YMAA Kung Fu & Tai Chi Ireland

Shuai Jiao Wrestling

_MG_7008Shuai jiao (Chinese: 摔跤 or 摔角; pinyin: Shuāijiāo; Wade–Giles: Shuai-chiao) is the term pertaining to the jacket wrestling style of Beijing, Tianjin and Baoding of Hebei Province in the North China Plain which was codified by Shan Pu Ying (善撲营 The Battalion of Excellency in Catching) of the Nei Wu Fu (内務府, Internal Administration Unit of Imperial Household Department). In modern usage it is also the general Mandarin Chinese term for any form of wrestling, both inside and outside of China. As a generic name, it may be used to cover various styles of wrestling practiced in China in the form of a martial arts system or a sport. The art was introduced to Southern China in the Republican era after 1911.

History

The earliest Chinese term for wrestling, “jǐao dǐ” (角抵, horn butting), refers to an ancient sport in which contestants wore horned headgear with which they attempted to butt their opponents. Legend states that “jiao di” was used in 2697 BC by the Yellow Emperor’s army to gore the soldiers of a rebel army led by Chiyou.[1] In later times, young people would play a similar game, emulating the contests of domestic cattle, without the headgear. Jiao di has been described as an originating source of wrestling and latter forms of martial arts in China.

“Jiao li” (角力) was first referenced in the Classic of Rites during the Zhou Dynasty. Jiao li supplemented throwing techniques with strikes, blocks, joint locks and attacks on pressure points. These exercises were practiced in the winter by soldiers who also practiced archery and studied military strategy.[4]

Jiao li eventually became a public sport held for court amusement as well as for recruiting the best fighters. Competitors wrestled each other on a raised platform called a “lei tai” for the potential reward of being hired as a bodyguard to the emperor or a martial arts instructor for the Imperial Military. Jiao li was taught to soldiers in China over many centuries and its popularity among the military guaranteed its influence on later Chinese martial arts through the end of the Qing dynasty.

The term “shuai jiao” was chosen by the Central Guoshu Academy (Zhong Yang Guo Shu Guan 中央國術館) of Nanjing in 1928 when competition rules were standardized. The art continues to be taught in the police and military academies of China.