The youngster, who has not been named, joined the Chongde Juying Martial Arts Sports Club in Qingdao, Shandong, on June 17. But on June 18, his parents, who had paid 7,680 yuan (around £837) for a year’s worth of self-defence lessons, were sent a video of him during training in which he looked ‘unusually pale’.
His mother claimed that he was covered in bruises, especially on his legs.
The boy was taken to the Third People’s Hospital in Chenyang where he was declared dead on arrival after reportedly being beaten by his instructor.
Medical records seen by China’s daily The Paper revealed his heart had stopped beating 20 minutes before arriving at the hospital.
Three people linked to the club have been arrested, including the couple in charge and a coach, according to The Chenyang branch of Qingdao’s Public Security Bureau.
Investigations are ongoing and the club is currently not running.
A video viewed by The Straits Times showed a boy wearing an orange T-shirt with the name of the martial arts club on the back.