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Thread: Xu Xiaodong Challenges to Kung Fu

  1. #91
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    Getting down to business.

    A lot of odd peripheral discussions are coming out of That MMA vs Taiji Fight Everyones Talking About
    including Economic State of Shaolin Temple today. I'm delighted to see that it has opened up some discussions. Even though many of them are pretty shallow, discussion is good.


    See what I did there?

    Clear business models hard to establish due to lack of uniform standards in traditional martial arts
    Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/9 19:03:39

    Fighting for profits

    On April 28, a video emerged showing 37-year-old former mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Xu Xiaodong knocking out self-proclaimed tai chi master Wei Lei in about 20 seconds. The video quickly went viral on Sina Weibo. Later, Xu proclaimed that he had exposed what he called "fake martial artists." The video has drawn attention to the state of traditional Chinese martial arts. The Beijing News reported on Friday that Shaolin Temple, the famous birthplace of one of China's martial arts, has broadened its business interests beyond teaching martial arts into martial arts performances, tourism and medicine. Other traditional Chinese martial arts have tried to follow its example, but have had less success. Given the early stage of the development of traditional Chinese martial arts, industry experts said that there are no clear business models for martial arts at present.


    A man practices kung fu at Shaolin Temple in Central China's Henan Province in November 2016. Photo: CFP

    China may be home to one of the most famous names in martial arts, but the people behind the country's traditional martial arts have had trouble turning their disciplines into profitable businesses.

    Among China's traditional martial art schools, Shaolin Temple has had the most success in developing its brand of kung fu into a profitable business. The temple, nested on Songshan Mountain in Central China's Henan Province, is involved in an array of businesses such as martial arts education and performances.

    Although there are at least 13,968 companies in China with the word "Shaolin" in their names, Shaolin Temple has only invested in four of them, with an accumulated investment of 8.51 million yuan ($1.23 million), The Beijing News reported on Friday.

    Of the four companies, Shaolin Temple Culture Communication (Dengfeng) Co, with registered capital of 1 million yuan, develops and operates films, TV programs, theatrical performances and video games, the report said.

    Another company, Shaolin Yaoju Co, sells medicine, according to Shaolin Temple's website.

    The temple's core platform is Shaolin Intangible Assets Management Co. Established in 1988, the company focuses on protecting Shaolin Temple's brand and trademarks.

    In 2014, the company's deputy general manager Yuan Mingzhu said that the temple has registered more than 200 trademarks in dozens of countries and regions, The Beijing News reported. In total, Shaolin Temple owns 475 trademarks and its brand is its primary source of income.

    Other styles of Chinese martial arts, such as Emei and Wudang, haven't fared as well. Experts said it is hard to turn them into businesses because the forms lack uniform standards.

    The first Emei school opened when Wang Jian, former president of the China Emei Kung Fu Research Association, set up Leshan Giant Buddha Martial Arts School in 1993, the Beijing News report said. The school has since become the largest martial arts school in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

    In 2008, Wang established Emei Martial Arts Culture Communication Co, which hosts martial arts performances and sells crafts, among other businesses.

    In 2012, Wang told news media that the combined cost of the school and the company was about 6 million yuan a year and the total profit was 2 million yuan in 2011.

    In July 2016, the local regulator accused the company of "abnormal operation" for failing to release its 2015 financial report on time, according to The Beijing News.

    Wudang is less involved in business.

    "*Wudang has *developed slowly over the years, mainly due to systematic problems and the Taoist belief in avoiding fame or fortune," Zhong Yunlong, the former abbot of Purple Heaven Palace, the main Taoist temple at Wudan Mountain, once said in an interview, according to The Beijing News.

    No clear business model

    It's too early to make a business out of traditional Chinese martial arts, considering their diversity, said Zhang Jiayuan, partner at Beijing-based Ransenhuizhi Investment Fund Management Co.

    "Thanks to government incentives, investment in the country's sports industry has grown in recent years, though its scale remains below international levels," Zhang said. "In addition, given that the martial arts industry remains in an early stage of development, no clear, concrete business model has emerged."

    The traditional model for a martial arts business is to open schools and charge students to learn the discipline, The Beijing News reported.

    However, these schools don't have a large profit margin, said an employee of Xu's Battle Club, a school started by former mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Xu Xiaodong.

    "These schools have to pay for rent, instructors and utilities, while their only income comes from charging for classes," the employee told The Beijing News.

