China Recruits MMA Fighters After Deadly ‘Hand-To-Hand Combat With India

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It was reported by state broadcaster CCTV that 20 MMA fighters from the Enbo Fight Club in Sichuan had formed the Plateau Resistance Tibetan Mastiffs. This is a state-backed group based in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet autonomous region. The club is known for producing fighters who then go on to compete at an international level taking part in well-known competitions such as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).

There has been no official reason given as to why the decision has been made.

But under the agreement signed back in 1996, neither side is allowed to carry guns or explosives in the area.

This announcement has come amid tensions between China and India over the contested Himalayan border.

A dispute which in recent weeks saw a deadly clash between the two countries.

Soldiers from both countries reportedly engaged in hours of hand-to-hand combat, with at least 20 Indian soldiers killed.

China has not released the number of casualties on its side.

China and India – both nuclear powers – have exchanged blame over responsibility for the fighting in the Galwan river valley in Ladakh on 15 June.

The area, with its harsh climate and high-altitude terrain, is close to Aksai Chin, a disputed area claimed by India but controlled by China.

The deaths during the fighting were the first fatalities in clashes between the two sides in almost half a century.

However, long-standing tensions between India and China over the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the poorly demarcated border between the two nuclear-armed powers, had risen again in the weeks leading up to the incident.

In a recent Tencent News report it had not been made clear as to whether or not the Tibetan Mastiffs would be deployed to the border with India.

However, it is certain that their mission would be to help border patrol troops and special forces in hand-to-hand combat training.

“If the country needs us, the Enbo Fight Club will wholeheartedly complete more challenging tasks. As for whether (our fighters) took part in the conflict a few days ago, don’t ask me, I didn’t ask,” club owner En Bo was quoted as saying.

The PLA Daily reported that other militia recruits included civilian personnel specialising in communications technology, mountaineering and mining.

They will come under the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theatre Command.

When it comes to approaches in combat, there has been a lot of debate in China over the different types of fighting styles to use.

In particular, questioning the virtues of the hybrid fighting style of mixed martial arts and the traditional Chinese kung fu approach.

Xu Xiaodong, a prominent MMA fighter, has been at the centre of the debate, gaining attention for beating a tai chi master in 20 seconds in 2017.

The MMA fighter claims he was “China’s number one in cracking down on fakes”, referring to people who exaggerated the qualities of traditional Chinese kung fu for commercial gain.

However, due to his support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong and his controversial opinions, Xu has now disappeared from the Chinese internet. (Express)

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