Watch: Chinese Professor Drops Kung Fu Moves on Attacker in Los Angeles Street
00:19 GMT 13.11.2021 (Updated: 13:26 GMT 06.08.2022)
A daring scene that recently transpired on a Los Angeles street has gone viral on Chinese social media in which a would-be robber finds out he picked the wrong man to steal from.
Zhou Pigai, a professor at Xiangtan University in Hunan, China, found himself in a highly unpleasant situation on the night of November 1, when he was confronted by a man who attempted to rob him at gunpoint, according to China Daily.
The incident occurred when the academic was visiting Los Angeles, California, in the United States for an academic program at the University of Southern California. While he was looking for lodging in the Pacific port city’s Chinatown neighborhood, Zhou was confronted by a man who held a gun to his head demanding his valuables.
However, the academic wasn’t just a warrior of the mind: he’s also well-schooled in Chinese martial arts, which he used to defend himself from the attacker.
“I remained calm at that time since I evaluated that the man, who although taller than me and strong, could not win a fight against me,” Zhou told the Xiaoxiang Morning Post in his native Hunan.
In the video, which is a recreation of the attack, Zhou can be seen knocking the robber’s gun-wielding hand aside with an arm strike while simultaneously rotating in to strike the robber’s abdomen with his other elbow. As his attacker reels, Zhou then delivers a kick to his gut that brings both men to the ground and after getting back up, the professor makes a quick getaway.
However, Zhou’s escape was only short-lived: as he recalled, the man again caught up with him after he stopped to use his phone to examine himself for wounds after the first attack. A cut from Zhou’s phone at the time shows him with blood rolling down the left side of his face.
This time, however, Zhou wasn’t ready to take his chances and decided to hand over his luggage, which had an estimated $3,130 in belongings inside. However, the robber then gave Zhou an opportunity, which he took, striking the man again after he reached for Zhou’s backpack.
Again disarmed, but still holding onto Zhou’s goods, the robber runs towards a truck that had followed the pair down the street, and the academic decided that discretion was the better part of valor. He chose not to pursue, unsure how many accomplices lay inside the vehicle.
Zhou said he then sought help at a nearby Chinese market, and several good Samaritans helped him get in contact with the authorities. One person even witnessed the incident and got the truck’s license plate number, according to China Daily.
The Chinese outlet noted that the video recreation of the incident was originally intended for police investigation and public safety education. However, once the internet got ahold of it, the video and Zhou’s story became massively popular.
According to the Global Times, many social media users joked that the incident “ought to have taught the Americans a lesson to not mess with the Chinese."
“Many foreigners think every Chinese person can do martial arts. Now it is even harder to debunk the truth,” one person said on Weibo.
“Despite that Professor Zhou beat away the attacker this time, I don’t advocate using martial arts to resist guns, because after the gun is fired, all your kung fu is useless,” another added.
Indeed, Zhou advised that while he escaped with his life, it’s always risky to fight back, and coming to terms with losing your things is a rational choice for people to make.
“But if most people compromise, there will be an atmosphere to encourage the crime. So sometimes I will not retreat, thinking that brave people win in a hand-to-hand battle,” he added.
While it’s unknown if the incident was motivated by Zhou’s race, violent attacks against Chinese and Chinese-Americans in the United States have dramatically increased since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, which some American politicians have tried to blame on China by calling it names like “kung flu.” Opponents of the violence have also pointed to increasing demonization of China as the US’ chief enemy on the geostrategic stage as helping to drive fear and suspicion of Chinese in the US, as well.