The LA Times profiles Shen Jianzhong, China’s modern-day Bruce Lee, whose son is still in jail for fighting in self-defense

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXGIk9x-FI0]

Shen Jianzhong, who fought back a pack of hoodlums in October who broke into his house and assaulted his wife, is making the most out of his 15 minutes of fame — but out of necessity. The LA Times recently caught up with him as he offered a grim update to his situation, specifically all that’s happened after he and his son thwarted “30 to 50 men” sent to forcibly evict their family:

Shen said his troubles have actually increased since the attack. The next day, he said, nearly 100 men arrived in buses from out of town and surrounded his house. When the police refused to drive off the men on grounds that they were behaving peacefully, Shen fled with his wife to Beijing, hoping that media attention and the central government would help his family.

Shen said that in his absence his house has not been demolished, but that shortly after his departure for Beijing, the Bazhou police arrested his son.

His son is still in detention as we speak. Shen obviously figured speaking to foreign media would help his situation, however a long shot. Even the article concedes that gangs like the one that attacked Shen are usually in cahoots with local officials, who are shitty enough to not care what you or I or the public thinks. They want their land and their money.

The video above, if you haven’t already seen it, shows the aftermath of Shen and son’s fight, in which they purportedly knocked out seven men. And here’s a pretty good recap via the LA Times if you need a refresher in what we’re talking about:

Shen and his family live in Bazhou, a city in Hebei province 60 miles from central Beijing. Shen says he has trained in Lee’s Jeet Kune Do style of kung fu for 20 years. He has also been certified by the Hong Kong-based World Record Assn. for completing the highest number of roller push-ups in a minute. The exercise, which involves folding and unfolding at the waist like an inchworm while propped up with a small wheel, is more than a pastime for Shen. He and his wife run a small business teaching the exercise at home and around Bazhou, and they fear that the loss of their house would damage their livelihood.

Shen says he was teaching at a nearby gym on Oct. 29 when a group of more than 30 men assembled outside his house, which a local Communist Party official was planning to redevelop into an apartment complex. The men threatened and verbally abused Shen’s wife as she returned home with groceries.

Once Shen arrived and confirmed to the leader of the group that his family would not leave before receiving guarantees for housing, the assailants, he said, burst through the front door and began to beat his wife. In response, Shen and his teenage son, a graduate of traditional martial arts schools, entered the fray.

If Bruce Lee faced forced eviction in China (LA Times)

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