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MMA Fighter Beats Tai Chi Master, China in Uproar

MMA Fighter Beats Tai Chi Master, China in Uproar

And now for some news completely unrelated to UFC 211.

It seems an MMA fighter in China issued a challenge to his fellow countrymen, stating he could defeat any practitioner of the traditional Chinese martial arts styles. A Tai Chi master took him up on his offer, and… well, you know how those kinds of fights go. The MMA fighter wrecked him, of course.

Unfortunately, to the good people of China, this sort of thing is a shocking development. You see, they believe wholeheartedly that arts like Tai Chi (and kung fu, and wushu) are where it’s at, with hidden technique contained within the styles granting the users just the right amount of superpowers to overcome someone who actually trains how to fight for real.

Man, reality can be such a bitch sometimes.

Here’s the video and the New York Times article on the story.

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.”

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