San Shou stands for free fights. It was created in 1924 due to the need that existed from the Chinese army. San Da has been the official competition name for this full-contact combat sport in China since 1991. The San Shou techniques are applied at San Da. From that time on, competitions under the name San Da were organized in China. There are of course competition rules bound to San Da, for example one may not hand out elbow strikes and knee strikes. At San Shou, these rules do not apply. San Shou is a more complete attack and defense system composed of the best and most effective techniques of the different Wushu styles. San Shou techniques can be divided into four broad categories:

Punching Techniques (Ti)

Stair Techniques (Da)

Throwing and Wrestling Techniques ( Shuai-Fa)

Clamping and Gripping Techniques (Chin-Na)

San Shou is different from, for example, American “kickboxing”, because wrestling, throwing and gripping techniques are also used in addition to boxing and kicking techniques. Throwing techniques are very effective for quickly and unexpectedly interrupting the opponent’s attack at close range. The San Shou method not only uses the arm and knee to block a kick, but also grappling techniques (Chin-na) to catch a kick and grab the leg. In addition, wrestling techniques and clamping techniques are used to get the opponent under control during ground fights, among other things.

Source: http://www.xingyimen.nl/san-da/