Chinese Bullfighting is a Little Bit Different to its Spanish Counterpart… In This Video You Can Watch a Kung Fu Practitioner Take on a Bull and Wrestle it to the Ground… If You’re Sensitive Towards Animals, You Might Want to Leave Now…
Renzhi Ren has an unusual pastime. The Kung Fu practitioner is 24-years old and hails from Jiaxing, in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. This area of the world’s most populated nation has a rural interior and major cities such as Huangzhou along the coast.
One of the most bizarre ‘sports’ in the world has emerged from this province: Chinese bullfighting. Ren is an active bullfighter, taking on 88olb beasts. Unlike Spanish bullfighting, which involves stabbing the animal multiple times with a spear, and even killing it if it defeats the bullfighter, Chinese bullfighter is more like wrestling.
You can see him grab the beast by the horns in the footage below, and wrestle it to the ground, in a bizarrely impressive show of human strength, skill and raw power.
While it might not be the most ethical sport by conventional western standards, there’s no doubt that there’s something captivating about Ren’s battle with the bull. In an interview with Reuters, Hua Yang, a bullfighting expert described how technical and competitive the art really is. He said:
“This Chinese form of bullfighting is truly a contest pitting human’s strength against a bull. There are a lot of skills involved and it can be dangerous.” (transcribed from the original Mandarin Chinese).
There’s definitely a lot of things that could go wrong. You wouldn’t want those horns to go anywhere near you.
This is a unique interpretation of bullfighting, and so it makes sense that the bulls themselves are specially bred for the purpose of the bullfight. Another bullfighter, Li Bo, explained how exactly these animals are different from regular bulls on farms. He said:
“Our bulls are not like normal bulls, they are specially trained fighting bulls. It’s like the difference between an ordinary human who’s not very fit, and a trained boxer. Their body strength and fighting capabilities are completely different.”
Ren and Li Bo train at the Haihua Kung fu School in Jiaxing. Their chief instructor is Han Haihua, a former wrestler, who teaches them how to harness the power of qigong. He says that once this is mastered, the wrestler can direct energy to a specific part of their body, which in turn gives them the strength to take down a bull. A member of China’s Hui Muslim minority, he explained how bullfighting evolved in the country.
Originally it began around the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr. During this religious holiday, many bulls are sacrificed and then eaten. The wrestling began to become popular around this time too and became embedded in the local culture. Han said:
“During this time people started to wrestle with the bull. So bullfighting developed out of a combination of Hui culture and Chinese martial arts culture.”