After being beaten down in 10 seconds in a highly-publicized match with a MMA fighter last week, a disgraced Tai Chi “master” has now blamed that embarrassing loss on his “slippery shoes.”
41-year-old Lei Lei, the founder of the fledgling “Thunder-style” of Tai Chi in Chengdu faced off against 38-year-old Beijing-based MMA fighter, coach and promoter Xu Xiaodong, known by fans as a “madman” for his ruthless aggression in the ring. Prior to the match, which was live-streamed to more than a million viewers, Xu insulted traditional Chinese martial arts, saying that 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, a fact that he has since blamed on his choice of footwear.
In a video interview, Lei explains that on the day of the fight he wore a pair of new shoes with rubber soles. The floor of the arena was also covered in soft rubber, which caused him to lose his balance while retreating backwards, slip, fall and get his brains beaten in.
“He never touched me when I was standing up… I only got hit when I fell on the floor,” Wei said. “Do I need to explain any more?”
Following his loss, Lei has offered a number of different excuses. In one interview, he said that he did not want to win the fight because winning would cause “disharmony” in his life. In another interview, he said that he had held back in the fight, so as not to kill his opponent with his true power.
The fight has sparked a contentious debate online over whether traditional Chinese martial arts can stand up to more modern styles of fighting. Xu has made his position known, throwing down the gauntlet to any other masters who think they can take him, challenging them to a no-holds-barred fight, bragging that the could take on two or three of them at the same time. 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 number of martial arts experts have already accepted Xu’s challenge to uphold the honor of their discliple. One of these challengers, Tai Chi master Chen Shi, has expressed his confidence online, saying that Wei had been using “Tai Chi crap” against Xu.
Meanwhile, Chinese netizens have said that if shoes were really the problem then Wei should definitely demand a rematch. But in bare feet this time.
In case you somehow missed it. You can watch their first fight below:
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