Where Are The Chinese Fighters? – Why MMA Has Not Flourished In Chinese Society (In-Depth Analysis with Videos)


In a Chinese New Year special, DynastyClothingStore.com dives into the seldom-spoken topic of Chinese fighters in MMA. Brace yourselves… this is the longest blog entry we’ve ever done. It is not for the casual reader. If you call yourself an MMA fan though, we know you’ve been dying to ask these questions. We’ve got the answers, and the videos.

But if you’re too lazy, scroll down all the way to the bottom for the “Too Long, Didn’t Read” version, where we sum up this near 7,000 word article in one short paragraph.

Strapped in tight? Here we go.
Strapped in tight? Here we go.

Being the birthplace of Asian martial arts (as the Chinese phrase goes: “all martial arts come from Shaolin” – albeit with influences from India), China (a.k.a. The Middle Kingdom) possesses over five thousand years of history, and is the central origin of all Asian people and culture that can be traced back to the ancient times. While they won’t openly admit it, neighbouring nations such as Japan, Korea, and all of South East Asia owe their historical and cultural roots to China, in one way or another.

Why is it then, in a society of more than 2 billion ethnic Chinese people scattered across the globe combined, we have not had any successful Chinese fighters (so far)? Why is it that Japan, a tiny island comprised of only about 125 million people, has produced some of the sport’s most legendary MMA fighters, and Korea is taking the lead in pushing the next wave of successful Asian fighters, while China (and its neighbouring Chinese populations in and of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau) is still the odd country out of the party? Why have Chinese fighters failed to find success at prize fighting and what is it that makes Chinese people “different” than other Asian fighters?

We’re going to look at the legitimate factors that have contributed to the slow acceptance of MMA in Chinese society, as well as dissecting the potential bullshit “reasons not to train MMA” agenda that Chinese martial arts masters preach. We’re about to see how much of it is with good reason, and how much of it is just Chinese people making up excuses and not being good at fighting MMA.

China Top Team
China Top Team

Factor #1:
Historical & Political Situation Stopped Growth & Development of Martial Arts in modern China

What Happened in China:
Without opening a gigantic textbook on the history of modern China, we’ll be as brief as we can. Right after the communist party (Mainland China) drove out the nationalists (Taiwanese) in 1949 to Taiwan after World War II, they banned the right to train martial arts in China for fear of people overthrowing the government, and burned down the Shaolin temples.


That’s right. Martial arts, having originated in China, were banned from being practiced for the next thirty (30) years (until 1989 when the government decided to rebuild the Shaolin temple and “lift the ban on martial arts”) in the mainland.

What Happened Around The World:
Exact facts and dates aside, we know that this is the same era and time when the Japanese embraced western catch wrestling / professional wrestling in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and added it to their existing Judo and Japanese Jiu Jitsu. Karate flourished and offshoot hard styles emerged such as Kyokushin Karate, challenging western kickboxing styles. Soon, kickboxing and grappling were combined as “Shooto”, derived from “shoot fighting” as pro wrestlers called it (a more realistic version of pro wrestling techniques), and we all knew that turned into MMA in Japan.

Japanese MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba
Japanese MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba

Koreans have adapted Taekwondo mainly from Karate during their time from being occupied by the Japanese, as well as Judo, and have become very strong in these martial arts during this time as well. Interestingly, the founder of Kyokushin Karate, Mas Oyama, was ethnic Korean (a.k.a. Choi Young-Eui / Choi Baedal), who went around all of Japan beating every Karate master there was to form what he called “The Ultimate Truth” (Kyokushin), the first and foremost style of full contact karate.

Mas Oyama fought bulls and invented the 100-Man Kumite.
Mas Oyama fought bulls and invented the 100-Man Kumite.

Mitsuyo Maeda of course brought Judo newaza (ground fighting) to Gastao Gracie, Carlos Gracie, and Helio Gracie in 1914, and the Gracies and other Brazilian families have been developing their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu undisturbed for the better part of a century.

Founder of Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Founder of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Helio Gracie

Somewhere in Russia, two dudes (Viktor Spiridonov and Vasili Oshchepkov) who trained Judo in Japan came back home and combined it with wrestling to make Sambo, a hybrid martial art and combat sport defined by its intention to be “a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts”, and someone named Fedor Emelianenko was born.

An exception to the rule...
An exception to the rule…

Struggle For Stability & Modernity:
Having been ripped apart, raped, and pillaged by foreign powers during WW1 and WW2 (pretty much every nation you could think of who wanted a piece of China, including but not limited to: Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, United Kingdom, United States, France, Russia, the Dutch, Portugal, etc.), losing Hong Kong to the British, Macau to the Portuguese, and a good chunk of Chinese leaving for Taiwan (Formosa), the Chinese people as a whole were a social and economical mess.

Propaganda was running wild.
Propaganda was running wild.

Under the great leadership of the communist party (note: sarcasm), China underwent horrible famines and failed their attempts at modernization without commercialism / capitalism, and basically shut themselves out of any cultural trade or development for half a century. Japan on the other hand was embracing change, western technology and teachings, rebuilding after the war, and enjoyed massive growth and development. Chinese people during this time were struggling to pick themselves back up, and simply were not training any martial arts or developing their game because they weren’t allowed, or even socially or economically stable to do so.

Turning Martial Arts Into A Performance Art:
Kung Fu practitioners during this time (1949 and onwards) could only mildly train forms to hide their techniques, similar to how Brazilians trained Capoeira as a dance to hide their deadly attacks during times of slavery. This was largely compressed together as “Wushu”, an umbrella term / sport combining all Chinese martial arts techniques. Wushu then went on to become more of a performance art / sport, emphasizing forms and athleticism as a showcase of Chinese martial arts rather than competitive sport fighting.

Chinese Wushu

The Need For a Real Combat Sport:
Somewhere along the way in the 1970’s, some guy in the Chinese military decided to call bullshit on all this fancy stuff, and combined traditional kung fu fighting styles (Chinese martial arts were categorized into four families: Ti (To Kick), Da (To Hit), Shuai (To Wrestle), Na (To Grapple or Submit), basically Chinese “mixed martial arts”) to form a hybrid Chinese art known as Sanshou (Sanda), which means “free fighting”. It was a Chinese style of kickboxing combined with wrestling take downs and Judo throws. It’s distinction that made it “Chinese” was it’s leg catching techniques. A Sanshou fighter has great awareness of kicks and can catch any incoming kick and trip / take down / dump their opponent. It is now largely known to the world today through UFC fighter Cung Le who uses this Sanshou style as his main style of attack.

UFC Fighter and Sanshou world champion Cung Le
UFC Fighter and Sanshou world champion Cung Le. Cung Le is Vietnamese, but that fact aside, he’s been the only successful fighter so far to make use of a Chinese style in MMA.

The “Westernized” Colonies:
Hong Kong (The Pearl of the Orient) and Macau (The Las Vegas of Asia) flourished under British and Portuguese rule, respectively. Many Kung Fu masters including Ip Man (Bruce Lee’s teacher) had fled to the shores of Hong Kong to escape the war and Japanese occupation. Yet they were only just cities, not large enough to influence new Chinese martial arts styles to emerge (there is of course Bruce Lee, more on him in a bit) but did refine their existing styles of Wing Chun and Hung Gar through many infamous “rooftop challenge matches” between Kung Fu masters. We don’t know what was going on with Taiwan at this time. Having been under Japanese occupation, one would think they’ve done something with their martial arts in a free market economy, but sadly all they’ve managed to do was produce the William Hung of MMA, Andy Wang.

One Anomaly:
There is, of course, the man the myth the legend Bruce Lee. He was the first to get a taste of America, said “fuck this shit” and started doing his thing at this time period. Traveling to the States because of his street fighting behaviour and getting into trouble with the local Triads and police in Hong Kong, he was planting the seeds to his philosophy that “there is no best style”, and propagating the first psychological motions of mixed martial arts fighting.

Bruce Lee just plain didn't give a fuck about what the old masters had to say.
Bruce Lee just plain didn’t give a fuck about what the old masters had to say.

