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Thread: Ah Qing, one of the most prolific martial arts geniuses in the JY canon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    The issue at hand is that she came up with all of those things by herself as a teenager. Shaolin skills, by contrast, were slowly developed and refined over centuries (canon) by multiple highly intelligent people.
    That's what happened in real life but in Tian long ba bu Jinyong did write that Damo created almost all of Shaolin's advanced techniques (book 5, or maybe 4, the part where Supermonk was lecturing Xiao yuanshan and murong bo, too lazy to quote it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    The issue at hand is that she came up with all of those things by herself as a teenager. Shaolin skills, by contrast, were slowly developed and refined over centuries (canon) by multiple highly intelligent people.
    That's not the issue at all. She is innovative, profound and unique; but compared to Z3F her sheer body of work cannot compare.

    It is like comparing Harper Lee or J.D. Salinger to Stephen King. The former have each written a great book but neither are as prolific as the latter.

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    That's what happened in real life but in Tian long ba bu Jinyong did write that Damo created almost all of Shaolin's advanced techniques (book 5, or maybe 4, the part where Supermonk was lecturing Xiao yuanshan and murong bo, too lazy to quote it).
    To be specific, Sweeper Monk said that no one save for Damo himself had mastered all of Shaolin's arts, but this is clearly hyperbolic/for rhetorical effect; in multiple instances throughout Jinyong's canon, it has been stated that Shaolin's martial arts have been developed and polished throughout the ages (there's an entire paragraph on this in HSDS regarding Dragon Claws).

    Quote Originally Posted by CFT View Post
    That's not the issue at all. She is innovative, profound and unique; but compared to Z3F her sheer body of work cannot compare.

    It is like comparing Harper Lee or J.D. Salinger to Stephen King. The former have each written a great book but neither are as prolific as the latter.
    It absolutely is an issue. You cannot compare body of work produced by someone in their teenage years to a body of work produced by a centegenarian over a century purely on a 1 to 1 basis. By that logic, a 90 year old man who wrote 20 books in his life would be a more prolific novelist than an 18 year old person who has written 15.

    Prolific, by its very definition as a term of measurement, must factor in time.

    In addition, and quite frankly more importantly, keep in mind that she had zero training/guidance whatsoever! Learning martial arts, especially internal energy training, require a tremendous understanding in how the body works, in internal energy manipulation, etc. etc. There's literally not a single pugilist in any Jinyong novel who is entirely self-taught, without the help of any manuals or instructions, that reaches anything near to being a high level! Developing internal energy alone requires one to learn the proper ways of breathing, of cultivating internal energy, of gathering it in the dantian, in releasing it through the various channels of the meridians, in unblocking the acupoints through the meridians, and then infusing it within one's weapons (not automatic). And remember, at any point in the first four or five steps I mentioned, any mistakes can lead to fire deviation and insanity or death!

    Inventing/developing an internal energy training system from absolute scratch is no simple task, and requires developing and integrating so many other areas of knowledge. To draw a parallel, developing your own internal energy system from scratch, with zero guidance or manuals whatsoever, is like someone who has never been taught math coming up with modern algebra. It may seem superficial, but it necessitates the self-invention/teaching of Roman numerals, variables, equal signs, multiplication and division, and so much more, all of which was slowly built up and developed over the course of centuries in the real world!

    Zhang Sanfeng may have invented more 'completed skills' a la Taiji than Ah Qing, but he was standing on the shoulders of giants, having learned some Shaolin martial arts (itself created and polished over centuries) as well as part of a first class internal energy in 9 Yang (which became the basis for his internal energy). Ah Qing started from scratch! It's the difference between a Nobel prize winner who came up with a cure for AIDS, cancer, and malaria, vs a person who invents the fields of chemistry and biology.

