BAZHOU -  In this small northern Chinese village, seven strangers, all dressed in black, arrived on a mission. They would force a family out of their own house, and then swiftly demolish it.

It was one of the few houses still occupied on a street where other houses have been demolished by force to make way for a new construction project. But this time, the not-so-magnificant seven didn’t manage to complete their mission, nor even get started. You see, the owner of this particular house happens to be a martial arts teacher.

The Yanzhao Urban Daily reports this encouraging tale that stands out amongst the many cases of families quietly -- and sometime, brutally -- forced from their homes to make way for new projects in a booming China.

Mr. Shen, the homeowner, runs a business teaching wushu, a Chinese martial arts. His wife and son have also learned this fighting skill from him over the years. 

When three of the strong young workers forced their way in, without permission, it was the woman of the house who stopped them in their tracks. It was then that Mr. Shen and his son took over. The first three ended up in a pile on the floor.

Hearing what had happened the other four toughs came running. They soon joined their comrades in a somewhat larger pile on the floor. Mr. Shen, after this brief burst of activity, took time out to catch his breath, while another member of his family recorded the scene on video.

The Bazhou police told Yanzhao Urban Daily that the seven young demolition personnel suffered only minor injuries. They also said that a report of the fighting has been made, but they haven’t enough evidence to prove whether the cause of the incident is due to an illegal invasion on the demolition agents’ part or because of an excessive reaction by the Shen family.

In China’s rapid economic development, conflicts between inhabitants and local authorities which implement compulsory purchase and relocation are frequent and widespread in every corner of the country. Forced from their homes, very often by thugs hired to enforce the action, a lot of Chinese have turned to violence and to suicide to express their utmost protest.

 Three Gorges Dam one of the projects that displaced many Chinese (Christoph Filnkößl)