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Thread: "No, duh" philosophies of martial arts.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Red face "No, duh" philosophies of martial arts.

    Are there any martial arts philosophies that wuxia presents in a profound manner, but which actually, when you think about it, are just simple, common sense (almost stupidly obvious) ideas?

    For example, the philosophy of using overwhelming force that underlies such skills as Hong Lung 18 Palms and Heavy Iron Sword. Well, no kidding: if you have overwhelming force and you don't get stupid with it, you'll *usually* beat your opponent. This isn't an idea you need to spend years meditating in a cave to figure out, though. Every schoolyard bully knows that one.

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    Feng Qingyang's advice to Linghu Chong is pretty terrible too, but apparently it was profound enough to open new worlds to him. Prior to his teaching, LHC could only perform sword moves that started/ended at the exact point the next move started/ended. Feng just told him hey you can move your sword over a little bit and start another move if you want.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    Feng Qingyang's advice to Linghu Chong is pretty terrible too, but apparently it was profound enough to open new worlds to him. Prior to his teaching, LHC could only perform sword moves that started/ended at the exact point the next move started/ended. Feng just told him hey you can move your sword over a little bit and start another move if you want.
    But you see what I mean? It's more a case of Ling Wu Chung being unaccountably stupid (even though we know from his characterization that he's not supposed to be stupid) than in anything Fung Ching Yeung telling him being particularly profound. I agree with Fung's advice, which is sensible enough, but so obvious that you can't help thinking, "no sh*t, Sherlock!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    But you see what I mean? It's more a case of Ling Wu Chung being unaccountably stupid (even though we know from his characterization that he's not supposed to be stupid) than in anything Fung Ching Yeung telling him being particularly profound. I agree with Fung's advice, which is sensible enough, but so obvious that you can't help thinking, "no sh*t, Sherlock!"
    Oh yeah that was just my example. By pretty terrible, I meant pretty terrible for the reader; when we read it, it's like wtf?

    I think during Miejue's initial fight with Wuji on Brightness Peak, he received advice from Wei Yixiao and Yang Xiao which was something like "hey, you're faster and stronger than her just beat her up and don't let her kill you!" and Wuji was of course delighted and proceeded to win the fight. Yet like five minutes ago he was analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of his Wudang uncles and Yin Tianzheng...his inexperience can be used to explain it here but I still don't really like it.

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    The one I remember most was from 'Sword Stained with Royal Blood' - Yuan Chuanzhi surprised Liu Peisheng (a disciple of Gui Xinshu) by executing a move (a simple chop of the hand) with his left hand rather than his right, and explained to him that it was acceptable to deviate from what your teacher taught you and execute a move with the opposite hand!

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    Senior Member ChronoReverse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    For example, the philosophy of using overwhelming force that underlies such skills as Hong Lung 18 Palms and Heavy Iron Sword.
    Erm, XL18P is more than just overwhelming force. Don't you remember the whole lecture from H7G to GJ when he taught him the first palm?

    GJ's initial strike was powerful, full of internal energy and followed the motion of the first palm correctly. But when he hit the tree, the flexibility of the tree absorbed the force.

    The true ingenuity of XL18P is that when the strike comes, there is no escape from the full force. The reservation of power isn't just about retraction of force; it's also there to crash in at full power once the target has been "subdued" into taking the full brunt.

    And thus when GJ finally worked out the energy manipulation to do this, without any greater physical or internal strength, the tree snapped without shaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChronoReverse View Post
    The true ingenuity of XL18P is that when the strike comes, there is no escape from the full force. The reservation of power isn't just about retraction of force; it's also there to crash in at full power once the target has been "subdued" into taking the full brunt.

    And thus when GJ finally worked out the energy manipulation to do this, without any greater physical or internal strength, the tree snapped without shaking.
    I believe that is the 'overwhelming' part of it .

    The problem with these philosophies is that, yes it will work, but how do you actually go about doing it?

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    Theory always seem easy but putting it into practice is very hard.
    The idea of randomising stances sound simple but to a person trained in traditional martial arts its like asking them to speak random words but still make them into an understandable sentence. To achieve this the person has to forget a lifetime of training a drilling. Not something easily done.

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    The other thing is that it's not actually "random". When you read about LHC's fights in the Playfellow's mansion, his "random" stabs were actually full of intent and traps.

    They only appear random because his opponents couldn't percieve the intent behind it until it was too late. It was most exemplified with the fight against Black-White when his sword path changed mid-way, demonstrating LHC fully intended this from the beginning but Black-White had been unable to discern it.


    This is the reason why formlessness has levels. The master with higher comprehension will win, not because of luck, but because he has higher total ability. And this is also why DG9J is probably the best method to start on the path of formlessness. It represents the absolute pinnacle of technique, encompassing every form of martial arts. From this strong foundation, one can then forget stances of even DG9J and achieve the highest possible level according to your ability and understanding.

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