Feature: Modern Chinese "Mulans" armored with passion in medieval combats
NANNING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Dressed from head to toe in ancient Chinese style armor, Tong Kexin yelled as she wielded her long sword without hesitation in the just-concluded almost all-male historical medieval battle held in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Despite losing her very first battle against her teammate, the 25-year-old enjoyed the high-intensity competition and felt that she embodied the famous ancient Chinese heroine Hua Mulan while on the field.
The event Tong participated in was a tryout match for an upcoming international tournament that will recreate historic battle techniques -- the 2021 World National HMB (Historic Medieval Battle) Championship, also known as the "Battle of the Nations".
Some 60 athletes from nearly all elite teams across the nation joined the event, yet only Tong and her teammate, surnamed Huang, were females.
Evolving from the gladiator culture of ancient Rome and the knight culture of the Middle Ages, the medieval combat requires competitors to wear armor that existed from the 13th to 17th centuries.
"The full set of armor I wore this time weighs 35 kilograms and I could hardly move my arms," said Tong who took an hour to put on the armor and sweated through her outfit within 10 minutes.
"I love the fights, it's awesome. I could even feel the surge of adrenaline," said the woman who is now in graduate school.
More experienced and agile, Huang took an easy win against Tong who is 13 centimeters taller than her.
Huang, 26, has participated in the campaign and joined the Hong Xing medieval combat club for over a year, "I have always had a thing for combat and martial arts because I started to watch kung fu movies at an early age."
Huang cherishes the chance of every training class as a break and release from her tedious tech job.
Huang told Xinhua that the medieval combat events can be money-burning, as it costs over 20,000 yuan for a full set of armor.
"I never told my family about the medieval combats. Though I barely get hurt, dangers still exist," said Huang, adding that less than 10 women across the nation play the sport as far as she knows.
Tong said she could barely find Asian woman athletes in international medieval combat competitions and hopes that the sport can be more widely known, "the splendid ancient Chinese culture and fearless woman warriors deserves to be seen." Enditem