Martial arts body condemns bout between Tai Chi master, MMA fighter

Updated 2017-05-05 09:30:30 Global Times

The Chinese Martial Arts Association criticized on Wednesday a bizarre bout between an MMA fighter and a Tai Chi master as "against the spirit of martial arts" and called on the public to inform the authorities if similar matches occur in future.

Footage of Xu Xiaodong, 38, easily defeating Tai Chi master Lei Lei, 41, in 20 seconds went viral last weekend.

"What's the point of martial arts if they can't fight?" Xu told the Global Times Tuesday, adding that he believes that traditional martial arts are "dead."

However, the association rejected Xu's comments.

"Martial arts is a traditional Chinese sport as well as an excellent traditional culture that includes various forms like martial arts repertoire and free combat," read a document released on the association's website on Wednesday.

"We are strongly against such bouts, especially scuffles held in the name of eliminating fake martial arts which are more about fighting and pure aggressiveness," read the announcement, adding that "the public should report similar cases to relative departments."

The fight and Xu's words have also angered other traditional martial artists, some of whom have said they will challenge him.

Founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba and noted Tai Chi fan, Jack Ma, has also spoken up.

"The fight between Xu and Lei was not a real fight, more like a show, real Tai Chi is about embodying the Tai Chi philosophy with body movements," Ma said on his Sina Weibo account Thursday.

"You don't have to beat somebody to practice martial arts," Dong Jinxia, Director of the Peking University Research Centre for Gender, Sports and Society, told the Global Times.

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