yes, this is what I am thinking for years even a decade now. I don't think it is a religious thing, it's just another art of gung. When characters in wuxia tales speaking of that art, they always speak about how good someones "braving the gravity ability" already is.
we are talking about jiang hu and so on and not the real life, I guess?
You've got me a little bit confused right now
Last edited by TobyZ; 06-13-07 at 02:51 PM. Reason: ....
with the last statement I feel kind of being left alone and of course it's an essential matter for me. Could somebody confirm my point of view or set it straight at least?
Last edited by TobyZ; 06-14-07 at 03:42 AM. Reason: .
isn't that actually the same? probably my expression wasn't that straight
but the most important thing is that I can sleep again
btw....what did Newton know about all the given sutras & gung fu anyway?
Last edited by TobyZ; 06-14-07 at 10:18 AM. Reason: .
A SIMPLE DEFINITION
The original text for what you call "braving the gravity ability" is 轻功 ("qinggong").
轻 (qing) means "light" as in "lacking in weight; not heavy".
功 (gong) in this context relates to "skill and/or ability".
Putting both together, my explanation of 轻功 (especially to the uninitiated, curious, confused or downright skeptical) would be "the highly-practised ability to run and jump, in a quick and light manner, over extended distances for extended periods of time".
No one is born with qinggong. Qinggong, as per my definition above, comes from training. Why does an Olympic sprinter run faster than the average man in the street? Because he has been trained to be that way. Both the sprinter and the average man can definitely run, but the focused training (and the corresponding practice) that the sprinter receives enables him to move faster than the average man.
2. run and jump
Most qinggong in wuxia novels refer to acts of running and jumping. These do not include "flying" or, as someone once asked me, "levitating" . If there is anything mentioned about "flying" in wuxia stories, it is usually meant to compare the person's running/jumping movements to flying.
For example, in the excerpt "但那人奔行如飞，黑暗之中哪里还寻得到他的踪影..." (from Jin Yong's Heaven Sword and Dragon-Slaying Sabre), the 7th character 飞 means "to fly". I've seen this excerpt translated along the lines of "... but the person flew away", which is incorrect. The actual text reads: "But the man moved as if he was in flight, so how could he still be found in the darkness...".
3. in a quick and light manner
Besides having a high level of motor coordination (and thus, more efficient movement) while running and jumping, individuals who use qinggong also move at a faster pace and lighter manner, hence appearing as if they are "flying" in the eyes of the uninitiated.
4. over extended distances for extended periods of time
Individuals who use qinggong can run and/or jump further, higher and longer than those who don't. In other words, having the "highly practised" ability of qinggong also tends to lead to better stamina.
In a modern example for Keywords (3) and (4), imagine running in ankle-deep water at the beach, with weights around your ankles. After a period of doing so, you will find yourself running faster, more lightly as well as for a longer distance and time with the same effort that you had used at the beach and with the weights. This is the basic premise of qinggong.
Qi 气, a term which in different contexts can be used alternately to represent "breath", "strength" and even "blood" in Traditional Chinese Medicine, adds a different perspective to the basic definition of qinggong.
While qigong 气功 should not be confused with qinggong 轻功, it is helpful to understand that qi does contribute to qinggong through its various representations. For example, where qi is "breath", appropriate breathing techniques does help a person (or athlete) to run and jump better. In the same way, qi as "strength" relates to a corresponding amount of physical energy to power the person's legs/limbs.
I will not go into the details of qigong, as these have been (and probably will be) talked about by other individuals in this thread. The simple understanding that qi in its various representations contributes to the effectiveness of qinggong is sufficient to appreciate the connection between a person's "internal strength" and his level of qinggong in wuxia stories.
For actual examples of qinggong and the use/representations of qi in wuxia stories, it is best to read the (translations of) novels themselves. If something sounds strange in a translation (e.g. "... flew away"), just bring up the excerpt in this forum, together with the corresponding novel and chapter reference. There will be many helpful members here who will clarify things for you.
Last edited by HuangYushi; 06-14-07 at 10:40 AM.
thanks for this enormous explanation!!
but in the end all you've said comes to the conclusion that the trained Xia is defying the gravity after all (in a certain way) ^^. Even when I'm jumping, I'm defying the gravity for a few seconds, do I? I know, I can't describe the whole procedure like you guys do because of lacking in english and missing basics, but finally I see that I wasn't that wrong in the first place...
Aaaah, I feel like being finally with like-minded people after all....
thx a lot
Anyways, wuxia stories that are further in the past (e.g. set in the 12th century) tend to have more mythical and fantasy-like representations of qinggong, compared to stories that take place closer to the present (e.g. set in the 18th century). That is why some movies have more people "flying around" than others.
And if you don't mind, here's another concept that needs clarification: Xia. The original character is 侠, and it literally means a "chivalrous knight-errant", or basically someone who goes around being chivalrous, standing up for the needy, weak and down-trodden. Therefore, while most individuals who are skilled in martial arts tend to possess some ability in qinggong, not all of them are Xia.
yes, of course according to my recent laziness this generalization was made in an overhasty way...And if you don't mind, here's another concept that needs clarification: Xia. The original character is 侠, and it literally means a "chivalrous knight-errant", or basically someone who goes around being chivalrous, standing up for the needy, weak and down-trodden. Therefore, while most individuals who are skilled in martial arts tend to possess some ability in qinggong, not all of them are Xia.
Toby I am talking about real life.
There are Tibetan and Chinese Meditaton masters who can do very crazy stuff using Qi-cultivation techniques and Qigong. There is LOT of research in this are and it is all brand new. Go to google and search for "qi emission radiation". Scientists perform tests on real-life Qigong masters who can emit Qi.
Qi cultivation techniques refers to practices like the Tibetan practice of Inner Heat Yoga from the Six Yogas of Naropa or Taoist Alchemy.
These are REAL LIFE practices.
Qigog refers to physical movements ALONG with the Qi circulations. The martial arts we have today is uually missing the inner Qi circulations sadly
OF COURSE, flying in the air and shooting fireballs may be a tad bit exaggerating and slightly impossible in real life practically speaking :P But some of those Qigong masters can do crazy crazy stuff that although is not the same level as the Jin Yong fantasy characters but neverthless can still make you go HOLY DAMN!
Last edited by Ghaleon; 06-14-07 at 01:59 PM.
never doubted that
the real life issue was just related to sarakoths suprised comment about flying/jumping and so on