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Thread: Martial arts comparison between DGSD era and LOCH/ROCH era

  1. #1
    Senior Member Athena's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Martial arts comparison between DGSD era and LOCH/ROCH era

    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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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Senior Member KJ's Avatar
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    I don't agree with your first example as the observations were made by two people of different martial arts level. The monks of the temple were of high level martial arts while Guo Seung was still a novice. Her being impressed by Yideng should not have been much of a surprise but the monks were surprised by JMZ's inner power is saying something about his level.I agree with your second example however because of what you stated, no need for me to say anything more about that.

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    Senior Member Charlieboy's Avatar
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    I think the question is, how many great fighters had the monks from the CDM met before meeting JMZ - whereas you know who Guo Seung was brought up by <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> Just because the monks were more experienced and of a higher level of martial arts than Guo Seung, doesn't tell us that it takes someone more powerful to shock the monks than young Miss Guo - the monks could have lived up to that period prior to meeting JMZ without ever having seen a person as powerful as, say Guo Jing

    UNLESS it is somehow argued that the monks from the CDM were greater fighters than GJ and WYS <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">

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    Senior Member Athena's Avatar
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    The emphasis on the first example should have been on the description Jin Yong gave on the way both YiDeng and Jiu MoZhi's talked.
    Both sounded very soft, fluent like they were standing next to you and were talking casually. Not forcefull or stressed.
    But abundant in power but not overbearing.
    So huge, so hopeless, to conceive
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    And all we need of hell.

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    THis is OT, but ATHENA!!! YOU ARE BACK!!!!!
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    if i'm not mistaken, you're comparing yat tang to kau mo chi. try comparing the hong 7 gong to kiew fung in terms of 18 dragon palms. and also, there's this monk who sweeps the floor and without doing much, he EASILY defeated KF's dad and MYF's dad. anyone in LOCH/ROCH to compare to him?
    I can't write a love song the way I feel today, I can't sing no song of hope, I got nothing to say, Life is feeling kind of strange, since you went away, I sing this song to you wherever you are as my guitar lies bleeding in my arms...

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    Senior Member Athena's Avatar
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    To Lovepiekna: Just back for the holidays.
    ^_^

    To Drfarook: My point is that the differences in martial arts between both novels isn't that big. Old Nameless Monk you mentioned is recognized as the top 1 martial arts expert of the realm and the Jin Yong martial arts universe. No one can top him. With the exception perhaps of people like WuYa Zi, TianShan TongLao and Li QiuShui.
    As for Hong QiGong and Xiao Feng. I, myself would rate Xiao Feng higher than Hong QiGong.
    My point is the following the "Greats" of ROCH/LOCH are a bit weaker than Xiao YuanShan, MuRong Bo and Xiao Feng. They are about the same level as DaLun MingWang Jiu MoZhi.
    However Guo Jing and Yang Guo would be an equal to father and son Xiao and MuRong Bo.
    It is true that the Southern Song dynasty didn't produce any martial arts experts like the Old Nameless Monk, WuYa Zi, Tong Lao and Li QiuShui. But that is the only difference I can point out.
    Also try giving a look at the following link:
    SPCNET: ULTIMATE RANKING IN JIN YONG UNIVERSE
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    Senior Member minutemanwayne's Avatar
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    How stronger was Xiao Feng's dad and him? and MuRong Fu and his dad?
    Yo momma cat

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    Senior Member rabadi's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><table border="0" width="80%" bgcolor="#dcdcdc" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"><tr><td width="100%"><table border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="10" bgcolor="#DCDCDC"><tr><td width="100%" bgcolor="#eeeeee"><font size="1">Originally posted by minutemanwayne:
    <STRONG>How stronger was Xiao Feng's dad and him? and MuRong Fu and his dad?</STRONG></font></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Pretty strong. When the four fought in the Shaolin Temple, it was apparent that only the Old Nameless Monk was able to stop the fight.
    Guo Jing > Yang Guo. Book it, you morons!

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    &gt; The first assumption people make is that the Buddhist
    &gt; monks in the Celestial Dragon Monastery are superior to
    &gt; Southern Emperor reverend YiDeng. Because those monks
    &gt; have learnt LiuMai ShenJian, again only one sword.

