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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Kung Fu Politics

What is behind the toppling of the autocratic regime of Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan? A latent democracy movement sweeping Central Asia? Or was it Kung Fu fighting? Kyrgyz lawmaker Bayaman Erkinbayev says it was his band of kung fu fighters.

The unsung role of Kung Fu in the Kyrgyz revolution

KARA SUU, Kyrgyzstan (AFP) - Many say people power brought down the regime in Kyrgyzstan last week. But Bayaman Erkinbayev, a lawmaker, martial arts champ and one of the Central Asian nation's
richest men, says it was his small army of Kung Fu-style fighters.

In southern Kyrgyzstan, where the protests that brought down the Askar Akayev's 15-year regime first flared, the name of 37-year-old Erkinbayev seems to be on everyone's lips.

Erkinbayev is the wealthy playboy head of the Palvan Corporation, who led 2,000 fighters trained in Alysh, Kyrgyzstan's answer to Kung Fu, to protests launched after the first round of a parliamentary election on February 27.

AFP Features, via Yahoo News

In Kyrgyzstan, the kung fu style is called Alysh. Of course in New Jersey, politicians practice the deadly open-palm/hand-in-pocket style of kung fu.


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