    The word 'prolific' is absolutely suitable for describing the amount of accomplishments Ah Qing underwent by developing an absolute first class swordsmanship as well as her own internal energy training from 100% scratch.
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 03-08-10 at 02:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss View Post

    We can see many examples of this. Even the great Zhang Sanfeng who was a genius and extremely prolific in his own right had his martial arts roots in Jiuyang as well as Shaolin. Huang Shang's martial arts were a culmination of all the martail arts of his enemies.

    Basically, extremely high level martial arts are not invented over night. At the very least, there is some martial tutelage. Yet, Ah Qing managed to reach very high levels in her teens without any of the above. Why wouldn't that qualify as abundant inventiveness? If some kid in a 3rd world country managed to discover electricity somehow on his own, with zero math or science background, you would object to calling him EXTREMELY inventive or prolific?
    The kid will have accomplished a very staggering feat and he has prolific creativity and prolific knowledge - but the kid is not a prolific inventor. A prolific inventor should invent and or discover multiple things, not just one.

    I quoted the definition of prolific because I only had a general sense of what the word means and wanted to be clear with my understanding. I also think that prolific is, in a sense like beautiful, where everyone has a different definition of what beautiful is.

    One of Webster's definition was that prolific means one with abundant inventiveness or productivity. It gave the example of a prolific composer.

    When I interpret prolific composer, my understanding is a composer who composes multiple pieces of compositions. My definition of prolific is not only someone who had abundant inventiveness but he also channels that abundant inventiveness into multiple finished products. For example, a prolific artist paints multiple paintings, and a prolific writer writes multiple books, and a prolific martial artist invents multiple martial arts.

    Zhang SanFeng is prolific because he invented multiple martial art skills.

    Arguably, Ah Qing accomplishment rival Zhang SanFeng and Huang Sheng but irrespective of how great Ah Qing is - she was not prolific because she invented one martial art, albeit a very very very good one.

    I am not disparaging Ah Qing's accomplishment, but I just don't think she was prolific.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChronoReverse View Post
    There is nothing wrong with this much.


    But you were taking the inverse. That is, if the art did not survive the test of time, then the inventor was not prolific. As applied to Ah Qing. That's what the unreasonable assumption is.
    I was not implying the inverse was true. I meant to say this "if the martial art survived the test of time then the martial artist was most likely prolific. "
    Last edited by Suzaku; 03-08-10 at 03:26 PM.

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    RE Suzaku, if you have a chance, please see my above post regarding how much Ah Qing had to invent/come up with by herself in order to develop each of those 'one skills'.

    It is exponentially easier (although still difficult) for a trained martial artist to develop a single skill than it is for a totally untrained ordinary person to do the same from absolute scratch and zero guidance, because, for example w/regards to internal energy, it also necessitates the latter developing the proper ways of breathing, of cultivating internal energy, of gathering it in the dantian, in releasing it through the various channels of the meridians, in unblocking the acupoints through the meridians, etc. It really is like a totally mathematically illiterate/unschool person inventing modern algebra.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    RE Suzaku, if you have a chance, please see my above post regarding how much Ah Qing had to invent/come up with by herself in order to develop each of those 'one skills'.

    It is exponentially easier (although still difficult) for a trained martial artist to develop a single skill than it is for a totally untrained ordinary person to do the same from absolute scratch and zero guidance, because, for example w/regards to internal energy, it also necessitates the latter developing the proper ways of breathing, of cultivating internal energy, of gathering it in the dantian, in releasing it through the various channels of the meridians, in unblocking the acupoints through the meridians, etc. It really is like a totally mathematically illiterate/unschool person inventing modern algebra.
    I think Suzaku is using the definition of "prolific" strictly in terms of the distinct number of COUNTABLE martial arts produced, while we are using it more in terms of the discrete levels of martial arts achieved or surpassed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    RE Suzaku, if you have a chance, please see my above post regarding how much Ah Qing had to invent/come up with by herself in order to develop each of those 'one skills'.

