MMA vs Tai Chi

This is hilarious. As a former mixed martial arts man myself, I’ve always been mystified by the idea that tai chi can even be described as a martial art. It’s about as “martial” as yoga or haiku.

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.

The video is both short and informative. Tai chi simply doesn’t have anything to do with fighting. The tai chi master had quite clearly never sparred at speed before. And that guard… ye cats! I’m only surprised the MMA guy didn’t open with a sidekick given such an invitation.