NY Times — BEIJING — For weeks, the mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong had been taunting masters of the traditional Chinese martial arts, dismissing them as overly commercialized frauds, and challenging them to put up or shut up.
After one of them — Wei Lei, a practitioner of the “thunder style” of tai chi — accepted the challenge, Mr. Xu flattened him in about 10 seconds.
Mr. Xu may have proved his point, but he was unprepared for the ensuing outrage. When video of the drubbing went viral, many Chinese were deeply offended by what they saw as an insult to a cornerstone of traditional Chinese culture.
The state-run Chinese Wushu Association posted a statement on its website saying the fight “violates the morals of martial arts.” The Chinese Boxing Association issued similar criticism.
An article by Xinhua, the state news agency, called Mr. Xu a “crazy guy,” saying that the fight had caused people to question whether Chinese martial arts were of any use and even to ask, “What exactly are traditional Chinese martial arts?”
The reaction has been so furious that Mr. Xu has gone into hiding.
“I’ve lost everything, my career and everything,” he said in a message circulating online. “I think many people misunderstand me. I’m fighting fraudulence, but now I’ve become the target.”
Tai chi, while a martial art, is viewed by many today as a spiritual breathing and balance exercise enjoyed by people of all ages, usually performed in slow motion in a quiet park instead of a fight ring.
Very unsettling news coming out of Beijing tonight. One minute you’re just worried about the smog that is slowly turning your lungs into ashtray’s, the next, your Tai Chi master is getting his head bounced off the canvas like a fucking basketball. Xu Xioadong just wanted to prove these “masters” are hacks, and what better way than shortening a man’s life expectancy 20+ years. If he isn’t dead yet, he won’t make it to Chinese New Year.
I haven’t yet obtained a belt in tai chi, but it doesn’t look to be the ideal fighting style to win an MMA match. Although it literally translates to “Supreme Ultimate Boxing,” I think I may have read something about having to have a glass jaw too, because this master of the craft eats a small right and his lights go out immediately. If Herb Dean is refereeing this fight, those 10 follow up CTE inducing blows don’t happen, but hats off to the ref here who stepped in seconds before it turned into a scene from Kill Bill, seemed like we were seconds away from this guys head popping like a watermelon against the mat.
I would’ve expected a little more out of the Tai Chi master here, he looked a little too merciful, and as we all know, mercy is for the weak. I also happen to know a certain sensei who would’ve smashed this punks face in, made his knuckles bleed, and honked his nose dozens of times.
They just don’t make ’em like Miyagi anymore.
It’s unfortunate everyone in China wants Xu Dong to commit seppuku (if they do that), because it appears he was just trying to get rid of these frauds who have dedicated their entire lives to this craft, that seemingly isn’t producing results. I’ve got a free tip if he wants to take some of the heat off him, though. Just show up at some Shaolin Kung Fu Dojo, call out their resident master, and beat the piss out of him too. He might be able to parlay that into a gig overseeing hand-to-hand combat in the Chinese military.
Miyagi would’ve fucking ended this guy, though.