    It is exponentially easier (although still difficult) for a trained martial artist to develop a single skill than it is for a totally untrained ordinary person to do the same from absolute scratch and zero guidance, because, for example w/regards to internal energy, it also necessitates the latter developing the proper ways of breathing, of cultivating internal energy, of gathering it in the dantian, in releasing it through the various channels of the meridians, in unblocking the acupoints through the meridians, etc. It really is like a totally mathematically illiterate/unschool person inventing modern algebra.

    Point well taken. I think we diverge in our definition what is a prolific martial art genius.

    I am going to deviate for your analogy of the unschooled person inventing algebra. Let's use the simpler analogy - what is a prolific writer.

    Is a prolific writer one that wrote multiple books. Or is a prolific writer one that was unschooled, illiterate, and wrote one very good book.

    I advocate that the former is a more precise definition of what a prolific writer is. Although the former writer, is standing on the shoulders of giants, had access to a great education in literary studies, was exposed to literary theories that underwent thousands of years of refinement - this writer used that knowledge base and wrote multiple books.

    While you advocate that writer B is more prolific because he was unschooled, he knew nothing of literary theories, and he didn't even know the English language - and yet he still manage to write one book.

    To me the later writer, writer B, has prolific creativity and prolific ingenuity - but writer B is not a prolific writer because he wrote only one book.

    Moving to the discussion of Ah Qing.

    Zhang Sanfeng may have invented more 'completed skills' a la Taiji than Ah Qing, but he was standing on the shoulders of giants, having learned some Shaolin martial arts (itself created and polished over centuries) as well as part of a first class internal energy in 9 Yang (which became the basis for his internal energy). Ah Qing started from scratch! It's the difference between a Nobel prize winner who came up with a cure for AIDS, cancer, and malaria, vs a person who invents the fields of chemistry and biology.
    Starting from scratch does not make Ah Qing more of a prolific martial arts genius. IMO, a prolific martial arts genius creates more than one skill. The focus is on quantity, not quality.

    The word 'prolific' is absolutely suitable for describing the amount of accomplishments Ah Qing underwent by developing an absolute first class swordsmanship as well as her own internal energy training from 100% scratch.
    Ah Qing has prolific (abundant) accomplishments, but she was not a prolific martial arts genius. Similar to writer B who taught himself English and grammar to write his one very good book. Writer B's accomplishment in teaching himself English and grammar and literary theory is impressive and are prolific (abundant) accomplishments - but writer B is not a prolific writer.

    Thus, Ah Qing accomplishments may be described as prolific (abundant) - but she, herself, in my point of view - is not a prolific martial artist.

    With the proliferation of different schools of thought, I think this forum has room for more than one definition of what constitutes a prolific martial artist.

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    We ought to ask Ken Cheng to adjudicate on the use of the term "prolific". I am sure that the OP is not using it in the right context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzaku View Post
    With the proliferation of different schools of thought, I think this forum has room for more than one definition of what constitutes a prolific martial artist.
    Yes, I concur, let's just agree to split hairs on this one ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    To be specific, Sweeper Monk said that no one save for Damo himself had mastered all of Shaolin's arts, but this is clearly hyperbolic/for rhetorical effect; in multiple instances throughout Jinyong's canon, it has been stated that Shaolin's martial arts have been developed and polished throughout the ages (there's an entire paragraph on this in HSDS regarding Dragon Claws).
    You meant the following sentence, right? 心中却也暗暗佩服:“这龙爪手如此厉害,必是经少林派数百年来千锤百炼,实已可说是不败的武功 ,”

    (But he [Zhang Wuji] also secretly admired: ‘The Dragon Claws technique is so fierce, it must’ve been refined many times in the last several hundreds of years by Shaolin. It really can be called an indefectible technique.’), (Yi tian tu long ji, book 3, chapter 21).