But by the time he returned to Hong Kong, became an overnight superstar and subsequent death, Chinese society had already lagged behind about 20-30 years in their development of modern martial arts. While Bruce Lee’s teachings should have caught on with the Chinese people, it somehow didn’t… at least, not in the fashion that we as MMA fans would have hoped for. Tradition still held on tight to many of our martial arts disciplines, and no one came close to pushing the boundaries as much as Bruce Lee did ever since.

Factor #2:
Traditional Martial Arts Thinking, Romanticism, & Believing Into Our Own Bullshit

You see, Chinese people were (and still are) too attached to traditional thinking and culture, especially when it came to traditional Chinese Kung Fu (more on the cultural and economics aspects later). Bruce Lee himself was attacked by Chinese Kung Fu masters in the States for teaching westerners his Kung Fu / Wing Chun (which ironically, sparked Bruce to abandon Kung Fu and start cross training in Fencing, Boxing, and Judo). This example alone, demonstrates the stubborn mentality the Chinese people had at the time, unlike the Japanese and other western fighters, who were traveling the world and cross training in different styles to become better martial artists.

The Chinese version of The Holocaust, The Rape of Nanking, were still fresh in Chinese peoples' minds at the hands of the Japanese
The Chinese version of The Holocaust, The Rape of Nanking, was still fresh in Chinese peoples’ minds at the hands of the Japanese.

However, it is fair to note that after the Chinese suffered at the hands of foreign oppression for the better part of a century, this “not sharing with foreigners” mentality is understandably deserved. Since Chinese Kung Fu masters hung onto their beloved Chinese techniques and traditional thinking, a number of negative consequences happened as a result.

1. Kung Fu Was A Secret… That Nobody Knew
Chinese Kung Fu was too secretly guarded and rarely taught or passed down to anyone, especially not to foreigners. This led to many old masters with esoteric styles not having many students, and the failure of passing on techniques means the death of their style and knowledge, eliminating any hopes of growth and development. There used to be hundreds of styles of Kung Fu ranging from all four categories of styles as mentioned before (directly influencing the likes of Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and now Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), but now only a select number remain known and practiced. The notable ones that remain today are Wushu, Wing Chun, Choy Li Fut, Tai Chi, Hung Gar, Ba Gua Quan, Xing Yi, various internal styles, and to a much lesser extent, Shuai Jiao (traditional Chinese wrestling, similar to Mongolian wrestling / Judo), and of course Shaolin Kung Fu (a plethora of animal styles such as Crane Fist [Karate], Praying Mantis and more).

Great demonstration… now can you do that in a live fight?

2. Self Defense, Not A Sport
Because Chinese martial arts systems are mainly based on self defense and contains no sport fighting elements (as opposed to Karate, Taekwondo, and Judo that have adopted sport / point fighting elements), you are never really able to use it or practice it in a live combat environment, contributing to the lack of development, modernization, and refinement of their style of Kung Fu, causing students and masters to continue to (falsely) believe that their style works (even when others have already evolved beyond most of their styles through decades of trial and error, sparring, and refinement).

Lightning fast… but can it do damage?

Out of all the Chinese martial arts, Wing Chun has been the only prominent art that has held its own in practicality and effectiveness against other styles throughout the years. Of course, we know the MMA gloves destroy any hope of any Chinese fighter using Wing Chun as a style, although UFC commentator Joe Rogan has commented that he would like to see a fighter use Wing Chun’s chain punches from the mount.

Why yes, it can! A real Wing Chun practitioner destroys a Kyokushin Karate guy… but they end up fighting on the ground anyway.

3. False Romanticism
Because Chinese martial arts were losing popularity (due to reason #1), took too long to learn and were too difficult to implement because of the lack of any live sporting element (reason #2), Chinese Kung Fu was regulated to being only a traditional martial art that believed in it’s own bullshit, even when it started to get picked apart by other styles in fight competitions.

Kyokushin Karate vs. “Drunken Boxing”. Please, stop embarrassing yourselves.

Chinese Kung Fu and martial arts myth and lore were so vast and rich, that many people (all across the globe) loved Kung Fu / Wuxia films, and still do. You can just ask hip-hop super group the Wu-Tang Clan. Front man RZA, engineered the group’s sound and persona off of classic Shaw Brothers Kung Fu films that he saw as a kid in the States. RZA now trains under former Shaolin Monk Shifu Shi Yan Ming, who opened up the USA Shaolin Temple in New York.

This clever guy had "The American Dream" and escaped from his touring Monk mates to spread Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu, his way.
This clever guy had “The American Dream” and escaped from his touring Monk mates to spread Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu.

Bruce Lee, back in the day, was already implementing the earliest of MMA techniques in his movies… and nobody noticed it because they were always in love with Bruce’s “Kung Fu”.

Whoa what the fuck? That's a grappling headlock from Judo side control!
Whoa what the fuck? That’s a grappling headlock from Judo side control!
Bruce actually applies a sloppy, early modified armbar on poor Sammo Hung! With the first set of MMA gloves ever made we might add. Holy shit!
Bruce actually applies a sloppy, early modified armbar on poor Sammo Hung! With the first set of MMA gloves ever made we might add. Holy shit!

International superstars who followed the footsteps of Bruce Lee such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Donnie Yen, enjoyed many years of success as martial arts film action stars. Yet ultimately, they are just film actors. While Jackie Chan was schooled in the Beijing Opera martial arts, his moves are a combination of real Chinese Kung Fu, theatrical stunt work, and clever choreography.

Jet Li was a 5-time national Wushu champion and has legit martial arts skills spanning many different Chinese styles such as Shaolin Kung Fu, Long Fist, Taichi Quan, and others. But he was no prize fighter.

Donnie Yen, perhaps the most “modern” out of all his peers, has many years of legit Chinese martial arts training and cross training in newer styles such as Taekwondo and Boxing, but even he never stepped foot in a ring.

Chinese people seemed to have become attached to their idols and heroes in the entertainment world and embraced this type of romanticism of their martial arts, and forgot that the world outside Chinese martial arts was changing rapidly and leaving them behind.

4. Disbelief, Denial and Excuses
As far as we know, when the foreign fighters challenged real life folk hero Huo Yuan Jia in 1910 (played by Jet Li in “Fearless”), he smoked them all by historical accounts.

But… that was when nobody knew MMA.

When Chinese fighters started losing these sport competitions and challenge matches decades later (aside from Sanshou fights which Chinese fighters still rule with an iron fist over even Muay Thai fighters), because of their stubbornness to embrace change and growth, they started living in denial, and made up excuses for their failures. They shunned the training of other martial arts (mainly the grappling / ground game), called them “gay” or “nonsense”, and claimed Boxing and Muay Thai used “gloves” that took away the strengths and usefulness of Chinese Kung Fu.

Japanese “Kiai Master” scam artist gets his ass kicked by an MMA fighter.

American version. The Human Stun Gun gets debunked by MMA.

Trolling or not trolling, still funny, and still sad.

5. The Martial Arts “Avoiding Conflict” Paradox
Martial arts, when written in Chinese, “Wushu”, can literally be separated and interpreted as “the art of avoiding conflict”. Jet Li talked about this in his most important film “Fearless” a.k.a. “Huo Yuan Jia”.

Now we could all just go home at this point, because Jet Li is absolutely right about averting conflict, and even he himself admitted in a behind the scenes interview in “Cradle 2 The Grave” that he was no UFC fighter. But what about some of the other stuff these Chinese masters are saying? They say “MMA is trash”, the grappling is “gay”, are for thugs, goons, and gangsters who just want to fight, and isn’t a martial art. They claim that people who do MMA aren’t martial artists and don’t understand what is respect, honour, etc.

Let’s put our conspiracy hats on for a moment.

These masters could very well be using these claims to make excuses for the fact that they weren’t cross training or were too afraid to adapt themselves, fearing they’d fail to do so (trying to save “face” and reputation as a Kung Fu school). One of the most common “reasons” Chinese martial arts practitioners come up with to defend their style is that Chinese martial arts and people don’t train Kung Fu to fight others. They say they train it for health, for self defense, and to kill when attacked, not to bully others and compete in a sport that’s only a “game”.