    Although it's mentioned sometimes, the fact that they each knew part of LMSJ and YD didn't was not the main reason that we believe DGSD characters were stronger.

    &gt; But none of them reached the highest level of YiYang
    &gt; Finger, the famous Level 1.

    Neither was it explicitly mentioned that YD had reached Level 1. It wasn't even mentioned that at RoCH's time there was still a Level system, perhaps due to the lowering of standards.

    &gt; However in ROCH Jin Yong wrote that reverend YiDeng
    &gt; has reached the highest level of YiYang Finger.

    Relative to his era. See my last point.

    And the same words were used to describe the One-armed Nun's (in DoMD) overall martial arts skills, that she had reached the highest level of kungfu, but I doubt many would consider that her overall martial arts skill is equal to, say, the Janitor Monks based on those words alone.

    This type of description is time-dependent.

    &gt; Is that the famous Level 1? We don't know we, do we? But
    &gt; the argument that the monks have higher levels in martial
    &gt; arts than reverend YiDeng has been pushed down.

    You're comparing DGSD fighters who are a class or two below that of its main characters' to the top fighters of the Trilogy.

    &gt; Also the fact that reverend KuRong's "Lion's Roar" was
    &gt; inferior to Jiu MoZhi's gentle talking like standing next
    &gt; to you.

    Any proof that KuRong could not do the "gentle talking"?

    &gt; But YiDeng's "A Thousand Li Echo" is quite comparable to
    &gt; Jiu MoZhi. Jiu MoZhi displayed a similar action when he
    &gt; spoke to the ShaoLin monks and monks of other temples when
    &gt; they discussed a rather important matter in ShaoLin. The
    &gt; monks were all surprised and shocked to hear Jiu MoZhi's
    &gt; display of internal energy, it felt like if he stood next
    &gt; to them.

    Any proof that it's the best JMZ could do?

    An analogy: I can add as fast as Einstein, but is it enough to conclude that I'm as smart as Einstein? No. Likewise, just pointing out that two characters can do comparable things isn't enough to conclude that they're equal in other aspect. Actually, the example you give here helps very little, if any at all, towards determining who's the stronger between the two.

    &gt; A lot of people say that Xiao Feng was superior because
    &gt; he could wipe away those characters without any pain
    &gt; and without usage of buckets of water.

    Without the buckets AND the chains.

    The key point is that XF made contacts to the ground with his feet, while JueYuan was using the chains to wipe the floor flat. He was essentially using tools (buckets + chains) versus XF, who wasn't using any. The novel explicitly stated that JY wouldn't be able to wipe out the lines without tools. And yet JueYuan still felt the pain.

    &gt; But we forget the most important point in this comparison.
    &gt; JueYuan never learnt martial arts, therefore he never
    &gt; knew how to exlpoit his powerful internal energy.

    Actually, the novel explicitly stated that JueYuan could utilize his internal power "as his heart desires". The novel only stated that he did not realize what's in him was actually inner power, as he always thought the manual Dharma left behind was only to help others improve their health. But whether he knew what "it" was in him or not, the novel did not state that he didn't know how to use it effectively. And not knowing what it is and not knowing how to use it are two different things.

    Also, even if we're to assume that JY couldn't utilize his inner power to the fullest level, we do, however, know that this "not-up-to-par" level was enough to compare him to the Greats but at the same time this very same level was proved lacking when compared to XF. Of course, this point is moot since JueYuan didn't have much problem using his inner power effectively to begin with.

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    Senior Member Athena's Avatar
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    To Kenny: My point is that people have the general impression that almost everyone considered to be a martial arts expert in DGSD is able to defeat all of the "Greats" in LOCH/ROCH. Is that an accurate assumption?
    I mean can we possibly imagine MuRong Fu, Ding ChunQiu, Shu XingHe, Duan ZhengMing, Duan YanQing, reverends BenYin, XuanCi, XuanNan, ShenShan, etc. defeating East Herectic, West Venom, Southern Emperor, Northern Beggar and Central Divinity?
    I cannot, I assume that the "Greats" should be a level at least higher than those mentioned above experts.

