Friday, June 15, 2018

2018 FIFA World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo's 3 Goal Hat-Trick


GOAL No. 1

GOAL No. 2

GOAL No. 3


Cristiano Ronaldo scored an amazing free-kick for Portugal to complete a remarkable hat-trick in a thrilling 3-3 draw in the FIFA World Cup '18 opener — ironically, CR7's 51st career hat-trick was also the 51st hat-trick in World Cup history.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Common Drugs May Be Contributing To Depression

Stuart Bradford

Common Drugs May Be Contributing To Depression

Over one-third of Americans take at least one medication with depression as a potential side effect, a new study reports.

Could common prescription medications be contributing to depression and rising suicide rates?

Over one-third of Americans take at least one prescription drug that lists depression as a potential side effect, a new study reports, and users of such drugs have higher rates of depression than those who don’t take such drugs.

Many patients are taking more than one drug that has depression as a side effect, and the study found that the risk of depression increased with each additional such drug taken at the same time.

About 200 prescription drugs can cause depression, and the list includes common medications like proton pump inhibitors (P.P.I.s) used to treat acid reflux, beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, birth control pills and emergency contraceptives, anticonvulsants like gabapentin, corticosteroids like prednisone and even prescription-strength ibuprofen. Some of these drugs are also sold over-the-counter in pharmacies.

For some drugs, like beta-blockers and interferon, the side effect of depression is well known, but the authors of the study were surprised at how many drugs were on the list.

“It was both surprising and worrisome to see how many medications have depression or suicidal symptoms as a side effect, given the burden of depression and suicide rates in the country,” said Dima Mazen Qato, an assistant professor and pharmacist at the University of Illinois at Chicago who was the lead author of the paper, published Tuesday in JAMA.

She acknowledged that there are still “a lot of unanswered questions,” and that the study only points to a correlation, not a cause-and-effect relationship.

“We didn’t prove that using these medications could cause someone who was otherwise healthy to develop depression or suicidal symptoms. But we see a worrisome dose-response pattern: The more of these medications that have these adverse effects that you’re taking concurrently, the higher the risk of depression,” Dr. Qato said.

The researchers used a large and nationally representative database, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, to analyze the medications used by a representative sample of more than 26,000 American adults from 2005 to 2014. They researched side effects of commonly used prescription drugs, compiling a list of more than 200 medications that have depression or suicidal symptoms listed as potential side effects.

The overall use of any prescription medication that had depression as a potential adverse effect increased to 38.4 percent in 2013-14, up from 35 percent in 2005-6, the study found. The percentage of adults who were concurrently taking three or more drugs with the side effect increased to 9.5 percent in 2013-14, up from 6.9 percent in 2005-6, the report said.

The use of medications that have suicidal symptoms as potential side effects also increased, to 23.5 percent of the population in 2013-14, up from 17.3 percent in 2005.

Among patients using one drug that could cause depression as a side effect but who were not taking an antidepressant drug, 6.9 percent had depression, while the depression rate for patients taking three or more drugs with the side effect was 15.3 percent. By contrast, patients who were not taking any such drugs had a depression rate of 4.7 percent.

The researchers adjusted for other risk factors that can cause depression, including poverty, marital status, unemployment and certain medical conditions, like chronic pain, which themselves are associated with depression.

“The study is an important reminder that all medicines have risks, and most medicines have rare but serious risks — yet another reason that even commonly used medicines such as beta-blockers or proton pump inhibitors should not be used cavalierly,” said Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study.

Dr. Philip R. Muskin, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and secretary of the American Psychiatric Association, said physicians must keep these side effects in mind when prescribing medications, and ask patients about whether they have a personal or family history of depression.

But he said it is hard to say whether the increased use of drugs, and combination of drugs with side effects including depression, has had an impact on society.

“There’s been an increase in suicide, that we know,” Dr. Muskin said. “Does it correlate to the use of these medications? The honest answer is we don’t know. Could it play a role? The honest answer is yes, of course it could.” — Roni Caryn Rabin | The New York Times

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to or SamaritansUSA.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Life is NOT a Journey - Alan Watts

Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. His philosophies seem to transcend ego, politics and limitations. His monologues have a powerful way of connecting distant abstract ideas with the present moment and his words have a unique way of putting life into perspective. Life is a gift.

