Watch Chinese martial arts experts fight bulls using the ‘explosive power’ of kung fu

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Several times a week, kung fu teacher Ren Ruzhi walks into a ring to train with a bovine opponent about five times his weight and capable of killing him.

Ren’s mix of martial arts and bullfighting worries his mother, but the 24-year-old has never been injured. Plus, he says, wrestling with a snorting bull is exciting.

“It symbolizes the bravery of a man,” Ren told Reuters in Jiaxing, eastern Zhejiang province, China.

The unique sport of China’s Hui Muslim ethnic minority, bullfighting has gained prominence among Kung Fu masters as well as Chinese tourists.

Bullfighter Ren Ruzhi, 24, trains in the bull stable of the Haihua Kung-fu school in Jiaxing, Zhejiang

Zhong Xiaojie, 19, wrestles with bull on the ground in intense bullfight

Zhong Xiaojie, 19, wrestles with bull on the ground in intense bullfight

Ren's mix of martial arts and bullfighting worries his mother, but the 24-year-old has never been injured.  Plus, he says, wrestling with a snorting bull is exciting.

Ren’s mix of martial arts and bullfighting worries his mother, but the 24-year-old has never been injured. Plus, he says, wrestling with a snorting bull is exciting.

Video footage shows a fearless Ren approaching the bull head-on, grabbing its horns and twisting, turning his head until the beast topples over.

Unlike Spain’s most famous sport, the Chinese variant of traditional bullfighting involves neither sword nor blood, but instead fuses the movements of wrestling with the skill and speed of kung fu to take down beasts weighing up to ‘to 400 kg (882 lb).

“The Spanish bullfight is more like a performance or a spectacle,” said Hua Yang, a 41-year-old enthusiast who witnessed a bullfight on a visit to Spain.

Unlike Spain's most famous sport, the Chinese variant of bullfighting involves neither sword nor blood, but instead fuses wrestling with the skill and speed of kung fu to take down the beasts.

Unlike Spain’s most famous sport, the Chinese variant of bullfighting involves neither sword nor blood, but instead fuses wrestling with the skill and speed of kung fu to take down the beasts.

“It symbolizes the bravery of a man,” Ren Ruzhi told Reuters at the Jiaxing school.

The physically demanding sport requires fighters to train intensively every day

The physically demanding sport requires fighters to train intensively every day

“This (the Chinese variety) is really a competition between the strength of a human and a bull. There are a lot of skills involved and it can be dangerous.

The physically demanding sport requires fighters to train intensively and they usually have short careers, said Han Haihua, a former professional wrestler who trains bullfighters at his Haihua Kung fu school in Jiaxing.

Han calls the style of bullfighting he teaches “the explosive power of hard” qigong “- an ancient Chinese practice of the mind and body – saying it combines the skill and speed of martial arts with the techniques traditional wrestling.

“What do I mean by explosive power?” Han asked. ‘In a flash! Ugh! Concentrate all your power on one point. All of a sudden, in a flash, hit him to the ground.

Typically, a fighter approaches the bull head-on, grabs its horns and twists, turning its head until the bull tilts.

Typically, a fighter approaches the bull head-on, grabs its horns and twists, turning his head until the bull topples over.

The bulls are also trained before entering the ring, coach Han Haihua said, and learn to spread their legs or find a wedge on their own to prepare for being shot.

The bulls are also trained before entering the ring, coach Han Haihua said, and learn to spread their legs themselves or find a wedge to prepare for being shot.

The physically demanding sport requires fighters to train hard every day

The physically demanding sport requires fighters to train hard every day

If the first fighter is tired, another can step into the ring, but they only have three minutes to fight the bull on the ground or lose the fight.

The bulls are also trained before entering the ring, Han said, and learn to spread their legs themselves or find a wedge to prepare not to be shot.

“A bull can also think like a human, they are smart,” Han added.

Although he says his bulls are treated better than the animals involved in Spanish sport, animal rights activists believe Chinese bullfighting is still painful to animals and cruel as a form of entertainment.

“In Chinese bullfighting, we cannot deny that bulls feel pain,” said Layli Li, spokesperson for animal welfare group PETA. “As long as it exists, it means that there is suffering.

If the first fighter is tired, another can step into the ring, but they only have three minutes to fight the bull on the ground or lose the fight.

If the first fighter is tired, another can step into the ring, but they only have three minutes to fight the bull on the ground or lose the fight.

Bullfighter Li Bo, 22, demonstrates his fighting technique on a bull's head model for training

Bullfighter Li Bo, 22, demonstrates his fighting technique on a bull’s head model for training

Staff lead bulls to stable after performance at Jianxing Kung Fu School

Staff lead bulls to stable after performance at Jianxing Kung Fu School


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