Fight­ers mix kung fu and bull­fight­ing in China

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIONAL - By Xi­hao Jiang and Martin Quin Pol­lard

BEI­JING/JIAXING, China (Reuters) - Sev­eral times a week, kung fu teacher Ren Ruzhi en­ters a ring to spar with a bovine op­po­nent around five times his weight and ca­pa­ble of killing him.

Ren’s mix­ing of mar­tial arts and bull­fight­ing wor­ries his mother, but the 24-year-old has never been hurt. Be­sides, he says, grap­pling with a snort­ing bull is ex­cit­ing.

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

Un­like Spain’s more fa­mous sport, the Chi­nese vari­ant of bull­fight­ing in­volves no swords or gore but in­stead fuses the moves of wrestling with the skill and speed of kung fu to bring down beasts weigh­ing up to 400 kg (882 lb).

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

If the first fighter gets tired, an­other one can step into the ring, but they have just three min­utes in which to wres­tle the bull to the ground or lose the bout.

The bulls, too, are trained be­fore en­ter­ing the ring, Han said, and learn them­selves how to spread their legs or find a cor­ner to brace against be­ing taken down.

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

Kung fu teacher Ren Ruzhi en­ters a ring to spar with a bovine op­po­nent around five times his weight and ca­pa­ble of killing him.

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