It is a curious coincidence that Xu Xiaodong was 39 years old when he challenged a 50 year old Taijiquan Master in April of this year, and that of the example of Iwakura Tsuyoshi (岩倉豪 – famous for punching the 65 year old Yanagi Ryuken (柳龍拳) – who was himself 35 years old, beginning a MMA career at 39! Being in the mid to late 30’s seems to be very late in life to start a Western combat sport within which many peak-in around 25 years old! It maybe that these two characters, as they were approaching middle-age, and having abandoned the traditional Chinese martial arts idea that elderly people can be effective martial artists, were desperate to make their mark on a foreign combat sport that has no real currency within Chinese culture. What is of further interest is that both Xu Xiaodong and Iwakura Tsuyoshi are notorious for not possessing any tangible mixed martial arts ability, either physically or psychologically. In fact, both individuals might be described as ‘seriously’ limited in their MMA abilities, and certainly nowhere near the standard of world level. Many MMA practitioners in the West possess much better skills than these two, and yet never make a name for themselves (such is the competitive nature of this sport). Having made this clear, why then are these two MMA fighters so popular in the West? The answer lies in that the examples of these two individuals have been used in the West by a particular strain of MMA practitioner that pursue a far-right political narrative that demonises China, and interprets Chinese culture as being the deficient manifestation of an inferior race! The film footage of Xu Xiaodong (against Master Lei Gong), shows a man with no real mixed martial arts skills – who could have been easily defeated with groin-kicking or throat-punching, etc, and whose mental state is often described as ‘mad’ even by himself! The above photograph shows Xu Xiaodong confronting police as he rampages against traditional Chinese martial arts in early May of this year.
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