He has gone on record to defend both protestors in Hong Kong (who were battling mainland Chinas power grab on the territory) and whistle blowers who revealed the chaotic handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. Following his tremendous victory, Xiaodong challenged all traditional Chinese martial arts masters to face him. What?! As I see it, martial arts began with violence.  The restrictions were lifted after he paid US$40,000 in both legal fees and the cost of placing the apology. Dating from A.D. 495, the Shaolin temple is perched on the west side of the forested Mount Songshan, one of Chinas so-called five Sacred Mountains. As you can see this was barely a contest. One of these challengers is Xing Lu, president of the Sichuan tai chi Pushing Hands Research Institute, who invited Xiaodong to a public duel to teach him a lesson., He is deeply biased against the traditional martial arts and his words were insulting, he said. His mission to expose unscrupulous kung fu masters was a threat to the cultural outreach of the CCP. I challenged him so he could have a fresh perspective of tai chi and the true traditional martial arts., Lu went on to say that he is 80% sure he will win the fight, citing tai chi masters as having the iron fist, air foot, and iron back, which need more than 20 years of hard practice.. Now there can be 10 in a weekend. He hopes that each victory will stifle his dissenters and restore normality to his life. I had the sun in my eyes but I wast completely aware of that at first. Tai Chi is more than a martial art, it is the synthesis of the best parts of Chinese culture. The Chinese Wushu Association condemned the suspected illegal actions that violate the morals of martial arts. He and his family received death threats. It is more valuable to understand the nature of your art, and seek the wisdom found there. The idea that masters of kung fu achieve mystical skills is widely accepted in China; Wei is just one of many making such claims. According to Jerry Liu of Fight Commentary Breakdowns Chen had called for this fight with Xu to be postponed twice, so he could get in extra training. Over the last hundred years, China has faced exploitation and humiliation at the hands of Western nations, civil war, Communist revolution, and self-imposed isolation. Yet he can claim a partial success. However, according to him, things are not that simple. In the video, Wei is brought to the ground by Xu, who lands multiple blows on his opponents face as a large crowd watches in shock in the city of Chengdu, China. Then he disappeared", "China Detains, Harasses Journalist, Academics Over Reports, Comments on Coronavirus", "Missing Chinese journalist 'under state supervision', "Wuhan Covid journalist missing since February found, says friend", "Xu Xiaodong slams tai chi master's threats against Wuhan critic", "Chinese MMA Fighter Hits Back After Threat of Harm to Diary Author", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Xu_Xiaodong&oldid=1097982617, CS1 Chinese (Taiwan)-language sources (zh-tw), CS1 Chinese (Hong Kong)-language sources (zh-hk), Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Chinese-language text, Articles containing simplified Chinese-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, MMA fighter, Youtuber, political commentator, This page was last edited on 13 July 2022, at 16:48. I quickly put on my clothes and got into the cage. For many years, unscrupulous teachers have perpetuated misconceptions in order to attract students, encouraging derision from the wider martial arts world. Practicing tai chi forms alone will not teach students to fight.  In December, Xiaodong defeated Chen Yong, a tai chi master who had challenged him in 2018, in only 10 seconds. Magazines, Carbon Credits Should Be One of Our Best Tools to Fight Climate Change, What Watergate Experts Think About the Jan. 6 Hearings, Now Connecting Hot Days to Climate Change, Among Black and Indigenous Americans During COVID-19 Pandemic, Or create a free account to access more articles, Meet the Chinese MMA Fighter Taking on the Grandmasters of Kung Fu. a video went viral on the Chinese internet and sent waves through the martial arts community.  In 2003, Xu fought against Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, Andrew Pi () in a televised bout. In kung fu movies, the older the master is, the better the fighter. , By defeating Nagashima, Xu believed that he could pressure Yi Long, whom Xu has claimed has rigged competitions, to face him in a match.