    About the example of JiuMo Zi. DaLun MingWang went to the ShaoLin Monastery for the sole purpose to defeat, mock, humilate the ShaoLin School. Of course he would throw in everything he got to overawe them. Hence I could argue that when he opened his mouth to adress all the monks present in ShaoLin he wanted them to be impressed. So he could have used 100% of his internal energy.
    As for reverend YiDeng he just spoke in a
    gentle and normal way. He requested an audience with YingGu not for the purpose to challenge her to a fight or anything. You could even say he was there to beg her. So he wouldn't use his full potential internal energy.

    Isn't it true that people that learn martial arts also train their body to be strong, tough? I don't know if that's a fact, it could be just hearsay. But if that's true Xiao Feng did of course condition his body to withstand more stress as JueYuan who only relied on his powerful internal energy. So couldn't that also be a point why JueYuan had to use accessories and felt pain and Xiao Feng didn't.
    I don't know but I hope you can explain that to me.
    So huge, so hopeless, to conceive
    As these that twice befell
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    Senior Member TristeCoeur's Avatar
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    JueYuan was just like Zhang Wuji before he got in that special bag on Brightness Peak. He had NO basic training in kungfu, didn't know how to practice internal power properly, didn't have the breakthrough that ZWJ got after he got out of that bag, hence didn't know how to use his 9 Yang power efficiently. Obviously he's not comparable to XiaoFeng. He's nowhere near the level of Zhang Wuji even.
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    Athena wrote:
    &gt; I mean can we possibly imagine MuRong Fu, Ding
    &gt; ChunQiu, Shu XingHe, Duan ZhengMing, Duan YanQing,
    &gt; reverends BenYin, XuanCi, XuanNan, ShenShan, etc.
    &gt; defeating East Herectic, West Venom, Southern Emperor,
    &gt; Northern Beggar and Central Divinity?

    There's no concrete evidence to suggest one way or the other, that one cannot objectively prove that these DGSD fighters you listed can defeat the Five Greats, nor is there any evidence to suggest the Greats can defeat any of them. But for most of us who think that the likes of XF are stronger than the Greats see that these DGSD fighters you listed were the best group of fighters below the class of XF, XYS, MRB, JMZ, etc., and when there's no clear evidence to suggest who's more superior between the two groups you listed, it's naturally to assume them to be roughly equal.

    I thought the purpose of your post was to show that the martial arts standard did not decline as quickly as some of us believe during the time between the two novels, but I don't think proving the Greats are superior to fighters who are at best third-rated among DGSD characters helps at all.

    &gt; I cannot, I assume that the "Greats" should be a
    &gt; level at least higher than those mentioned above experts.

    It's just a personal opinion. An assumption that is not supported by facts found in the book.

    &gt; About the example of JiuMo Zi. DaLun MingWang went
    &gt; to the ShaoLin Monastery for the sole purpose to defeat,
    &gt; mock, humilate the ShaoLin School. Of course he would
    &gt; throw in everything he got to overawe them. Hence I
    &gt; could argue that when he opened his mouth to adress all
    &gt; the monks present in ShaoLin he wanted them to be
    &gt; impressed. So he could have used 100% of his internal
    &gt; energy.

    Not necessarily, because whether he spoke or not, he knew he had a chance to actually fight the Shaolin monks, which is a much more convincing way to prove his superiority. And I can even see that because he expected tough fights ahead, he could very well have tried to conserve his energy and not using his inner power to the fullest.

    &gt; As for reverend YiDeng he just spoke in a
    &gt; gentle and normal way. He requested an audience with
    &gt; YingGu not for the purpose to challenge her to a fight or
    &gt; anything. You could even say he was there to beg her. So
    &gt; he wouldn't use his full potential internal energy.

    The book stated that this type of "gentle talking", the more inner power you have, the more it sounds "gentle". Since you believe he was trying to beg her, it would make the best sense to believe that he was using his power to the fullest.

    &gt; Isn't it true that people that learn martial arts also
    &gt; train their body to be strong, tough? I don't know if that's
    &gt; a fact, it could be just hearsay. But if that's true Xiao
    &gt; Feng did of course condition his body to withstand more
    &gt; stress as JueYuan who only relied on his powerful internal
    &gt; energy. So couldn't that also be a point why JueYuan
    &gt; had to use accessories and felt pain and Xiao Feng didn't.

