IronMonkey: Judo/Wrestle SanShou?

Hi all,

Just wondering what some of you guys think is more beneficial for sanshou? I train in kickboxing but competed in some sanshou events and loved it. There are no sanshou training available around where I am so I am seriously considering crosstraining in either judo or wrestling. Both wrestling and judo places that I've checked out seemed to have good coaches so it all comes down to whichever is best to adapt to sanshou.

I like the variety of throws you learn in judo and the groundwork I can also learn from it. On the other hand, wrestling doesn't rely on a jacket for its moves and the skills and attributes gained from it usually have a positive transfer to MMA, which is a step above sanshou.

So what do you guys think? Judo or Wrestling?

"On the other hand, wrestling doesn't rely on a jacket for its moves and the skills and attributes gained from it usually have a positive transfer to MMA,"

this statement is not true. Judo does not always rely on the gi, it relies on an offbalancing motion and the handle that you use can be the gi or the body.

and it translated very well into mma and sanshou.

Scott Elliott

If you are doing it specifically for San Shou and you HAVE to choose just one or the other, I would say Judo. In Judo, you are going to be learning more throws, trips and sweeps than the wrestling is going to teach you. You will pick up the principles of balance and off-balancing that makes the throwing work. You can easily apply those principles without a gi and as BIC said, many don't rely on the gi.

In wrestling, you will most likely work more on tackles and takedowns and alot more groundwork, which will take away from your goal. Although, the singles are great for teaching quick takedowns off a leg catch. Wrestling does have many of the same throws, trips and sweeps and obviously never uses a gi, but like I said, you're gonna spend ALOT more time on the ground.

Ideally, do both.


why don't you ask Sambo Steve? he competed in San Shou and I am working with him right now on just that subject. he has given me a lot of great advice and I consider him as knowledgable as anyone on that specific subject.


 Good question. I posted over on the Judo forum a similar inquiry - sambo or judo for San Da?

Sambo Steve had a good insights as did other members of that board. I think BadBrad will also have insight as a judoka himself. Don't know if he has wrestling experience.


Neither is a perfect fit because they are based off of sports with different rules. I trained in both and have found both to benefit my performance in San Shou/Sanda. The main thing that will be different is the gripping. You lose a lot of your gripping options that are in Wrestling and even more in Judo. I think you have to spend more time with the instructor and see who you can get the most out of.


Obviously, learning how to throw in San Da is best done with a San Da coach...

If that is not available, it comes down to the coach of the other sport. IE there may be a great Judo coach who understands integration with striking and how to adjust grips...

"wrestling" is sort of an open term... folk style? Free style? Greco Roman? Greco is better for San Da than folkstyle or free style....

My clinching DVD is still available, and next week the 2005 Combat Camp finally goes out...



pisand - Have you got that 'sambo or judo for Sanda' thread saved? It doesn't seem to be in the judo forum anymore. I would love to take up sambo. I like the unorthodox and more wrestling throws sambo seems to have. But sambo is like sanshou/ sanda here, that is...there's none! :( I was actually hoping that sambosteve will give his insights here.

Scott Elliott - You and your guys compete in sanshou? /o:p

Thanks for the comments everyone. I'm leaning towards judo now definitely. I'd like to learn both but I'm still a novice in kickboxing so I still need to have that as a big part of my training. With the addition of judo or wrestling, I think I'll have my plate full for the time being.


I think this LINK will bring that old thread up for you. Let me know if it doesn't work and I'll paste the whole thing.

+American Sambo Association, President

"I think you have to spend more time with the instructor and see who you can get the most out of." - agreed 100% 

IronMonkey - Be sure to check the credentials of who you train with and be clear about your goals with them. I got your e-mail. I will get back to you asap.  I do know of a sambo club in Perth, but not in Sydney.  The sambo coach there also coaches Judo and wrestling. He's been in the game for over 40 years. A very valuable resource if you can get to him.  I am not sure about his knowledge of striking but, his sambo background is combat sambo form his military days so I think he is no stranger to strikes. Here is his website...



ironmonkey, I wrestled for many years did sanshou and have done judo for the last 5+.

