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Brief history of Shen Chuan and Professor Lansdale

    Shen Chuan, Martial Science is the overall title for the system devised by Joe Lansdale, martial artist for over 40 years and an Inductee into the INTERNATIONAL MARTIAL ARTS HALL OF FAME as Founder / Grandmaster of Shen Chuan and certified Tenth Degree Black Belt by the World Martial Arts Alliance. Professor Lansdale has also been inducted into the Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame as well, and is a multiple black belt holder. 

    Shen Chuan, Martial Science incorporates his personally devised system and offers connecting and enhancement divisions taught by experts in those areas. Only the overall system as devised by Professor Lansdale is referred to as Shen Chuan, Martial Science. 

    Shen Chuan: When referenced this way, without the tag MARTIAL SCIENCE, we are referring to the main body of the system. Technically, Shen Chuan is the central hub of the wheel. This is the system designed for self-defense, designed for young adults as well as elderly adults. Pure kickboxing, ground grappling, and very traditional systems limit those that are not ace athletes, those who are not strong, those who have injuries, or even those wearing everyday clothing (tight jeans, slick soled shoes), or those who need to warm up for high kicking. Even the environment can limit the self defense aspects of some of these systems, not to mention that the competitive spirit may not appeal to everyone. But Shen Chuan gives the student a wide variety of techniques utilizing striking, locking, throwing, aiki movements, basic kickboxing and ground work, without the competitive environment. It is especially effective for most realistic situations that arise, and can be done in everyday clothing without benefit of warm-ups. It is a system designed to fit the individual rather than having the individual conform to it. 

    Shen Chuan is a striking, locking, throwing art conceived and refined by Professor Joe Lansdale. Lansdale formed his system based on a lifetime of study in a number of martial arts. Major components are the concepts and principles of MODERN KENPO, and KOREAN HAPKIDO, but Professor's Wally Jay's unique approach to JU-JITSU is also a vital element in the development of the system, as is the influence of AIKIDO and AIKIJITSU, as well as numerous styles of Gung Fu, Judo, wrestling, boxing, Thai boxing, American Kick Boxing, Arnis, Jeet Kune Do, Dim Mak principles, and many others. In 1996, Lansdale began to call his teachings LANSDALE'S SELF-DEFENSE SYSTEMS, and the specific art of his creation, Shen Chuan. 

    Although Shen Chuan is a "new art" in organization and concepts, the techniques are not the invention of Professor Lansdale. They have been part of the martial arts world for centuries. The Professor has added his own approach, concepts and principles to produce a self-defense system that can be taught rapidly and will allow the student to flow from one range to the next, with a special emphasis on the striking and locking aspects of the art. Shen Chuan is not designed to be used in tournaments. It can be adapted to full contact sports, but not without ample consideration, and is not meant for those purposes. It does not claim to be superior to any other art. Each art has its strengths. 

    Shen Chuan is, simply, an Americanized, quick and deadly form of self-defense designed for modern circumstances. Techniques are open to reinterpretation by individual students, and the system is designed to adjust to the student instead of the student adjusting to the system. Shen Chuan literally embraces concepts and principles from many martial arts systems and styles while remaining true to its own concepts and principles.

Ranking in Shen Chuan:
    Our belt testings are not politically correct. You test when you're ready. We expect regular attendance, dues paid on time, a proper attitude, attention to safety, and, of course, the required techniques performed at the proper level. 

    Ask about our testing fees....You'll be pleasantly surprised! 

    Shen Chuan's BELT SYSTEM is designed to fall in line with modern concepts of ranking: Belts are a goal, and should be thought of in that manner. The belt system is a creation of modern times, and the color of those belts is determined by each system, and sometimes by each school. Although Shen Chuan uses some classic Asian terminology, it is decidedly American, and most of its terminology is American, and some is even more aptly described as Texan. 

    Shen Chuan at the lower level does not use kyus, gups, etc. It does use the Japanese terminology of Dan, but does not divide higher level ranks into Shodan, Nidan, etc. If you want to use these terms, that's fine, but it's not required. Levels of black belt may also be referred to as degrees. So, you have first Dan, second Dan, third Dan, and so on. 

    There are twelve belts from white to black, more than some schools, but this is due to the fact that Shen Chuan asks a lot of those who make black belt. We expect expertise in striking, locking, throwing, and more than a passing knowledge in ground work, stick and knife fighting, and spontaneous defense. 

    At the Nacogdoches school we also teach in conjunction. with Shen Chuan, Filipino Arnis, Combat Hapkido, and others. We offer individual ranks in these systems, as well as incorporate what we believe to be the "better" aspects of these arts into Shen Chuan. Auxiliary schools may prefer to vary these colors, or combine rank requirements into one rank and eliminate certain belts. 