    Schools for other martial arts have come up with other ways to make money. Taekwondo schools charge for classes, uniforms and level tests, according to The Beijing News. They also accept a wide range of students and have a diverse group of practitioners.

    Given that there are no uniform standards among China's various martial arts, it is hard to form standard competition principles like the ones established in taekwondo, Zhang said.

    Although many MMA fighters can earn tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of yuan from each fight, they have to share the income with their agents and teams, The Beijing News said, citing an industry expert. In addition, most match hosts still lose money due to the limited audience.

    However, in the process of exploring business models for Chinese traditional martial arts, a new model that integrates martial arts and tourism and culture has been gaining attention.

    For example, Wu Xianfeng, director of the management committee of the Wudang Mountain special zone in Central China's Hubei Province, said the zone will step up efforts to boost tourism by integrating Taoist culture, Wudang martial arts, healthcare and the Internet, the domestic news portal people.com.cn reported on April 28.

    Sports tourism is the fastest-*growing segment of the global tourism industry, the China Sports Daily reported on Monday, citing World Tourism Organization. China has great potential, given that the country's sports tourism market represents around 5 percent of the domestic market, compared with 20 percent in foreign countries, it noted.

    This story is based on a report by The Beijing News.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by B.Tunks View Post
    He actually seems like a good guy when he gets to make his case. Maybe he needs to stick around.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    This is 100% TCMA principle. It may be used in non-TCMA also. Since I did learn it from TCMA, I have to say it's TCMA principle.
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    We should not use "TCMA is more than combat" as excuse for not "evolving".

    You can have Kung Fu in cooking, it really has nothing to do with fighting!

  3. #93
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    An interesting interview with Xu Xiaodong

    I'm not sure how good this link will be unless you're on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wong.yuenmi...4346929687102/

    He said a few interesting things in the video:
    "I think Tai Chi fighting skill doesn't exist in 99% of its practitioner's."
    -Xu Xiaodong
    He says the Tai Chi guy that he fought had zero martial arts skills and that anyone, the most average guy could've beat him up, that he did nothing special used no real technique!
    i like this guy.
    To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.
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  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokhopkuen View Post
    I'm not sure how good this link will be unless you're on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wong.yuenmi...4346929687102/

    He said a few interesting things in the video:
    "I think Tai Chi fighting skill doesn't exist in 99% of its practitioner's."
    -Xu Xiaodong
    He says the Tai Chi guy that he fought had zero martial arts skills and that anyone, the most average guy could've beat him up, that he did nothing special used no real technique!
    i like this guy.
    I think that was just posted on the previous page.

    I have to say I'm impressed by his ability to think independently. A Chinese that can appreciate and admire Japanese is almost unheard of in this country.
    Saying that so publicly might cause him some trouble with the brainwashed nationalists, though. Wouldn't be surprised if he got physically attacked for being a traitor.

  5. #95
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    This made the NYT

    M.M.A. Fighter’s Pummeling of Tai Chi Master Rattles China
    By DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW
    MAY 10, 2017

    BEIJING — For weeks, the mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong had been taunting masters of the traditional Chinese martial arts, dismissing them as overly commercialized frauds, and challenging them to put up or shut up.

    After one of them — Wei Lei, a practitioner of the “thunder style” of tai chi — accepted the challenge, Mr. Xu flattened him in about 10 seconds.

    Mr. Xu may have proved his point, but he was unprepared for the ensuing outrage.

    When video of the drubbing went viral, many Chinese were deeply offended by what they saw as an insult to a cornerstone of traditional Chinese culture.

    The state-run Chinese Wushu Association posted a statement on its website saying the fight “violates the morals of martial arts.” The Chinese Boxing Association issued similar criticism.

    An article by Xinhua, the state news agency, called Mr. Xu a “crazy guy,” saying that the fight had caused people to question whether Chinese martial arts were of any use and even to ask, “What exactly are traditional Chinese martial arts?”

    The reaction has been so furious that Mr. Xu has gone into hiding.

    “I’ve lost everything, my career and everything,” he said in a message circulating online. “I think many people misunderstand me. I’m fighting fraudulence, but now I’ve become the target.”

    Many people around the world assumed that this debate had long been settled. Mixed martial arts fighters have for years held exhibition fights against practitioners of traditional martial arts — kung fu, karate and judo among them. The old ways, for all their balletic grace, lost decisively.


