Friday, July 9, 1999
Sanshou to make
its Hawaii debut
The Asian-style of martial artsBy Tim Crouse
will be one of several used in
tomorrow's full-contact event
Special to the Star-Bulletin
The popular Asian full-contact sport of Sanshou will make its debut on American soil tomorrow night at the Blaisdell Arena when the United States takes on China in "The Art of War Fighting Championships".
The international contest will feature nine bouts, including a highly anticipated match between four-time American National Sanshou Champion Cung Le (32-2) of San Jose and China's National Champion, Nashungerile (84-2) in the light heavyweight division.
Over the past five years, the 27-year old Le has developed into the premiere fighter in the country in the Sanshou style of kickboxing.
Sanshou is a relatively new form of full-contact fighting that the Chinese Wushu Institute developed in 1979 that includes elements of boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and judo.
It didn't come to the U.S. until earlier in this decade, and although Le didn't start practicing it until 1994, he has become America's first professional Sanshou fighter.
"A lot of people don't know about Sanshou," says Le. "There's more technique involved in it than in kickboxing. Kickboxing has punching and kicking above the waist. In Oriental rules you kick to the legs and punch and use elbows and knees.
"In Sanshou, you punch, kick and free-throw, and everything you do, you score points. It makes it more exciting," Le says.
Le says that when he enters the ring tomorrow night, he won't be intimidated by his opponent's impressive 84-2 record.
"When I go out (Saturday) night it's all about the mental (part of fighting) and putting it all together," says Le. "I'm not going to make a prediction, but I will say that on Saturday the Blaisdell will be blazing.
"We're going to rock and roll come July 10," he added.
Hawaii's own undefeated full-contact fighter, Harlan Lee (8-0), will get the chance to battle in front of a hometown crowd when he takes the ring against China's Su "Deathwish" Shigang in the cruiserweight division.
"I've been training hard for this fight and have been waiting for a long time for an opportunity like this to fight before a hometown audience," the 35-year old Lee said.
Tickets for the Art of War Fighting Championships are $25 for the upper level, $45 for the risers and loges and $100 ringside.