 During this year Xu would also receive vocal support from Shaolin abbot Shi Yongxin, who claimed that Xu's actions against fake kung fu artists was good for the traditional art form. Pimbletts vibe called suspicious by UFC London opponent. The reputation of the Shaolin monks has traveled far and wide; organizations using its name are all across China and the world. Because it started two hours early. FOX News story on ANTIFA has annoyed a former UFC star. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our, Digital Tai chi is misrepresented far too often.  It was considered a partial disability which as a result led him to transition to full time coaching in 2005. A video that surfaced online showed him being harassed on the street. Feuding warlords would eagerly petition the warrior monks help for their bloody campaigns. When Canadian MMA fighter Vaughn Blud Anderson moved to Beijing in 2008, there were maybe five MMA contests all year. Footage of the fight was uploaded to Fight Commentary Breakdowns (which features many Xu clips and other style vs. style fights). Xus words were unpopular in part because of the current sociopolitical climate in China.  Later that year, Xu had to wear Peking Opera face paint and cover his back tattoo during his match with Japanese kickboxer Yuichiro Nagashima so that the fight which took place in Thailand could stream in China. But, there is no way around itthe only way to learn how to fight is by fighting. Chinese netizens mocked Wei for being a fraud while criticizingtraditional Chinese martial arts for being weak compared to MMA, according to Shanghaiist. Its official association boasts of 2 million full-time students at 12,000 academies. A quarter of a century later, MMA rivals boxing in global popularity, augmented by the booming celebrity of stars like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. Set training drills and forms were used as teaching tools. In November 2017, Chinas General Administration of Sport issued a directive apparently in response to Xus bout with Wei, clamping down on self-appointed masters and demanding practitioners build correct values about martial arts. But it also banned unauthorized fights, in a bid to stifle debate about the relative merits of traditional and modern martial arts.
, In May 2019, Xu defeated another martial artist; but was only able to do so wearing clown makeup to hide his face and by fighting under a pseudonym. The video of the fight, which was uploaded to YouTube, has amassed nearly a million views in two weeks, despite the actual fight ending in just ten seconds after a leg kick, followed by a jab ends the bout. Everybody thinks that in Shaolin theres some secret knowledge that nobody wants to teach to others, especially the evil foreigners,' says Marta Neskovic, 26, a Serbian doctorate student whos training at the temple for her fieldwork on Shaolin kung fu. You have reached your limit of free articles. Magazines, Digital Beverage tycoon Chen Sheng offered over a million US dollars to any traditional tai chi fighter who could beat him.  Following this, police stopped a fight against another self-proclaimed tai chi master, Ma Baoguo who allegedly called them in, and Xu was banned for organizing tournaments at his gym. But his efforts were framed by his critics as placing the Western culture of MMA above cherished Eastern traditionsa perfidious sin in an increasingly nationalist China. Xu soon appeared crying, saying he had lost sponsorship, and that his businesses had been forced to close.
In video rants filled with profanity, he declared traditional martial arts teachers liars and thieves, calling out many by name, including Chen Zhenglei, Chen Xiaowang, and Chinese kickboxer Yi Long. ", "Xu Xiaodong says 'truth revealed' after tai chi master's 30-second KO", "Chinese tycoon offers $1.45 million to tai chi warrior who can defeat MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong", "Chinese tycoon offers US$1.45 million to beat MMA fighter", "Tai chi master sabotaged event, MMA fighter claims", "Video: MMA's 'Mad Dog' Xu Xiaodong destroys another Kung Fu 'master', "Throwback: Xu Xiaodong gets skull fractured by Muay Thai kick-boxer", "Shaolin monk backs Chinese MMA fighter exposing 'fake kung fu', "Xu Xiaodong questioned by authorities after showing support for Hong Kong protests", "China orders Xu Xiaodong to publicly apologise and pay damages for insulting tai chi 'grandmaster' Chen Xiaowang", "Xu Xiaodong wants to countersue tai chi grandmaster in Australian court", "Opinion: China's censorship of Xu Xiaodong for exposing fake martial arts masters is alarming", "A fight between fighting styles just got settled by a court in China", "Chinese MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong knocks out Japanese cosplayer", "Chinese MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong knocks out Japanese cosplayer; wants 'fake Shaolin monk' Yi Long", "Kung fu master backs down after Xu Xiaodong accepts challenge", "Chinese martial artists no longer permitted to call themselves 'Masters', "Chinese Martial Artists Must Stop Calling Themselves "Masters", According to Official Decree", "Mira a este peleador de MMA vencer a un maestro de Tai Chi en 10 segundos", "Censored MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong says 'I'll leave China to become Australian', "Chinese authorities question Xu Xiaodong over Hong Kong protest views", "Xu Xiaodong's Weibo account wiped after Hong Kong protest comments", "He ducked Chinese authorities to report on coronavirus in Wuhan. His challenge is catching steam, as Xiaodong told The Beijing News that several kung fu masters have come forward in order to defend the honor of traditional martial arts. This is due to the fact that they hold these masters in high regards, but he regularly beats them in a quick and frankly embarrassing way. One Chinese multi-millionaire offered a 10 million RMB ($1.45m) prize to anyone who could use tai chi to defeat Xu. As I write this, his social media accounts have been blocked, and he has gone into hiding. As the need for sparring and applications shrank, the role of forms grew. Xu was born on 15 November 1979 in Beijing. Soft surfaces inhibit Tai Chi. In China, kung fu remains a powerful draw.  Yi Long has previously criticized Xu for his attitude and claimed that Xu himself is in fact a fraud. When the match started, thats when the sun became very apparent. Many wanted a rematch. It took him 36 hours to reach the fight location due to his low social credit score, and Chinese search engines reportedly had stopped listing him. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese form of martial arts practiced for both its health benefits and its defense trainingalthough, in todays Western society, its seen more as a form of meditation in motion than a means of combat. Even after the Shaolin temple was routed for subversive activities during the Qing dynasty, its influence spread as its monastic diaspora journeyed across the Middle Kingdom and as far as Japan. Fighters arent usually the blushing type. Mens Journal has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. I was tired by the end and bam! Xu tells TIME in his Beijing gym. Nevertheless, Xu is continuing his personal campaign. Xus social credit rating was reduced to a level where he could no longer rent or own property or travel on high speed public transit. He gained prominence online after he was filmed defeating self-proclaimed Tai chi master Wei Lei in 2017. Xu has spent a lifetime fighting, first at school and later channeling a red-hot adolescent temper into competitive MMA.
