Chinese Styles/Bare Knux History

Vincent Giordano, of the Vanishing Flame Report, has had studies that show that many cultures in East Asia (and the rest of the world) developed bare knuckle styles that were very functional in combat. So I have questions in regards to the use of Chinese styles in turn of the century bare-knuckle fights and the pre-UFC days. Although I know most stories or utter fakes or overexagerrated tall tales, I still wanna check on the validity of them.

For example, there's the story of the Jingwu founder Hou Yuen Jia (whose story in the kungfu flicks, Jet Li's Fist of Legend, and Bruce Lee's Chinese Connection)beating a German wrestler in Shanghai. There were many Germans in Shanghai at the turn of the century due to the unequal treaties which made China a sphere of influence for many nations, but is it possible that a German catch wrestler fought contests in China?

I read that in Paris, during the Paris Mayor's Cup for Shuai Jiao, they had Shou Bo competitions. What were the rules for these competitions? Were they similar to the Shou Bo rules that may have been used in the dynastic periods?

Another question I have is about Taiwanese Shuai Chiao master, Chang Tung Sheng. I read that he fought many bare knuckle brawls in China during his youth. Were these sanctioned matches or were they similar to today's Toughman fights?

Also, the Southeast Asian Open is discussed briefly in magazines and this forum. How many were there? What were the rules? Who won them? Is there website or paper document detailing this event?

In the 1970s, Paul Vizzio, using Tiger Claw wushu I believe, won many fights and was decalared the Under 400 lbs Champion. If there was a Under 400 lbs Champion, was there an Over 400 lbs Champion? What were the rules? Were these fights sponsored by the last remaining Tongs in Chinatown? Where were they originally held if so? Also, these fights were on ABC's Wideworld of Sports, but seeing as how internet tape collectors such as Jeff Lynch don't even have this footage, where is this footage?

I thank anyone who can answer any of these questions, academically, in advanced.


It's definitely possible that a European wrestler (catch or otherwise) could have fought a CMA stylist in Shanghai back in the early 20th century.

In fact, such bouts took place, although they seem to have been more common amongst Europeans and Japanese.

The opinion of CMA in the West at that time was generally very low. Chinese swordsmanship, for example, was referred to by one European as being "futile". Modern CMAists attribute this to Victorian biases.

The trick here is that those "biases" didn't seem so marked in regards to the Japanese & Indo-Pakistani styles. The Europeans clearly had a respect for judo/jujutsu, sumo, kendo, Indo-Pakistani wrestling, etc. Still, whenever mixed matches took place, they were usually under European rules, so the "bias" argument cannot be ruled out entirely.



For info on Chang Tung Sheng please ask Dr. Wu Cheng De of Houston, Texas. He studied with Chang and several of Chang's teachers in the '30s. Dr. Wu is also a great acupuncturist with excellent bone-mending skills...tell him Big Judo Lee sent you;-)