Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world
Topend Sports Logo


Sanshou, also commonly called Sanda, is a Chinese self-defense system which later evolved in a full-contact combat sport. It is the competitive fighting form of Wushu. It is a form of martial arts developed by the Chinese military from a mix of aspects from traditional Kung fu and modern combat fighting. The sport consists of moves like punches and kicks from a close range as in kickboxing and takedowns and throws as in wrestling. Strikes with elbows and knees are also used in sanshou.

Sanshou is practiced both at an amateur and professional level. Most professional competitions also have bouts for amateurs. In amateur matches, a raised platform is used and fighters wear protective gear like head-guard, body armor, and boxing gloves.  A match lasts for a maximum of three two-rounds. Points are awarded based on the strikes and throw downs. A fighter to win two rounds first wins the fight.

Professional Sanda matches are conducted in boxing rings and fighters do not wear any protective gear. Scoring is based on strikes, but the points awarded for moves vary based on which organizing body conducts the tournament.

Sanshou is also extensively practiced as a part of Wushu. Many MMA fighters have also uses sanshou moves in fights and have been very successful.

Similar Sports

Related Pages

send us a comment Any comments, suggestions, or corrections? Please let us know.

Sport Extra

Check out the 800+ sports in the Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport? We also have sports winners lists, and about major sports events and a summary of every year.

 → How to Cite