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Thread: The Gwok Jing/Jebeh archery showdown at the end of LOCH

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default The Gwok Jing/Jebeh archery showdown at the end of LOCH

    Just before the end of LOCH, Gwok Jing and his archery teacher Jebeh engaged in one final archery duel. The result was a tie: either man could have made a legitimate claim to the title of world's greatest archer.

    Both men sustained the same injuries (a serious, but non-lethal arrow penetration into the chest).

    This seems like an unexpected result in light of the similar archery showdown between Gwok Jing and the Golden Wheel Monk many years later in ROCH. In that showdown, Gwok Jing managed to shatter the monk's arrow and bow with two arrows, then bring down the Mongol flag with a third.

    Although Gwok Jing was not better than Jebeh in the archery department, at the end of LOCH, Gwok Jing's inner power (seventh best in the world after the five Greats and Kau Cheen Yan) was far superior to Jebeh's (none, except the natural inner power that keeps him alive). Although their skill levels were virtually identical, Gwok Jing's inner power should have enabled him to injure/kill Jebeh without sustaining injury himself.

    Was Gwok Jing going easy on his archery teacher by not using inner power?

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    Although Gwok Jing was not better than Jebeh in the archery department, at the end of LOCH, Gwok Jing's inner power (seventh best in the world after the five Greats and Kau Cheen Yan) was far superior to Jebeh's (none, except the natural inner power that keeps him alive). Although their skill levels were virtually identical, Gwok Jing's inner power should have enabled him to injure/kill Jebeh without sustaining injury himself.
    Can we really be sure Jebeh didn't have any internal energy?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    Can we really be sure Jebeh didn't have any internal energy?
    Everybody has some just by the virtue of being alive, but that's way different from having the inner power of an elite martial artist (especially one who has been training with the 9 Yum Jen Ging).

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    Everybody has some just by the virtue of being alive, but that's way different from having the inner power of an elite martial artist (especially one who has been training with the 9 Yum Jen Ging).
    Sry, let me say it properly.

    I should have said, "How can we be sure Jebeh's internal energy wasn't more powerful than folks like you or me?"

    Is it not conceivable that the No. 1 archer under the sky also uses his internal energy (even if it's not as strong as GJ's) for arching?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    Is it not conceivable that the No. 1 archer under the sky also uses his internal energy (even if it's not as strong as GJ's) for arching?
    It's possible that Jebeh did (although unlikely; inner power was rather esoteric and arcane to Mongolian warriors at the time), but even if so, the gap between his inner power and Gwok Jing's was so vast that the shooting duel should not have been a draw.

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    Senior Member Guo Xiang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    It's possible that Jebeh did (although unlikely; inner power was rather esoteric and arcane to Mongolian warriors at the time), but even if so, the gap between his inner power and Gwok Jing's was so vast that the shooting duel should not have been a draw.
    If they are relying on their internal energy, then it wouldn't be a fair match at all.
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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guo Xiang
    If they are relying on their internal energy, then it wouldn't be a fair match at all.
    That's why I believe Gwok Jing didn't use his at all. Is that actually so, however?

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    It's possible that Jebeh did (although unlikely; inner power was rather esoteric and arcane to Mongolian warriors at the time), but even if so, the gap between his inner power and Gwok Jing's was so vast that the shooting duel should not have been a draw.
    Remember GWM's high inner power came as a surprise in RoCH? It seems to me the Mongols preferred to keep a low profile when it comes to inner power.

    Then, how can we be sure that the gap between GJ and Jebeh was so vast?

    And even if so, how can we be sure that Jebeh's physical strength was not comparable to GJ's inner power? (Highly unlikely, of course, but not totally impossible.)

    Only when we're sure of all the answers can we claim that the result is unexpected, can we not?


    And the word "department" has been used so frequently here that this place has become a Wuxia department store.

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    That's why I believe Gwok Jing didn't use his at all. Is that actually so, however?
    Then how can we be sure that externally GJ is as strong as Jebeh?

    I didn't see GJ doing pull-ups or push-ups in LoCH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    Remember GWM's high inner power came as a surprise in RoCH? It seems to me the Mongols preferred to keep a low profile when it comes to inner power.
    In ROCH Ed. 1 and 2, the Golden Wheel Monk was an ethnic Tibetan, not a Mongolian. Even in ROCH Ed. 3 where he is a Mongolian, he left his native Mongolia at a very early age to begin training (in Lama Buddhism and martial arts) in Tibet.

