Montreal master on mission to regain martial arts' credibility wins first fight in Vietnam

By Thang Nguyen   July 12, 2017 | 08:46 pm PT
Pierre Francois Flores knocked his opponent out with a kick to the head.

A Canadian martial artist defeated a Vietnamese karate black belt in Hanoi on Wednesday in the first of a series of fights he has scheduled to promote the authenticity of traditional martial arts.

Pierre Francois Flores, a senior artist in the Chinese self-defense martial art of Wing Chun, dominated the fight with Doan Bao Chau before knocking him out in three minutes.

The five-foot-three Chau was able to unleash some strong kicks, but it was not enough to deter his six-foot opponent.

Chau was repeatedly taken down and was finally defeated with a kick to the face following a flurry of kicks and punches.

The Canadian left the fight saying sorry in Vietnamese. 

“I was really impressed by Master Doan Bao Chau’s noble attitude and great courage, two character traits in which he surpasses most of the practitioners that I have crossed paths with,” he said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Chau had invited Flores for the fight, which both described as a friendly match-up. The visiting artist is scheduled for two more challenges during his trip.

Flores has become widely known across Asia after accepting a challenge from Chinese mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Xu Xiao Dong. Xu issued a challenge to all traditional Chinese martial arts masters in late April following a 10-second victory over a Tai Chi master that went viral.

Xu, a 38-year-old self-taught MMA fighter, said that the traditional martial arts have become outdated and are now only good for keeping the body fit, while freestyle fighting and boxing are more effective when it comes to combat.


Pierre Francois Flores seen in a Facebook photo at his martial arts school in Montreal.

In his invitation on Facebook, he referred to Xu’s fight as a “necessary awakening in the face of a phenomenon that threatens the credibility of martial arts”.

The fight promises to be an interesting match-up.

Flores has also proposed a fight with Huynh Tuan Kiet, a Vietnamese master known for his electrifying moves.

He said Kiet’s talent was “doubtful”, and that he wanted to test it in person.

Kiet said he would only accept the challenge if Flores apologized for his comments, which he has so far refused to do.

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