Chinese MMA Fighter/Coach Xu Xiaodong AKA Mad Dog believes traditional martial arts are fake – unless someone proves him wrong.
Back in 2017, Xu was challenged by self-proclaimed Tai Chi master, Wei Lei, to prove that his practice isn’t a scam. In just ten seconds, Xu took down his Wei – causing outrage among a lot of people.
After his win, undefeated Xu was more eager to prove his point. “[I] crack down on fake things, because they are fake. Fake things must be eliminated. No question,” Xu said to state-owned tabloid Global Times.
According to the South China Morning Post, “Many commentators described the fight as a clear victory for modern combat techniques over traditional styles.”
Match Was Reported to Be Illegal
However, the Chinese government didn’t approve of the bout that challenged traditional Chinese practices.
South China Morning Post reported that the Chinese Martial Arts Association released a statement saying that the match was illegal, and had “violated the morals of martial arts”.
“Wushu is a traditional Chinese exercise activity, an excellent part of traditional culture, with merits for physical fitness, self-defence and health cultivation,” the statement said.
After the video went viral, Xu was reported to be forced to hide from the public and that all of his social media accounts were allegedly taken down by the government.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a footage of the epic fight:
His Comeback After Controversial Bout
After remaining silent for a couple of weeks Xu suddenly appeared for a scheduled fight – but this time, it was a 4 on 4. The planned fight was dubbed as a “group brawl” between four MMA Fighters and four Tai Chi experts led by Ma Baoguo. However, the fight didn’t push through as Police in China closed down the ‘unlicensed fight’ and detained Xu.
As he was preparing for the fight that didn’t happen, VICE News got a chance to interview the MMA fighter and promoter. He shared his views and opinions regarding that bout that ignited a huge debate in China and around the world – but his mission to expose fake Chinese martial artists remains.
“For many years in China, there have been very few people who have dared to point out anything fake about Chinese martial arts. Now I have pointed out [what’s fake], I ignited the pond of gasoline,” he said.
Xu was hesitant to talk about the government, but he stood by what he believed about the difference between modern and traditional Chinese martial arts.
During the training, he told the people, “For a guy, there are only three things that matter: Date a pretty girl, drive an expensive car and get in the ring by yourself.”
Watch the Vice’s encounter with Xu Xiaodong in the video below:
After reports circulated that he was detained before the scheduled fight, Xu cleared out on social media that it wasn’t true.
“I have left Shanghai! Your martial arts centres and organisations can finally breathe a sigh of relief,” he said in a report from South China Morning Post.
Despite the backlash and challenges the Xu has to face, he’s determined to prove that traditional martial arts are ineffective to his modern practice.