Ip Chun explains Martial Arts is for self defense, health, and not for fighting.

There is of course truth to this statement… that is until I saw this:

Oh dear god. I trained my entire life in Chinese Kung Fu only to fight like this?

Self defense is great. Training for the health benefits are great. Having to never use your martial arts because you’ve reached martial arts mastery in the mind and body is also great. That is what martial arts is about. We understand that and we don’t have a problem with that at all.

But here lies the paradox:
If I train in something that I’m not allowed to use, or will never get to use, is there even a point?

Now what if I get provoked and had to use it in a fight? Sure, I could beat up some other Karate or Taekwondo guys with my Wing Chun Kung Fu… but what about MMA?

Wing Chun vs Boxing… someone gets knocked the fuck out.

…ends with a snap.

If what these masters are saying is true; I cannot train MMA and still be a noble martial artist who avoids conflict!?

That sounds like classic, grade A, Chinese KONY 2012 kool-aid bullshit to me.

…and I still haven’t watched this video, LOL!

Martial arts is about the practitioner, and what he/she does with it, not the martial arts style itself. Just because MMA attracts the douchebag crowd to learn it and fight others… does not mean douchebags weren’t training Chinese Kung Fu decades ago for the same intentions, when it too, was the “cool” thing to do on the block.

This is touching. Ip Chun really is a bad ass martial arts master. He even talks about the evolution of his style of Wing Chun to become a more complete martial art. I have no doubt about this man’s knowledge and have all the respect in the world for him. But let’s be honest with ourselves. This is a movie. You can see the stunt double acting as Ip Chun when it’s not a close up shot. Any Wing Chun fighter who tries to only use Wing Chun would get crushed in MMA.

To be fair, we aren’t bashing Chinese martial arts. We aren’t even bashing traditional martial arts. They are the father of all Asian martial arts and should be respected. If you learn something useful, are able to defend yourself, and aren’t looking to fight or compete, then all the power to you.

Kung Fu, especially Wing Chun, is pretty awesome when done right. MMA is just a sport with rules anyway, not allowing eye gouging and groin strikes, right?

But that’s not what this is about.

We know traditional martial arts are powerful, and we understand MMA is just a sport with rules.

Hell, just look at Lyoto Machida who successfully used Karate in MMA, which was thought to not work before he became a champion. Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson, and Anderson Silva are all Taekwondo black belts, all successful in MMA.

What we’re trying to find out is why Chinese people have sucked at MMA, and failed to adapt their techniques for MMA (Sanshou being the only exception). It has come to our attention that their stubbornness to adapt has been one of the key contributing factors to the lack of success of Chinese fighters.

Bryan To, a Hong Kong kickboxing champion, makes his MMA debut. For the love of Buddha, please learn the ground game first before you step into an MMA fight, you’re embarrassing yourself and your entire country.

Okay, so martial arts were banned in China for three decades and their country was in turmoil for basically a whole century. Yet you’re not fully convinced. Neither are we. If Chinese fighters are so successful in the Sanshou arena, they should have the same drive to learn the ground game and kick ass in MMA, right?

Well it turns out it isn’t as simple as that. Let’s dive deeper into Chinese society and psychology and see what pushes these Chinese youth away from pursuing combat sports in the first place…

Factor #3:
Traditional Chinese Culture, Society, and Teachings Kill The Pursuit of Sports & Fighting

As if the aforementioned five reasons of Chinese martial arts culture weren’t enough to slow, if not stop, Chinese youth from cross training and becoming great fighters, there’s a whole boatload of cultural factors as well. Where do we even start? Let’s categorize it like this: Money, Sports, Family, Society, and Psychology.

Courtesy of DynastyClothingStore.com
Courtesy of DynastyClothingStore.com

6. Chinese Culture Is All About Money
You should be well aware of this stereotype by now. The overprotective, strict, control freak Asian parents. The “Tiger Mom”s. The smart Asian kid who gets perfect grades. “Too Asian”, too many Asians taking over universities all across north America. The yellow peril who came to America to steal all our jobs.

I'm Rich Biatch!!!
I’m Rich Biatch!!!

When they say “Asian”, what they really mean is “Chinese”. This is not a jab at Koreans or Japanese. All Asian parents are equally strict, but there are slight differences. As far as I know, Chinese culture is the only one that literally revolves around money. Who else gives out lucky red pocket (lai see / hong bao) money every Chinese New Years? There’s Christmas and the exchange of gifts… but that’s not the same thing as giving away straight cash… and what makes money again?

Sure as hell not fighting.

Ask any Asian. Which subject / occupation did their parents want them to study, and who are they now? They are probably involved in one of the following fields:

1. Doctor / Dentist / Health / Medicine
2. Scientist / Engineer
3. Law
4. Business / Entrepreneur / Real Estate / Finance / Accounting
5. IT / Computers

If you tried to study anything else… you were a loser. Abandoned. Kicked out. Neglected, unloved child. Disowned. Or maybe you were semi-supported, but were still forced to go to university, even though that you knew you would benefit much more from a hands-on college program. Many Asian kids are forced to study what their parents told them to study, but end up doing what they want to do anyways, often (again) a few years behind their peers who started before them. If you failed at it, you’d be constantly teased by your parents, comparing you to other Chinese parents and how successful “their” kids were.

This is a very Chinese problem that is unique to Chinese people and culture. Choosing to become a fighter? Damn near unfathomable.

Takanori Gomi

Slightly Off-Topic: Similarly in Japanese culture, if you did something shameful or brought shame to the family, you would never be forgiven. This is why there is such a high suicide rate in Japan because they have trouble dealing with forgiveness and redemption. Takanori Gomi himself was disowned by his father when he told him he wanted to pursue fighting. His last name Gomi means “trash”, and wasn’t even his real last name.

7. Sports Were Never A Priority

Sports and athletics? Now that’s completely out of the question. Asians don’t support their kids in athletic programs. With the exception of the Chinese government hand picking babies to train for gold medals in the Olympics, they just don’t have competent sports programs. Developing children to fight MMA? They don’t give a shit about that. Parents make their kids take piano and violin lessons.

We need Yellow Pride, holmes.
We need Yellow Pride, holmes.

In contrast, American schools and colleges have all the amateur wrestling programs in place. American families encourage their kids to wrestle in elementary school, high school, and college, and to take part in extra curricular activities all the time, producing many more high level athletes and mixed martial arts fighters (wrestling is arguably the most important base martial art to have for MMA as more than half of UFC’s champions all know and use wrestling).

8. Family Values
Chinese people are taught to work together and value your family. You listen to your family. You don’t go out and reach out to achieve your own destiny. You usually took up the family business or listened to your parents by working an occupation of their choice, not yours.

I just made 200k this year. Fighting? I think I'll take a vacation instead.
I just made 200k this year. Fighting? I think I’ll take a vacation instead.

Whereas white folks kick their kids out after high school and force them to move out and create their own lives, Chinese families all live together, sometimes packed with up to three generations’ (grandfather / grandmother, father / mother, sons / daughters) worth of family members under one roof.

Chinese kids are taught to be filial. If you cared about your family and listened to them, you sure as hell wouldn’t defy them to become a mixed martial arts fighter.

9. Asian Society Doesn’t Understand Fighting, Thinks It’s Only For Gangsters and Thugs

Traditional Asian / Chinese thinking praises martial arts and Kung Fu… but competing in a combat sport like kickboxing or Muay Thai?

That is barbaric!
That is barbaric!

No way.

In Chinese society, they think that only thugs and Triad gangsters train and fight kickboxing. Fighting is seen as something “ugly”, or something only kids who are failures / dropped out of school / gangsters would do. “Good kids” practice Wing Chun… or Tai Chi. Or play the piano and violin…

Chinese parents are too protective of their kids to allow them to ever compete professionally, and in the rare occasions that they do let them, more often than not they’re westernized, don’t support their kid’s decision, or under the government’s pressure to send them off to an Olympic training facility for the rest of that poor kid’s life.

Gloves Come Off

Most recently this type of thinking has started to change, due to… you guessed it, Chinese people making movies about kickboxing! Now parents are more understanding of combat sports and how they build friendships and skills. But we still have a long way to go.