Alan Watts (January 6th, 1915 – November 16th, 1973)

Happiness is NOT the Meaning of Life - Alan Watts

Some of history's greatest philosophers have spent their entire lives writing about the meaning of life. Why are we here? Surely there must be a reason? Many people in western culture believe the meaning of life is to "be happy".

Alan Watts has a brilliant way of eloquently challenging this notion. If we were to live in a state of eternal bliss, then bliss would become dull. Without darkness, there would be no light. Without pain, there would be no pleasure. Happiness is based in perspective. Embrace every aspect of life, the good and the bad, and learn to see the beauty in it.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Kristaps Porzingis' NBA Comeback: Documentary Series

Porzingis' Comeback - Episode 1

#PorzingisComeback Documentary Series: Episode I

Porzingis' Comeback - Episode 2

#PorzingisComeback Documentary Series: Episode II

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Andre The Giant — HBO Documentary Films

Andre the Giant was literally the biggest celebrity in the world. HBO Sports, WWE, and the Bill Simmons Media Group present Andre The Giant, a documentary examining the life and career of one of the most beloved figures in wrestling history.

R.I.P. — May 19th, 1946 – January 27th, 1993 — R.I.P.

André The Giant

From HBO Sports, WWE, JMH Films and Ringer Films comes André The Giant, a documentary examining the life and career of one of the most beloved legends in WWE history. The ambitious, wide-ranging film explores Andre’s upbringing in France, his celebrated WWE career and his forays into the entertainment world. It includes interviews with Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner, family members and more.

André René Roussimoff

André René Roussimoff was born in 1946 in Molien, France. In his early teens, he exhibited signs of gigantism though he was not diagnosed with acromegaly until his twenties. He began his training in Paris at 17 and eventually became known in wrestling circuits around the world. In 1973, Andre joined the organization now known as World Wrestling Entertainment, where he became a superstar and rival of WWE legend Hulk Hogan.

Vince McMahon & Andre The Giant

The Eighth Wonder

Emmy-winning Executive Producer Bill Simmons, who joined HBO in 2015 and founded sports and culture publication The Ringer, describes André as “the ultimate unicorn” and “a true legend.”

“Everyone who ever crossed paths with him has an Andre story — and usually four or five,” says Simmons. “I’m delighted to join forces with [director] Jason Hehir and WWE so we can capture André’s amazing story once and for all.” — HBO Documentary Films

Comedians, actors and wrestlers alike remember Andre The Giant. HBO Sports, WWE, JMH Films and Ringer Films present Andre The Giant, a documentary examining the life and career of one of the most beloved figures in wrestling history.

WrestleMania III | Attendance‎: ‎93,173 | Date‎: ‎March 29, 1987 | LocationPontiac Silverdome, Michigan

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Kristaps Porzingis | 7' 3" 240 lbs | No. 6 | New York Knicks | PF/C | All-Star

After Becoming An All-star, Kristaps Porzingis Now Faces A Long Road To Recovery Following Torn AclNY Daily News

Kristaps Porzingis posterizes Giannis Antetokounmpo and lands awkwardly on his left knee on Wednesday, February 6th, 2018

MRI Reveals Torn Ligament In Left Knee Of Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis ESPN

Kristaps Porzingis | GODzinGOD | PorzinGOD | GODzingis | KP6

Kristaps Porzingis Tears A.C.L., Crippling the Knicks New York Times

Kristaps Porzingis | GODzinGOD | PorzinGOD | GODzingis | KP6

Kristaps Porzingis | GODzinGOD | PorzinGOD | GODzingis | KP6

Kristaps Porzingis Out For Season With Torn Acl — NY Post

Knicks All-Star F Kristaps Porzingis Tears ACL Sports Illustrated

Kristaps Porzingis | GODzinGOD | PorzinGOD | GODzingis | KP6

Knicks Must Embrace Full Rebuild After Kristaps Porzingis' ACL TearBleacherReport

Kristaps Porzingis | GODzinGOD | PorzinGOD | GODzingis | KP6

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How To Beat Writer’s Block

How To Beat Writer’s Block

In 1920, a sixteen-year-old Graham Greene decided that, after “104 weeks of monotony, humiliation, and mental pain,” he could no longer remain at Berkhamsted, the prep school where he was enrolled. He fled, leaving behind a note of resignation for his parents—his father was the school’s headmaster—, and was discovered on the heath soon after. The escape proved so troubling to his family that it led to a six-month stint in psychotherapy. It was a fortuitous turn in Greene’s life. He got a break from the school he dreaded and acquired a habit that would prove crucial to his life as a writer: Greene began keeping a dream journal, to help him channel his mental distress in a more productive direction.

