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Chinese nunchaku master swings high to hit world records

By Cao Chen | China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-19 07:49

Xie Desheng, a Shanghai-based freelance nunchaku instructor, wins three Guinness World Records for his stunt performances.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Driven by his fascination with martial arts legend Bruce Lee and nunchaku, Xie Desheng has gone on to win not just one but three Guinness World Records.

The nunchaku practitioner from Guangdong province earned his first world record in June last year when he extinguished 52 candles in a minute using the weapon.

His second was earned in April this year when he hit 32 ping-pong balls in one minute.

The 28-year-old followed up on that feat by winning another title the same month, unscrewing 10 bottle caps with a nunchaku in 34.8 seconds.

Xie may have been a nunchaku practitioner for a decade, but he does not simply enter these competitions without preparation. In fact, he says he trains for almost a year just to prepare for each Guinness World Record attempt.

Xie, who is currently a Shanghai-based freelance nunchaku instructor, first learned about this form of martial arts when he was a restaurant waiter in Dongguan, Guangdong province, in 2009.

"I love watching martial artist and actor Bruce Lee's nunchaku scenes in movies. Once, when watching one of my colleagues use the nunchaku, I was impressed by the neat movements and thought that it could be a self-defense skill," says Xie.

Since that moment, Xie has spent most of his spare time scouring web for instructional materials. He has even traveled to Hunan, Hubei and Henan provinces to attend classes and engage with beginners and experts. During his time in these provinces, he stayed financially afloat by taking on part-time jobs.

"But life was less beautiful than I had imagined it to be. Constantly practicing the nunchaku made me too exhausted to work. With a rather unstable source of income, I basically depended on my limited personal savings," he says."But I didn't want to give up."

Xie says that he draws motivation from his nunchaku, which have been with him through the ups and downs in life. He shares that his father died when he was 15 years old and his mother later abandoned him.

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