10. History Proves Chinese Used Their Brains To Fight, Not Their Fists
The Chinese invented at least 7 revolutionary things including paper, printing, gun powder / bombs, early irrigation techniques, compass, the repeating crossbow (the sub machine gun of their times), the “rocket launcher” that launched a salvo of arrows (the wasp as they call it), amongst many other amazing things too long to list here.

The Chinese were the first to really sail the seas with gigantic fleets, reaching Africa and North America sooner than Christopher Columbus ever did, but instead of committing mass genocide against the native Indians and forcing unwilling populations to conform to their religion, they instead returned to China (because China had everything anyways) after trading with foreigners peacefully.

Sun Tzu Art of War

Chinese people used their brains. They were not barbarians, but were strategists. I’m sure you have heard of The Art of War by Sun Tzu by now. That’s just one example, albeit the most famous one, in western society. Chinese people’s way of fighting was to win without fighting. Thus, in a pure one on one contest, they were rarely tested.

11. Warrior’s Mentality
The Chinese didn’t really have a warrior class because they didn’t really need one. Greeks had their “philosophers and boy lovers”, but also the Spartans as warriors. The Japanese, similar to the British, had to create their army and infuse them with the warrior’s mentality because they both came from a tiny island with nothing on it. The Japanese had to unite the samurai class with their modern army, and the English had to form the United Kingdom. They both needed to conquer other lands for resources to expand or else they would perish. Having a fiery need for conquest will produce great armies with an indomitable fighting spirit.

Once Upon A Time In China

If you want to learn all about this period of Chinese history, watch Jet Li in the Once Upon A Time in China films. He plays real life folk hero Wong Fei Hung and fights the foreign powers who are invading China and tearing his country apart. Jet Li is loved by the Chinese people for a reason, folks.

Chinese people didn’t have this mentality to go to war and take over other people’s lands because they never needed it. China had all the massive land and resources you could ever want, and that’s why the rest of the world came to China in the 18th and 19th centuries to trade with, and subsequently invade China. Back then, it wasn’t the Americans screaming at foreign immigrants to get out of their land, it was the Chinese screaming at invading foreigners to get out of China!

In addition to that, the Chinese were too busy fighting amongst each other (for thousands of years). China is a huge place, with over 50 ethnic Chinese groups wandering around the Middle Kingdom. Chinese had the Han and Manchurians as the brains, who ruled for centuries long, but the closest thing to a warrior class related to the Chinese region were the Mongolians. Shaolin Monks and the Jin Yi Wei (Brocade Guard, the Ming Dynasty Emperor’s personal elite assassination squad) don’t really count, as the Shaolin Monks are well, monks, and the Jin Yi Wei were a small covert group that carried out their missions in secret.

Mongolian blood! Coincidence? We think not.
Mongolian blood! Coincidence? We think not.

Mongolians were the strongest fighters and conquerors in the Middle Kingdom and took over most of the known world at one point, using their superior archery (the sniper rifle of their time), horseback riding and fighting skills, their Mongolian wrestling, and their strength from eating horse meat, sheep meat, and nomadic culture. It is no surprise then, that the only Chinese fighter who has made it into the UFC at this time, is none other than an ethnic Mongolian, Tiequan Zhang (who happens to be a national Mongolian wrestling champion… surprise surprise).

Factor #4:
Physical Limitations, Rules of the Sport, Jet Lag, and Weight Cutting

Chinese people have been held back by history, loved their Kung Fu too much, won’t admit they needed a grappling / ground game and are too stubborn to learn it, and Chinese society, parents, and family don’t care and aren’t supportive of them choosing the path to be a professional athlete. Those are a lot of negative elements going on already, but in case you still weren’t convinced, here are the final set of reasons.

12. Physical Limitations
Most southern and Han Chinese are at a physical disadvantage. This is just fact, they aren’t a huge people. Most weigh around the 100lb. to 150lb. range, being 5’3 to 5’8 in height on average, with average genes and athleticism. Northern Chinese fare better, are more muscular and taller, and have better physical attributes. But relatively speaking, they are also poorer, and probably don’t even know what MMA is yet. The Mongolians to the far north actually have the highest chances of doing well in MMA, as they grow up in a warrior culture that forces them to wrestle and farm everyday since they were boys (we will target this topic more in-depth in a future article), making them strong, durable, and grappling-centric from the very start.

Nutritionally speaking, Dim Sum doesn't give you much.
Nutritionally speaking, Dim Sum doesn’t give you much.

The Japanese are around the same size as the Chinese, but Koreans are significantly larger and stronger because of their Mongolian roots and their protein heavy diet. The Japanese eat a lot of raw fish, and a balanced amount of carbs and proteins. The Koreans are protein and vegetable heavy, eating more like Europeans. Now what do the Chinese eat? Pretty much nothing but useless carbs. Rice, buns, bread, noodles, mixed with greasy meats and veggies, and a lot of oily appetizers and snacks. They are neither protein heavy or vegetable heavy, and this makes them not very physically gifted.

That is also why, if you make a general comparison, Asians that grow up overseas in western countries, are reasonably taller and larger than their brethren back home. They eat what western people eat, and that is a lot more protein, calcium, and vitamins. They also are less cramped, live in sparser populated areas, in a larger room or house, and have physical space to grow. This may sound silly to some, but to give you an example; Hong Kong, a city that resembles a tiny dot on the world map, is inhabited by 8 million people. I don’t think there’s even 8 million people in some much larger towns, counties, or even provinces in other countries.

Wow, you’re really cute. But that won’t hurt a fly.

13. Rules of the Sport
It took us this far… and if you’re still reading this, you would probably know this one already. It’s a topic that’s been done to death, but the UFC, and the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts pretty much favours wrestlers. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the unified MMA rules and for argument’s sake, list every factor that may make strikers / Asian martial arts styles less effective in MMA:

Can't stop the takedown
Can’t stop the takedown!

– Athletic commissions and referees score and favour takedowns much more heavily than strikes or submissions. A wrestler can take someone down, hold them there, not inflict any damage and still stall out a “win”, because it is scored as “dominant”. By this logic, a BJJ practitioner should get points for regaining guard, advancing positions, and submission attempts, even if they don’t damage the opponent or finish the fight. By this logic then, Kung Fu guys should get points for how many times they choose NOT to poke someone’s eyes out from top or bottom guard, or hit them in the throat, thereby brutally killing a man. Of course we know this is not the case and we’re being a little silly, but it makes you think just “why?” takedowns / stalling without damage are scored?

A legal kick, by the way, because the moment he throws it Jones stands up. Now only if it landed...
A legal kick, by the way, because the moment he throws it Jones stands up. Now only if it landed…

– During the takedown, you’re not allowed to kick or knee the opponent if they are already touching the ground with more than two of their limbs. What? Isn’t this martial arts fighting? That’s pretty bogus. Instead of Wing Chun front kicking the guy in the face for crawling towards you ala douchebag Jon Jones style, you’re forced to “wrestle” with your opponent and develop takedown defense, instead of upkicking them in the face from open guard or elbowing the back of their skull during their shot. Furthermore, if you’re in the clinch and wish to knee the guy in the face, if he drops one of his hands to the ground, you’re not allowed to knee him in the head, only the body.

The Master of the Wall 'n Stall
The Master of the Wall ‘n Stall

– Almost all MMA fights nowadays take place in a cage. A cage helps wrestlers push an opponent into the wall and grab their legs out from under them. You’re not allowed to hit the back of the head, which means again, when you’re being pinned against the cage, you can’t smash their head / neck in.

– You can’t punish a failed takedown when you sprawl because you cannot drop knees to the head.

– Elbows are allowed on the ground, and theoretically a wrestler has more chances to be on top of his opponent which means he can really utilize these elbow strikes, but on the other hand the fighter on the bottom is not “allowed” to upkick the opponent’s face when they are down… and just which technique is more dangerous? The elbows coming down with the added force of gravity that can cut open a man’s face, of course.

Gomi had good wrestling, but he was known for being a knockout machine
Gomi had good wrestling, but he was known for being a knockout machine.