Graham Greene kept a dream journal to help ward off writer’s block.
Photograph by Rene Saint Paul / RDA / Everett

For anyone familiar with Greene’s prolific output, it’s hard to believe that he could ever suffer from writer’s block. But, in his fifties, that’s precisely what happened—he faced a creative “blockage,” as he called it, that prevented him from seeing the development of a story or even, at times, its start. The dream journal proved to be his savior. Dream journaling was a very special type of writing, Greene believed. No one but you sees your dreams. No one can sue you for libel for writing them down. No one can fact-check you or object to a fanciful turn of events. In the foreword to “A World of My Own,” a selection of dream-journal entries that Greene selected, Yvonne Cloetta, Greene’s mistress of many years, quotes Greene telling a friend, “If one can remember an entire dream, the result is a sense of entertainment sufficiently marked to give one the illusion of being catapulted into a different world . . . . One finds oneself remote from one’s conscious preoccupations.” In that freedom from conscious anxiety, Greene found the freedom to do what he otherwise couldn’t: write.

Writer’s block has probably existed since the invention of writing, but the term itself was first introduced into the academic literature in the nineteen-forties, by a psychiatrist named Edmund Bergler. For two decades, Bergler studied writers who suffered from “neurotic inhibitions of productivity,” in an attempt to determine why they were unable to create—and what, if anything, could be done about it. After conducting multiple interviews and spending years with writers suffering from creative problems, he discarded some of the theories that were popular at the time. Blocked writers didn’t “drain themselves dry” by exhausting their supply of inspiration. Nor did they suffer from a lack of external motivation (the “landlord” theory, according to which writing stops the moment the rent is paid). They didn’t lack talent, they weren’t “plain lazy,” and they weren’t simply bored. So what were they?

Bergler was trained in the Freudian school of psychoanalysis, and that background informed his approach to the problem. In a 1950 paper called “Does Writer’s Block Exist?,” published in American Imago, a journal founded by Freud in 1939, Bergler argued that a writer is like a psychoanalyst. He “unconsciously tries to solve his inner problems via the sublimatory medium of writing.” A blocked writer is actually blocked psychologically—and the way to “unblock” that writer is through therapy. Solve the personal psychological problem and you remove the blockage. This line of thinking is fine, as far as it goes, but it’s frustratingly vague and full of assumptions. How do you know that writers are using their writing as a means of sublimation? How do you know that all problems stem from a blocked psyche? And what is a blocked psyche, anyway?

As it turns out, though, Bergler’s thinking wasn’t far off the mark. In the nineteen-seventies and eighties, the Yale University psychologists Jerome Singer and Michael Barrios tried to gain a more empirically grounded understanding of what it meant to be creatively blocked. They recruited a diverse group of writers—fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, print, stage, and screen—some of whom were blocked and some of whom were fine. The blocked writers had to fit a set of pre-determined criteria: they had to present objective proof of their lack of writing progress (affirming, for example, that they had made no progress on their main project) and attest to a subjective feeling of being unable to write. The symptoms had to have lasted for at least three months.

Barrios and Singer followed the writers’ progress for a month, interviewing them and asking them to complete close to sixty different psychological tests. They found, unsurprisingly, that blocked writers were unhappy. Symptoms of depression and anxiety, including increased self-criticism and reduced excitement and pride at work, were elevated in the blocked group; symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, such as repetition, self-doubt, procrastination, and perfectionism, also appeared, as did feelings of helplessness and “aversion to solitude”—a major problem, since writing usually requires time alone.

Not all unhappy writers were created equal, however. They fell, Barrios and Singer discovered, into four general types. In one group, anxiety and stress dominated; to them, the main impediment to writing was a deep emotional distress that sapped the joy out of writing. In another group, unhappiness expressed itself interpersonally, through anger and irritation at others. A third group was apathetic and disengaged, while a fourth tended to be angry, hostile, and disappointed—their emotions were strongly negative, as opposed to merely sad. These differences would turn out to be consequential. Different kinds of unhappy writers, Barrios and Singer discovered, are blocked differently.

