Part of this is down to the fact that he can deliver monologues like a seasoned heel; part of it is because, for as seriously as he takes his fights against tai chi masters, there’s a slapstick quality to each of them. MSE's Xiaodong Xu and a team of researchers have developed a new system to trap individual excitons. The only reason he went back to fighting, he says, is that Wei pissed him off. Xu was unimpressed by all of this. MSE's Xiaodong Xu and a team of researchers have developed a new system to trap individual excitons. “Korea has Ma Dong-Seok,” Xu wrote in his caption, “and China has me.” (In one of his most recent dramas, 2018’s The Villagers, Ma plays a washed-up former boxing champion who reluctantly roots out a dark political conspiracy in his small town.). Quantum edge. Dr. Xu joined in 2014 upon finishing his joint postdoctoral training between Harvard and MIT. This should be illegal, Xu noted angrily, but his lawyer friend had advised him that in China, the law is essentially “whatever they say it is.” And so, Xu figured, he had nothing more to lose by taking the extra step of hopping the firewall. The Xu Xiaodong who overturned heaven and earth two years ago.” Next, he thanked the state censorship organs monitoring him for their troubles. He does not support Hong Kong independence and regards Hongkongers (and Taiwanese for that matter) as Chinese. These reports left out the disproportionate brutality being inflicted by the Hong Kong police, and that a protestor had lost an eye to a bean bag round. “I like freedom,” he told me emphatically. His victories have not always gone officially recognized. I visited the gym in mid-August, and despite Xu’s rapidly complicating political situation, the place bore no reflection of the turmoil that had befallen its figurehead. As of this writing, Xu has been ordered to publicly apologize; had to pay the equivalent of USD $36,000 in fines and legal fees; had his social credit score lowered after he refused to apologize, preventing him temporarily from traveling by plane or high-speed train; had one of his gyms shut down; and seen a total of 11 social media accounts mysteriously disappear. He apologized profusely. Science 317 (5840), 929-932, 2007. He completed his Ph.D. at Northwestern University under the supervision of Prof. Chad Mirkin Up until the Chengdu match with Wei Lei, Xu had fought in only three paid matches, all in the early 2000s. So I love Hong Kong,” he said. Xu wasn’t fazed by this development. In a 2013 program called The Showdown Show, the famed 12th-generation Chen-style tai chi master Wang Zhanhai showed how he could harness his energy to fling off four musclebound attackers in a single movement. Word of Xu’s broadcast spread rapidly throughout the Chinese-speaking world. Xu Xiaodong is at it again. Read More. MSE's Xiaodong Xu has won prestigious honors from the American Physical Society and the Optical Society. Xu called Wei Lei “brainwashed” and “a dumbass.” In retaliation, Wei Lei, or one of his associates, published Xu’s personal information, including his address and phone number online. He told me recent events had caused him to conclude he would never be on the right side of the law in China, no matter what he did. X. Xu* , W. Yao* , B. Xu had rushed to the nearby city of Tianjin that day to sign a contract to fight his 18th grandmaster, Wang Zhenling of the Great Dao school of tai chi, and missed our first appointment. He becomes emotional when he talks about it. The reason he must keep broadcasting, he says, is very simple: He is telling the truth. He had become the ambassador for a new Brother Dong-branded line of baijiu, a fiery Chinese sorghum spirit. Sham, “Coherent Population Trapping of an Electron Spin in a Single Negatively Charged Quantum Dot”, Nature Physics 4, 692 (2008). These callouts were inspired by what Xu calls a “bad wind” of fake tai chi masters penetrating the national consciousness. Department of Energy Early Career Award, 2012, Kent M. Terwilliger Memorial Thesis Prize, University of Michigan 2009, Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan 2008, Physics Department Fellowship, University of Michigan 2002~2003, Best Undergraduate Thesis Award, University of Science and Technology of China 2002. Such a belief is something that’s become almost impossible to hold onto in China, where the truth has long since ceased to matter. When he gets excited, his speech slurs with the lisping Beijing dialect. Xu says growing up in Beijing made him uniquely attuned to politics. In a recent episode of Hot Takes, an upset Xu revealed that not a single person had stood up for him in a 450-person WeChat group after his Hong Kong statement. I’m just a dog drowning in a pile of dogshit.”