It's been awhile since I posted anything on this (wuxia)forum, so I thought I would start again with a rather controversial topic.
I have read many different opinions by numerous readers about martial arts in both novels. The general opinion is that the "Greats" of LOCH and ROCH would score lower than the top martial arts experts in DGSD. Is that an accurate assumption? I believe it is not the case. It is true that there is a decline in martial arts (in Jin Yong novels) after each dynasty. But let us not forget that both novels take place in the Song dynasty. Albeit DGSD in Northern Song and LOCH/ROCH in Southern Song.
The main reason for this assumption is that LOCH and ROCH were written before DGSD. Giving Jin Yong the freedom to expand on his creativity in his masterpiece DGSD.
Also DGSD is also recognized by numerous readers/fans as one of his best masterpieces.
The descriptions, imagery on martial arts are more spectacular and more impressive than the other 2 novels. At the first look we are "overawed" the grandness of DGSD's martial arts levels.
However if we gave it a more analytical look we will discover that there isn't much of a difference in the level of martial arts.
I will highlight 2 examples in this little post, which I hope will lead to a interesting discussion. If I would jot down all my examples, ideas it will turn into a very long post.
The first assumption people make is that the Buddhist monks in the Celestial Dragon Monastery are superior to Southern Emperor reverend YiDeng. Because those monks have learnt LiuMai ShenJian, again only one sword. But none of them reached the highest level of YiYang Finger, the famous Level 1. However in ROCH Jin Yong wrote that reverend YiDeng has reached the highest level of YiYang Finger. Is that the famous Level 1? We don't know we, do we? But the argument that the monks have higher levels in martial arts than reverend YiDeng has been pushed down. Also the fact that reverend KuRong's "Lion's Roar" was inferior to Jiu MoZhi's gentle talking like standing next to you. But YiDeng's "A Thousand Li Echo" is quite comparable to Jiu MoZhi. Jiu MoZhi displayed a similar action when he spoke to the ShaoLin monks and monks of other temples when they discussed a rather important matter in ShaoLin. The monks were all surprised and shocked to hear Jiu MoZhi's display of internal energy, it felt like if he stood next to them. Their reaction was similar to Guo Xiang's reaction when she heard reverend YiDeng speak to YingGu.
So am I wrong if I said that Jiu MoZhi and reverend YiDeng were off the same level? If they are (which I believe is the case) doesn't that mean that the "Greats" of LOCH/ROCH are of the same level as experts like MoRong Bo, Xiao YuanShan, Xiao Feng, Jiu MoZhi.
The other example many people use is that of reverend JueYuan of ROCH and HSDS and Xiao Feng removing those characters or chess board left behind by Duan YanQing and He ZuDao.
A lot of people say that Xiao Feng was superior because he could wipe away those characters without any pain and without usage of buckets of water.
But we forget the most important point in this comparison. JueYuan never learnt martial arts, therefore he never knew how to exlpoit his powerful internal energy. If he knew he wouldn't feel the pain also he wouldn't die from exhaustion carrying Guo Xiang and Zhang JunBao and running a few kilometres.
Xiao Feng is a true martial arts genius, therefore he knew how to use his internal energy in a sophisticated manner.
Resulting in no pain at all.
In the end I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
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