In 2017 Xu insulted tai chi grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, calling him a “dog” and a “fraud”. Chen, instead of settling the dispute in the ring, sued Xu and won
The court ordered that Xu must pay Chen 400,000 yuan ($57,800) in damages and apologize to him for seven days via social media platform.
According to his website, Chen is as a “direct descendant” of Cheng Wangting, the creator of taijiquan, and the grandson of Chen Fa’ke, “renowned as the greatest taijiquan master at the beginning of the 20th century.”
Chen also brands himself as the “19th generation lineage holder of Chen family taijiquan” and “one of the few holders of the highest rank of 9th Duan Wei conferred by the Chinese Wushu Association.”
Xu is a fierce critic of what he calls “fake kung fu.” He claims that Western-style MMA is superior to traditional Chinese martial arts, a point of view that in the increasingly nationalistic environment in China is often unwelcome. To prove his point, Xu challenged tai chi grandmaster Wei Lei to a fight. The bout, which took place in a basement in the city of Chengdu, lasted only 20 seconds. Wei’s defeat shocked China and drew the ire of many Chinese, who viewed the fight as a battle between East and West.
“Chinese traditional wushu like tai chi is a philosophy and social medium. It’s not martial arts,” Xu told the South China Morning Postin January. “While China needs reform and opening up, Chinese martial arts need them even more, as their development lags [Western counterparts] by 40 years … We need to learn from overseas. Chinese wushu practitioners have been living like frogs in a well for too long,”
Aside from having to pay a hefty compensation and making a public apology, Xu also had his social credit score lowered to a “D”
A credit score “D” means that Xu will no longer be allowed to buy plane tickets or train tickets, purchase real estate. He also will be banned from star-rated hotels, restaurants and nightclubs, and his children will not be able to study in private schools.
In 2014 China announced the launch of a pilot scheme to create a nationwide social credit score system, which will be fully implemented by 2020. The system aims to evaluate the behaviour of citizens and punish those who have a low score.
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