utilization of highly scientific principles of physics involving movement and
leverage as well as intense concentration and controlled breathing, gives a
fighter extreme power. Agility
balance coordination humility and respect for one’s fellow man are also
3,500 to 4000 years ago Chinese Monks devised Kung-Fu within the confines of
their monastery. They organized a system of hand to hand fighting for survival
and for physical fitness.
mind as well as the body was taken into consideration; a healthy body, a healthy
mind. Kung-Fu was organized into five basic areas: Punching; kicking; leverage;
throwing; and physical dynamics. Thus Kung-Fu evolved as the first organized
system of hand to hand combat.
Soo Strives to develop a strong respect for other men. The Art of Kung-Fu Lies
not in Victory or Defeat, but in the building of Human Character.
Learn about the meaning and history of the Kung-Fu San Soo
Characters (Hanzi) ... by Yee-Wah Chow.
of Kung-Fu San Soo
Lineage of Kung Fu SAN SOO started in the Qwan Yin Monastery and descended down
the following path:
History of Kung-Fu San Soo
San Soo, as taught by Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo, had it's origins in the very
basics of Chinese feudal life over 2,500 years ago in the
Yin. This is the oldest martial art as we
know it. For many hundreds of years,
divided and sub-divided into various warring factions, and each produced many
different types of fighting styles. Chinese systemized warfare pre-dates the
arrival of the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, thought to be the founder of Shaolin
Ch'uan, who appeared some 2,500 years ago.
how and when these fighting tactics were begun in the Kwan-Yin (Goddess of
Mercy) monastery, in the
Hong, Guangdong Province of Southern China
is still unclear, and is in the process of being researched. The main reason the
martial arts were perfected by this group of monks was to protect themselves
from bandits and outlaws as the monks returned with supplies and donations from
of these monks, named Leoung Kick, an orphan who had lived in the monastery
since age ten, (Jimmy H. Woo's Great, Great, Great Grandfather) decided to leave
the monastery when he was approximately 30 years old. He took with him two of
the Buddhist training texts which probably date back to the late 1500's, during
the Ming Dynasty. These books have remained within the Chin family for five
generations and are extremely fragile and rare. All the techniques and forms
taught to and by Jimmy came from these two manuals.
Chin Siu Dek (Jimmy's Chinese name) was taught by his Great Uncle Chin Siu Hung
who was nicknamed Chin Neow Gee, which means "Crazy Devil." Hung was
an extremely large man, at 6'5" and weighing well over 320 pounds.
Following in his father and grandfather's footsteps, Hung became a well-known
fighter, teaching in his own San Soo school. He was an overlord for the entire
province, which at that time, the late 1800's and until 1941 was about the size
of Orange County,
He had complete control over nearly every aspect of the lives of the people in
that area. No one, started a business, moved, or made any other major decisions
without consulting Hung.
The Story of Chin Siu Dek
the age of four on Chin Siu Dek (Jimmy H. Woo) was to be his Great Uncle's prize
student. He learned extremely fast and loved the contact and grueling workouts
on hard floors. In his teens, Dek became a traveling teacher of Tsoi Lee Ho Fut
Hung, the five family names of the martial art perfected hundreds of years
before in the monastery very near his small village.
anyone in the province needed someone to come and settle a grievance, Dek was
the enforcer. When village elders decided it was time for the young men to learn
to defend themselves, Dek would be sent to live there for months at a time to
1933, at the age of 19, Chin Siu Dek left mainland
the passport name Jimmy H. Woo and sailed for the
States. During his early years
in this country, Jimmy lived in
Siu Hung was approximately 74 to 75 old when the Japanese invaded mainland
took over his beloved province. In 1933 or 1934 he was forced, against his
will, to answer a challenge to fight to the death the regimental Karate
champion of the Japanese army who was in his 20s. This was to be a public
display of power of the Japanese conquerors in front of the poor villagers of
the surrounding area. Under the threat of death to his people if he did not
comply, Hung fought and defeated the Japanese champion. In fact, he killed the
Karate warrior in less than 20 seconds. Chin Siu Hung with the all the other
San Soo fighters in his school were immediately killed by machine gun fire.
This basically ended San Soo in mainland
was extremely fortunate that Jimmy had left mainland
he did, for the Japanese would have awarded him with the same fate as his Great
Uncle and the other San Soo practitioners rather than allow a possible
resistance corps to remain.
carried the art to
kept it alive while many of the other early Chinese fighting systems were
destroyed by the Japanese. Mao Tse Tung later eradicated many of the other
martial art styles, training books and monasteries when the communist Chinese
took over power from the Japanese at the end of WWII.
left on the steamship Queen Elizabeth II and arrived in
stayed for a year or two, and finally immigrated to
1935. He worked many varied jobs as he became acclimated
to his new home in LA's Chinatown District. He originally learned produce from
his mother and father and his love for fresh fruit and vegetables stemmed from
his long hours as a produce manager in a market. He loved to cook and owned 3
restaurants, one of which was his fathers in
his first love was teaching San Soo. He began teaching privately to close
relatives and friends. Later, he was the instructor for several years at the
Sing Kang "cousin club" - a social/recreational organization. He also
acted as security/police for the residents and business owners in the area and
some times as a body guard, the only unarmed one in the area.
December of 1962, Jimmy officially held the grand opening for his martial arts
studio in the
In the early years, he called it "Karate Kung-Fu" because no one knew
what kung fu was at that time. In January of 1984, following his retirement from
daily instruction, Jimmy H. Woo became Grand Master (Lau Sifu) when his Grandson
J.P. King, earned his black belt in 1993.
H. Woo taught his instructors' class two Saturday's a month until his death in
1991. This brought to 46 years, the
teaching Kung-Fu San Soo, in
Kung-Fu San Soo is hand to
translated Kung-Fu San Soo means “a man learned, articulate and active in the
use of his hands (body) in combat with another man.”