Back in PRIDE, a Japanese run organization, things were very different. Referees scored submissions and ground fighting more than takedowns that led to nothing, spelling the doom for most wrestlers with a lay and pray strategy (yellow cards were also issued for lay and prayers and inaction). You could also drop knees on a downed opponent or soccer kick them, meaning you would get punished for a failed takedown. Fights took place in a ring, where the ropes negated wrestlers pressuring an opponent against them, but had four corners that allowed strikers to back their opponent up to eat punches and kicks all night.

Mirko Cro Cop was the most feared striker in MMA at one point. He had great sprawl and brawl, but the ring also helped.
Mirko Cro Cop was the most feared striker in MMA at one point. He had great sprawl and brawl, but the ring also helped.

The sport has changed now, and if you wanted to make it to the big stage, you needed to learn how to fight inside a cage and know how to wrestle (to some degree). This doesn’t help with Chinese fighters who have the most difficulty adapting to grappling out of all other Asians.

14. Jet Lag
In interviews conducted with former PRIDE fighters and MMA veterans, with proof from scientific articles, it is a widely accepted conclusion that when you fly west (therefore heading East to places in East Asia), there is little to no jet lag, whereas when you fly east (heading back to the Western hemisphere), huge jet lag occurs. It is a bit of a scientific phenomenon, something I will not attempt to go into detail here. More often than not Asian fighters have to fly 12-14 hours to come fight in the United States, and one can see how this can greatly hamper their performance.

Dong Hyun Kim, a vocal advocator of having fairer fighting conditions for Asian fighters.
Dong Hyun Kim, a vocal advocator of having fairer fighting conditions for Asian fighters.

15. Weight Cutting
For one reason or another, Asians don’t cut weight. We’re not sure if it’s because they don’t know how to do it, or if they’re too “macho” and believe that you should fight at your “walking around” weight. In any case, the reality is that professional fighting has now become about your skill level and how much weight you can cut as well. You might’ve been able to get away with it 10 years ago, but now you have monsters that make 155lbs. and weigh 200lbs. on fight night. Just ask Caol Uno when he got clobbered by Gleison Tibau.

Poor Caol Uno got smashed because his opponent was actually about 200lbs.
Poor Caol Uno got smashed because his opponent was actually about 200lbs.

Conclusion: The Future of Chinese MMA?

As far as we know, there are a few MMA gyms popping up in major cities in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan now. In terms of the talent they have produced so far, all of them have pretty much failed, except maybe China Top Team. In Hong Kong, the MMA debut of 3 stand-up based fighters all ended in losses. They continued to lose and subsequently were released from Legend Fighting Championships. As for China Top Team (situated in Beijing), many of the members are Sanshou practitioners transitioning to MMA and have been in the fight game for a while; many of them being too old already to make much of an impact in the UFC.

Ji Xian, a lone Chinese MMA prospect
Ji Xian, a lone Chinese MMA prospect

The lone, shining star in Chinese MMA however is none other than BJJ purple belt, and ADCC qualifier Ji Xian “The Executioner”. He is currently 10-2 in MMA, and a number of his wins are submissions in the first round. Outside of Ji Xian however, the playing field is pretty sparse and it’s anybody’s guess as to who may or may not be legit.

We need more of this.

The easy way to put it, is to wait 5-10 years for the Chinese to produce some legitimate MMA talent. The harder, more realistic question is this: If you are Chinese and you are reading this, are you part of the statistic that is too afraid, too lazy, or too unmotivated to train MMA? Or are you man enough to step up to the challenge? Better late than never, my brethren!

Dynasty Connection United We Stand

Too Long, Didn’t Read: Chinese people need to break away from their beloved tradition that has prevented them from fully embracing MMA. They must open their minds, adapt foreign training methods into their curriculum and train in modern martial arts (wrestling, grappling) in order to succeed in MMA. Then, finally, they may begin to use what is unique to Chinese Kung Fu, and adapt them to MMA to truly create a modern Chinese style suitable for MMA (such as Sanda / Sanshou, Shuai Jiao [Chinese Wrestling]) that will grant them a unique competitive edge.

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-Dan Kai Wah from DynastyClothingStore.com

Celebrate Chinese / Lunar New Year with Dynasty “Lucky Red Pockets”!

This Chinese / Lunar New Year 2017 at Dynasty (Saturday, January 28th, 2017), we’re introducing “Lucky Red Pockets” – a very fun way to enjoy our products, and also give the gift of awesome MMA / BJJ gear to your loved ones at a deeply discounted price.

As we know, Chinese or Lunar New Year, celebrated in many Asian countries, is a time of gathering, giving, and spending quality time with family and loved ones. This time of year gives us very warm and gushy feelings, similar to how North Americans would spend Christmas.

This short film perfectly captures what Chinese / Lunar New Year is like for many Chinese and Asians who celebrate it living around the world:

Try not to cry. Lie down and cry very hard.

In what will surely become a new yearly tradition at Dynasty, we’re sharing the love with “Lucky Red Pockets” – randomly selected pieces from our entire product catalog at DynastyClothingStore.com at a special packaged price and discounted flat rate shipping!

Now you can give these very same warm and gushy feelings to your favourite training partners and friends (or just gift one to yourself) in the form of Dynasty gear!

They’ll come in the following options:

  • $88 發發 “Double Fortune” (guaranteed minimum value of $120, free shipping to Canada, $18 international shipping)
  • $168 一路發 “Path of Prosperity”  (guaranteed minimum value of $200, free shipping to Canada, $28 international shipping)
  • $228 易易發 “Easy Money”  (guaranteed minimum value of $300, free shipping to Canada, $68 international shipping)
  • $328 生意發 “Prosperous Business”  (guaranteed minimum value of $400, free shipping to Canada, $88 international shipping)
  • $668 路路發 “Prosperity In All Ventures”  (guaranteed minimum value of $800, free shipping to Canada, $128 international shipping)
  • $888 發發發 “Endless Fortune”  (guaranteed minimum value of $1000, free shipping to Canada, $188 international shipping)

Each package will contain a random combination of Hanfu Kimono gi’s, nogi products (Rash Guards, Grappling Spats, Fight Shorts), and randomly selected pieces from other categories.

As a special bonus, one Lucky Red Pocket package will contain an actual lucky red pocket with a code to redeem a FREE Hanfu Kimono Gi, redeemable any time in 2017!

Dynasty Lucky Red Pockets will drop exclusively on our website on Friday, January 27th and will be available until Monday, February 6th, or sold out, whichever comes first!

Terms and conditions apply. See product description for details.

新年快樂! 恭喜發財!

Dan from DynastyClothingStore.com

Jose Aldo: The Unsung Hero

Jose Aldo’s decision to request his release from the UFC and essentially walk away from his mixed martial arts career was years in the making and resulted from what he believes was a repeated pattern of disrespect.

Globo revealed the news Monday that Aldo was unhappy that he hadn’t gotten a rematch with featherweight champion Conor McGregor and planned to walk away from the sport that had made him rich and famous.

Not much to smile about these days for MMA pound for pound great Jose Aldo.

Aldo is the former UFC featherweight champion who is ranked fifth pound-for-pound. He went more than 10 years between losses while compiling an overall record of 26-2.

Aldo and manager/trainer Andre Pederneiras, in separate lengthy interviews Thursday with Yahoo Sports, each listed numerous reasons why the man who is regarded by many as one of the top-three MMA fighters ever, is leaving the sport while still in his prime.

“It’s not just one thing or two things or three things with the UFC,” Pederneiras said. “If on the one hand you take the level of disrespect that is embodied in things like giving him leftover fights on nine days’ notice and calling him a chicken when he says no; promising an instant rematch [with McGregor] and not making it happen and making it contingent on a fight with Frankie Edgar and then still not making it happen; the overall level of disrespect is so great.

“It would be disrespectful to anyone. But it hurts more because it’s disrespectful to a guy like Aldo. He was undefeated in the WEC, undefeated in the UFC, an incredible fighter to watch who leaves his heart in the cage every time and then who, as a person, as a human, embodies values that are so important to his community [and] to his countrymen that have made him beloved and made him an idol. It’s like, ‘Really? You can’t give this guy the respect he deserves?’ What more would he have to do to be deserving of more respect?”