    No, the fact that XF could wipe the floor clean while Jue Yuan couldn't without using tools is enough to show that XF has higher inner power. The book clearly stated that this feat is achieveable if one had sufficient amount of inner power. XF had it, but JY didn't.

    You might argue that JY felt pain but XF didn't was due to "conditioning", that fighters are more used to getting hurt and thus are better at taking pain. I don't know if it's really true or not, and having stronger inner power can definitely help one resist pain. But the "pain" part is only secondary, the important point is XF could wipe the words off the floor and JY couldn't, and you only need strong inner power to achieve that.

    TristeCoeur wrote:
    &gt; JueYuan was just like Zhang Wuji before he got in that special
    &gt; bag on Brightness Peak.

    Not true. The book described JY as having completely learnt the 9Yang inner power. The following quote is taken from chapt. 40 of RoCH:
    可是他修習《九陽真經》已有大成﹐體內真氣流轉﹐敵弱 便弱﹐敵強愈強。

    It stated that he had finished learning 9Yang. The key words are "大成", the words that Jin Yong used to describe ZWJ AFTER he burst out of the bag. Also, when Z3F first reunited with ZWJ, he could tell from looking at ZWJ's eyes that he had very strong inner power, but he had also seen it in Jue Yuan. To say that Jue Yuan is only as power as ZWJ was before he got in the bag is inaccurate.

    &gt; He had NO basic training in kungfu, didn't know how to practice internal power properly,

    Right that he had no training in kungfu (techniques), so that in a fight he wouldn't know what to do at all. But he did know how to use his inner power, and apparently was quite well-trained in it. Recall that at the end of RoCH he even instructed the young Z3F what to do to defend himself when he's under attack.

    Again, he had no training in techniques because he never wanted to learn it. But he did learn inner power and one should not assume that he couldn't use his inner power effectively just because he never learnt to fight.

    &gt; didn't have the breakthrough that ZWJ got after
    &gt; he got out of that bag,

    Yes, but he had decades more of training. ZWJ could also master 9 Yang without the bag, but it would require a much longer time than just 5 years.

    &gt; hence didn't know how to use his 9 Yang power efficiently.

    Huh? Didn't you read what I last wrote. When I wrote how Jin Yong stated that Jue Yuan could utilize his inner power as his heart desired, I meant that it's actually written in the book!

    It can be found in Chap 2 of HSDS:
    但覺遠的內功實已到隨心所欲、收發自如的境界。

    &gt; Obviously he's not comparable
    &gt; to XiaoFeng.

    Agreed. But he's comparable to the Greats.

    &gt; He's nowhere near the level of Zhang Wuji even.

    I disagree. Read Z3F's comments.

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    All bow to the great Kenny!!

    <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0">
    <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0">
    <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0">

    Hehe, sorry, I just felt the sudden urge to do that.

    Overall, it is my opinion that while it is jumping to soon to a conclusion to say that fighters in the DGSD era are better than those of the L/RoCH era, that generalization is a very good measuring stick (or starting point, if you will) when comparing most fighters. Note that in this case the "Greats" and the best fighters in DGSD aren't included because they are such of such rarified level that they really don't adhere to any generalization and have to be viewed on an individual basis.
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    &gt; All bow to the great Kenny!!
    &gt; Hehe, sorry, I just felt the sudden urge to do that.

    Haha... You're too kind. If you go by the "title" given to us several months ago (or was it last year?) by the other posters in the JY forum, then you're a Great too! We are equal, so allow me to return the nice gesture.
    <IMG SRC="smilies/bow.gif" border="0">

    <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

    &gt; Overall, it is my opinion that while it is jumping
    &gt; to soon to a conclusion to say that fighters in the
    &gt; DGSD era are better than those of the L/RoCH era,
    &gt; that generalization is a very good measuring stick
    &gt; (or starting point, if you will) when comparing most
    &gt; fighters. Note that in this case the "Greats" and
    &gt; the best fighters in DGSD aren't included because
    &gt; they are such of such rarified level that they really
    &gt; don't adhere to any generalization and have to be
    &gt; viewed on an individual basis.

