Tai chi is a widely known Chinese martial art that is practised not only as a type of defense training, it is also used in competitive wrestling and for health purposes to promote longevity.
Consequently, various forms of tai chi have slowly evolved over the years according to the different emphasis, both traditional and modern.
In other words, it’s not just an ‘old man’s exercise’, as most people may be familiar with.
However, one particular showdown between a tai chi master and a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter that happened in China last week ended in a mere 10 seconds.
And it wasn’t pretty.
Tai chi master Wei Lei
lost to the pounding hands of MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong
in front of a large audience even before he could strike a different pose.
You can watch the video here for a better picture of how the fight went down:
This face-off sparked an online debate regarding traditional and modern fighting techniques.
Before the fight, the two apparently took it to the world wide web to debate the qualities of traditional Chinese martial arts.
Wei, who claims himself to be the founder of the ‘thunder style’ in tai chi, told the Legal Evening News
that Xu had insulted tai chi and their ancestors.
After the fight, many people expressed their doubts about the strength of traditional Chinese martial arts and began calling Wei a fraud.
Others who were more rational felt that both Xu and Wei weren’t exactly the best people to represent both martial arts practices.
Although tai chi has evolved more into a martial art known more for its health benefits, the problem is the style in its current form is probably unable to beat MMA, which has evolved into a combat sport combining boxing, karate and wrestling.
Nonetheless, it’s still interesting to see the two go head-to-head!