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Thread: In wuxia fiction, good bones and body shape: prerequisite of learning martial arts?

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    Senior Member rabadi's Avatar
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    Default In wuxia fiction, good bones and body shape: prerequisite of learning martial arts?

    Last night I was reading this wuxia novel from a local wuxia writer. According to the novel, good bones and body shape matter in learning martial arts. Is this true, especially in JY's and GL's novels? I know Xiao Feng and Yan Nantian were both well-built men, but I do not recall anywhere stated in the novels that if you do not have a good bones and body shape, you will not be a good martial artist. Personally, I do not think so. Maybe it is just the adaptations, but I do not think ZBT was a muscle man, yet see how he became one of the Greats. Many of the characters in JY's novels were also described as, for example, skinny, fatty, etc. but that did not make them too less a martial artist, right?

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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    Senior Member sixdays's Avatar
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    this is simply a matter of common sense. martial arts puts an incredible strain on your body; having a strong physical frame can help you withstand these pressures much better, esp. if you practice strong yang techniques like HL18Z, shaolin arts, 9yang (of course ), etc. that's why people like GJ and XF were successful in the style that they did...because they had a strong frame to withstand the pressures of the kungfu they practiced. remember JueYuan in the beginning of HSDS? that guy's body was about to give out as he wiped away the game board because he was old, and he probably wasn't too built seeing as he was a librarian monk.

    however, a big strong frame isn't everything. sometimes it holds you back from practicing certain kungfu. for example, if YG was built like GJ than it would be tough for him to learn AT swordplay. while it wouldn't be impossible to learn with a big frame, it would be much easier to learn a graceful style if you are strong, yet slender. i mean, can you imagine football players doing ballet?
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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Simple mathematics and geometry I guess. Not everyone can shoot chi blasts out, and even those who can shoot ranged blasts have their power dissipated quickly in the air. So having several inches more reach from a bigger build sure helps. And having a bigger more robust body sure helps when trading close in blows as well. And a longer arm gives more leverage when swinging a weapon.

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    Senior Member sixdays's Avatar
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    something bruce lee said while talking about jeet kune do stuck me. he said that his way of practicing jeet kune do should not be the way of others, and went on to say that the progression of martial arts for a tall man like kareem should not be like his, etc.

    having a big frame is nice, but every body type has its advantages. a short man is harder to hit, a tall man has more reach, a heavily muscled man is more powerful, a more slender man should be more agile, etc. what frame you have really doesn't matter, because that's why different martial arts were created...to use your OWN type of body to the fullest.
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    Senior Member Anonymous's Avatar
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    Rabad: In wuxia fiction, good bones and body shape: prerequisite of learning martial arts
    --- Nope. Just plenty of heroic luck. [ie. Duan Yu]

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    Senior Member ToOn99's Avatar
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    I think that depends on what martial arts are they gonna learn. For example : slim body may be more suitable to learn swordskill, or stocky body may be more suitable to learn blade.
    IMO, If the martial arts generate huge power. it will be better with robust,stocky practicioner.
    If the martial arts emphasize on speed, agility, and complex moves, it will be better with slimmy and agile practitioners.
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    Senior Member superboy's Avatar
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    I think the more advance your martial arts is, the more insignificant your natural built are needed. Unless you're a total sickling.
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    Senior Member Ardor's Avatar
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    The 3rd evil's Kung Fu
    Burying his Dugu 9 Jian manual under an epitaph, Dugu Qiubai felt he has left his legacy for the next generation. He then moved to Shaolin to study Buddhism, sweep floors and tap elite fighters.

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    Senior Member S Beaver's Avatar
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    yep, body type should matter somewhat to fit the style most importantly. only makes sense. like, imagaine a fat dude doing superb qing gong, you don't find much of those around
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    Senior Member Ardor's Avatar
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    1 armed for Sad Palms
    Burying his Dugu 9 Jian manual under an epitaph, Dugu Qiubai felt he has left his legacy for the next generation. He then moved to Shaolin to study Buddhism, sweep floors and tap elite fighters.

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    Senior Member Xiao Feng's Avatar
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    Actually i believe when they talk about good bones and body shape in wuxia or practising martial arts, they are actually refering to the frame of the body more that the physical appearance of the person ie. GJ was not muscular but he had a tall and strong frame.

    The frame as referring to the bones and the tendons are the important things when practising martial arts. Take the top 2 arts of the shaolin temple into consideration ie the Yi Jin Jing (tendon) and the Xi Sui Jing (bone) clearly emphasises that these 2 things are very important not just to achieve higher level in regards of martial arts but health and longevity as well. Cue yoga and its health benefits. Muscle and fat are not the important aspects.

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    Senior Member rabadi's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ardor
    The 3rd evil's Kung Fu
    The 3rd evil... he was Duan Yu's "student", wasn't he? I see, you were referring on DY's skull shape, right?

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