Understanding  the term “Sparring” at our Academy.


Sanshou (also called Sanda, Chinese Kick Boxing) is a class that combines Kung-fu techniques with full-contact sparring, including punches, kicks, wrestling, throws, takedowns, sweeps, kick catches, and elbow strikes.

What does a sparring session look like?

In order to ensure the most realistic sparring sessions possible, but at the same time to ensure safety on both sides, our sparring style is divided into two types: turn-based combat, and combat simulation.

  1. Turn-based combat: this type is based on a timed alternation of attack and defense. It aims at training the brain to learn increasingly difficult block-attack patterns.
  2. Combat simulation: this type is introduced only after a Student has completed his/her first year of training. Combat simulation can only take place between Master and Student, or between two Students who have been enrolled in the Academy for at least one year. In Combat simulation, sparring will display the typical characteristics of a real full-contact match, provided that the rules set below are understood and followed:

What’s allowed and what’s not?

In general, there are three components that are excluded from our sparring sessions. They are: speed, power, and malicious intention.

  1. Speed: Students must be aware that it is easy to get carried away by the adrenaline of the moment, therefore, for safety reasons, speed factor is reduced to minimum in our sparring sessions, while it can increase in the turn-based combat sessions, according  to the degree of experience achieved by each Student. Speed is the main reason of injury in fighting sports, due to the “ping-pong effect” between the two sparring parts: if A attacks/blocks B too fast, B will adapt to this new pace, therefore the match will increase its pace faster and faster, increasing the risk of injury for both A and B. This is called “ping-pong effect”.
  2. Power: the same goes for power factor: reduced to minimum in our sparring sessions, which can be increased in turn-based sparring to the degree of experience achieved by each Student.
  3. Malicious intention: reduced to zero irrespectively. It is clear that, in order for both fighters to be mentally ready for a real-like life situation, there must be a factor defined as “simulated aggression” within our combat sessions, but the malicious intention – or intent aimed at hurting the opponent – is strictly banned by our Academy.

Students who won’t obey the above mentioned rules will be banned from the Academy without reservation.



Any fist to groin, knees, occiput are forbidden. Joint locks are forbidden, as a separate class for safely studying them is already covered by our monthly training cycle. Take-downs are allowed, as long as they are controlled. Dropping the opponent upside down, or intentionally projecting him and crushing him with your own weight, is forbidden. Techniques can be still carried on in event both opponents are on the ground, as long as fighting pace is further reduced, and techniques being applied are controlled and slow.
Each of us has a job/hobby that involves parts such as fingers (musicians, artists) that are needed to carry on these actions. Facing the choice "going home at the end of the class with a broken nose or going home a bit disappointed for "not having fought in a cage", we opted for the safer one - sorry -. There are heaps of fighting sports centers you can test your skills at. Here at the Shunlian Shenghuo Kungfu Academy we aim at finding a balance, while bearing in mind that we all must find a balance between realism and care of our body, because an insignificant injury may knock at your door later in life.
We use: mouth guard, groin guard, open-fingered gloves. No shin, foot, chest, head, forearm protections are used.
No, you can use the ones the Academy provides. In order to complain with hygiene rules, all Students are required to wear extra cotton gloves before wearing top sparring gloves (unless sparring with their own). Our cotton gloves are thoroughly washed after each sparring session.
Factors like: technical skills, control, flexibility, fitness and stamina are built only through attending all classes in our four-week cycle. We actually don't encourage beginners to attend only Sanda classes, as it would be pointless and dangerous. If, on the other hand, you are and experienced martial artist (at least one year of proved martial experience in any style), feel free to book a kick boxing session with us (you need to contact us beforehand, as kick boxing is once every four weeks)


kung fu classes newcastle nswAll classes and styles belong to the Shunlian Shenghuo Kungfu Academy program and are brought to you in their genuineness.
Not sure which class suits you most..? Try our Style choice Advisor!

The Shunlian Shenghuo Kungfu Academy allows its Students to learn any class with no limitation. However, we strongly suggest to follow a gradual 3+2 year program where you can start from the easiest skill to the most complex Shaolin Kungfu technique. Furthermore, this is the only way the Academy will recognize your achievements.