An elderly Chinese tai chi master’s attempt to defend his craft’s honour and his own reputation ended dismally again in a tournament in Shandong held over the weekend.
In what was another “kung foolery” moment, 69-year-old Ma Baoguo was knocked down twice before he had his lights punched out for good when he fought a former martial arts coach twenty years his junior.
Ma had made a name for himself on social media as he promoted what many observers called “kung fu fakery”.
And not long ago, he created a stir when he teased “stupid” mainland UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili and even challenged her to a fight.
Many observers have questioned Ma’s ability and the “fake kung fu going around” with “Mad Dog” MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong last year calling a tai chi “grandmaster” a fraud while vowing to expose “fake” martial arts.
Xu took the internet by storm a few years ago when he easily defeated tai chi master Wei Lei in a famous video clip that was watched by millions.
Last weekend, a similar sight occurred. Ma, who claims to be a master of Hunyuan tai chi, entered his first domestic competition but his debut ended up an embarrassing mess.
Ma clearly showed his age as he shuffled along and got his comeuppance challenging a much younger opponent in 49-year-old Wang Qingmin, a former martial arts coach and amateur fighter who became interested in Sanda and Chinese kick-boxing while serving as an army ranger.
Ma was supposed to fight fellow tai chi practitioner Li Xianchun but Li failed a medical exam and was replaced by 70kg welterweight Wang.
In a video that is doing the rounds on the internet, Ma showed he didn’t belong in the ring let alone a fighting platform after being floored two times before a powerful right hook by Wang ended the fight. Ma was knocked out cold and had to be tended by medical staff. The fight lasted about 30 seconds.
The bout was stopped a few times by the referee, who tried to separate the two fighters but netizens were quick to denounce the bout as a total mismatch that continued to expose fake kung fu.
Ma has been embroiled in controversy before, claiming he had defeated notable British MMA fighter Peter Irving in a video shot three years ago.
However, Irving quickly claimed on Facebook that he had been hired as an “actor” for what he thought was a role in a vanity project for this “old kung fu guy”.
“Recently, probably because of the tension about the MMA fighter challenging traditional martial arts in China, he decided to edit the footage and claim he’d beaten me in a real fight. When I heard I just thought it was a bit ridiculous and I felt sorry for him, and thought he was just rather sad,” Irving wrote in his statement on his Facebook page.
Meanwhile, netizens poked fun at Ma’s foolish attempt to fight a much superior opponent. “That was enjoyable. Master Ma’s final move was the most elegant. Admire,” one wrote.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.