    Wei Lei, the tai chi master, faced off against Xu Xiaodong, the mixed martial arts fighter, in Chengdu.

    Known broadly as wushu, traditional Chinese martial arts include such disparate disciplines as qigong, categorized as an “internal” practice that is mostly spiritual, and kung fu, an “external” art that is practiced by the monks of the Shaolin Temple and was popularized around the world by Bruce Lee. There are hundreds of styles of wushu in China, and many overlap.

    Tai chi, while a martial art, is viewed by many today as a spiritual breathing and balance exercise enjoyed by people of all ages, usually performed in slow motion in a quiet park instead of a fight ring.

    Mixed martial arts, or M.M.A., is a “no-holds-barred” fighting style developed over the last century from fighting styles around the world. It began to gain popularity in the United States in the 1980s. While it is violent, it does have rules — including no biting, spitting or gouging.

    The fight between Mr. Xu and Mr. Wei was brutal. As Mr. Wei circled slowly, arms outstretched in a calm tai chi defense, Mr. Xu lunged, jabbed him to the floor, then used a “ground and pound” technique to subdue him. It was all over in about 10 seconds.

    Mr. Xu did not respond to a request for an interview sent to his personal Weibo account a few days after the fight on April 27. Shortly afterward, his account was taken down as the authorities rushed to try to tamp down the controversy.

    A woman reached by telephone at the Battle Club in southeast Beijing, where Mr. Xu works, said he was not giving interviews. She declined to give her name.

    On Wednesday morning, the door of the Battle Club, in the dingy basement of a high-rise, was locked. Photographs of Mr. Xu and other M.M.A. fighters decorated the walls of the stairwell.

    An electrician lingering by a cigarette shop at the top of the stairs said he practiced wushu and had come to check out the club after hearing about the controversy. He said that Mr. Xu had been right to pose his challenge, even though it had infuriated people.

    “No one can avoid fighting,’’ said the man, who gave only his surname, Lian, and a social media username, Ruyi.

    He said defenders of the traditional martial arts were incensed that Mr. Xu had dared to say that they staged impressive performances but were ineffective fighters and that, by doing so, he had threatened their livelihoods.

    Yet Mr. Xu’s ultra-aggressive assault on his tai chi rival had missed an important point, Mr. Lian added.

    “The key difference between what Mr. Xu does and martial arts is that martial arts isn’t a competitive sport,’’ he said. “It’s not about really hurting. It’s about giving your opponent ‘face.’ And Mr. Xu’s style is about beating your opponent to near death.”

    Follow Didi Kirsten Tatlow on Twitter @dktatlow.
    Quote Originally Posted by LFJ View Post
    I think that was just posted on the previous page.
    Indeed it was.
    Quote Originally Posted by B.Tunks View Post
    Gene Ching
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  6. #96
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    Does the Tai Chi guy think he is the guy Chow Yun Fat played in that movie about the founder of the Chin Woo .

  7. #97
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    Now this has made BBC news

    Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling
    11 May 2017


    WEIBO/XU XIAODONG
    The brief fight has kept Chinese social media talking for weeks

    A Chinese entrepreneur is offering a reward of $1.45m to anyone who can defeat a top class fighter. It's the latest twist in the social media whirlwind surrounding one very brief but significant fight, as the BBC's Yashan Zhao explains.
    Xu Xiaodong turned the Chinese martial arts community on its head two weeks ago with his highly controversial fight against Wei Lei, a master of the ancient art of tai chi.
    The long-awaited showcase battle was intended to prove whether tai chi could really be a match for the modern, highly aggressive fighting discipline of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).


    WEIBO/XU XIAODONG
    The fight was brief

    When weeks of planning came to reality, at a venue in Chengdu, Mr Xu soundly beat Wei Lei. The fight lasted only 20 seconds - Mr Xu says he had bested his opponent within seven seconds.
    Millions of people have since watched video footage of the competition, and it has triggered a huge discussion in China on whether traditional martial arts - or wushu - can ever truly be effective in combat.

    Tai chi - not just for the elderly

    Tai chi is now associated by many with older people, who use the series of movements to improve posture and release stress and anxiety. They can often be seen in Chinese public parks in the morning, slowly stretching out their arms.


    EPA
    Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits.

