12 orphans removed from fight club and returned to their hometown

A total of 12 children living and training at a fight club in Chengdu have been removed from the club and sent home to take compulsory education.

A total of 12 children from Yuexi County in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture who were living and training at a fight club in Chengdu City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, have been returned to their hometown.

They were brought back to their hometown by their legal guardians on August 16, accompanied by the prefecture's governmental officials. 

The boys burst into tears when it came time to leave, having said in a previous interview that they did not want to return home. 

12 orphans removed from fight club and returned to their hometown

The children, alleged to be mostly orphans and those with nothing to survive on, gained attention from the public after a video of two 14-year-old boys fighting in a cage recently circulated across social media and raised public awareness of the protection of minors. In the video, two young fighters from the club said they are from Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan.

Chengdu police also launched an investigation into the incident after media exposure. Educational authorities in Liangshan required the children to be sent back to school to receive and complete compulsory education. 

They were adopted by a fight club called Enbo, named after its founder En Bo — an ex-SWAT member — with another 400-plus children, who received fight training there. They also had lessons on Yi language, Chinese, English, Mathematics and moral education in the evening after training.

Their training life triggered heated Internet debate as netizens queried whether the club's adoption of the children was legal, if the fights were used to make profit, and if the children's rights like education were being protected by the club. However, the club insisted they never attempted to control the children and said that they were all sent there by their guardians. 

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