Original Chinese Language Article By: South China Morning Post (1.5.2017)
(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
In a challenge match that occurred on April 27th, 2017 in Chengdu, Taijiquan teacher – Master Lei Lei (雷雷) – was repeatedly beaten about head after slipping to the ground by his opponent – MMA practitioner Xu Xiaodong (徐晓冬). Xu Xiaodong immediately uploaded the 20 second video to Youku, an act which caused instant country-wide controversy. How did this situation develop? Xu Xiaodong (who is motivated by profit) had been disrespecting a number of elderly martial arts masters – trying to goad them into fighting him on video. It is believed that Xu Xiaodong had been unduly influenced by corrupt Western sports, and had lost his sense of proportion and appropriate behaviour in public. Of course, there are some that doubt the authenticity of the fight, claiming both fighters were ‘acting’ to attract attention, but Master Lei Lei is known to be a quiet person who patiently teaches traditional Taijiquan to many people suffering long-term illnesses. and has never expressed any desire to hurt others or become famous. In fact, in an interview a few days after the ‘contest’, Master Lei Lei confirmed that he had never met Xu Xiaodong before having the fight, and that the fight took place only after exchanging viewpoints about martial arts on the internet.
Master Lei Lei explained that in March of this year, 38 year old Xu Xiaodong had insulted and challenged 68 year old Taijiquan teacher – Master Hu Guantao (胡贯涛) – stating that ‘Taijiquan is the biggest scam in a hundred years!’ As Master Hu Guantao could not let this insult stand, he agreed to Xu Xiaodong’s insistence upon an ‘honour’ fight, but at the agreed time, Master Hu Guantao did not appear. This was because Master Hu Guantao’s son – Hu Lifu (胡立夫) – had contacted well-respected Master Lei Lei, to ask his opinion on Xu Xiaodong. Master Lei Lei said that he thought Xu Xiaodong was shallow in temperament, and only seeking money and fame. Master Lei Lei then advised Master Hu Guantao not to attend the contest. It is reported that Xu Xiaodong was furious when he learned of Master Lei Lei interfering in his plans, and immediately challenged him to a challenge match as a form of compensation.
Xu Xiaodong has courted controversy in the past, causing much offense and concern throughout the general public by criticising the famous Chinese Shaolin Temple lay-disciple – ‘Yi Long’ (一龙) who travelled to the West and honourably represented China in full-contact fighting tournaments. Xu Xiaodong stated that Yi Long’s remarkable martial abilities stemmed from him taking steroids and other performance enhancing drugs! Master Lei Lei, wanting to be honourable in the face of Xu Xiaodong’s ‘dishonour’ was unsure whether to go to the fight, but decided to do so as a means to protect others from Xu Xiaodong’s ignorance. After the fight, Master Lei Lei blogged that he had attended the fight and had lost. He did not mind the losing – as this was merely a personal matter – but he regretted being unable to decisively ‘better’ Xu Xiaodong, and set the record straight for Taijiquan practitioners everywhere. The next day he showed his wife the video of the fight – as he wanted her to know that he had ‘stood up’ in an attempt to confront tyranny.
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