    But it has been part of Chinese martial arts culture since the 16th Century. Films and TV dramas have historically portrayed martial arts masters as great heroes in conflict, with almost supernatural strength.
    The 2006 film Fearless, for example, told the story of Huo Yuanjia, whose reported victories in bouts against foreigners helped Chinese people re-build confidence and restore pride in colonial times.
    China's martial arts novelist Louis Cha Leung-yung (pen name Jin Yong) also portrayed heroic martial art heroes who could march through battlefields alone and unarmed to defeat thousands of invaders.
    But Mr Xu, who has studied traditional martial arts himself, claimed these stories were overblown, and that there was a lot of fraud and hypocrisy in martial arts industry.
    He said his aim with the fight was to expose the fakes, and show that the old ways are no match for modern fighting methods.


    XU XIAODONG WEIBO
    Xu Xiaodong said he wanted to expose fraud in the martial arts world

    Some of his fans have been showing their support online. "I knew Chinese football industry was corrupt - now martial arts," said one.
    But some have suggested Mr Xu has shamed Chinese martial arts culture.
    Even billionaire Jack Ma, chairman of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba and a martial arts practitioner, spoke out in favour traditional form.
    He said the point of martial arts was not so much the fighting as the philosophy and discipline behind it.

    Cash for questions - and answers

    Mr Xu has himself become an online celebrity and has been cashing in on his fame, making a fortune hosting Q&A session on microblogging site Weibo.


    XU XIAODONG WEIBO
    Xu Xiaodong makes a fortune on his Weibo account but it was blocked.

    Viewers could pay him 1 RMB ($0.14; £0.11) to see his answers to questions like whether he thinks Wu Jing, a famed Chinese martial arts actor, has genuine battle skills.
    From this question alone, Mr Xu made more than 7,500 RMB.
    He has also been charging up to 18 RMB to ask him a question. On 3 May, he answered 19 questions.
    But his money-making didn't last long, as his Weibo account, with more than 350,000 fans, was suddenly mysteriously blocked.
    Mr Xu told BBC Chinese he doesn't know why.

    Wake up martial arts dream

    Supporters of traditional tai chi say one defeat doesn't mean much. And Mr Xu clearly agrees - he has challenged all of China's martial arts masters to a fight to further prove his point.
    After China's martial arts association said this betrayed the ethics of the artform, a video appeared of Mr Xu apologising for being too arrogant. (He later refused to comment on the video in an interview with BBC Chinese.)
    It might be a tempting offer though, because Xu Sheng, the multi-millionaire founder of drinks empire Tiandi No 1, has said on his Weibo account that is looking for martial arts heroes to volunteer to defeat Xu Xiaodong.
    The winner of five bouts against him would take home a reward of 1.5 million yuan, he said, while even the loser could win 500,000 yuan.
    Xu Sheng said he wanted to "wake the Chinese martial arts dream", and that he has been approached by many masters about the offer.
    But there's no sign of another fight happening anytime soon - Xu Xiaodong has gone quiet, retreating to further study martial arts.
    So it looks like the online battle between tai chi and MMA is not yet over.

    Additional reporting by Jiangchuan Wu, BBC Chinese

    Quote Originally Posted by Firehawk4 View Post
    Does the Tai Chi guy think he is the guy Chow Yun Fat played in that movie about the founder of the Chin Woo .
    Funny you should mention Fearless Firehawk, because this BBC article does too. Or maybe you weren't. Chow wasn't in Fearless. Which Huo Yanjia film are you talking about?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  8. #98
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    Gene

    I was thinking the Tai chi guy might of thought he was Huo Yunjia in the movie Fearles the founder of the Chin Woo but you have to give the Tai Chi guy credit for getting in the ring with the Mixed Martial arts guy. The actor I was thinking of was Jet Li.

  9. #99
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    Am I the only one to spot the glowing cowardice presented by this not so open, open challenge. By not allowing sanda people to issue challenge, Xu is effectively, and knowingly, eliminating the chances of him being challenges by a traditional Chinese fighter that trains to fight.

    Heads up to Xu, traditional Chinese fighters will ALSO be sanda guys more often than not. Sands is a platform traditionalists use to develop their skills.

    Basically I see his challenge like this:

    MMA fighter opens issue challenge to all non fighter sport artists. By specifically excluding traditional fighters he's creating his own odds.

