Video: Chinese Eagle Dad trains 4-year-old son to jog naked in NYC’s heavy snow

February 7, 2012Jing Gao10 Comments, , , , , , , , , , , ,

From Sina

In a heavy snowstorm in the Flushing Chinatown area of the New York City where temperature plummeted to 13 degrees Celsius below zero(9 F), a 4-year-old boy who hails from Nanjing, China, was asked by his “Eagle Dad” to run while wearing nothing but a yellow underwear and sneakers. It was in the early morning of the day before Chinese Lunar New Year. There was hardly any soul on the street. The snow on that day was 8 inches. The little boy in the video can be heard sobbing while imploring his father repeatedly to hold him in the arms. The Eagle Dad later told media that his son is a premature baby and was expected to suffer from cerebral palsy, which will lead to mental retardation and learning disabilities. However, after three years of draconian training, his son now has an IQ of 218 points.


Video on Youtube with English subtitles by Ministry of Tofu

According to reports from the media who later got in touch with the father, the little boy is named He Yide, nicknamed Duo Duo. He was born in February, 2008. His father, Mr. He, is a businessman in Nanjing.

Mr. He said that he didn’t get his little darling until 40 years of age. But Duo Duo was a premature baby born at 28 weeks with many neonatal complications, including intraventricular hemorrhage, angioma, jaundice, hydrocephalus (excess fluid build-up in the brain) and small brain volume. The obstetrician who mid-wived the baby warned Mr. He that the child might become intellectually impaired in the future.


After getting home, Mr. He, who was once a teacher, decided to devise a draconian development plan for his son to ensure his healthy growth. In his words, “There are ‘Wolf Dad’ and ‘Tiger Mom’ before me. I will be an ‘Eagle Dad.’” He went on to explain his eagle-style child rearing: When the eaglet becomes old enough, the mother eagle will ruthlessly thrust the eaglet off the cliff. During the process of freefalling toward the bottom of the valley, the eaglet tries as best as it can to flutter his wings wildly to prevent itself from continuing to fall, and thereby masters their basic skill – flying. Parenting is not always bear-style. If parents always hold children in their arms like a bear does, it is very likely to destroy kids’ individuality, hold them back from their dreams and render them languid and slothful and their life drab.

Ever since the tenth day after Duo Duo was carried out of the incubator, his parents have insisted that he swim every day, rain or shine, summer or winter. The water temperature is always kept at 25 degrees Celsius (67 F). When Duo Duo was only 2, he started to hike a mountain trail in Nanjing. Mr. He also trains him for other sports activities.

eagle dad

Eagle Dad teaches Duo Duo to read Chinese characters.

This drastic training method was met with overwhelming criticism online. Some netizens even suspect that Mr. He is Duo Duo’s stepfather instead of biological father. According to a survey on Sina Weibo, 64% of netizens strongly oppose to it; 25% reserve their judgment or hold a neutral position, and only 10% think it is worth a try. Among his most vocal critics, some say he did it to gain notoriety.

In response, Eagle Dad said that he is now an entrepreneur; his business is booming; and that it makes no sense for  him to become famous by doing this. But he said he won’t succumb to outside pressure and give up. “Taikan Kunren (Japanese for ‘training to build up resistance to cold weather’) is very prevalent in Japan and Korea. Why do we look askance at it?” Mr. He said he doesn’t want his child to be a flower in a hothouse, or a little emperor pampered by the entire family. He wants instead a tough character to withstand hardships and difficulties.

Taikan Kunren, or training to build up resistance to cold weather, in a Japanese kindergarten. (From here)

Selected comments from Sina Weibo

維維棋Vicky:Is this father a pervert?! Why don’t you dare yourself to run naked and let us see if your IQ would become higher? [哼][哼][哼]

中国之声罗厚新浪个人认证 :May I ask for professional opinion from law practitioners: does this kind of behavior in the United States deserve arrest on charge of child abuse? Like in the film “The Treatment”.

Xiaoming-mummy:My son is also 4 years old. It makes people’s hearts ache.  Parents’ love is universal. But isn’t it too much torture on the child? Why was the mother laughing in the back?