There are some experiences that almost all blocked writers have in common. Almost all of them experience flagging motivation; they feel less ambitious and find less joy in writing. They’re also less creative. Barrios and Singer found that blocked individuals showed “low levels of positive and constructive mental imagery”: they were less able to form pictures in their minds, and the pictures they did form were less vivid. They were less likely to daydream in constructive fashion—or to dream, period.

The surprise was that these motivational and creative shortfalls expressed themselves differently for the different kinds of unhappy writers. The first, more anxious group felt unmotivated because of excessive self-criticism—nothing they produced was good enough—even though their imaginative capacity remained relatively unimpaired. (That’s not to say that their imaginations were unaffected: although they could still generate images, they tended to ruminate, replaying scenes over and over, unable to move on to something new.) The second, more socially hostile group was unmotivated because they didn’t want their work compared to the work of others. (Not everyone was afraid of criticism; some writers said that they didn’t want to be “object[s] of envy.”) Although their daydreaming capacity was largely intact, they tended to use it to imagine future interactions with others. The third, apathetic group seemed the most creatively blocked. They couldn’t daydream; they lacked originality; and they felt that the “rules” they were subjected to were too constrictive. Their motivation was also all but nonexistent. Finally, the fourth, angry and disappointed group tended to look for external motivation; they were driven by the need for attention and extrinsic reward. They were, Barrios and Singer found, more narcissistic—and that narcissism shaped their work as writers. They didn’t want to share their mental imagery, preferring that it stay private.

In one sense, Barrios and Singer’s findings echoed Bergler’s theories. They discovered that many symptoms of writer’s block are the kinds of problems psychiatrists think about. Unhappy writers, it seemed, were unhappy in their own ways, and would require therapies tailored to address their specific emotional issues. Barrios and Singer weren’t psychiatrists, however—they were psychologists. They decided to continue their work by studying the aspect of writer’s block that could be measured experimentally: the vividness and directionality of mental imagery.

The duo proposed a simple intervention: exercises in directed mental imagery. While some of the blocked writers met in groups to discuss their difficulties, Barrios and Singer asked others to participate in a systematic protocol designed to walk them through the production of colorful mental images. These writers would sit in a dim, quiet room and contemplate a series of ten prompts asking them to produce and then describe dream-like creations. They might, for example, “visualize” a piece of music, or a specific setting in nature. Afterward, they would visualize something from their current projects, and then generate a “dreamlike experience” based on that project. The intervention lasted two weeks.

It proved relatively successful. Writers who’d participated in the intervention improved their ability to get writing done and found themselves more motivated and self-confident. The exercise didn’t cure writer’s block across the board, but it did seem to demonstrate to the creatively stymied that they were still capable of creativity. (Greene’s dream diaries did much the same for him.) In multiple cases, the exercises led, over time, to the alleviation of writer’s block—even in the absence of therapy. Bergler, it seems, was partly right: emotional blockages did exist. But he was wrong to assume that, in order to move past them creatively, writers needed to address their emotional lives. In fact, the process could go the other way. Addressing the creative elements alone appeared to translate into an alleviation of the emotional symptoms that were thought to have caused the block in the first place, decreasing anxiety and increasing self-confidence and motivation. Therapy didn’t unblock creativity; creative training worked as a form of therapy.

It may be that learning to do creative work of any kind—not just direct imagery exercises—may help combat writer’s block. Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist who is the scientific director of the Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-author of “Wired to Create,” says, “When one feels writer’s block, it’s good to just keep putting things down on paper—ideas, knowledge, etc.” In 2009, Kaufman co-edited a volume called “The Psychology of Creative Writing”; during that process, he became convinced that allowing for error—and realizing how nonlinear a process creativity can be—was an essential step for overcoming blocks in writing. “I think one must trust the writing process. Understand that creativity requires nonlinearity and unique associative combinations,” he says. “Creative people do a lot of trial and error and rarely know where they are going exactly until they get there.”

