A martial arts seminar without martial art exhibitions and sparring would be like a bar without alcohol and girls; it wouldn’t be much of a martial arts seminar.
Sparring could not come without a stage and this stage was set on the ring platform of Jinding. Representatives went onstage to display their martial arts. Media reporters gathered under the stage as well as a live broadcast to television stations in the region. The venue was bustling with activity.
The martial arts seminars in the past were all great flops. The people who’d attended were fakes who paid to show their faces and had no real martial art skills but were very good at bragging. The martial arts those people had shown were also just for show and the martial arts seminar had become a laughingstock, making martial arts a joke in turn. The Cultural Bureau had resolved to do things properly this time, and investigated openly and in secret to invite only those with real skills. Right now, a Shaolin monk was on the platform boxing ring displaying some Shaolin Wuhequan*. His fists whooshed with every punch, his movements were nimble, and he was prepared for both attack and defence. The people watching clicked their tongues in wonder.
Representatives from various sects went into the ring to show off their martial arts - Wudang’s Taiqiquan*, Emei’s swordsmanship*, Zhuru Hongquan*, Xingyiquan* and several other representatives of real martial arts.
As representative of Wing Chun, Liang Zheng-Chun also went into the ring to display true Wing Chun. Wing Chun was not a martial art with violent moves but the Wing Chun Liang Zheng-Chun displayed was pleasing to the eye. He was like Ip Man in the movies; he had a Master’s special aura.
Liang Zheng-Chun finished his moves and put his hands together in a cupped salute. Applause came from below the ring.
Bruce Long suddenly stood from his seat and sprinted to jump into the ring.
A blonde beauty also climbed into the ring, carrying a shoulder-mount camera. The camera was recording Bruce Long and Liang Zheng-Chun.
“Who is this foreigner? What’s he doing in the ring?” Tang Yu-Yan wrinkled her brows. She thought this foreigner quite rude.
“Need you ask? He must be trying to mess things up for Lei’s Master,” said Tang Bo-Chuan.
The memory of Dong Qing-Yue whispering something to that foreigner in the ring, and him glaring at them afterwards in the conference room surfaced in Xia Lei’s mind. Dong Qing-Yue had covered her mouth when whispering and he could not see her mouth shape to lip-read. She was done speaking by the time he readied his X-ray vision, so he was unable to catch what she’d said - it looked now like what she’d said to the foreigner was definitely something not good!
Tang Yu-Yan saw Xia Lei stand with an anxious look and said, “Please sit, Mr Xia. It’s no problem for your Master to deal with a foreigner. Going to challenge your Master is courting humiliation for him.”
“Yeah, don’t you trust Master’s abilities? That punk is going to get beaten up,” said Lu Sheng.
Xia Lei sat down again at that but he still had a trace of worry in his heart.
As expected, Bruce Long raised his voice in the ring and said, “Liang Zheng-Chun, your Wing Chun is like a warm-up exercise for children. Real Wing Chun is not Yan Yong-Chun’s style but Bruce Lee’s style. I can beat you easily. Do you dare fight with me?”
Liang Zheng-Chun wrinkled his brows. He didn’t care if this foreigner called Wing Chun a child’s warm-up exercise but he actually claimed that Yan Yong-Chun’s Wing Chun was not the true martial art style - this hit a nerve.
“I, Bruce Long!” Bruce Long swept the watching martial artists below the ring platform with his gaze and said scornfully, “Am from America. I trust Japan’s judo, Korea’s taekwondo, I also trust Brazilian jiujitsu and our American wrestling but I will never trust these Chinese martial arts. Your martial arts are all lies - they look good but they’re useless.”
Curses erupted from below the platform.
He Ping, the organiser of the event, was also dark. This martial arts seminar had cost the Cultural Bureau a lot of manpower and material resources and it was considered a success till now. This Bruce Long messed it all up when he went into the ring - this was being broadcast live!
“Fuck! Where did this yellow-haired hybrid come from? I’ll teach you a lesson!” A burly middle-aged man charged into the ring. “Hongquan, Horse Battle Formation!”
Bruce Long smiled scornfully and said to Liang Zheng-Chun, “Liang Zheng-Chun, wait thirty seconds for me. I’ll take care of him and then take care of you.”
Thirty seconds to defeat a representative of Hongquan? What savage confidence!
Below the platform, a police officer who was part of the events security detail asked He Ping, “Organiser He, should we arrest this person?”
He Ping shook his head. “He’s American. We’ll cause an international dispute if we arrest him without any real reason. Besides, this is a live broadcast. This guy has already said so many insulting things - this event is done for if he just exits the ring like that. Let them fight. This guy thinks China doesn’t have anyone who can beat him? He’ll regret that!”
In the ring, the challenger attacked first with Horse Battle Formation, his huge fist swinging brutally at Bruce Long’s head.
Bruce Long blocked it with his elbow and swept at the bend in the challenger’s knee at the same time with his foot. This move was reminiscent of Wing Chun but faster and more violent. There was a dull thud and the challenger withdrew quickly in pain.
Bruce Long promptly charged forward, attacking with both fists. His punches were like meteors falling from the sky, each coming faster and faster. All his punches landed on the challenger’s two arms, which were protecting his chest. The challenger was pushed backwards by the assault.
