boxing clubs and Thai boxing training camps in Thailand).  – We are an “open style” willing to listen as you never stop learning in Martial Arts.

“Even when walking in the company of two other men, I am bound to be able to learn from them. The good points of the one I copy; the bad points of the other I correct in myself.”   Confucius ( Kung Fu Tzu )

San Shou Kuan derives  from Northern Shaolin Kung Fu.  It takes as its inspiration the forms and practices espoused by  great Shaolin Chinese Masters from the beginnings of the 20th Century in particular Wang Tzu P’ing whose teaching went into the foundation of the Central Martial Arts Academy (Nanjing) in 1928.  It is from this academy that many Chinese Martial Arts can trace their origins.

The founders of San Shou Kuan have one such lineage through Wu Shu Kwan and to which they owe great respect as both were Senior Masters and instructors of Wu Shu Kwan for several decades.

Chang Chih-Chiang - Chung Yang Kuo Shu Kuan (Central Martial Arts Academy) circa 1928

                                                Chung Yang Kuo Shu Kuan (Central Martial Arts Academy) circa 1928

A brief history of the Central Martial Arts Academy

In 1927, the leaders of the Nationalist Government of China, along with a number of prominent martial artists including Chang Chih-Chiang supported the establishment of a Central Martial Arts Academy.

Chang Chih-Chiang had promoted martial arts training among his troops. He believed that “strengthening oneself strengthens the race and protecting oneself protects the country.” The government saw that the Chinese people were generally weak and unable to protect themselves. Their goal was to establish a centralized martial arts academy in order to help spread and develop martial arts, unify teaching materials, publish martial arts books and periodicals, further develop Chinese martial arts, and train a crop of teachers who would spread martial arts training throughout China in order to “make martial arts common in all walks of life.“

Chang Chih-Chiang’s firm belief in the cultivation of a strong body and sharp mind was undoubtedly forged in his years as an officer in Feng Yu-Hsiang’s army. His goal was to not only produce well educated, talented martial arts instructors at the school, but to also bring the top level martial artist in the country together so that they could share experiences and research Chinese martial arts, to raise the level of practical skills and teaching methods.

When the Nanjing Martial Arts Academy was opened in 1928, martial arts instruction was not generally part of the curriculum in Chinese universities or high schools. Martial arts and scholarly pursuits were not generally mixed together and martial arts instructors and practitioners, for the most part, were thought to be uneducated second class citizens. While physical education was taught in high schools and universities, martial arts was looked down upon by the academic and athletic community.

When the Nanjing Martial Arts Academy was founded, the government called on all martial arts teachers to help the country and teach their art at the school. Many of the instructors responded. Some came to teach at the Nanjing school while others taught at the provincial schools. The schools curriculum was divided into two main categories, Shaolin styles (which included Shaolin boxing, Cha Ch’uan, Tan T’ui, and Pa Chi) and Wu Tang styles (which included T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Hsing-I Ch’uan, Pa Kua Chang, and Liu Ho Pa Fa).

When the school was founded, Wang Tzu-P’ing was head of the Shaolin systems and Kao Cheng-Tung was head of the Wu Tang systems.

The Central Martial Arts Academy followed the Nationalist government from Nanjing to Chung King in 1943. The school was closed in 1947.

“Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.” Confucius.

 “He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.” Confucius.

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