何以解忧唯有女U:In China, it is legal albeit irrational. But in the United States, it is neither legal nor rational. I suggest that the parents’ custody of the child be stripped as per U.S. law! [怒]

呆呆呆呆呆呆呆v: The child is not mentally retarded, but the father is brain-dead!

伊托邦洪波:What kind of IQ test is that? It can grade as high as 218 points? Besides, what does enduring coldness have to do with IQ?

展SUNKID:Since it is in the U.S., why not detain Eagle Dad? It is obviously child abuse. Even if his IQ were 300, it is highly probable that he becomes a killing machine after growing up. A killing machine with high IQ.

歆仔是个伪迷妹TAT:F**k!!! Why don’t you take off your clothing and run!!! Psycho!! Is the child your biological son!!! [怒]

小小婧2011:Isn’t it true that little kids in Japan and Korea also temper their willpower this way? His father’s original intent was good. And it did work as a way to toughen him up. As long as it doesn’t pose a hidden peril to the child’s health, it is fine…I support him…I wouldn’t have the heart to do it if I were him.

这厢银:When it is necessary, being strict is in a sense good. But this is too extreme.

湘西回忆:Everyone’s parenting method is different. So children educated will have different personalities and capabilities as a result. And this method is capable of boosting the child’s immune system.

虫时代 :The child is so little. Why can there be parents as cruel as them? What does he want? Just the capacity to brag in front of his friends and a child that shivers in freezing wind!

湖面水晶:I will never want the bullshit IQ of over 200 points! No matter how retarded he would be, I would love my child with all my heart.

-ISABELLA-xuwanfen:Whatever method is used to boost his IQ, he is after all a 4-year-old. This method is way too cruel.

卷子-:I find that the one who publishes this post is brain-dead. The ones who comment on this are also brain-dead. This child was previously expected to develop cerebral palsy. His father has had the disease under control by using this method. Would you rather your kid be retarded for the rest of his life or live strongly like this since childhood?

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10 comments to “Video: Chinese Eagle Dad trains 4-year-old son to jog naked in NYC’s heavy snow”

  1. Guy In China | February 7, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    I was initially critical of the guy, but seeing the Japanese doing the training, and then the pic of him with his kid, I can see how his heart was in the right place. Maybe some people disagree, but it sounds like it’s part of a bigger picture. I mean, haven’t you ever gone camping with you parents and eaten dirty stuff, not showered for days, or other things that taken at face value might be perceived similarly?

    • Blacksoth | February 11, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      I agree. I didn’t realize this practice was that widespread. His heart DOES seem to be in the right place.

      However, having said that meaning well and doing well are not the same. I find this concept of “training” questionable. People used to think leeches would purify people’s bood too and would put them on the bodies of sick people (in the end weakening their bodies and doing the opposite of what they intended).

      Then one day, people smartened up. If this training actually works we shouldn’t just take it on faith.

      And if it DOES work, hell, I’ll do it to my own kid. But first, proof please.

      • dasd | July 23, 2013 | Permalink Reply

        the last bit of ure comment made me laugh

      • dasd | July 23, 2013 | Permalink Reply

        the last bit of ure comment made me laugh

  2. Tsao | February 9, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    What a f…g idiot!

  3. huhu | February 9, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    people who are close by please do something

  4. Andre M. Smith | February 11, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    This kind of indifference to the well-being of children at all times is, in the opinion of some observors, a kind of pampering to the detriment of the building of character in the child. My following remarks address this problem in China with another perspective; that of the self-justifying sadist euphemistically redefined as The Chinese Tiger Mother. This subject may already be familiar to you, Gentle Reader.

    Amy Chua has never lived in China. Her understanding of its culture, that is, the culture as it’s truly lived by the indigenous people in their dailyness, then must be that of the tourist. Here perhaps is one view of a China she may or may not have seen. [Each of the four pictures can be enlarged for clearer viewings.] In what likely is Nanning, the capitol of Guang Xi region, the boy was caught stealing money to pursue his addiction in Internet gaming. (This is a common problem in China, especially among adolescent boys. As punishment his father has publicly stripped off the boy’s clothes, lathered him with some unstated brown caking (which I shall discretely hope is mere mud), bound his hands behind his back, and then pulled him on his back and buttocks by one foot for disgrace through a very-public area of the city.

