Xu Xiaodong is not slowing down on his quest to “expose kung fu fakery.”
The amateur MMA fighter burst into the limelight in his challenge match with tai chi “thunder master” Wei Lei. The match lasted just a few seconds before Wei was knocked to the ground and brutally pummeled, leaving Xu the victor.
The fight generated nationwide controversy and questions regarding the efficacy of traditional Chinese martial arts. Xu was accused of attacking Chinese culture, and his social media accounts were shut down amidst the firestorm.
But Xu wasn’t ready to call it quits. He continued to accept challenge matches from so-called masters — some were shut down by police, some were broadcast on major TV stations. Now Xu is back in the public eye once again, having ended his most recent fight against a “pressure point” wing chun master in under one minute.
In the video’s comments section, the account Fight Commentary Breakdowns shines some more light on this particular match. According to the account, the wing chun master’s nose was broken in the fight, and he was sent to the hospital afterwards. The face paint that Xu wore was also more than just an attempt at trolling — apparently the match could not be approved for a live stream unless Xu wore the makeup, and fought under the name Xu Donggua (translating to “Xu Winter Melon”).
But it seems that with each fight, support for Xu’s mission grows. In November, the abbot of the Shaolin Temple told Time that Xu’s efforts were “good for the traditional art form”, and that he was “doing the right thing by fighting fake kung fu.”
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Many Weibo comments surrounding the most recent fight seem to be largely positive:
“This master’s underwear have been pulled down by Xu Xiaodong,” writes one user. “The facts are already enough to prove that these traditional martial arts are seriously outdated.”
Others continue to stand up for the old school fighting systems:
“Many Chinese people have mastered iron palm, their hands can shatter beer bottles…Xu Winter Melon wouldn’t dare to stand up against them.”
“The bottle won’t move, dodge, or fight back,” replies another.
One top-rated comment takes a more nuanced approach:
“This match is like a contest between an abacus and a supercomputer. No one would deny that the abacus is an excellent piece of traditional Chinese culture, just as no one would deny that martial arts and Chinese medicine are outstanding pieces of cultural heritage. However, like bamboo slips, parchment paper, and engraving books, museums are the best place for them to stay.”
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