After beating the crap out of one Tai Chi “master” last week, a MMA fighter has issued a challenge to any other traditional Chinese martial arts masters who think they would have better luck against him in a fight.
Last week, a video went viral on Chinese social media of the (brief) match between Xu Xiaodong, a 38-year-old Beijing-based MMA fighter, coach and promoter, known by fans as a “madman” for his ruthless aggression in the ring, and Wei Lei, the 41-year-old founder of the fledgling “Thunder style” school of Tai Chi in Chengdu. Prior to the match, Xu insulted traditional Chinese martial arts, saying they were all about style with no substance.
He then put that belief to the test. About 10 seconds after the fight began, it was over with Xu taking Wei to the ground and pummeling his face with punches in front of a large crowd in Chengdu. The Tai Chi master hadn’t managed to get in a single blow.
Watch video of the fight below:
Afterward, the fight sparked a contentious debate online over whether traditional Chinese martial arts could in fact stand up to more modern styles of fighting. Xu has made his position known, saying his quick victory over Wei wasn’t a fluke, he has thrown down the gauntlet to any other master who thinks that they can take him in a fight.
In his Weibo post, Xu said that the fight will be “anything goes” with kicks to the groin and pokes in the eye allowed. He even boasted that he could take on two or three masters at one time. He writes that while he could lose, he isn’t afraid of losing, because he is fighting against fakery with the support of the Chinese people. A true promoter, Xu says that the event will be broadcast across the country with 1.2 million yuan in prize money in total up for grabs.
A handful of traditional Chinese martial arts experts have already stepped forward to defend the honor of their discipline by accepting Xu’s bold challenge. One such challenger is Lu Xing, the president of the Sichuan Tai Chi “pushing hands” school, who said on Weibo that he was ready to “teach [Xu] a lesson.”
“He is deeply biased against the traditional martial arts and his words were insulting. I challenged him so he could have a fresh perspective of Tai Chi and the true traditional martial arts,” Lu said, according to SCMP, adding that he was 80% sure he would win the fight.
However, not everyone is so confident in Lu’s chances. While some Chinese netizens have hoped that someone will be able to take down Xu and humiliate him, others have praised the MMA fighter for helping to unmask charlatans. On Chinese social media, videos of other Tai Chi “masters” in action have gone viral, like this grandmaster of the “pushing hands” style:
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