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Commentary: what's the future of Chinese kungfu?

(People's Daily Online)    09:10, May 04, 2017

A Mixed Martial Art fighter knocked down a Tai Chi Master recently (file photo)

A footage of a Mixed Martial Art (MMA) fighter knocking down a Tai Chi Master in mere 25 seconds has recently gone viral in China, which caused disdain towards Traditional Martial Arts (TMA). Many challenges between the two forms of practice were hence incited.

Kung fu has always been a symbol of Chinese culture. It gained worldwide fame after the martial arts movies, such as “Shaolin Temple” and “Fearless”, became popular in the 1980s.

For most TMA fans, the footage saddened them. In a commentary published on May 2, 2017, People’s Daily pointed out that people should view the result of the game more objectively. It shall be pointed out that Traditional Martial Arts (TMA) and Mixed Martial Art (MMA) are two different forms of martial arts. People practice the Traditional Martial Arts (i.e. Tai Chi) are usually seeking results like healthy figure, whilst Mixed Martial Art is competitive sports with clear rules, in which practitioners need to go through scientific training process to enroll.

Traditional martial arts practitioners in China should think about whether TMA shall be gradually transformed or it shall remain the current status. The transformation will definitely be difficult. If TMA wants to highlight its techniques and seek more future development, there will need to be lots of communications and upgrades, just like what Judo and Taekwondo went through when they gained global popularity. To attract more sensible practitioners, the system needs to be changed.

(This commentary is from the editorial board of the People's Daily)


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Wu Chengliang)

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