Dana White, UFC President, may no longer be the one calling the shots.

The UFC declined to comment.

Aldo said he has been offered contracts to play professional soccer in the past and said he will see if he can find a team that will give him an opportunity to compete in that sport.

He said his situation with the UFC has caused him to lose interest in fighting and said he has no plans to compete in mixed martial arts again, with the UFC or anyone else.

Aldo won the World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight title on Nov. 18, 2009, and held it until the organization closed. When the WEC was absorbed by the UFC in 2011, he held the title from that point until he was knocked out in 13 seconds by McGregor at UFC 194 on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas.

He wanted an immediate rematch with McGregor, but the UFC instead chose to allow McGregor to pursue the lightweight title in a fight with then-champion Rafael dos Anjos. When dos Anjos was injured and pulled out of the March 5 fight in late February, the UFC offered the bout to Aldo on 10 days’ notice.

It would have been a lightweight bout and not for a title. Aldo, who was on vacation at the time, declined. It instead went to Nate Diaz, and when Diaz beat McGregor at UFC 196, McGregor insisted on a rematch and got it at UFC 202.

Last week, UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports he was making a bout between lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and Khabib Nurmagomedov because Nurmagomedov is the No. 1 contender.

White said at that point he wanted McGregor to fight Aldo for the featherweight belt. But on Monday, White went on SportsCenter in a bizarrely timed announcement that came only minutes after the presidential debate and announced McGregor would face Alvarez for the lightweight belt in the main event of UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York.

Conor McGregor is now in charge of UFC matchmaking.

That was the final straw for Aldo, though it was hardly his only point of contention with the company.

“First of all, my dissatisfaction is not about not getting this fight with Conor McGregor,” Aldo said. “My dissatisfaction has been brewing for a long time. Before my loss to McGregor when I had to pull out of our first fight [scheduled for UFC 189 in July], I was not happy with the way the UFC spun my rib injury. I was not happy to see them mischaracterize my injury and not support me as I had to pull out of that fight.

 “When I lost to Conor McGregor, I had been undefeated for nearly 10 years. I think if anybody deserved an immediate rematch, it was me against Conor in those circumstances. It was a quick fight. I got caught and the fans in the arena didn’t really get to see a full fight. I think that for everything I’d already achieved for the sport and my record, it was a rematch I deserved immediately and without a doubt.”

He said he was unhappy with his salary, noting “I don’t think what I’ve received in the UFC is commensurate with what I have achieved as an athlete or what I’ve done in the sport and in my weight class. But that’s not all that different from other UFC athletes. We all know the pay is not what it should be.”

Aldo said he spoke to the UFC at one point several years ago about potential “super fights” against a lightweight and was told if he did, he’d have to give up his featherweight title immediately and campaign full-time at lightweight.

At the time, Jose Aldo could have faced Anthony Pettis, champion vs. champion.

He said he never received a discretionary bonus from the UFC such as those that are given to some other fighters. He said the only bonuses he received were performance bonuses such as Fight of the Night or Knockout of the Night that he earned in the cage.

He said he harbors no hard feelings toward either White or McGregor but said his issue centers to a large degree on what he described as White’s changing status within the company.

“Conor is not my issue,” Aldo said. “My issue is that I feel Dana is not in control any more. It’s a runaway train. Things have been promised and not delivered and he’s no longer in charge, no longer the boss.

“Frankly, it’s starting to feel like a circus with promises made and not kept. If that’s how it is going to be, I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.”

He said he was comfortable walking away from the sport and said he didn’t think his legacy would be diminished by the loss to McGregor.

But he said he can’t stomach the trend to trash talking and sensationalism he said is taking over the UFC.

Aldo doesn’t like to be disrespectful, but was forced to “sell” his fight with McGregor.

“I hear a lot of people say the reason I don’t call the shots and that I’m not happy with my income is that I don’t sell fights,” Aldo said. “People have said that to me and they’ve said it about me. I’ve heard people say, ‘Jose needs to be a better marketer; he needs to sell his fights more.’ But that’s not the philosophy I was raised with. My coach is a martial artist. I’m a martial artist. What we do starts with respect.

“Where the sport is going is not respectful. The people who are selling fights are people who are giving each other the middle finger, throwing objects at press conferences, getting caught snorting cocaine and making headlines for all kinds of wrong reasons. What I was taught and what I believe in is, I do my best inside the cage. I believe people want to watch me for my ability as an athlete. … If the direction the sport is going is you’ve got to make headlines for the wrong reasons in order to be worthy of respect and in order to be worthy of the right income, it’s not something I’ll ever be on board with.”

Pederneiras said that to fully understand the root of Aldo’s unhappiness, it’s important to know something about his background. Aldo is one of Brazil’s biggest stars, and is a huge philanthropist who donates his time, money and likeness to all sorts of causes, Pederneiras said.

Aldo comes from one of the poorest areas in Brazil and what he has overcome in his life to become a superstar in his sport is the stuff of movies.

A screen shot from Jose Aldo’s biographical film “Stronger Than The World”.

“We have so much poverty that many Americans can’t begin to fathom it,” Pederneiras said. “There are communities where kids live in slums on the hill and they can’t leave the house on a given day because the drug lords are having a shootout so they can’t go to school that day. Or, it’s a situation where the father has been shot, the mother is working three jobs and still can’t put food on the table and the kids can’t go to school because they haven’t been fed for three days. It’s a level of poverty that is really difficult for most people in first-world countries to comprehend. Jose Aldo came from that. That’s where he was born. That’s where he was raised. Those are the issues he’s faced as a child.

“We have millions of kids who can mirror Jose Aldo and look to him and say, ‘He was where I am and he got out. I can, too.’ It’s motivated our entire country. … There are slums where a tourist can do a favela tour and book a guide and check it out for the sake of having a sneak peek. That’s not the place I’m talking about. I’m talking about places where nobody in their right minds would go in and most people can’t get out of.”

It is there where Aldo does much of the charity work that has made him a legend in his homeland.

He’s opened a gym for kids; he buys the children gifts on Christmas and on World Children’s Day. He provides food and clean water and educational materials and clean gym equipment and outfits.

Pederneiras is building a fighter training center and Aldo is an investor. It’s being built inside of an orphanage located in one of the worst favelas in Rio de Janeiro.

There will be free classes for children and seniors. Aldo wanted to put the gym there as a way of trying to make life better for the area’s residents.

“This is one of the best, most respectful athletes you will ever meet,” Pederneiras said. “That is the guy that nobody knows. This is the story that never gets out to the press. He gives them money out of his pocket all the time. He funds all of these charities. He does so much good for people here. And on top of that, he’s not only been one of the best fighters in this sport for a long time and he’s done everything he’s been asked.

“He’s been made promises again and again that weren’t fulfilled. I want to be clear: This issue is so much more than Aldo being [angry] that he didn’t get the McGregor rematch. I taught him the same values that I taught my sons, to never lie and to always tell the truth and be a man of his word. And he’s angry because there were all of these promises made to him that aren’t kept.”

Pederneiras said Aldo receives offers of all kinds from all sorts of companies and wants to be free to consider them without having to seek the UFC’s permission.

Jose Aldo is tired of being pushed around by others.

He said Aldo doesn’t want to fight and isn’t looking to sign with another promoter. He said Aldo “has no desire to be affiliated with [the UFC] anymore and doesn’t want to have to cross-reference his [UFC] contract every time he receives a business deal.”

Aldo went to great lengths to make the point he harbors no grudges or ill will and said White has been kind to him and his family.

“I don’t feel on the professional side I’ve gotten the respect I’m due and I’ve lost my passion,” Aldo said. “I’ve lost my motivation for this sport because of the way things have gone. I am in peace, but I want to be released and done with the UFC.”

Article originally appeared on Yahoo Sports.

While we very much enjoy the entertainment factor and the spectacle that Conor McGregor brings, his actions also pushes the UFC and the sport of MMA into a sports entertainment circus rather than a serious professional sport, making it a harsher work environment for fighters with more traditional martial arts values who don’t believe in trash talk and participating in hooligan-like antics just to sell fights.

