About Kung Fu San Soo Sonora
Our Web Site
The Sonora Kung Fu San Soo School is a small studio primarily composed of dedicated, self-willed students. The school was founded by 20 year Master Rusty Wallace.
Like the school, this web site is a labor of love. When we say we're dedicated to the instruction and preservation of Kung Fu San Soo, that's precisely what we mean, to the best of our ability to understand and practice the art.
Our core practitioners have come and gone over the decades, but those in attendance typically have more than 100 years of combined experience, often with several masters studying right along with new students, and we've applied virtually thousands of hours into research toward a logistical understanding of the art. Accordingly, we hope to provide a resource for anyone interested in Kung Fu San Soo, from practitioners, to martial arts researchers, to the curious. We hope our efforts provide a means to intelligently describe, discuss, and reference the art.
We also categorically make this particular distinction: we don't claim to be or represent the actual family lineage of Chan Siu Dek, or the official International Kung Fu San Soo Association, but only an honest and documentable training lineage. Many students of Kung Fu San Soo have multiple lineages as they studied with various trainers along their way in life, including some of those who studied at the Sonora School, either presently or in the past. Accordingly, we recently modified our lineagestudy to clearly differentiate between the lineage of the Sonora School, through Bill Lasiter, and the family lineage of J. P. King, grandson of Grandmanster Chan Siu Dek, and president of the International Kung Fu San Soo Association.
With respect to our history and lineage studies, we're fairly confident that only a few others understand it as well, and only a handful better, among them being the work of Tom Akers and his followers, along with the excellent studies of Jon Surritt, Ron Gatewood, Russ and Judy Williams, Jim Benkert, and David Lorenson. We say this without attempting to critically qualify the abilites or the character of any of these individuals, and without prejudice with respect to what others may think of any of them, including us, but simply giving them credit for their efforts, without which there would likely be no sincere attempt at fact based historic revelation of the art. By this we mean attempting to take the oral traditons passed down via Kung Fu San Soo and compare them to the documented history of Chinese Martial Arts, attempting to find a realistic, documentable place where the art fits for the benefit and credibility of the entire community.
We're making a conscious effort to substantiate content, and to point the reader to our sources. But much of the information about the art is effectively a Gordian Knot and somewhat difficult to unravel. While we're tyring our best to cut through that knot, we can't make a claim to perfection or boast the ultimate, faultless authority on the subject.
Accordingly, if you can provide us with a correction or additional information with respect to any section or category of the information on this web site, don't hesitate to contact us and let us know. Documentation is important to us, so please include your sources, whether outside references, personal experience, or a specific individual such as a first generation master, so we can substantiate your correction and point other readers to the basis of your information.
Finally, because of the flux of this effort, don't be surprised to see the content of this site change from time to time, as either our own research reveals different information, or someone provides us with corrections and improvement suggestions.
Throughout this site we've made a repeat effort to approach the content with a number of caveats and preferenced positions.
First, out of our own sense of respect, we used the proper family name, Chan Siu Dek, whenever we refer to the person we knew as Jimmy H. Woo. To the traditional Chinese martial community, even using his proper name may be viewed as crass and disrespectful, but by our feelings, it's a whole lot better than posthumously referring to him as "Jimmy, ol' buddy!" Furthermore, we opted to use the Cantonese surname spelling Chanrather than the more commonly used Chin . As a spelling, Chin is more typical of the Hakka dialect or Japanese. Chan is much more closely associated with the families that are historically connected with his historic training. The two other possible spellings, Mandarin Chen, or the Pinyin, Zheng, we felt even less appropriate. If anyone has evidence that we're incorrect on this, please advise.
Second, we don't pretend to be the last word on the subject of Kung Fu San Soo, or on Jimmy H. Woo. We've just done our best to put the many varied pieces together as well as we can.
Third, while we can't say we don't have our personal preferences with respect to other Kung Fu San Soo schools, practitioners, or lineages, we've gone out of our way to try and remain as neutral as we know how in the middle of the many known controversies and respective cliques that have emerged since the death of Chan Siu Dek.
Using This Site
This web site is extremely simple and intuitive to use. Simply run your cursor over the general category options in the menu along the top of the site and click. For each selection, one or more options will appear on the left of the site. Run your cursor over those sub-categories, and click. Respective content appears at the right viewing pane.
Throughout the web site content you will encounter certain words and phrases italicized in red . Red text words and phrases link to source references that explain, document, or further describe related subject matter. Simply place your cursor over one of the red words or phrases and click. If the link is local and connects to another page on this web site, clicking directs you to the new page on our site. Use the browser back button to return you to exactly where you were before clicking red text. If the link is to an external web site or our web site photographs, content appears in a new browser window. Simply close the window to return to the local content.
The linking to external website process should work with no modifications using Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mac Safari. For those using Firefox, you must make one modification to prevent new pages from opening in a tab on the Sonora San Soo Splash page. Simply follow these instructions:
Close this main Sonora San Soo window and return to the Sonora San Soo Splash Page. Then PLEASE modify your option settings by going to Tools, Options, Tabs, and click the Radio Button under "New pages should be opened in:" to "a new window", then click OK to close the dialog box. Then relaunch this main window from the Splash Page to continue. New external website links will now open in a new window, so you will not loose your place here on the Sonora San Soo website.
While we realize that we're a bit out of the way, we welcome all Kung Fu San Soo practitioners that stop by and visit us. Sonora is at the "Gold Country" junction of highways 108 and historic 49, in the heart of an extremely scenic, picturesque part of California in the Western Sierra Nevada, near Yosemite National Park. And while we aren't an official mouthpiece for the local chamber of commerce, there is a reason we live here.
Within one hour of Sonora there are five major boating lakes, one of the nation's most notable National Parks, three State Parks, three National Forests, and three major Wilderness Areas. They provide us with hundreds of miles of streams and rivers for rafting, kayaking, and trout fishing, some of the best deer and duck hunting in the state, high country animal pack trips, several popular areas for camping, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, snowmobiling, snow boarding, and skiing, plus four Rodeos, the Calaveras Frog Jump, and a historic Motion Picture Location featuring operating live steam engines.
A few of the notable San Soo practitioners who have taken advantage of the area and visit us for training are Bill Lasiter, Jeff Frater, Kyle Olsen, Don Williams, Heather Simpson, Tony Horton, and Steve Corrales. So if you're a San Soo person with a trip planned for our region, stop by for a workout. If you're not, but just interested in learning about the art, stop by anyway.