It was reported by state broadcaster CCTV that 20 MMA fighters from the Enbo Fight Club in Sichuan had formed the Plateau Resistance Tibetan Mastiffs. This is a state backed group based in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet autonomous region. The club is known for producing fighters who then go on to compete at an international level taking part in well-known competitions such as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).
There has been no official reason given as to why the decision has been made.
But under the agreement signed back in 1996, neither side is allowed to carry guns or explosives in the area.
This announcement has come amid tensions between China and India over the contested Himalayan border.
A dispute which in recent weeks saw a deadly clash between the two countries.
However, it is certain that their mission would be to help border patrol troops and special forces in hand-to-hand combat training.
“If the country needs us, the Enbo Fight Club will wholeheartedly complete more challenging tasks. As for whether (our fighters) took part in the conflict a few days ago, don’t ask me, I didn’t ask,” club owner En Bo was quoted as saying.
The PLA Daily reported that other militia recruits included civilian personnel specialising in communications technology, mountaineering and mining.
They will come under the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theatre Command.
When it comes to approaches in combat, there has been a lot of debate in China over the different types of fighting styles to use.
In particular, questioning the virtues of the hybrid fighting style of mixed martial arts and the traditional Chinese kung fu approach.
Xu Xiaodong, a prominent MMA fighter, has been at the centre of the debate, gaining attention for beating a tai chi master in 20 seconds in 2017.
The MMA fighter claims he was “China’s number one in cracking down on fakes”, referring to people who exaggerated the qualities of traditional Chinese kung fu for commercial gain.
However, due to his support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong and his controversial opinions, Xu has now disappeared from the Chinese internet.