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Anf's picture

I think this is where kicking comes in useful. I have a friend whose style is tai chi (the martial aspect, not the meditation side). We occasionally have a bit of a play fight, then compare notes. When it comes to close quarters hand techniques, I have nothing on him. He totally dominates at that range. So I use everything I've learned about controlling distance to kick him about. At kicking range the fight is all mine. Sorry that's the best I can offer. All I can say is maybe add into the mix a style that focuses a lot on hands.

diadicic's picture

I ll through a little gas on this fire.

You might find this one interesting.


Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

The story of Xu Xiaodong (MMA fighter in the clip) is an interesting one. Time did a good piece on him: http://time.com/5448811/mma-kung-fu-xu-xiaodong/

His first fight of this kind was against a Tai Chi practitioner who was claiming magical abilities:

The dispute started with an argument on social media. Xu wanted Wei Lei, a kung fu master in the discipline of tai chi, to account for the outlandish powers he claimed to possess. Wei boasted of using an invisible force field to keep a dove on his hand, and pulverizing a watermelon’s innards without damaging its skin. The idea that masters of kung fu achieve mystical skills is widely accepted in China; Wei is just one of many making such claims. Xu believes this “fake kung fu” sullies true martial arts. 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. Xu says he only wanted to open people’s eyes, but the bout was billed as East vs. West, the master of a hallowed tradition vs. an alien upstart.

He has since fought others, including the Wing Chun practitioner in this video. For me, it’s the reaction to his fights in China that has been most interesting.

The bout left Xu with barely a scratch but a life in tatters. The video quickly became a viral sensation on China’s social-media platforms. Online trolls accused Xu of humiliating traditional Chinese culture, and he found he was banned from social media. The Chinese Wushu Association condemned the “suspected illegal actions that violate the morals of martial arts.” He and his family received death threats.

It does show how martial arts can move away from being purely combative systems to having personal and cultural values attached to them that are disconnected from combative function; and how affronted people can get over those additional values.

Here in the west, we may not attach to the martial arts in the same way culturally, but we nevertheless do see people deeply affronted if any aspect of their beloved art is questioned. It may not get to the level of death threats, but we do see disproportionate reactions to legitimate questioning and critique because people take those things very personally. My own questioning of some aspects karate has seen me receive a fair number of attacks on my character. It’s can’t be legitimate; I’m just a bad person with nefarious motivations :-) People do take any criticism or questioning of their beloved martial art as an afront to the values they hold so dear and respond as deliberate attempt to offend has taken place. It seems it’s on another level in China though.

All the best,