That, in the end, seems to be the main message of research into writer’s block: It’s useful to escape from external and internal judgment—by writing, for instance, in a dream diary, which you know will never be read—even if it’s only for a brief period. Such escapes allow writers to find comfort in the face of uncertainty; they give writers’ minds the freedom to imagine, even if the things they imagine seem ludicrous, unimportant, and unrelated to any writing project. Greene once had the following dream:

I was working one day for a poetry competition and had written one line—‘Beauty makes crime noble’—when I was interrupted by a criticism flung at me from behind by T.S. Eliot. ‘What does that mean? How can crime be noble?’ He had, I noticed, grown a moustache.
In real life, having your poetry criticized by T.S. Eliot could cause you to doubt your poetic gifts. But imagining it in a dream has the opposite effect. That dream could become the source for a story. And, at a minimum, it serves as a reminder that, no matter how blocked you may be, you still have the capacity to imagine something new—no matter how small and silly it may seem. — Maria Konnikova | The New Yorker

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Who Runs The Girls? V.I.P. Nightlife Secret Revealed

Girls rarely pay to be in V.I.P. nightclubs, but neither are they typically paid to be there, accepting instead gifts and perks like free drinks and even housing — no small thing for fashion’s underpaid work force. Clubs and promoters will pay to fly girls from New York to Miami, or from Prague to Cannes. Most girls don’t see promoters as exploitative, but as friends, something the promoters foster by treating them to lunch or games of bowling.
As anthropologists remind us, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Gifts are given with expectations of reciprocity. Friendships mask what would otherwise look ugly: the exchange of women’s bodies for money.
The promoters are handsomely paid, upward of $1,000 per night for those who regularly recruit high-fashion models. Girls also give the promoters access to powerful men, whom they often see as potential investors in their entrepreneurial dreams, which range from opening their own nightclubs to brokering business deals.
This is a system of trafficking in women. It is, of course, consensual, and a far cry from anything like sexual slavery. But, in an anthropological sense, it is not so different from the tribal kinship systems studied by Claude Lévi-Strauss, in which men exchanged women in order to forge alliances with other men, while women were cut out from the value that their own circulation generated.
Consider a contemporary example: Greek life on college campuses, where women circulate among fraternity parties. The best frat houses are those with the best-looking girls at their parties. In exchange, the girls get free beer. This system is not without risks. In a five-year study, the sociologists Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton found that working-class women who joined the frat scene faced greater risks of sexual assault and academic derailment. The more popular they were at frat parties, the worse their financial and professional futures looked.
Why do women consent to their own exploitation? Flattered egos, of course, play a role. When I interviewed a 21-year-old fashion merchandising student, she explained: “I love the whole aura in New York. I love the vibes. I love like, the exclusivity.” She was keenly aware of her value to her male friends in the night-life scene: “But I always wonder, if I wasn’t, you know, skinny, if I wasn’t attractive, would they really be friends with me? Probably not.”

Beneath the glamour is an unbalanced economy in which girls generate far greater profit for men than their free drinks are worth. A successful nightclub in New York City might make $15 million to $20 million a year.
In 2013, I spent a weekend in the Hamptons at a nine-bedroom mansion shared by a few Manhattan businessmen who aimed to host at least 20 models each weekend during the summer season. They called it “model camp.” That weekend, I attended a nightclub, a pool party and a house party hosted by the chief executive of a private equity firm. One of the men explained to me that girls were “currency,” assuring him a steady stream of invitations to exclusive parties and visits from important businesspeople.
I did meet some exceptional women who joined the party in search of opportunities, such as a 24-year-old model who was looking for an internship in finance through the connections she made in nightclubs. “If you have a head on your shoulders,” she told me, “it’s a great way to meet people who work a lot and have money.” Similarly, a 28-year-old marketing professional with an Ivy League education loved having the “most interesting, amazing conversations in the world” with politicians and venture capitalists at V.I.P. dinners. But while girls can certainly meet important people at these events, they are generally in a weaker position to leverage these connections.
The unequal ability of one person to capitalize on another is a classic case of exploitation. Imagine that the Hamptons businessmen hold meetings with the private equity C.E.O., in part because I softened their introduction. In two years, perhaps their investment fund will be cranking out profits, while I’ll be turning 36, and no longer welcome at the party. What may seem like an agreeable quid pro quo looks different in the long run, when women age out of the system without any returns on the time they invested. What’s really troubling is that no one even sees it as a lost investment, in part because it feels so good.
When it comes to women, popular culture confuses pleasure and power. Sure, girls may run the world, but men run the girls. And the girls don’t seem to mind all that much. — Ashley Mears | New York Times

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Xu Xiaodong — MMA Fighter On Mission To Expose China's "Fake" Martial Artists

M.M.A. Fighter’s Pummeling of Tai Chi Master Rattles China

BEIJING — For weeks, the mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong had been taunting masters of the traditional Chinese martial arts, dismissing them as overly commercialized frauds, and challenging them to put up or shut up.