    I know this guy that just got out of prison last year. he served his years for deadly assault. Got in plenty of fights in prison and benches near 600. Hes a fewcking animal he has no pro record but he also makes xu look like a midget. If he takes some tai chi classes will xu fly him to China for a possible mauling? Or will he give another excuse to avoid people he fears may beat him?
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  10. #100
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    Am I the only one to spot the glowing cowardice presented by this not so open, open challenge. By not allowing sanda people to issue challenge, Xu is effectively, and knowingly, eliminating the chances of him being challenges by a traditional Chinese fighter that trains to fight.

    Heads up to Xu, traditional Chinese fighters will ALSO be sanda guys more often than not. Sands is a platform traditionalists use to develop their skills.

    Basically I see his challenge like this:

    MMA fighter opens issue challenge to all non fighter sport artists. By specifically excluding traditional fighters he's creating his own odds.

    I know this guy that just got out of prison last year. he served his years for deadly assault. Got in plenty of fights in prison and benches near 600. Hes a fewcking animal he has no pro record but he also makes xu look like a midget. If he takes some tai chi classes will xu fly him to China for a possible mauling? Or will he give another excuse to avoid people he fears may beat him?
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
    If he takes some tai chi classes will xu fly him to China for a possible mauling?
    Xu only wants to challenge 100% Taiji guys. He did say that he respects Baji, WC, Tong Bei, XingYi, ... IMO, 100% Taiji guy and a Taiji guy with cross training are complete different.

    The issue is, Can 100% Taiji guy without any cross training be able to fight? This is a very serious question.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 05-14-2017 at 11:40 AM.
    http://johnswang.com

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    Less opinion -> less argument
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  12. #102
    Who gets to decide what is 100% TaiChi then? If you do the form alone probably not. If you take its contents and train against a resisting partner, why not? Kicking, punching, grappling and throwing is all present.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cataphract View Post
    Who gets to decide what is 100% TaiChi then? If you do the form alone probably not. If you take its contents and train against a resisting partner, why not? Kicking, punching, grappling and throwing is all present.
    What kind of tools should be in a 100% Taiji guy's toolbox? Should roundhouse kick, single leg, ... be in that toolbox?
    http://johnswang.com

    More opinion -> more argument
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  14. #104
    Are we talking Yang, Wu, Chen...? I'd say TaiChi generally has more or less the northern KungFu toolbox at its disposal.

    Single leg is simple. Needle at bottom of Sea.

    TaiChi Yang form has a lot of kicks, including a high lotus kick, but it is made for grappling rather than kicking range. Weng wrote in Fundamentals of Shuai Chiao
    Also, the controlling processes are identical in both in being geared towards disrupting the rival's balance for the winning factor. Generally speaking, the methods of borrowing the opponent's force to combine it with your own effort for a favorable result are adopted typically by both T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Shuai Chiao. Such resemblances in theory and practice reveal the close affinity between T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Shuai Chiao.
    There is no roundhouse, but there is no roundhouse in any traditional Karate form either. I'd say roundhousing is permissible, but not really in line with TaiChi's core tactics.

    TaiChi could work in MMA imo. But only if adapted to the MMA context like Lyoto Machida did for Shotokan.
    Last edited by Cataphract; 05-15-2017 at 02:02 AM.

  15. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
    Am I the only one to spot the glowing cowardice presented by this not so open, open challenge. By not allowing sanda people to issue challenge, Xu is effectively, and knowingly, eliminating the chances of him being challenges by a traditional Chinese fighter that trains to fight.

    Heads up to Xu, traditional Chinese fighters will ALSO be sanda guys more often than not. Sands is a platform traditionalists use to develop their skills.

    Basically I see his challenge like this:

    MMA fighter opens issue challenge to all non fighter sport artists. By specifically excluding traditional fighters he's creating his own odds.
    Good point. Although I liked his interview, IMO, if Xu is as concerned with fraud in the fighting world in China as he says he is, he should have issued challenges to fighters in China whose foreign opponents were paid to throw fights, like Yi Long. He could either state he will not be bribed to lose, or quietly agree to lose and win instead (if he can). By pointing out such fraud and to say he is against it, but be unwilling to face it directly, is a bit telling. Of course, that would also have entailed bigger consequences than he's facing now.

    I realize he said that his beef with the Taiji guy was personal, but in this day and age of social media, was he really naive enough to expect it would only remain between the two of them as individuals?
    Last edited by Jimbo; 05-15-2017 at 06:43 AM.

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