Bruce Long then suddenly stopped punching and leaned sideways to kick him. His foot went past his two defending arms and landed heavily on his chest. The challenger let out a cry and flew up and backwards before dropping off the platform.
The area below the platform was in uproar.
Bruce Long thumbed his nose and said scornfully, “I counted. Twenty seconds. He was weaker than I’d thought.” He suddenly pointed at Liang Zheng-Chun. “Hope you can last more than two minutes.”
His movements and way of talking were very much like Bruce Lee.
Liang Zheng-Chun said coldly, “You talk too big, young man.”
Below the platform, Dong Wu said loudly, “Master Liang, why are you wasting time talking? He said your Wing Chun is not the true Wing Chun. Fight him!”
Qin Qi added fuel to the fire. “Yeah! Fight him! Is your Wing Chun a fake?”
Hearing those words made Xia Lei want to spring from his seat to beat up Dong Wu and Qin Qi, not to mention Liang Zheng-Chun, who was getting it all directly.
“Come!” Liang Zheng-Chun disdained bickering with people like Dong Wu and Qin Qi. He got into a Wing Chun Seeking Hand beginning stance.
Bruce Long charged at Liang Zheng-Chun and the fight begun.
Liang Zheng-Chun’s Wing Chun went fluidly from attack to defence and his changes were quick. Bruce Long’s had greater speed and strength and was much more aggressive. The two of them seemed to be on equal footing, with no one getting an upper hand.
Everyone’s eyes were on Liang Zheng-Chun and Bruce Long, but the most anxious was Xia Lei. Other people saw them fighting but he saw much more than they did. His left eye saw every movement of bone and muscle in Bruce Long’s body. What he saw was not a normal person’s body - he was like a powerful human-shaped machine! Liang Zheng-Chun’s body, on the other hand, was on the decline; he was getting on in years and his fists were not as powerful against youthful muscles anymore. His body was much weaker than Bruce Long’s and his strength waning. With these circumstances, Bruce Long would be able to withstand two punches from Liang Zheng-Chun but Liang Zheng-Chun would be in trouble if Bruce Long hit him just once!
Sure enough, Bruce Long quickly realised this and he simply gave up on defence. He went straight to attacking Liang Zheng-Chun and didn’t block when Liang Zheng-Chun attacked him. He attacked in kind and exchanged one blow for another. Bruce Long triumphed in speed and he landed one hit for every two received.
There was no martial art in this world that had no attack moves, and there would be gaps in defence when moving to attack. Liang Zheng-Chun was left with no options when up against an opponent like Bruce Long, who was very quick and perversely strong.
Bam! There was a mirroring of blows again. Liang Zheng-Chun’s attack hit Bruce Long in the chest and Bruce Long’s fist hit Liang Zheng-Chun in the chest. Bruce Long’s body only wavered for a bit but Liang Zheng-Chun staggered two steps back, his foot meeting with air and dropping off the platform.
Xia Lei rushed over to help Liang Zheng-Chun up.
In the ring, Bruce Long thumbed his nose and said scornfully, “What ‘true Wing Chun’ is this? It’s just aerobics for children.”
The blonde beauty holding the camera laughed as she said, “Bruce, I’ll put the video from just now on the world’s biggest video site. The whole world shall see it.”
Dong Wu guffawed. “Liang Zheng-Chun, I’d always thought you were powerful but you’re just another fake! Hahaha!”
Flames burned high in Xia Lei’s heart. “Rest, Master. I’ll fight him.”
Liang Zheng-Chun held him back. “Don’t. You’re no opponent even if your leg’s not injured, and you’re injured now.”
“Master, them insulting you is insulting me. They also insulted our Wing Chun. Let me go up there - I’ll teach him!” said Xia Lei.
Liang Zheng-Chun hesitated. He knew Xia Lei’s capabilities well. Xia Lei could not beat him, so how could he beat Bruce Long, who was more powerful than him? However, Xia Lei looked very confident and based on what he knew of Xia Lei, he was not the sort to be reckless or lose his senses. Xia Lei would not get into the ring asking to be humiliated if he was not sure about it. However, he could not understand where Xia Lei got his confidence from.
While Liang Zheng-Chun hesitated over approval of going up on the platform, Xia Lei had already jumped into the ring.
Bruce Long’s gaze went to Xia Lei and he looked at Dong Qing-Yue. Dong Qing-Yue nodded and a faint sneer appeared on his lips.
“My Master is old and his body is weaker,” said Xia Lei, “Fight with me. I’ll teach you what Wing Chun is and also teach you how to be a proper human being.”
Bruce Long spoke disinterestedly, “I heard Liang Zheng-Chun has a powerful disciple called Xia Lei. You’re Xia Lei?”
“You should call me Martial Ancestor Xia because Bruce Lee was just a disciple of Wing Chun. I am of the same martial generation as Bruce Lee in Wing Chun so you should probably call me ‘Martial Ancestor’,” said Xia Lei.
“Hahaha! Well said!” Tang Yu-Yan clapped and said smilingly, “Give your descendant disciple a lesson, Mr Xia! He’s an uncivilised barbarian.”
Roaring laughter came from below the platform.
Hate flashed in Bruce Long’s eyes and he suddenly lunged at Xia Lei.
*XingyiquanPrevious Chapter Next Chapter