15 July 2011


Dear Chinese guy.

Why are there no prminent Chinese MMA or UFC fighters? Why aren't there some Chinese kung fu masters competing? They might even win!


Dear Joe

This is my theory and I could be wrong, but it boils down to several things:

One Chinese men are by and large smaller than caucasian and black men, sure we get people like Yao Ming who is massive and Mongolians who can be massive. But these are the exceptions and not the rule.

Apparently I'm a fairly tall Chinese person who is overweight..... I weigh 10 stone, I have to wear weight to skydive and a fast fall suit because I fall so slowly. My English native peers are about 4-5 stone heavier than me and much taller than me.

Take for instance Bruce Lee, he is a pretty small bloke compared to western natives. And he was half German. Or Bolo Yeung, Mr HK a massive massive body builder when stood next to Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. But not that big compared to westerners who primarily make up MMA, UFC.

I mean would you fight against a bloke who had 100 pounds on you in pure muscle?

Secondly, a great deal of Chinese martial arts emphasise defence by parrying, blocking and avoidance. I mean look at any wire work Jet Li movie. Yes it is a movie, but it shows him avoiding, blocking and parrying. Compare this to fist fights in Western movies. They pretty much stand there and knock the hell out of each other. Which was lampshaded by Tom Cruise in the film Far and Away. It sort of makes sense, i.e. it is better NOT to be hit than to be hit and to take less damage. I mean would you rather be punched in the face or not? Southern Martial arts based around Wing Chun for instance all emphasise superior blocking and parrying techniques.

But then it sort of like a Samurai sword duel first blow is almost always lethal and is the winner.

Compare to boxers who can pummel each other repeatedly and get used to the pummelling. Ali fighting Foreman took a massive beating for ages and ages. Joe Frazier did the same to Ali. Or Muay Thai Kick boxing, the proper proper art of eight limbs Muay Thai (though even the westernised softened up version seems pretty brutal to me). They pound each other like no tomorrow, they brutalise and train themselves and they get used to it.

Thirdly erm (for laughs)

Granted those people can probably snap my neck in a pinch

Fourthly Martial arts is dying out, the old grandmasters are dying out and people simply don't have the time to practice their skills and hone them. There is little incentive if you are a trainer in China, as very few people get into the training program to be an instructor and when they do become instructors the wages are LESS than working in factories. Thus while there may well be a lot of theory and lots of in action a lot of people simply don't bother. I mean you gonna fight hand to hand against this?


  1. Tie Quan Zhang recently had a fairly successful ufc debut. UFC does encompass various weight classes so you don't have to necessarily be a giant beast to compete.

  2. not only that, there's just too many strikes that would be considered illegal in a Chinese martial artist's repertoire. Aside from that, you've also got the strict Chinese government policies which severely limit the potential for their fighters to compete in foreign competitions.

  3. Kung Fu don't work, it's just a dance that's why it disappear and no Kung Fu fighter fights in UFC

  4. Incredible amount of outright conjecture and inaccuracy.

    Completely unaware of weight classes.
    Lee was a quarter Caucasian, not half.
    "Chinese martial arts emphasise defence by parrying, blocking and avoidance." So, what?
    "people simply don't have the time to practice their skills and hone them." Did you throw a dart at your "appeals to intuition" board to come up that one.?

    The real answer is that Chinese martial arts bear little empirical testing of their efficacy, especially against other disciplines. The same condition that Jigoro Kano, Helio Gracie, Bruce Lee et al. rebelled against. Western "TMAs" like boxing and pankration have origins in Greco-Roman fights to the death, and have been subject to centuries of competitive development and western traditions of empirical scrutiny rather then be mired in quasi-mystical ritualism.

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