Martial artists start the fight, Internet commenters continue it.

Last Thursday, members of a kung fu school decided to drum up some business for their organization by heading to a shopping center in the city of Changshu, in China’s Jiangsu province, to hand out fliers. However, unbeknownst to them a local taekwondo school had the same idea, and was also at the mall distributing ads of their own.

If this were a cheesy action movie, this would be the part of the story where the two rival martial arts groups would rumble, trading punches, kicks, and insults in front of shoppers. But this is real life, and so- …oh, wait, that’s exactly what happened.

▼ The contrasting-color uniforms (white for taekwondo, black for kung fu) made the whole thing even more surreally movie-like

As shown in the video above, the two groups got into an argument, and ultimately decided to let their fists and feet of fury do some of the talking too. They also apparently weren’t in any mood to keep their language family-friendly, as the video bleeps out multiple apparent cases of profanity.

Thankfully, the police showed up before any other martial arts factions came to join in the impromptu battle royal, and 15 of the brawlers were detained for their part in the melee. However, the fight between kung fu and taekwondo continued online and in the media. China’s Global Times pointedly mentioned that the taekwondo side had been soundly beaten by the more powerful kung fu practitioners, and Korea’s Yonhap News reported that many Chinese Internet users who watched the video left scathing comments such as “Taekwondo is so weak.”

On the other hand, with taekwondo being a Korean martial art, Korea’s Kukmin Daily applauded the honorable conduct of the taekwondo fighters, saying “Because police officers were already on the scene, students from the taekwondo school voluntarily got down on the ground,” denying that they’d been beaten into prone submission by their kung fu adversaries. Other Korean Internet commenters voiced their opinions that “In a fight, the strongest fighter is the one who can take his opponent’s punches and kicks,” and “People who are saying the taekwondo fighters are weak are ignorant. The video is proof of their ability to withstand their opponents’ attacks.”

No reports mentioned whether either school has seen an uptick in enrollment since the incident, but it seems unlikely since the video’s message is essentially saying “Learn martial arts from us so you can get punched in the face settling petty beefs at the mall, at least until the cops show up.”

Source: Niconico News via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he still thinks Police Story 1 had the best mall marital arts movie fight scene.