A fight between two martial arts experts has taken eight long years — from the ring to the courts —with a judge declaring a winner in their latest dispute on Thursday.
The dispute started at the Third Taiwan Full-Contact Kung-Fu Combat tournament held at the plaza of a shopping mall in Taipei in 2004, when two martial arts teachers — Wang Yu-lin (王毓霖) and Wang Shao-wen (王昭文) — fought each other.
Fighting in the under-74kg category, Wang Shao-wen wore his aikido uniform, while Wang Yu-lin donned a boxer’s uniform. Wang Shao-wen went on the offensive, but Wang Yu-lin used a body throw to knock over his adversary, then applied a joint lock to win the match.
In February this year, Wang Yu-lin turned to Facebook and criticized his opponent after learning that Wang Shao-wen had become a martial arts instructor for TV and film actors.
“It’s a waste of time to learn martial arts from this guy. He could not even do the flip move,” he wrote. “This guy could not do the basic jump kick, the high sweeping kick, and could not react to those moves.”
“He can only lead his students astray,” he added.
Wang Shao-wen responded by filing a defamation lawsuit.
In its ruling on Thursday, which can still be appealed, the Banciao District Court ordered Wang Yu-lin to pay NT$15,000 for defamation.
During the court proceedings, Wang Yu-lin repeatedly questioned Wang Shao-wen’s skills and even asked the prosecutor to test them in the courtroom.
He reportedly told the prosecutor: “I will do the flip and then after that it’s for him to show if he can do it.”
The prosecutor did not allow the demonstration, asking: “Am I to be held accountable if someone gets injured here?”
Wang Shao-wen said his rival had gone too far and that the accusations were not true, as he has a certified license.
Wang Shao-wen told the court he studied martial arts for 20 years and is now an instructor and holds a C-class referee certificate from the national martial arts association.
At a separate setting on Thursday, Wang Shao-wen said that Wang Yu-lin refused to apologize on Facebook or in the newspapers as he had requested, leaving him with no option but to take legal action.
For his part, Wang Yu-lin said on Thursday that he could not accept the decision and would file an appeal.
“Maybe what I wrote on Facebook was inappropriate, but I was only stating the facts,” he said.
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