I can say this about my own expereince. before judo my wrestling training gave me speed power and the foundation for lifting and pummeling.

after judo i saw the technical beauty of reaps, hips, blocks, etc.

so now I see the fusion of all 3, pummel like a wreslter, attack the legs like a judoka, use your physical conditioning, grapple intelligently etc..

IMHO I'd seek the school or club with the best coaches and competitors and then integrate teh knowledge into your gameplan.

*We now return you to your typical sanshou thread...*



Gee I coulda sworn I didn't see either Lkfmdc or Badbradburrick's posts when I posted my reply on page one. Am I going crazy or stuffing up again? Thanks all for the replies and the online drama :). Pisand thanks for digging up that link. Much appreciated.

Lkfmdc - I have your dvd already. I was the one who enquired about your dvd in a previous thread here. Btw, just incase you can do something about it, I also mentioned the dvd is damaged. I have emailed Customflix twice and rang them up once. I was told I would be emailed re the situation but still no word yet. As I have said I like what I've seen of your dvd so far and I'd like to get your upcoming dvds. Its vey helpful to improving my sanshou game.

I respect you have skills but your net persona really is abit of a worry. Its not what I imagine a sifu should be (I know alot of sifus aren't what they should be but its a good ideal to reach for, call me a romantic). Btw, I've emailed you a couple of times but I think I've only ever had one reply from you. My questions I posted in the past have often been left unanswered.

Sambosteve - thanks for the advice! I originally was just gona take up judo/ wrestling and just learn whatever they teach but telling the coach what I'm trying to do might not be a bad idea. That sambo coach in Perth looks good. Its a pity he's on the other side of Australia but I'm willing to visit him whenever there's a break from work. Zhang Lin sounds good!! He should have emigrated to Sydney! Sydney is such a martial arts backwater :(.

BullinaChinashop - I like your description re the fusion of all three. I think that's a good idea to remember in my training and development.

Its hardwork typing out all these!

+American Sambo Association, President

IronMonkey - I actually have family in Perth and hope to get out there in 2006 some time. We should hook up when I do!

Scott Elliott


Well, this has certainly been entertaining and enlightening to say the least!

Ironmonkey, we train and spar under San Shou and San Da rules at times, as well as under other rules or 'scenarios' to mix the game up under different limitations and foster the ability to adapt. Somtimes they just box, sometimes just kickbox, sometimes Muay Thai rules, sometimes San Shou or I just tell them kickbox with only throws, sometimes kickbox with any takedown or tackle, sometimes kickbox with takedowns to quick submission or get up, etc., etc. Many, many different ways to set it up.

My people compete mainly under BJJ, Submission Wrestling and MMA. I'm trying to get more of them to cross into other areas and maybe hit the Arnold's next year.


A reply to the topic I did alot of shaui chiao,and above the waist kickboxing when I started sanshou what helped me was when I had a sanshou fight coming up I would wear boxing gloves in the shuai chiao class when drilling. you could do this with wrestling or judo.What helps is alot of wrestling,judo,shaui chiao, guys dont want to spar so to make the best of the situation you train with there rules but wearing gloves its better than hittin the bag.same thing for NHB at jorge gurgel gym some guys do wrestling some grappling some thai so you have to jump in and get what you can. Scott



"wrestling,judo,shaui chiao, guys dont want to spar "

story of my life!

*goes to kickboxing class and asks if they want to do sanshou.*

"we can strike but no way am I getting thrown!"

*leave disapointed*

*goes to grapplers ans ask to do sanshou*

"we can grapple but no way am I getting punched or kicked!"

*leaves disapointed*

yep... for many sanshou guys you just got to see the benefit of THEIR training and integrate it into YOUR style.

unless you open up your own sanshou gym ;) then you can do whatever the hell you please. :-P

I think these will be the posts relevant to your original thread. Back on TOPIC for you.



ttt for IronMonkey. Sorry for the hijacked thread.

Thanks SamboSteve. I understand your post was to simply set the record straight and defend a friend and associate you felt was unjustly attacked. Our superadministrator deleted the thread since several posts were less than professional.