MMA fighter takes on Tai Chi masters with 1.2m yuan challenge

2017-05-02 00:39:37 GMT2017-05-02 08:39:37(Beijing Time) Global Times
Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong. Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong.
Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong. Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong.
File photo of Xu Xiaodong. File photo of Xu Xiaodong.
Lei Lei before the fight. Lei Lei before the fight.
Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong. Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong.
Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong. Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong.
Xu Xiaodong and Lei Lei before the fight. Xu Xiaodong and Lei Lei before the fight.
Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong. Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong.
An agreement of risks and responsibility were signed before the fight. An agreement of risks and responsibility were signed before the fight.
Lei Lei had blood all over his face after the fight. Lei Lei had blood all over his face after the fight.
Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong. Photo shows the fight between Lei Lei and Xu Xiaodong.
Xu Xiaodong won the fight. Xu Xiaodong won the fight.
Xu Xiaodong after the fight. Xu Xiaodong after the fight.
Xu Xiaodong after the fight. Xu Xiaodong after the fight.

An MMA fighter has thrown down the gauntlet against Chinese martial artists after a recent video of him decimating a Tai Chi master in the ring within seconds went viral.

The video shows Xu Xiaodong, 38, charge Tai Chi master Lei Lei in front of a Monday crowd at a venue in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

After a flurry of exchanges, Xu lays out 41-year-old Lei and the fight is called within 20 seconds.

Since the match, Xu said he'd accept challenges from three Tai Chi masters, all of whom will fight for a total 1.2 million yuan ($174,165) in prizes, according to the post.

"No protection, no holds barred, even eyes and groin are game," Xu, a coach at Beijing Shichahai Sports School and MMA promoter, wrote on his Sina Weibo account. 

The post has attracted challenges from famed Tai Chi masters seeking to defend the honor of their discipline, including Chen Shou, a Tai Chi master from Chenjiagou, Henan Province - the birthplace of Chen-style Tai Chi.

"Modern Tai Chi emphasizes health, but it is still suited for practical combat, especially Chen-style Tiachi," Chen Shou told Beijing Youth Daily on Monday.

Netizens have also been slugging it out on social media over the practicality of traditional martial arts.

"It it's a disgrace when a retired boxer can shame the entirety of Chinese martial arts," Weibo user Wang Shu commented.

Some on Weibo hoped Xu gets his comeuppance, while others hoped the MMA fighter would help unmask those masquerading as Tai Chi masters.

"Traditions like Tai Chi and Chinese medicine have been exploited by some for profit. We need someone to get to the bottom of it," wrote "Jiang Ziyuan."

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