– DynastyClothingStore.com

“Birth of the Dragon” biopic enrages Bruce Lee fans, buries Asians in favor of a white guy

Bruce Lee (played by rising Hong Kong Kung Fu star Philip Ng), the legendary martial arts icon who changed the world, is depicted as a one-dimensional, asexual, awkward loser who is jealous of the white guy in his own biographical film. A biographical film about BRUCE LEE. Wow. What a disaster.

Philip Ng

The white guy – Steve McKee – is supposed to be the main character of the film and central to the story… um, yeah right. We don’t know who that is, and neither do we know who the actor who plays him is (Billy Magnussen… who?), but you know what, he’s white, so that must make him extremely important and vital to the story in Bruce Lee’s life, right?!

I don’t know who this man is, but apparently he’s more famous than Bruce Lee.

We purposely did not include a link to the film’s trailer in this article, because we refuse to give the trailer any more hits. If you wish, you can find it on YouTube.

Click here to read a mainstream review of Birth of the Dragon written by Yahoo.

From our understanding, Birth of the Dragon is supposed to be a film about Bruce Lee’s earlier years in America and his fight with Kung Fu master Wong Jack Man – who changed him forever and set him along the path of inventing Jeet Kune Do and the philosophies behind MMA… or is it just another clichéd White Savior Trope film where a “down on his luck loser” learns Kung Fu and saves the world (including the Asian girl)?

We’ve never seen this story told before… right?

What the people are saying:

Let’s see the user written reviews on IMDb. The responses are not pretty. If you’re not comfortable with honest discussions about race, look away! You have been warned.

“This is just a fictional story about a white guy who masters Kung Fu and gets the Chinese woman.” – ridgepoor

In real life, Bruce Lee ended up marrying a white girl. He was discriminated by many white men and had to work hard to be a superstar. You went to Princeton University, don’t you think that you should have done some research about this character first? Didn’t they teach you to be critical? This isn’t a movie about Bruce Lee, this is a movie about your racist imagination. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MAKING AN ASIAN GUY BECOME THE LEAD ACTOR IN A MOVIE? Enough is enough, we Asians are already sick of the whole whitewashing thing.

“This is the biopic of some random white guy that you’ve been not waiting for.” – ticklegear

Is this a joke? I am here to see Bruce Lee and but they put the focus on some white guy, Steve McKee (Billy Magnussen). I got nothing against white guys, but what is he doing as the focus of a Bruce Lee biopic? I noticed a very disturbing pattern in Hollywood. They can’t seem to be happy with Asian men in the lead role even in their own biopic. You may think I am kidding but look at all the ways they’ve whitewashed history eg. The Conqueror – Genghis Khan played by John Wayne, Attila The Hun starring the guy from 300. Is it a coincidence that kulturemedia (search it) has a database of this sort of thing? But that’s just the beginning. Instead of celebrating what a beast Bruce Lee is, they make him out to be some insecure and jealous loser who is butt hurt over Steve McKee’s success (in the film that is). Seems more like a character assassination, rather than a biopic. There’s the whole “hostility to the fact that Lee’s students include Caucasians.” This is very one sided because it doesn’t account for the century of rampant racism and war crimes committed by Caucasians against the Chinese including the opium wars holocaust, eight nation alliance, and the stealing of Hong Kong and Macau. None of that is mentioned. All in all, this is a terrible film. I would not recommend it for Bruce Lee fans as it tarnishes his true history with half baked lies and even focuses on some Caucasian instead. Feels like it was the director who was jealous of Bruce Lee’s success.

George Nolfi – the director of the white savior film Birth of the Dragon, and Matt Damon, starring in the upcoming white savior film The Great Wall. Coincidence?

“This film seriously offends me.” – chrisleeisworking

I wanted to throw my popcorn at the screen!! This is cash grab garbage, crock of shit. The director has turned Bruce Lee into a caricature. This is spitting on the memory of Bruce Lee. As a loyal fan of Bruce Lee and as an Asian, this film seriously offends me. ENOUGH! We in the Asian communities will make sure this film earns ZERO dollars. The script is shockingly dull and absurd, the fight scenes aren’t exceptional, the stunt guy who plays Bruce Lee captures zero essence of Bruce Lee, his acting pure ham. The director should go back to writing to spare us further torture. BIRTH OF THE DRAGON is NOT sanctioned by the Lee family!

“Oh no please no.” – chrisli

Bruce Lee would impart political themes in his films. If you ever watch his Hong Kong movies in original Cantonese language, the script is full of political fighting talk. Its another reason why the people of Hong Kong loved him so much, or the Chinese in general. His characters he played in those films were real heroic figures for the people at the time. No wonder this film didn’t get the blessing of the Bruce Lee foundation / family. I hope the Chinese investors realize this, that they could have had a really great project…but no.

Bruce Lee’s would-be reaction to this disaster of a film, if he was still alive today.

“Hollywood racism galore.” – bawlife

Film reduces Bruce Lee into a side character in his own story to force a white guy into the lead. Why is the main focus of the trailer on this silly white American dude? Asian males can never take the lead role. Only the side kick even in their own movie. It is disgusting. White people, would it kill you to stop inserting yourselves into everything? And of course the white guy is dating the Asian girl. Can you stop socially engineering Asian girls to only see white guys as the acceptable dating partner? Stop shoving this down our throat. A white guy kisses an Asian girl. Every movie. It’s like they want to brainwash us that Asian girls belong to white men. This turns into a sickening Asian fetish in real life.

“I never write reviews for anything, but this time I absolutely had to.” – nightmarephoenix

I never write reviews for anything, but this time I absolutely had to. THIS IS NOT A FILM. IT’S ANTI-ASIAN PROPAGANDA. Yellow Peril, 2016 version. This entire film is a carefully hidden propaganda piece that portrays Lee as some asexual, angry, Kung Fu loser who accomplishes nothing. Meanwhile, a white guy actually stars as the main character of the movie, gets the (Asian) girl, and wins the day. What? What just happened? A film about Bruce Lee that ISN’T actually about Bruce? This propaganda piece focuses on stereotyping, dehumanizing, and denigrating Asians and Asian culture. Of course, that’s no surprise. If you Google ‘kulture media’ , you’ll find a bunch more examples where western media wages war against Asians in this century. Highly recommend people to avoid this film, and watch “The Slanted Screen” documentary instead.

Bruce Lee curses the film makers for attempting to destroy his legacy with this garbage.

“A disrespectful appropriation of Bruce Lee.” – consciouskendrik

Hollywood is racist. This movie disrespects the legacy of Bruce Lee. I highly recommend everyone to boycott this movie. The movie serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes regarding Asian women, men, and the culture.  It’s perspective forces the viewer to indulge in racism against people of color. The racism is very subversive and is spread by more than just one movie. Movies like these are bountiful in Hollywood (denigrating Asian culture). I noticed a very disturbing pattern in Hollywood. They do not want Asian men in the lead role even in their own biopic.

“Trash.” – udemypreview

I wanted to watch a movie about the legend Bruce Lee. Not another white washed movie deleting / altering / hiding his history and again disrespecting Asians with another White Male Asian Female love interest. Truth is movies spread lies and it hurts societies. In this case, Asian men. The lies that Hollywood continues to spread must be stopped. You are creating racists with everyone who watches it. Bruce Lee is a legend and you are trying your best to take everything away from him and his people. When will it end?

“Hollywood trash.” – victorspam

Hollywood social engineering trash. Again with the white man save the world trope. This movie is so cliché. Even Bruce Lee is sidelined to make way for a white guy. Of course, the white guy gets the Asian girl, while the Asian guys are sexless martial artists. Hollywood is still overwhelmingly white and Jewish male dominated. All black, Hispanic, and Asians, whose stories are never told, should stop watching and getting brainwashed. While white people only see fear in black, Hispanic,and Asian. There is an empathy gap. This is because non-white watch movies with white leads, but white only watch non-white leads when it’s Denzel or Will Smith. You will never see a random non-white actor as lead. The simple fact that whites don’t empathize with non-white is because they can’t bear watching something when they are not the main focus. Please don’t watch this trash and give money to these studios. I’m getting to the point that I’m sick of seeing white people on screen. I will hand out boycott cards to movie goers at movies like this.