However, things quickly went downhill for Xu. I know Chinese MMA fighters who believe there are kung fu experts who live in mountain caves and can disappear and reappear at will, says Anderson. The idea that kung fu is unique, with perhaps otherworldly elements, gives it popular currency that sets it apart from Western combat skills.  Xu has also clarified on his YouTube account that his statements were about how the mainland government should adhere to the One China, Two Systems policy as promised, rather than a call for Hong Kong independence. This is why you see bogus demonstrations where a teacher knocks over a dozen students without even touching them. He issued an open challenge to any traditional martial artist and offered a cash prize to any who could beat him. Now, here was a man apparently dedicated to exposing it as a fraud. Unlike Chen, many traditional martial artists have taken a beating when fighting Xu (or other MMA fighters inspired by Mad Dogs crusade). When the police came, even they taunted him, saying he should be able to protect himself. Write to Charlie Campbell at email@example.com. , In November 2019 an Iron Palm master threatened to break his arm in a fight, but apologized and backed down after Xu accepted and suggested putting 200,000 yuan on the outcome. He competed at least twice at the Beijing Sanshou Invitational Tournament, finishing as the champion and the first runner-up, respectively. Maybe he was training how to get out of a fight without getting seriously hurt. So I lost by a fluke and I also couldnt find any force from the surface of the cage..  Fang Fang received widespread criticism from Chinese nationalists, including Tai Chi practitioner Wei Lei, who was defeated by Xu in 2017. A quick glance on YouTube reveals kung fu masters with claims of telekinesis and shamanic dances that open up other realms of existence. Some make money by promising to train others, and many have passionate disciples; the defeated Wei, for example, has 94,000 followers on Chinas Twitter-like microblog Weibo. Xiaodong wants to prove once and for all that mixed martial arts are more effective in combat, and that traditional Chinese martial arts are a way of the past. Most of his audience are from Hong Kong, Taiwan, or are Chinese firewall jumpers. The bout left Xu with barely a scratch but a life in tatters. Proving that to nationalistic Chinese will be difficult, but Xu has dedicated himself to trying. While many netizens agreed with him, others felt it was all a publicity stunt.
Fueled by the destruction of our natural resources, China has ridden the wave of globalization and technological advancement to reach to a standard of living previously impossible. Tai Chi vs. MMA is an eye-catching topic and an unrealistic one, Is Tai Chi vs. MMA okay? Today, life inside the temple begins before daybreak, when the hundred resident monks shuffle into the central shrine to perform a 5 a.m. ritual. After sizing each other up for a few seconds, Xu advances, furiously hurling punches at Weis head. Xu leaps forward and rains down blows on his opponent until the referee stops the fight.  In 1996, he entered Beijing Shichahai Sports School[zh], where he was trained in sanshou and boxing under Mei Huizhi () and Zhang Xingzheng ().  The fight was hosted under kickboxing rules in the first round and mixed martial arts in the second; and saw Xiaodong eventually winning by TKO by ground and pound in the second round. MMA is an exception, as its #1 goal is to train good fighters. This appears in the November 19, 2018 issue of TIME.  Xu would later claim that Chen was in a "safe place" but under government supervision. The online quarrel escalated, and before long Xu and Wei were facing off in a basement in the central Chinese city of Chengdu for a bare-knuckle match. As the monks practice before rapt audiences, hawkers brandish DVDs.
In the end, Brazilian jujitsu reigned supreme. Wei explained in an interview before the match that his Thunder style of fighting was only at the level of a primary student when you take into account the long history of Chinese martial arts, meaning he still has much to learn.