Beijing-based MMA trainer Xu Xiaodong recently appeared in a circus-fight with traditional martial artist Lu Gang. In that contest, Xu easily beat-up the older and much smaller Lu; who practices wing chun and supposedly knows the art of dim mak (or touch of death).
Lu would later claim (via South China Morning Post) that the only reason Xu beat him in seconds — and broke his nose — was because he was too skinny, due to a vegetarian diet.
The fight itself against Lu wasn’t especially notable. It looked the same as all of Xu’s other fights with tai chi and wing chun stylists. However, the circumstances around that most recent fight were highly notable and represent a Black Mirror-esque reality Xu now finds himself in within modern China.
To stop his fight with Lu being pulled from a live stream, Xu was told by a promoter that he had to wear clown make-up and fight under the name Xu Dong Gua (which means Winter Melon and was intended to make fun of Xu’s weight). It is thought that these stipulations came about after government pressure.
In recent months Xu’s real name and antics have been cleansed from portions of China’s internet. Search results for his name come up empty on Chinese search engines, despite the viral nature of Xu’s past fights, and social media posts mentioning Xu have been disappearing on platforms like Weibo. It is thought that these actions are being directed by China’s government, which wields near total control over that nation’s online infrastructure.
Along with censorship, Xu has lately been dealing with a demotion in his social credit level. In China all citizens have a credit rating, which determines a number of factors that can affect their quality of life. In Xu’s case, his social credit rating was reduced enough that he can no longer rent or own property, travel on high speed transit, or stay in some hotels.
The social credit rating demotion came as punishment after Xu lost a defamation lawsuit versus tai chi master Chen Xiaowang. Chen was also awarded a cash settlement from Xu and Xu was compelled to apologize to Chen on social media, every day for seven consecutive days. The lawsuit against Xu was supported by the powerful Chinese Wushu Association.
It seems as though the measures to silence or otherwise obstruct Xu, who claims he is on a mission to ‘expose fakery in kung fu’, may result in ‘Mad Dog’ departing from his homeland.
Recently Xu uploaded a video in which he rants about the treatment his is currently receiving. He wears what looks like a gladiator’s helmet for the entire thing.
That video, with English subtitles, is presented below — courtesy of YouTuber Fight Commentary Breakdowns (who uploads everything you could ever want related to Xu Xiaodong).
In the video Xu says he is fed up with what is happening to him and that he now wants to leave China for Australia. “Apparently, I can only become a resident, but I’ll try for Australian citizenship,” claims Xu (h/t South China Morning Post). “You ask me why? Because I love my country. You understand? Because I love my country, so I’m becoming Australian.”
Xu also claimed that, “if worst came to worst” he would be “adopted by an Australian father.”
The rest of Xu’s rant included putting various Chinese celebrities on blast for marrying people who were not Chinese, driving American cars, or for holding Canadian passports.
“Everyone is leaving [China],” continued Xu. “I’m learning from you. I’m leaving, too, because I love my country. All patriots are going abroad. There’s no crime in being a patriot. Long live China.”