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A decades-old argument might just have been settled: Modern "mixed martial arts' fighter vs. Tai Chi master — who wins?"

In a recently filmed fight, Xu Xiaodong, a Beijing-based mixed martial arts freestyle coach, duked it out with Wei Lei, a famous Tai Chi master from Sichuan. It took less than 20 seconds for Xu to knock out Wei.

Riding the momentum, Xu confidently challenged fighters of any other discipline, including Li Tianjin, another renowned Tai Chi master and Ma Yun's bodyguard, the Taiwan-based United Daily News reported.

The question has spurred new debate on the age-old question among the Chinese diaspora, where both approaches to combat are followed. Among those duking it out online were Ma Yun, the founder of the Chinese internet giant Alibaba, and Jet Li, the Chinese movie star who has held many roles as a martial arts master.

Amused by all the excitement, Ma Yun, on a business trip to Argentina and Mexico, responded on his blog "This is a show where actors and spectators interact best. Pity that some take it too seriously!"

Calling himself a fan of both Tai Chi and freestyle fighting, the Chinese tycoon recalled that he used to walk for miles as a child just to watch a cockfight. And since he was in college, he has had no fewer than eight Tai Chi coaches.

Tai Chi is a martial art, and a Tai Chi master may of course participate in a fight, but those who practice Tai Chi rarely reach the level of a professional fighter, Ma noted. "Most people practice Tai Chi gymnastics, or they are just amateurs who enjoy gathering in a park for exercise", he said.

Chicken v. duck? Apple v. orange?

The question of which style is better for combat misses the point, because the two disciplines have different rules. Ma says it would be "like comparing the number of points scored in a basketball game and a soccer match. It's like comparing a chicken with a duck."

Jet Li, the actor, won several championships in Wushu, a traditional martial art, before making his debut in the film Shaolin Temple and subsequently starring in numerous Kung Fu films. Reacting to the video of last week's fight, he called for continued support for Tai Chi as a sport. Referring to his own discipline, he said, "In ancient times, Wushu was a lethal combat technique. But these days it is more about style than substance."

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Society

Jehovah's Witnesses Translate The Bible In Indigenous Language — Is This Colonialism?

The Jehovah's Witnesses in Chile have launched a Bible version translated into the native Mapudungun language, evidently indifferent to the concerns of a nation striving to save its identity from the Western cultural juggernaut.

A Mapuche family awaits for Chilean President Gabriel Boric to arrive at the traditional Te Deum in the Cathedral of Santiago, on Chile's Independence Day.

Claudia Andrade

NEUQUÉN — The Bible can now be read in Mapuzugun, the language of the Mapuche, an ancestral nation living across Chile and Argentina. It took the Chilean branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a latter-day Protestant church often associated with door-to-door proselytizing and cold calling, three years to translate it into "21st-century Mapuzugun".

The church's Mapuche members in Chile welcomed the book when it was launched in Santiago last June, but some of their brethren see it rather as a cultural imposition. The Mapuche were historically a fighting nation, and fiercely resisted both the Spanish conquerors and subsequent waves of European settlers. They are still fighting for land rights in Chile.

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