    Since this’s just what Zhang Wuji, who didn’t have a profound understanding of Shaolin's arts (in the same paragraph of the sentence above he also thought to himself that he only knew Shaolin's second-rate arts), thought I don’t think it should be taken for granted. The technique might have been polished by later generations as ZWj thought, but it’s also very possible that it already had the perfect form at the time of creation as Supermonk implied. I’d rather believe in teh latter as he seemed to know Shaolin inside out. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that Damo brought the technique and various other techniques into existence. The only Shaolin’s top-tier technique that doesn’t really have anything to do with Damo I can think of is Shaolin Jiuyang gong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CFT View Post
    We ought to ask Ken Cheng to adjudicate on the use of the term "prolific". I am sure that the OP is not using it in the right context.
    The adjective "prolific" really refers only to quantity, and states or implies nothing about quality. For example, a person who has consumed ten burritos will be quite prolific on the the toilet.

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    Since this’s just what Zhang Wuji, who didn’t have a profound understanding of Shaolin's arts (in the same paragraph of the sentence above he also thought to himself that he only knew Shaolin's second-rate arts), thought I don’t think it should be taken for granted. The technique might have been polished by later generations as ZWj thought, but it’s also very possible that it already had the perfect form at the time of creation as Supermonk implied. I’d rather believe in teh latter as he seemed to know Shaolin inside out. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that Damo brought the technique and various other techniques into existence. The only Shaolin’s top-tier technique that doesn’t really have anything to do with Damo I can think of is Shaolin Jiuyang gong.
    It was said in DGSD, before the fight between JMZ and HZ, that not all the 72 arts of Shaolin came from Damo. The abbot pointed out several example as being developed by other monks throughout the ages.
    Quote Originally Posted by remixedasian View Post
    6: Duan Yu is the greatest martial artist of all time

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    Quote Originally Posted by athlee View Post
    It was said in DGSD, before the fight between JMZ and HZ, that not all the 72 arts of Shaolin came from Damo. The abbot pointed out several example as being developed by other monks throughout the ages.
    Then why did the Sweeper Monk specifically state that Da Mo was the only one who mastered ALL 72 shaolin arts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    Then why did the Sweeper Monk specifically state that Da Mo was the only one who mastered ALL 72 shaolin arts?
    Even supreme martial arts skills are not necessarily of much use against the senility that comes with advanced age.

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    Then why did the Sweeper Monk specifically state that Da Mo was the only one who mastered ALL 72 shaolin arts?
    Might be because he was referring to all shaolin arts at that point in time? Below is from Chapter 39, If you want more, you can check it out yourself. Pull out what he SM said if you want to insist that he specifically said DM did all 72 Shaolin arts

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    Last edited by athlee; 03-11-10 at 04:48 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by remixedasian View Post
    6: Duan Yu is the greatest martial artist of all time

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    Quote Originally Posted by athlee View Post
    Might be because he was referring to all shaolin arts at that point in time? Below is from Chapter 39, If you want more, you can check it out yourself. Pull out what he SM said if you want to insist that he specifically said DM did all 72 Shaolin arts
    Here's the passage.

    但听他继续说道:“我少林寺建刹千年,古往今来,唯有达摩祖师一人身兼诸门绝技
    此后更无一位高僧能并通诸般武功,却是何故?七十二绝技的典籍一身在此阁中,向来不禁
    门人弟子翻阅,明王可知其理安在?”

    Up for interpretation. Personally I don't think it means all 72 Arts but given the context, it sounds like it might be referring to all 72.

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    Just want to know. Is there anywhere that states Damo invented the 72 Arts? Not mastered 72 arts, but, invented.
    Last edited by kidd; 03-11-10 at 05:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    Then why did the Sweeper Monk specifically state that Da Mo was the only one who mastered ALL 72 shaolin arts?
    He didn't. Did you read the novel?????? How dare you put words in Sweeper Monk's mouth!!!!!!!!! I know it's hard for you to accept that Da Mo didn't invent ALL 72 arts, but you have to read the book for what it says!!!!!!!!!! Don't read it the wrong way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    p.s. Don't paraphrase me, people, because I didn't say it, at least not in the way you will say I did.
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    Lol PJ showing peak of perfection in starshifting skill, such that even if MuRong LianCheng were alive, he would not dare to imagine such mastery, let alone hoping to match it.
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