    On contemporary corporal punishment in China:

    A third of them [child respondents] said corporal punishment negatively affected their personalities, causing them to become introverted and depressed.

    Legal experts cited by the paper said China should ban corporal punishment in its marriage laws to protect children from physical and psychological harm and to protect the rights of minors.

    They blamed the common occurrence of corporal punishment in China on the traditional belief that children were a part of their parents, not individuals.

    The routine beatings allegedly given to child gymnasts in China are no different to the corporal punishment that was once part of daily life in English public schools, according to the head of the Olympic movement.

    Mr Rogge said he believed that if physical punishment is being used to train young athletes in China, then it is likely to be confined to sports such as gymnastics and swimming, where the age of competitors is much younger than in the other Olympic sports. What is not known is how widespread the practice is.

    “It was a pretty disturbing experience. I was really shocked by some of what was going on. I know it is gymnastics and that sport has to start its athletes young, but I have to say I was really shocked. I think it’s a brutal programme. They said this is what they needed to do to make them hard.

    “I do think those kids are being abused. The relationship between coach and child and parent and child is very different here. But I think it goes beyond the pale. It goes beyond what is normal behaviour. It was really chilling.”

    Anyone who thinks the Chinese are a race of genteel pacifists who, collectively, design their lives to awaken every morning wiser than they went to bed the night before is a candidate for some serious awakening of his own. As a whole person Amy Chua is a type; she is not an aberration.

    Now, for one question I have not seen asked anywhere. . . Does Professor Chua play a music instrument? If so, let’s hear some of it. If not, from what sources has she gathered her standards about music technique and style and how they might be taught to a very young child who has shown no particular affinity for any instrument? Can she play any music from what she has demanded from either of her two daughters? Can she play simultaneously triptlets in the left hand and duolets in the right? Can she perform, even modestly,, the composition she has demanded her post-toddler daughter play with assurance?

    There can be no doubt that Professor Chua likes violence, so long as it’s not directed at her, the core definition of a bully. She has said recently that there are parts of the world in which some of her parenting techniques might be considered child abuse. I do wish she could be persuaded to name (1) which some of those parts of the world are, (2) just which parenting techniques she is referring to, and (3) why she believes those same techinques should not be defined as child abuse in her home state of Connecticut.

    How did such a reprehensible woman obtain a position so high up on the feeding chain with so little prior experience in law education?

    HUSBAND, faculty of Yale Law School since 1990 : Jed Rubenfeld
    WIFE, faculty of Yale Law School since 2001 : Amy Chua

    As the lawyers may put it, Let the evidence speak for itself. The Tiger Mom has made it on her own claws.

    One last question: Who prevents Professor Chua from sitting on a toilet or eating a meal when, at any given moment, she is vexed beyond her capacity to complete an academic assignment or any other professional obligation within the proper time allocated for its completion?

    André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

  5. Andre M. Smith | March 17, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Some words penned in response to the thoughts of a student writing elsewhere . . .

    I would not normally lock horns and try to best a junior in high school; I’m hoping you do not read my words here as such, for they are meant for you only as a provocation to further thought to your ideas well-presented.

    You’ve written that you “used to get frustrated when I had to practice violin and I really didn’t want to . . .” Do I read correctly that you no longer “get frustrated?” If so, that’s a remarkable advancement. As a musician myself I want to ask you, Why do you practice violin and not another instrument of your choosing less frustrating, for examples, flute, harpsichord, tuba, or tabla. There is a vast – and I do mean vast! – repertoire for each of those, and many other, instruments that could challenge you unendingly for the remainder of your life. Instead of spending hours at your chosen instrument (whichever it may be) in the drudgery of isolated practice, why not spend more of your time in practice with music ensembles of various kinds. This can yield a discipline and advancement of a uniquely different kind. If you are studying formally with a violin teacher I’m quite sure he will confirm the well-founded idea that, as a performer, playing an instrument is one kind of challenge but playing an instrument WITH PEOPLE is significantly more so. A musician in isolation is a musician limited. And herein lays one, only one, of the transparent contradictions of the way Professor Chua has taught her two daughters to approach their instruments; opportunistically solely for unartistic purposes.