    Agreed with this last sentence of yours. I remember I once called it an abuse of the theory of deterioration when someone else suggested that if we're to believe in such a theory, then, say, LHC is automatically weaker than, say, ZWJ, simply because the former lived in a later era than the latter. The problem I had with that statement is that the deterioration theory is about the pugilistic society as the whole. One who believes in such theory might be able to use it to compare two "average" fighters from different eras, but the theory loses its power when we are comparing fighters who are at the ends of the spectrum (extremely strong or extremely weak fighters.) In cases like those, it's required to use specific evidence to determine who's stronger than whom.

    Conversely, I also consider it an abuse of the theory if someone claims that he can prove DFBB is stronger than ZWJ, and then conclude that the theory is wrong because of that comparison.

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    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    welcome back Athena and Kenny.

    I feel that dgsd stressed on inner power department while loch's greats were distinguished with their unique styles.

    I could be wrong but that was my impression anyhow. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
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    &gt; welcome back Athena and Kenny.

    Thanks! Goofy (Jo)! <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

    &gt; I feel that dgsd stressed on inner power department
    &gt; while loch's greats were distinguished with their unique
    &gt; styles. I could be wrong but that was my impression
    &gt; anyhow.

    Actually, most of the basic "philosophies" are the same between the two novels. For example, in the Trilogy, it's still stated that as one's inner power becomes higher, the difference between fighting barehands and with weapon becomes more insignicant, indicating that there's still a strong emphasis on inner strength.

    As for what you said about the emphasis on unique styles/techniques, I think this statement is more appropriate to describe SoD, where the importance of having a strong inner power is somewhat downplayed, (it's still important, just not as important as in the other novels.)

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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><table border="0" width="80%" bgcolor="#dcdcdc" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"><tr><td width="100%"><table border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="10" bgcolor="#DCDCDC"><tr><td width="100%" bgcolor="#eeeeee"><font size="1">Originally posted by Kenny:
    <STRONG>

    Thanks! Goofy (Jo)! <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
    </STRONG></font></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></BLOCKQUOTE>

    At this rate, all of the JY forum people will be here. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><table border="0" width="80%" bgcolor="#dcdcdc" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"><tr><td width="100%"><table border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="10" bgcolor="#DCDCDC"><tr><td width="100%" bgcolor="#eeeeee"><font size="1"><STRONG>Actually, most of the basic "philosophies" are the same between the two novels. For example, in the Trilogy, it's still stated that as one's inner power becomes higher, the difference between fighting barehands and with weapon becomes more insignicant, indicating that there's still a strong emphasis on inner strength.

    As for what you said about the emphasis on unique styles/techniques, I think this statement is more appropriate to describe SoD, where the importance of having a strong inner power is somewhat downplayed, (it's still important, just not as important as in the other novels.)</STRONG></font></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Somewhat down played? Now there's an understatement. Need we go through all the martial arts masters that LingHu Chong defeated despite having no internal strength at all? I mean, LingHu Chong, for half of the novel, was a walking proof that internal strength takes a back seat to techniques. While I don't subscribe to that theory, LingHu Chong's exploits make for a very solid case for that theory.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  20. #20
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    Jun 2002
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    Post

    &gt; Somewhat down played? Now there's an understatement.

    Hee... Maybe...

    &gt; Need we go through all the martial arts masters that
    &gt; LingHu Chong defeated despite having no internal strength
    &gt; at all? I mean, LingHu Chong, for half of the novel, was
    &gt; a walking proof that internal strength takes a back seat
    &gt; to techniques.

    But then, many of his stronger opponents were fighting under the condition that they're not allowed to use inner power. However, I do agree that this creates an impression in the readers' minds (probably a false perception) that inner power isn't needed if you know DG9J.

    What I really don't like is the part where LHC blinded those men in an instant despite having basically no inner power, and was having much difficulties to even stand straight up due to injuries. I think with this scene alone, JY just contradicted everything else he created in other novels, (and also in other parts of that same novel...)

    &gt; While I don't subscribe to that theory,
    &gt; LingHu Chong's exploits make for a very solid case for
    &gt; that theory.

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