After one of them — Wei Lei, a practitioner of the “thunder style” of tai chi — accepted the challenge, Mr. Xu flattened him in about 10 seconds.
Mr. Xu may have proved his point, but he was unprepared for the ensuing outrage.
When video of the drubbing went viral, many Chinese were deeply offended by what they saw as an insult to a cornerstone of traditional Chinese culture.
The state-run Chinese Wushu Association posted a statement on its website saying the fight “violates the morals of martial arts.” The Chinese Boxing Association issued similar criticism.
An article by Xinhua, the state news agency, called Mr. Xu a “crazy guy,” saying that the fight had caused people to question whether Chinese martial arts were of any use and even to ask, “What exactly are traditional Chinese martial arts?”
The reaction has been so furious that Mr. Xu has gone into hiding.
“I’ve lost everything, my career and everything,” he said in a message circulating online. “I think many people misunderstand me. I’m fighting fraudulence, but now I’ve become the target.”
Many people around the world assumed that this debate had long been settled. Mixed martial arts fighters have for years held exhibition fights against practitioners of traditional martial arts — kung fu, karate and judo among them. The old ways, for all their balletic grace, lost decisively.
Known broadly as wushu, traditional Chinese martial arts include such disparate disciplines as qigong, categorized as an “internal” practice that is mostly spiritual, and kung fu, an “external” art that is practiced by the monks of the Shaolin Temple and was popularized around the world by Bruce Lee. There are hundreds of styles of wushu in China, and many overlap.
Tai chi, while a martial art, is viewed by many today as a spiritual breathing and balance exercise enjoyed by people of all ages, usually performed in slow motion in a quiet park instead of a fight ring.
Mixed martial arts, or M.M.A., is a “no-holds-barred” fighting style developed over the last century from fighting styles around the world. It began to gain popularity in the United States in the 1980s. While it is violent, it does have rules — including no biting, spitting or gouging.

Wei Lei, the tai chi master, faced off against Xu Xiaodong, the mixed martial arts fighter, in Chengdu. Video by Fighting Arts

The fight between Mr. Xu and Mr. Wei was brutal. As Mr. Wei circled slowly, arms outstretched in a calm tai chi defense, Mr. Xu lunged, jabbed him to the floor, then used a “ground and pound” technique to subdue him. It was all over in about 10 seconds.
Mr. Xu did not respond to a request for an interview sent to his personal Weibo account a few days after the fight on April 27. Shortly afterward, his account was taken down as the authorities rushed to try to tamp down the controversy.
A woman reached by telephone at the Battle Club in southeast Beijing, where Mr. Xu works, said he was not giving interviews. She declined to give her name.
On Wednesday morning, the door of the Battle Club, in the dingy basement of a high-rise, was locked. Photographs of Mr. Xu and other M.M.A. fighters decorated the walls of the stairwell.
An electrician lingering by a cigarette shop at the top of the stairs said he practiced wushu and had come to check out the club after hearing about the controversy. He said that Mr. Xu had been right to pose his challenge, even though it had infuriated people.
“No one can avoid fighting,’’ said the man, who gave only his surname, Lian, and a social media username, Ruyi.
He said defenders of the traditional martial arts were incensed that Mr. Xu had dared to say that they staged impressive performances but were ineffective fighters and that, by doing so, he had threatened their livelihoods.
Yet Mr. Xu’s ultra-aggressive assault on his tai chi rival had missed an important point, Mr. Lian added.
“The key difference between what Mr. Xu does and martial arts is that martial arts isn’t a competitive sport,’’ he said. “It’s not about really hurting. It’s about giving your opponent ‘face.’ And Mr. Xu’s style is about beating your opponent to near death.” — Didi Kirsten Tatlow & Karoline Kan | New York Times
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