[UPDATE} 5-7-19 6:50 p.m. PST] Another video has surfaced showing a different angle of the alleged fight, which infers the possibility that this could have been a publicity stunt. The article has been updated to reflect this.
A brawl between alleged members of a kung fu school and a taekwondo school erupted at a shopping mall in China.
The incident, which seemed to mimic a common plot of many old action films, took place last Thursday at a mall in Changshu city, Jiangsu province, according to Soranews24.
Local reports indicated that the conflict arose after a group of men in black shirts, believed to be some kung fu practitioners, encountered the local taekwondo school at the mall. The men were reportedly handing out fliers to promote their business while the taekwondo group was doing the exact same thing in the same area.
While competing for potential clients, members of the two rival groups began to annoy each other. After engaging in a heated argument, the men eventually traded kicks and punches in full view of the mall-goers. In the last part of the footage, the men wearing taekwondo outfits were seen laying on the ground in an apparent defeat.
The free-for-all martial arts showdown, which was captured on film, was halted only after the police arrived. Reports say 15 men from the opposing groups were arrested for taking part in the brawl.
While the physical altercation was eventually stopped, the fight between kung fu and taekwondo continued in online discussions. Supporters of either discipline have taken to social media to criticize each other for their performance in the brawl.
With China’s Global Times pointing out how the kung fu practitioners easily defeated their taekwondo counterparts, many Chinese netizens have come to declare that “Taekwondo is so weak.”
Meanwhile, Korea’s Kukmin Daily cheered the taekwondo fighters for displaying admirable conduct during the altercation.
“Because police officers were already on the scene, students from the taekwondo school voluntarily got down on the ground,” the paper said, belying the claims that they were easily brought down.
Korean netizens also praised the taekwondo members for being able to take their opponents’ punches and kicks.
“People who are saying the taekwondo fighters are weak are ignorant,” one commenter was quoted as saying. “The video is proof of their ability to withstand their opponents’ attacks.”
Meanwhile, a YouTube clip has emerged claiming that the men in black were not kung fu fighters at all but “gym bros” who had gotten into a fight with the taekwondo practitioners.
According to YouTube Channel Fight Commentary Breakdowns, the entire Taekwondo group collectively did a “flop” by voluntarily dropping down on the ground once they noticed the fight was being filmed. It was assumed that the men did so to get the opposing group into more trouble once the authorities arrived.
While details regarding this altercation is still unclear, some have speculated that this could have been a choreographed “fight” in order to gain publicity.
Featured image via YouTube/新京报