Chinese martial arts experts challenge MMA fighter who defeated taiji master in 10 seconds

Mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong (right) defeated taiji master Wei Lei in just 10 seconds during a fight staged in Sichuan province on April 27, 2017.
Mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong (right) defeated taiji master Wei Lei in just 10 seconds during a fight staged in Sichuan province on April 27, 2017.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/CGTN

A number of traditional martial artists in China have vowed to take Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Xu Xiaodong down, following his open challenge on Monday (May 1).

Xu is a free-combat sportsman who taught himself MMA.

The video of his 10-second defeat of taiji master Wei Lei in front of a crowd in Chengdu, Sichuan, last Thursday (April 27), has since gone viral.

The Beijing News reported that Xu had said that traditional martial arts are outdated and only good for keeping in shape. He also insisted that freestyle fighting or boxing would be more practical in actual combat.

In his post on Chinese social media platform Weibo, Xu declared he would take on all traditional martial artists in his next fight.

With no rules in place, and kicks to the groin and pokes in the eye allowed, Xu will offer 1.2 million yuan (S$243,000) of his own money to anyone who defeats him.

Xu even challenged the bodyguard of billionaire Jack Ma.

He also challenged flyweight boxer and two-time Olympic champion Zou Shiming to a fight, and offered to donate the prize money to an orphanage if Zou accepts.

Zou's agents said he would not respond to the challenge though, as "the two are not on the same level - one is a professional, while the other is an amateur".

In this case, Xu is the amateur.

While Xu has never competed in big tournaments or held an impressive ranking, he is the director of the Beijing MMA Association and runs two MMA clubs in Beijing. His focus is to "promote MMA to regular people".

Mr Arvind Lalwani, managing director and head coach for Juggernaut Fight Club in Singapore, said: "It's such a joke. Everyone knows that a taiji master would never win against a trained mixed martial arts combatant. Taiji is just not meant for fights."

Here is a look at the three other martial artists who want to challenge Xu to the next duel:

1. He Xi Rui

Martial art form: Wudang taiji

He Xi Rui, head of China’s Wudang clan, practising taiji. PHOTO: WEIBO/WUDANG CLAN

The head of China's Wudang clan appears to be the first to challenge Xu to a duel.

"You are welcome to visit the Wudang Mountains to witness real martial arts," said the taiji master in a Weibo post.

"We'll see if taiji is really a style of martial arts that can be beaten."

Xu has now accepted the challenge.

The location, time and date of the fight has yet to be announced.

Xu wrote on his Weibo page: "China needs to know the truth (about traditional martial arts), and I will prove it to them."

2. Yi Long

Martial art form: Shaolin gongfu

Shaolin exponent Yi Long, 30, was another person to quickly accept Xu's challenge.

Yi is often touted as "China's strongest Shaolin monk" by Wu Lin Feng - the longest-running martial arts competition programme in China.

Yi wrote on Weibo: "(Chinese martial arts) is broad, profound, full of spirit and has a long history."

He said he would not stand for Xu's insults, which has served to "deceive the public" about the value of traditional martial arts.

3. Lu Xing

Martial art form: Tuishou (Pushing Hands) taiji

Taiji master Lu Xing has agreed to challenge Xu Xiaodong in a duel to defend his martial arts discipline. PHOTO: WEIBO/XU XIAODONG

Taiji master Lu Xing has also agreed to the challenge, in defence of his martial arts discipline.

Lu is president of the Sichuan Taichi Pushing Hands Research Institute. His form of taiji is known as tuishou, or pushing hands. It is a non-violent version of sparring in taiji.

Lu told Chengdu Business News he wants to teach Xu a lesson.

He said: "Xu is deeply biased against traditional martial arts and his words were insulting. I challenged him so he could have a fresh perspective of taiji and the true traditional martial arts."

Lu is 80 per cent sure of winning because he added that taiji masters have "an iron fist, air foot and iron back, which (takes) more than 20 years of hard training".

Xu's style is simply to project an explosive force, Lu insisted.