San Da: Chinese kickboxing

Originating in the 1920's Republic of China, San Da ("free hit/free fighting") or Sanshou ("free hand") began as combination of various Chinese martial arts taught exclusively to military and law enforcement personnel. With its competitive origins rooted in Lei Tai (elevated arena floor) fights, San Da placed soldiers in little to no rules based combat matches to test their skills.  Over time, the discipline faced backlash as it began embracing aspects of non-Chinese martial arts such as Western Boxing, Thai Boxing, and Judo. By the 1960s, the People’s Republic of China standardized the art as a sport, and currently professional San Da features striking with punches, kicks, and elbows, with many of Shuai Jiao’s (Chinese Wrestling) takedowns, throws, and sweeps. In comparison to modern MMA, San da does not allow grappling once the competitors reach the floor. More recently, Junshi Sanda was formulated as a means of hand to hand combat for the Chinese Special Forces.