Can you imagine being thrown the second you are touched? This is a characteristic movement of Baoding Kuai Jiao (“kuai jiao” literally means “fast wrestling”). It originated in Muslim communities in northern China but now has spread to Taiwan, Europe, and the Americas.
Shuai Jiao Master – Chang Tung Sheng
Born into a Kuai Jiao family in China, Chang Tungsheng learnt the art at an early age. He earned the moniker “wrestling king” and later served as the Chinese wrestling coach at the Central Guoshu Institute. He also taught wrestling to troops across the country. When they appointed Chang to teach police tactics at Taiwan’s Central Police University after the Nationalist Party retreat, he created a mandatory Chinese-style wrestling, or Shuai Jiao, program for all students.
After a decorated three-decade career that included a performance in front of the king of Morocco, Chang retired. His spirit lives on in his grandson David Chang, who was the Central Police University’s wrestling coach when he was still a college student. He later took over his grandfather’s position. Like his grandfather, David has been training in Kuai Jiao since childhood, eventually achieving the highest level in Kuai Jiao.
David explains that this type of Kung Fu incorporates kicks, punches, throws, and locks. “You have to think during a fight, remain flexible, and differentiate between empty and full attacks,” he says. “You cannot merely count on your strength.” Unlike mixed martial arts, Chinese wrestling is not beating opponents completely or knocking someone out.
“It’s practical for police to learn,” he says. With these grappling and throwing techniques, police officers can take down and arrest suspects easily. He also trains new recruits to the army.