CHINA / National

Bar allows stressed out customers to beat up staff
By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-08-07 06:24

NANJING: A new bar in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, is offering an outlet for the stresses and strains of modern life.

Customers will be able to pay money to beat up staff, smash glasses, shout and scream, and, if these anger management techniques don't work, receive psychological counselling.

Rising Sun Anger Release Bar was set up in April by Wu Gong, a 29-year-old man from neighbouring Anhui Province.

Wu said he got his inspiration from similar bars in Japan, but felt a personal need for the type of service after his experiences as a migrant worker in Guangdong Province.

The bar employs 20 "models," well-built men in their 20s and 30s, who are available to be hit. Customers can specify how they want the models to appear they can even dress as women and then they are free to give them a sound beating.

Wu assured China Daily that models are fully equipped with protective gear, and the bar gives them regular physical training so they are prepared for attack.

The bar has four psychological counsellors, who are in fact psychology students from local universities.

The bar charges 50 to 300 yuan (US$6.25-37.5) for every customer in accordance with their demands.

"With rent of 6,000 yuan (US$760) per month, we can just about make ends meet," Wu said, but he added that he was confident about success as his customer list was growing.

Wu said that at the moment most of his customers were women, especially those working in service and entertainment companies such as KTV or massage parlours.

Public opinion was divided over the bar.

"Violence will not solve your problems. If people really feel angry, they should adjust their lifestyles or seek psychological treatment," said Liu Yuanyuan, who works for Siemens.

"Pressure in today's society comes from just about anywhere, from family or from work, from your boss or from your girlfriend. We get no place to vent anger. The idea of beating someone decorated as your boss seems attractive," said Chen Liang, a salesman.

Zhang Yong, an employee of Xiaoran Psychological Consultation Centre in Nanjing, admitted that "no matter how civilized people have evolved to be, some still find that violence is the best way to get rid of their burning rage. The existence of the bar, despite its controversial business scope, reflects the demands of a large proportion of people."

Zhang warned that as the business the bar is engaged in is not subject to any regulations, customers should be careful about overcharging or hurting the models.

The city's industrial and commercial administration bureau told China Daily that Wu's bar has been registered as a dancing venue, and there is no mention in the licence about anger release.

"He applied for the business of anger release but we would not give permission. It has never been listed as a proper business in this country," said an employee surnamed Wang

Wang said the bureau would discuss Wu's case and check on the bar in the following few days if necessary.