Everybody is kung fu fighting, August 31

31 Aug 2015

Tucked away in the lush green hills in the southeast of Guizhou province lies the village of Ganxi, home to 123 households of the Dong ethnic minority. But there is more to the quiet and secluded farming community than first meets the eye: all of its male inhabitants are experts in different forms of kung fu, practising morning and evening before and after the daily work in the fields. The village dates back to the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644), but the origins of its devotion to the ancient fighting arts are unclear. One story has it that the first settlers needed to fight off wild animals, another that they had to protect themselves and their land from attacks by other communities. Like many rural areas of the mainland however, its young people are leaving to work in the cities, so Ganxi has allowed its women to start following the fighting tradition. Pictures from ChinaFotoPress capture the residents’ skills.