Anti-Asian propaganda?

2010 MTV Movie Awards - Show
Ken Jeong, another sellout “comedian” who perpetuates racist Asian stereotypes for his own personal gain as an actor at the expense of Asians.

A few users mentioned a media database that captures more examples of Hollywood Anti-Asian racism in their media – Kulture Media.

Well, we didn’t need to look at a site like Kulture Media to know about the white washing of Asian stories and general anti-Asian propaganda that was, is, and continues to be perpetuated by Hollywood / America for the better part of a century.

All we need to do is open our eyes (pun intended) and look at the movies that get made (and exported worldwide) at the expense of Asians (especially Asian men):

  • Ghost In The Shell (main character Motoko Kusanagi is white washed and played by Scarlett Johansson)
  • Aloha (Allison Ng, a Chinese character is played by Emma Stone)
  • 21 (real life story of Asian MIT students are replaced with white actors)
  • Romeo Must Die (Romeo and Juliet story except Jet Li doesn’t even kiss Aaliyah)
  • The Forbidden Kingdom (only a white guy who learns Kung Fu can save China and the Asian girl from evil)
  • Outcast (white Crusaders come and save China and the Asian girl from an evil Chinese prince)
  • The Wolverine (every Asian guy is useless and dies, while Wolverine saves all the Asian women, uses them for sex, but goes back home to a white girl he actually loves)
  • Full Metal Jacket (“me so horny me love you long time”)
  • The Last Airbender (all the ethnic heroes are replaced with white people, but the villains remain ethnic)
  • The Man With The Iron Fists (all Asian women are sexualized whores)
  • The Last Samurai (a white guy goes to Japan, kills your brother in law, sleeps with your sister, and beats your best friend in a sword fight after only training for a few months, and saves Japan)
  • 47 Ronin (only a mixed Asian born from a white father can save the princess, the other 47 ronin are apparently useless)
  • Red Dawn (Chinese are evil, but they actually watch Hollywood movies so let’s make them North Korean instead)
  • Dragonball Evolution (Let’s make Goku a white guy but keep the Asian girl in it)
  • Pacific Rim (only a white guy can save the world and protect those poor helpless Asians – Asian guys are useless and they die. Even though the Asian girl is portrayed as somewhat strong (only after guidance from non-Asian men), it is still comes at the expense of Asian men, who are easily beat down by the white guy)
  • Iron Man 3 (The Mandarin is a wimp instead of a bad ass villain)
  • The Hangover (Asian penis jokes in the 21st century, how mature)
  • Sixteen Candles (Long Duk Dong, the emasculated Asian nerd who is the laughing stock of his whole generation)
  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s (that old bucktoothed angry Asian man played in yellowface)
  • Entourage (Lloyd, the gay fat comedic Asian)
  • 2 Broke Girls (Matthew Moy, another fat Asian nerd foreigner character)
  • Make It Pop (3 Asian girls with 1 white guy in a kid’s TV show about Korean pop, it’s for the kids!)
  • The Interview (white guys go to poor Asian country to make fun of / kill Asian guys while having sex with Asian women, while the supreme leader of North Korea is actually another emasculated idiot who secretly dreams of being American but is also useless and dies)
  • The Great Wall (China gets The Last Samurai treatment, starring Matt Damon)
  • No Escape (white family moves to Thailand, realizes some Asians are terrorists, proceeds to escape the country while using poor local Asians as meat shields)
  • Star Trek: Beyond (The character of Sulu played by John Cho has recently been turned gay, even though the original actor who played Sulu and LGBTQ activist George Takei protested against turning his character gay)

…and the list goes on and on. There are many more examples, but you get the point.

Bruce Lee sees your bullshit, and he ain’t impressed.

Now, contrast the premise of Birth of the Dragon with the biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story made just a few decades earlier:

In this film clip, Bruce Lee (played by Jason Scott Lee) is upset to see Asians portrayed so negatively in movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s. His white girlfriend realizes how messed up this is, and asks to leave the theatre with Bruce.

Boy, now that is a world of a difference.

Hollywood tells us that only white people matter.

In today’s trend (or maybe it’s always been like this) of film making and storytelling, society is brainwashed to think Asians can never be leaders or important because it always takes a “white male protagonist” in order to “get the audience to relate to him” because he’s white. The same old “it would be a box office disaster if an Asian was the lead actor” excuse made by Hollywood film studios and producers.

You can relate with Marco Polo…

This same tired formula / plot device is used for shows on Netflix like Marco Polo and Narcos, where instead of focusing on a foreign person whether Mongolian or Colombian as the central character, it has to be told through the lens of a white person. Does it really help the storytelling? Or is it more of a hindrance?

You can relate with an American DEA agent…
… and you can relate with me, even though I’m just generated by a computer…

Gee, last time I checked, white people could relate with animated Disney / Pixar characters and CGI blue skinned aliens just fine.

But relating to *gasp*… Asians? No way! Impossible! Asians aren’t human, they don’t speak American, they should all go back to China! Ching chong! Am I doing it right?

You can’t relate with the greatest martial artist of all time just because I’m Asian? How cute.

Did we forget that in the 90’s, films like Mortal Kombat starred Asians without white washing them / putting the focus on a random white guy?

And they did just fine at the box office!

Sure, the films were campy classics, but fans loved it because they at least stayed faithful to the source material. Birth of the Dragon, it is not.

And who comes out as the losers here? The actor who played Bruce Lee, and all of Bruce Lee’s fans.

Philip Ng, wearing Dynasty’s Kung Fu Master Rash Guard, gets buried by the film makers in his Hollywood film debut.

We can’t fault Philip Ng for taking on a once in a lifetime opportunity to portray Bruce Lee (let’s be honest, any Kung Fu actor who comes after Bruce Lee is going to live in Bruce’s shadow, as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Donnie Yen have all been pressured to take on roles that resembled Bruce Lee) in his Hollywood debut, but to Bruce Lee’s credit, back in his day he never took on demeaning roles in Hollywood, and outright refused them.

We don’t know how Philip Ng’s career will turn out after this film (we wish him the best), but it wouldn’t be incorrect to assume that no one watching this exploitative film will give him another chance for another role in America – and it’s not his fault. The fault lies with the film makers.


When Bruce Lee’s own television script Kung Fu was stolen by Warner Bros. and subsequently white washed by David Carradine (who would have been a nobody without Bruce Lee), he flew back to Hong Kong to make his own films that showed the world he could be a true leading man, and not a sidekick. Similarly, we now have an unknown white actor Billy Magnussen, piggybacking off of Bruce Lee’s legacy in order to gain fame for himself with Birth of the Dragon.

Hollywood loves to steal ideas and appropriate culture from other people, replace them with white actors, dismiss the original creators, and take the glory and credit. It is history repeated again.

Remembering the real Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee and wife Linda Lee.

It’s obvious to us that Hollywood is trying extra hard these days to omit or belittle Asians in the media. We’re just shocked to find that they would dare try to erase the accomplishments of the legendary Bruce Lee and what he represented – strong Asian masculinity and sexuality – effectively trying to erase prominent Asian heroic figures off the face of popular culture altogether.

Maybe it has to do with the economic rise and threat of China, but for whatever reason, Hollywood is ramping up its anti-Asian propaganda campaign, further regulating us to sidekicks, nerds, geeks, and emasculated asexuals, even in our own biographical pictures, promoting a revisionist history of Asians (and engineering our society as a result).

If you need a refresher on who Bruce Lee was, just read the many articles about him online, his many fantastic ground breaking martial arts films, and the many documentaries done on him. We won’t attempt to recap that here.

Bruce Lee however, was anything but an emasculated, asexual geek. He defied the odds, rebelled from traditional norms and mainstream society, and carved out his own legacy that not only inspired millions of people around the world – he was a symbol for Chinese and Asian pride.

We should remember the real legacy of Bruce Lee, and not the sidekick freak show version fabricated by Hollywood today.

– DynastyClothingStore.com