An extreme sport in full democratization in China, banned in competition in other countries but very popular in the Middle Kingdom and for their Soviet neighbor, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) pleases young Chinese men and women as gathering more and more followers. China is the cradle of martial arts and regional champions are not lacking. Are combat sports and other extreme sports a choice market for foreign investors in China? Without a doubt!
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Mixed followers for mixed martial arts!
Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is a mixed discipline in China, in addition to bringing a wind of modernity. The proof is with the champion Miao Jie, who juggles between her training hours and the needs of her three-year-old son.
Would national news have anything to do with the sudden fervor of girls to get into boxing? Warmly encouraged by their boyfriends, Chinese city girls rush to club registrations. No more yoga, the trend is in the fight: from MMA and Thai boxing, boxing clubs in China are mixed or even slightly overpopulated female. So much so that the opening of ‘Girls Only’ classes becomes necessary to manage the influx of beginners.
The new popularity of fighting sports among Chinese
Trash news and Sport Responsibilities
When MMA in China shocks the opinion
After the release of the documentary, a state investigation was opened to determine whether abuses were committed. Public fights by the children allowed the club to make money, a small portion of which was returned to them in pocket money when they emerged victoriously. Netizens were offended and then accused the club of making money on the backs of orphans, turned into gladiators. The club defends the accusations and says instead offer them a better future and get out of the violence of the streets.
China faces many challenges
In this controversial documentary, the interviewed teenagers appear grateful to their club and especially well aware of the nothingness of the other possibilities open to them.
To watch the documentary, follow this link ->
Tai Chi versus MMA: When a sport threatens to dethrone tradition
Traditional Chinese martial arts are undergoing the emergence of mixed martial arts and media coverage. On the one hand, the violence and lack of humility of the MMA fighters are castigated, while on the other, the traditional sport is accused of being totally ineffective in ‘real’ combat.
Xu Xiaodong, who seems to possess the temperament of Connor McGregor, has, therefore, challenged Tai Chi master Wei Lei to win a fight against him, each practicing his own discipline. The fight was again held in a battle hall in Chengdu, a big Chinese city renowned for its rappers as well as for its boxers. The result was a humiliating lay-up in seconds for the master.
Following the broadcast of the video of this fight, the outcry has grown so much that even Jack Ma – billionaire Chinese leader of the Alibaba group and follower of tai chi – joined the Internet users who have not failed to emphasize the different radical rules between the two sports, making it unlikely to confront the two disciplines on the same ground. Triumphant, Xu Xiaodong has nonetheless demonstrated his point of view and symbolically relegates tradition to the closet!
So, does tai chi really need to worry about the progress of MMA in China?
It is true that every era follows its sporting patterns and that the younger generations of Chinese people tend to turn away from the codes of traditional China. American soft power is making its way into mentalities, and in the age of globalization young Chinese and Europeans see themselves more as “citizens of the world”! It is arguable that MMA is more appealing to young people in China for the rebel side of modern and effective discipline.
What prospects for foreign investors?
There is no shortage of opportunities in China, between the sponsor of young talents, partnerships between clubs and the export of equipment.
A very popular formula is in use: mixing sport and tourism, the “intensive training abroad” are short sports courses (one to two weeks) offered in partner clubs abroad, which have an attractive tourist setting and a reputation in the discipline.
An example of an offer: 10 days of intensive Thai boxing training in Thailand, accommodation close to the club and meals included, close to the beach. The stay alternates boxing classes and relaxation to enjoy the seaside activities nearby. This type of formula is very popular with young urban residents who can afford this type of holiday.
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