    As far as we know, the Mongolians didn't have a native inner power training system comparable to those found in China. If such a thing exists, Jin Yong did not refer to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    Only when we're sure of all the answers can we claim that the result is unexpected...
    You do realize that such a condition is a practical impossibility, I'm sure, and if we were to go by that criteria, we'd barely be able to discuss anything at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    Then how can we be sure that externally GJ is as strong as Jebeh?

    I didn't see GJ doing pull-ups or push-ups in LoCH.
    Reality check: Gwok Jing had been practicing external martial arts since the age of six and had pulled back the arrow string quite a few times himself. He wouldn't be a 100 lbs. weakling in conventional strength even if weren't a monster such as Obai.

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    You do realize that such a condition is a practical impossibility, I'm sure, and if we were to go by that criteria, we'd barely be able to discuss anything at all.
    I'm not questioning your debate topic here, but your readiness to 'unexpect' the results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    I'm not questioning your debate topic here, but your readiness to 'unexpect' the results.
    If there were two equally skilled archers, one who has the seventh most powerful reservoir of internal power in the world at the time, and the other no internal power training, but just the good arm of the seasoned warrior, I would, in the context of a wuxia universe wherein the writer heavily emphasizes the importance of inner power and plays down the significance of purely muscular brawn, expect the archer with the vastly superior inner power to hold a tremendous advantage.

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    Reality check: Gwok Jing had been practicing external martial arts since the age of six and had pulled back the arrow string quite a few times himself. He wouldn't be a 100 lbs. weakling in conventional strength even if weren't a monster such as Obai.
    Of course, but does that automatically mean that the gap between his and Jebeh's external strength is not as vast as the gap in their inner powers?

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    If there were two equally skilled archers, one who has the seventh most powerful reservoir of internal power in the world at the time, and the other no internal power training, but just the good arm of the seasoned warrior, I would, in the context of a wuxia universe wherein the writer heavily emphasizes the importance of inner power and plays down the significance of purely muscular brawn, expect the archer with the vastly superior inner power to hold a tremendous advantage.
    That statement is unjustified.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    Of course, but does that automatically mean that the gap between his and Jebeh's external strength is not as vast as the gap in their inner powers?
    I believe that if Jebeh had hulking physical strength that could put him on par with inner power elites, Jin Yong would have mentioned it.

    But all we hear about Jebeh are his great archery and riding skills, and his abilities as a general/leader. Nothing anywhere indicates that he had tremendous physical strength superior to that of most of his comrades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    That statement is unjustified.
    Why? I think the burden of proof should lie on the side of the affirmative. If one is going to make the claim that Jebeh has internal power training, one is obliged to provide supporting evidence. There is none, however. Based on his feats during LOCH, there's no indication that Jebeh had internal power training comparable to that of Central Plains martial artists.

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    If there were two equally skilled archers, one who has the seventh most powerful reservoir of internal power in the world at the time, and the other no internal power training, but just the good arm of the seasoned warrior, I would, in the context of a wuxia universe wherein the writer heavily emphasizes the importance of inner power and plays down the significance of purely muscular brawn, expect the archer with the vastly superior inner power to hold a tremendous advantage.
    That's your interpretation of JY's works.

    My interpretation defers from yours. (And hence that is why I'm positively certain that XF > XZ. )

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    Why? I think the burden of proof should lie on the side of the affirmative. If one is going to make the claim that Jebeh has internal power training, one is obliged to provide supporting evidence. There is none, however. Based on his feats during LOCH, there's no indication that Jebeh had internal power training comparable to that of Central Plains martial artists.
    But you claimed, without proof, that Jebeh had NO inner power training. COMPLETELY NONE.

    How, then, would you support that? I put it to you that you have jumped to that conclusion.

    If there's no prove that he didn't do something, it doesn't automatically mean that he didn't, and it doesn't automatically mean that he did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    My interpretation defers from yours. (And hence that is why I'm positively certain that XF > XZ. )
    At the risk of going off-topic (there's an old Kiu Fung vs. Hui Juk thread somewhere down there, I'm sure), I think this might actually be a wash. Hui Juk had a huge advantage in inner power, but Kiu Fung had a similarly huge advantage in skill, experience, and battle savvy. The advantages held by each cancel each other out to some extent, resulting in a very close matchup whose final outcome is uncertain.

    But that's a different creature from the Gwok Jing vs. Jebeh setup, where I really don't believe that Jebeh's physical brawn can match Gwok Jing's inner power.

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