    A fundamental flaw in the approach to music of Amy Chua – an amusical hack with no known talent for an art of any kind! – is that she has decided it’s perfectly acceptable to pervert one of the greater of the fine arts for use in ulterior purposes. In the example of the Chua family, so-so slogging through masterpieces of music was used to impress others when applying for admission to university. (Would Professor Chua dare to advocate this openly with religion, physics, good grammar, or issues of national interest?) The whole idea that her elder daughter, Sophia, played a debut recital in Carnegie Hall is an early example of the pervasive blight of résumé bloat on which social climbers like Amy Chua have advanced themselves; a blight to which the Chua daughters were introduced early by two parents who know well how to tweak the system to gain unearned personal advantage.

    Carnegie Hall,, includes three auditoria in its building: Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall, and Weill Recital Hall It was in Weill that Sophia performed as only one among a cattle-call string of young pianists that day. Do you doubt what I write here? Compare the architectural design,, behind Sophia with that of the architectural design at the rear of the stage in Having been a performer, myself, in both Stern and Weill over many years you have my assurance that Sophia performed her piece in Weill. Debut recital in Carnegie Hall! Indeed!

    You have written about your parents that they are “less extreme than Chua I’ll admit, but a lot of her memoir is satire and exaggeration.” Don’t be deceived by quick-change artist Professor Chua. She has spent more than one year trying to convince readers of her text that she is some kind of nouveau belles-lettrist who did no more than exercise a writer’s license to engage her readers. In truth she meant what she wrote until her hypocritical posturing as an authentic Chinese mother — born in Illinois to a Filipino father, neither speaks Chinese nor writes Chinese script — came back to haunt her with a ferocity that caused this self-styled Tiger Mother to recoil into improvised doublespeak. Amy Chua is a complete fake!

    All young musicians should be given only two music instrument choices to pursue in life, Violin or Piano. All else is useless waste. Any adult giving such advice is one woefully ill-informed. As a bass trombonist, my instrument has been my first class ticket from person-to-person, school-to-school, city-to-city, studio-to-studio, and stage-to-stage. With the kinds of preparations the Chua daughters were given will they ever perform, as I have, with Richard Tucker, Birgit Nilsson, Roberta Peters, Herbert von Karajan, Leopold Stokowski, and the two-thirds of The New York Philharmonic who were my schoolmates for five years in Juilliard? Forget it!

    Mercifully, I was never besieged with a Tiger Mother or Tiger Anything to motivate me. Yes, I too sometimes was bored with scales and chords. Yes, sometimes my imagined future seemed an unattainable fantasy. Yes, I did sometimes fall flat on my face in public performance (as did my teachers before me and also their teachers before them). Life went on and continues to do so.

    You’ve written that “At this point (as a Junior in high school) about 35% of the pressure to do well comes from my parents and the other 65% is complete self-motivation.” From the subtlety of your writing I suspect you’re cutting yourself short with that 65%. You appear to be much more highly motivated than your objective perspective about yourself can show you at this early time.

    The violin? I advise you to seriously reëvaluate what you believe is your relationship to any instrument of your choice; if, indeed, the violin has been your choice and not that of someone else. If the violin has been your choice, stay with it through all the coming stormy weather of doubt and seeming incompetence. If it is not, drop it in preference to another more to your liking and its fitness for your physicality. (If it’s the tuba, tell your parents that someone other than I recommended it!)

    Good Luck!

    André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

  6. dasd | July 23, 2013 | Permalink Reply

    i think his father was trying to do the right thing but its the mother who should have been kinder and stoped the father after the child started to complain but over all as long as the child is happy with his family i dont really mind his father being tough on the child

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