“I have lost my career and everything.”
Xu Xiaodong, MMA Fighter
You may have read my recent article, Tai chi Experts Take Up Challenge Issued by MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong, or heard about this fight elsewhere.
A new article in The Economist titles “A fist-fight in China turns into a clash between tradition and modernity” says the MMA fighter has now backed down from his challenges and will not withdrawing from the public eye.
I’m not sure we’ll ever know exactly who or what silenced him. Previously, he’d “mocked tai chi as a slow-motion form of aerobics.” He said his goal was “not to disparage Chinese martial arts” but to “expose deceitful practitioners.”
But he got a lot of heat for his demonstration. Guancha.cn, a news agency in China, said his blog posts had “insulted the Chinese army and Mao Zedong.” He was apparently the target of a torrent of hate messages. He appeared in a live video-stream and said “I have lost my career and everything.” The Economist says that the Chinese authorities “appear eager to put an end to the debate.” The Chinese president Xi Jinping is a fan of traditional Chinese culture and is keen to use it promote the country abroad. Many commentators have pointed out that the Traditional arts are a big tourist draw to places like the Shaolin Temple. The MMA fighter’s blog account was deleted as was his online reporting and commentary about his fight with Mr Wei.
Mr Xu told the BBC that he would keep quiet from now on and study traditional Chinese martial arts.