. No one seemed particularly worried about Xu. Sham, “Coherent Population Trapping of an Electron Spin in a Single Negatively Charged Quantum Dot”, Nature Physics 4, 692 (2008). Sun, P. Berman, D.G. Chinese MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong rubs salt in the wounds for Ma Baoguo, whom he claims called Shanghai police moments before their 2017 fight to get it shut down. Wang said that while he did not support the violence, he was fundamentally sympathetic to Xu’s quest. As a teenager, Xu started studying sanda, or Chinese kickboxing, the only Chinese martial art he regards as having any combat value. This work has been highlighted by Nature Photonics 1, 506 (2007), U. Michigan physics department annual research review, and cited by research highlights of Nature Nanotechnology 2, 521 (2007). As he put it in a recent episode: “Don’t pin your hopes on me. There’s just something inherently funny about watching an aging, chunky MMA fighter stride right up to a supposed martial arts master and proceed to beat the absolute hell out of him. On several occasions, Xu, who hovers around 200 pounds, has faced off against men half his size. Not long after he signed the contract to fight Wang Zhenling, his 18th tai chi grandmaster, relevant authorities informed him that the match, or any future matches, would not be allowed to take place. According to Xu, more than 100 martial artists looking to avenge Wei challenged him in the aftermath of the fight. “If I don’t like someone, I fight them,” Xu told me the first time we met, in an empty sports bar in July. The Chinese government would really like for him to stop his war against tai chi. Sham, “Optically Controlled Locking of the Nuclear Field via Dark State Spectroscopy”, Nature 459, 1105 (2009). He immediately latched onto MMA because of how free he found the fighting style: You could kick. This summer, the UFC opened a state-of-the-art training facility in Shanghai in a bid to mint a Chinese MMA star who would help the promotion win over the Chinese market. If I had been lying to people, sure, I can accept punishment. This work has been highlighted by Nature Physics 4, 678 (2008), U. Michigan News front page and more than ten websites. Physics department, University of Washington Seattle. Xu would be the first to tell you that he’s more of a troll at heart than political rebel, and he’s become a target of the state for reasons that are much more fitting of his personality: He likes to talk shit, and he likes to fight. Over ginger ale, he gravely recounted his “war” against tai chi. What really stings Xu is that he doesn’t stand to benefit from the coming expansion of MMA in China, which he worked for so long to bring about. After we discussed his plans to livestream on YouTube that night, it was time for Xu to pitch his MMA class to a crop of prospective students. “I don’t believe that there are so many violent thugs there.”. Indeed, only one other mainland public figure has dared to express the same doubts as Xu: A 33-year-old lawyer named Chen Qiushi, whose earnest “fact-finding” broadcasts from Hong Kong—now scrubbed from mainland social media, along with his personal Weibo account—have put him in the same precarious position as Xu. Watching Xu give his spiel, I thought about something he had once told me about his ambition for Hot Takes to one day become China’s “No. Xu Xiaodong’s gym is located in a basement facility in the middle of a parking lot in Shuangjing, an upscale residential district near Beijing’s East 3rd Ring Road. It’s easy to imagine someone with this much wit, passion, and intelligence hosting a slickly produced sports show from behind a desk. (Shichahai Sports School, the training center near the Forbidden City where he once practiced, has since publicly disowned him.) Though the majority of Xu’s YouTube commenters come from Hong Kong and Taiwan, a vocal minority are firewall jumpers. “What makes me angry,” he added, “is that I’ve been very careful. The liquor purports to be 42.7-percent alcohol, a reference to his April 27 defeat of Wei Lei. Sun, P. Berman, D. G. Steel, A. S. Bracker, D. Gammon, L. J. Sham et al., “Coherent Optical Spectroscopy of a Strongly Driven Quantum Dot”, Science 319, 929 (2007). This work is highlighted by more than ten websites, including eurekalert.org and physorg.com. Xu Xiaodong (left) prepares to compete against Ma Baoguo (right), a master of Chen-style tai chi, in Shanghai before police shut down the event in June 2017. Of all the absurdities that have recently defined Xu’s life, none are seemingly greater than the fact that he, a loudmouthed fighter and entertainer with objectively modest political views, has become a real symbol of dissent.
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