Traditional martial arts vs. mixed martial arts is en vogue in China thanks to the exploits of Beijing-based MMA trainer Xu Xiaodong. Xu has been knocking out tai chi and wing chun stylists on the internet since 2017. As a result he’s suffered from government censorship, intimidation tactics from the powerful Chinese Wushu Association, and — most recently — a demotion in social credit level.
Despite the actions taken against Xu, it seems as though there are more MMA fighters in China willing to take on traditionalists. Recently the trend was on display in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
The South China Morning Post reports that a new viral video featuring an MMA fighter versus a Wing Chun fighter is the result of an unnamed Wing Chun stylist taking to social media to challenge cage fighters.
“Do you want to fight me?”, asked the man in a video posted to Chinese social media platform Douyin. SCMP described the man’s challenge, in which he stated he only wanted to test his skills and represent Wing Chun, as “respectable”.
Professional fighter Li Jing Hong accepted the man’s challenge. What happened next can be viewed below, courtesy of prolific Chinese circus-fight uploader Fight Commentary Breakdowns.
The ‘fight’ between Li and the Wing Chun fighter lasted exactly one combo. With Li knocking the young challenger unconscious with his first and only punches of the match. After he went down, the barefoot referee sprawled between both fighters to prevent the traditionalist from taking any more damage.
Another fight like this — involving Xu Xiaodong — is scheduled to take place next month. However, it’s possible that powers beyond Xu may cancel that contest, or censor it from being broadcasted.
If that does happen, and Xu’s crusade ‘against the fakery of kung fu’ comes to an end, it seems as though there may be plenty more individuals — on both sides of the MMA vs. traditional Chinese martial arts debate — who are willing to carry on what he started.