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Thread: Five Elements Octagon...what on Earth is this stuff?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Five Elements Octagon...what on Earth is this stuff?

    In numerous wuxia stories, there is the idea of "Five Elements Octagon"...basically traps set by the proper placing of the five elements (i.e. earth, metal, fire, water, wood). The Peach Blossom Island folks from Jin Yong's universe use it most prominently.

    But what is it, really? It seems more feng-shui, sorcery, and pseudoscience than martial arts. What place does it really have in kung fu? Why is it a recurrent motif in wuxia fiction?

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    Senior Member yittz's Avatar
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    Kinda like optical illusions, mazes.

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    Senior Member allunderheaven's Avatar
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    The thing that buged me the most and my imagination when reading the translation of ROCH was that I just didn't know what the heck to imagine when the scene where HR, YG, Guo Fu and the Wu brothers were using rocks as mazes to defend against GWM. I just didn't really understand how moving rocks from different positions can disillussion someone.
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    Senior Member yittz's Avatar
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    Zhu Ge Liang did that in romance of 3 kingdoms.

    What the rocks and peach blossum design attempted to do is to make every turn look the same i.e. having identical landmarks to confuse and trap the intruder.

    In some tv adaptions, they make it so it seems like there is a fog between the rocks. Any explaination for this?

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    Senior Member kyss of the sword's Avatar
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    the i-shing(five elements) and hi-shing(eight triagrams) are based on taoist beliefs that go back more then 2000 yrs. their used in mathematics and medicine and in religious principles. there are conducts of life according to the principles of the 5-elements and 8-triagrams. the battle formation are based on human relation to nature. the 5-elements and 8-triagrams make use of nature as a weapon and in side the formation, ones mind can be affected and controlled.
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    Senior Member Son of Light's Avatar
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    Actucally, the Qi in inner strength is based on the same ideas as Fengshui...
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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    If there was ever a museum exhibition on this, with rocks placed and taking you through the maze to show you how it works, I'd pay money to fly to China just to see it. I'm sure it's far smarter than the moving rocks and peach blossom branches (coupled with petal sprays) which TVB presented us with.

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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Liew View Post
    If there was ever a museum exhibition on this, with rocks placed and taking you through the maze to show you how it works, I'd pay money to fly to China just to see it. I'm sure it's far smarter than the moving rocks and peach blossom branches (coupled with petal sprays) which TVB presented us with.
    TVB had shown us big boulders of rock. It wasn't just small rocks or pebbles.
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    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    Even with the moving pink trees and spraying petals in TVB adaptations, I had always assumed that the Peach Flower Blossom Island was cultivated to be much more complex version of the European Hedge Mazes - where the trees were too delicate to climb (so person could not stand on top to get out) and where it was hard to destroy because poison gas would emit (I made that one up).

    http://www.oddee.com/item_96667.aspx

    The emergency rock formations in ROCH I thought were very lame.


    I can't read but Google found me the real life Taohua Island:

    http://www.taohuadao.com.cn/
    Last edited by smurf120; 03-02-12 at 11:57 AM. Reason: new link

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    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    TVB had shown us big boulders of rock. It wasn't just small rocks or pebbles.
    Yeah, they were huge, and they moved around in circles with a very satisfying FOOOOOOOORRRRRR - the good old days when I found that awesome!

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Speaking of big rocks, a 350-ton boulder is passing through my neighborhood tonight on its way to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it's going to become a permanent exhibit.

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