I've been re-reading portions of Xiao Ao Jiang Hu looking for instances of LDA's (Long Distance Attacks) and have come upon two such instances.
In Chapter 18, LHC faces Yue Hou, a senior-master of the Hengshan School. His art is the Great Yin-Yang Palm. He is able to generate two palm LDA's, one fused with Yin energy and the other one filled with Yang energy. During the fight, right before Yue Hou released these two palms, he had leapt backwards to avoid LHC's sword, and the narrator mentions that they were now a good distance away. I would think that translates to about 10 feet. It seems logical that Yue Hou would consider 10 feet a safe distance from LHC's sword to retreat to. A sword, extended with one's arm, would stretch out much more than 5 feet. Let's assume Yue Hou doubled that to be safe to 10 feet. Yue Hou then released his two palms, the Yang palm was launched earlier, but the Yin palm struck first. Linghu Chong should've died instantly when he was struck, but luckily he had those 8 streams of energy inside him. So, we can also conclude that this LDA can definitely KILL from 10 feet away.
The strange thing to consider is that Yue Hou, although considered to be a senior master of the Hengshan Sect, was really just a 4th or 5th tier fighter. I don't think it's much of a stretch to think that 1st or 2nd tier fighters wouldn't be able to launch LDA's from much longer distances.
The second instance of a Long Distance Attack is from Chapter 19, when Linghu Chong duels the Fourth Playfellow of Jiangnan. He is able to utilize sword qi and form light circles which shoot towards Linghu Chong from every which direction. It was stated that he was well over ten feet away when he started unleashing this form of sword qi. Linghu Chong had to utilize his Dugu 9 Jian to the max by prodding and poking his way in between the light circles to defeat him.
Again, a 4th or 5th tier fighter utilizing LDA in the form of sword qi quite trivially. In other novels, LDA's were pretty highly regarded but for some reason, in XAJH, even mid-level fighters were capable of such feats.
There is also another instance of LDA when Fang Sheng, younger apprentice brother of the Shaolin abbot, unleashes his internal energy through his palms and eradicates a section of shrubbery to flush Ren Yingying out from hiding. But it really wasn't very detailed about the distances and the killing power behind it.
All in all, there are countless examples of LDA's in XAJH. But the mere fact that even mid-level fighters can perform life-taking LDA's from 10 feet or more is quite a feat. And consider, the Fourth Playfellow of Jiangnan who could launch sword qi LDA's from over 10 feet away, was easily knocked unconscious by Ren Woxing unleashing his internal energy through his shout. Take all this information whatever way you wish, but the fact of the matter is that LDA's existed in XAJH and they were quite formidable, even when performed by 4th or 5th tier fighters.
Just for some perspective, here's where I see the fighters in XAJH ranked amongst themselves ...
1st tier - DFBB, FQY*
2nd tier - FZ, LHC, RWX, CX
3rd tier - Xiang Wentian, higher level demon elders
4th tier - Mid level demon elders, Five Peaks Leaders, 2 Eldest Jiangnan Brothers, Qu Yang
5th tier - 2 Younger Jiangnan Brothers
*note - I have special reason to believe that Feng Qingyang was 1 tier above the other elites, or at least somewhere between DFBB and the rest of them. But I guess that's for another post.