The first rule of Fight Club

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

The first rule of Fight Club

Postby GrahamB on Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:56 pm ... -club.html

“The First Rule of Chinese Fight Club: No Karaoke.” So proclaims the opening paragraph of a rather long and detailed article in the New York Times. This piece provides a nice profile of a local “fight club,” inspired both by the founder’s love of the movie, and the growing popularity of Western combat sports in China. It discusses the legal and administrative hurdles that such a business faces, and in so doing gives a nice glimpse into the social anxieties that still surround the martial arts. Anyone interested in China’s evolving martial culture will want to check this piece out. Here is a quote to whet your appetite:

“…boxing, mixed martial arts and other high-energy fighting forms have been enjoying a minor boom in China in recent years. Gyms and audiences have multiplied across the country. Precise numbers are hard to come by, but one fan group estimates that the number of clubs had reached 8,300 in 2016, up from 2,700 in 2008.

Even so, commercial fight venues that draw a broader audience are rare. And Chengdu, with its zestful night life and hipster scene, seemed as good a place as any to try opening one. Yet even here the club has struggled to balance between being cool enough to draw customers and respectable enough to keep the inspectors at bay.

In a former venue, the fight club had to fend off complaints from the police, who deemed the weekly bouts undesirable, if not illegal. The authorities cut off their power and water late last year, Mr. Shi and Mr. Wang said. Tensions had also grown when a national controversy erupted last April after Xu Xiaodong, a mixed martial arts fighter, challenged masters of China’s gentler traditional martial arts to fight and flattened one of them in about 10 seconds.

Mr. Xu may have won that fight hands down, but the episode brought bad publicity for new martial arts in China.”
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