How Much Time Between Ranks ?
    Students taught personally by Professor Lansdale will have their rank determined by him. But there are "averages". Two and a half to three years from white to black is about right for the Home School. Branch schools may vary, depending on the monthly hours and instruction. Some contend this is too short: Certainly there are systems that take five years, some ten or more, but more years is not always better. Dedicated time and proper instruction are more important. Many fine arts like Jujitsu and Wing Chun were developed so they could be taught in a relatively brief time. 

    Also, in Shen Chuan, there are no forms. We are not opposed to forms, if their true meaning is being taught (not the stuff they tell you in most classes about high block and low block). For an example of how it should be taught there's the instruction of George Dillman or Rick Moneymaker. Still, since concepts and principles of striking and the Accupressure points of Dim Mak can be translated into non-kata systems like Jujitsu, Aikijitsu, etc., Shen Chuan eliminates them. 

    Shen Chuan does not spend time preparing for point competition, board breaking, etc. Everything taught is self-defense oriented. Also, some sets, like the locking or throwing set, when fully explored, offer numerous methods of applying while using only a handful of locks and throws. 

Teaching this way, showing options, instead of calling every move a different technique, a student can learn and retain the science and art of Shen Chuan more easily. 

    Shen Chuan has a traditional framework, but inside, bless it's little heart, it's very non-traditional and American.

Average Time Between Belts from WHITE to BLACK:
  White to Yellow Stripe ---One Month to Six Weeks. 
  Yellow Stripe to Yellow---Six Weeks to Two Months. 
  Yellow to Orange Stripe---Three Months. 
  Orange Stripe to Purple---Three Months. 
  Purple to Purple with Stripe---Three Months. 
  Green---Three Months. 
  Green With Stripe---Three Months. 
  Green With Stripe to Brown---Three Months. 
  Brown to Brown with Red Stripe---Four to Six Months. 
  Brown with Red Stripe to Brown with Black Stripe---Four to Six Months. 
  Brown with Black Stripe to Black---8 Months to 12 Months. 

    We do not promote by political correctness, but by how much effort and time the student puts into Shen Chuan. The student who makes one or two classes a week, or has spotty attendance, obviously, will move slower than the student who comes to classes regularly, often attends classes in Hapkido, Aikido, or makes the Saturday class in Shen Chuan, or arranges special work outs. Even so, the student who shows up fifty hours a week and puts little effort into his or her workouts will gain no more than the student who stays home. 

    Showing up is half the battle, but not all of it: Dedication, natural ability, determination, outside practice are all factors.

    Also, the Nacogdoches School offers far more hours than most martial arts schools, with a student having access to over five hours of training a week in Shen Chuan alone. This in addition to our many other classes, arts that all contribute to better ability in Shen Chuan. A dedicated student, could, if he or she chose, take fifty hours of instruction a month. 

    Future Shen Chuan Charter Schools that offer only two to three hours of instruction a week will find their students will proceed at a slower rate. 

    Black Belt Ranks also have a general guide, but as with all things, there are exceptions. Students taught personally by Professor Lansdale or his Senior instructors may proceed at a faster rate, due to more on hand experience, and the amount of workout time offered by LANSDALE'S SELF-DEFENSE SYSTEMS. 

General Guideline for Length of Time between Black Belt Promotions: (considering the black belt is active):

  FIRST DAN to SECOND DAN---1 Year from First 
  SECOND DAN to THIRD DAN---2 Years from Second 
  THIRD DAN to FOURTH DAN---2 Years from Third 
  FOURTH DAN to FIFTH DAN---3 Years from Fourth 
  FIFTH DAN to SIXTH DAN---4 Years from Fifth 
  SIXTH DAN to SEVENTH DAN---4 Years from Sixth 
  SEVENTH DAN to EIGHTH DAN---5 Years from Seventh 
  EIGHTH DAN to NINTH DAN--7 to 9 Years from Eighth 

    Excluding the time it took to achieve First Dan, a practitioner of Shen Chuan might reach Ninth Dan in 28-30 years. This is about on par with most systems, faster than some, but what good is the honorary rank of, say eighth and ninth Dan, when you're too old to enjoy it. 

    Again, as far as time goes, their are exceptions. Some will move faster, some slower, depending on their dedication, innovations and contributions to the art. Some who join the system at a later age also have the benefit of maturity, and this can sometimes shorten length between ranks if all else is equal. It can also make it impossible to achieve the higher ranks. Logic says a fifty year old student white belt is unlikely to make Ninth Degree. 

Good and Bad. Yin and Yang.

    But, figuring thirty years for the entire package is realistic. Most importantly, do not get caught up in this rank business, or compete with others. Work against yourself and no one else. It's better to start a new system as a white belt and gain humility, than to be an ninth degree black belt and have the manners of a baboon and the ego of a fool. 

That's East Texas Hung Chow philosophy.

System Administrator

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