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Thread: Dugu 9 Swords/Linghu Chong's secret

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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Default Dugu 9 Swords/Linghu Chong's secret

    I just read another instance of Linghu Chong being able to execute a Post-Attack Counter (PAC) and still hit the opponent first.

    How can he always execute second, but hit first?

    What's the secret?

    It could be speed.

    But personally, I think he must have had a really long one.

    A sword, that is.
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    Senior Member ChronoReverse's Avatar
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    Obviously LHC secretly practiced 9 Yang which is the Epitome of Striking Second Yet Hitting First.

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    I never really understood CC's protests about how Dugu 9 Jian defied inter-spatial perception, but never had the time to expound on it. I'll give it a shot here.

    If two swordsmen were just two straight lines, then of course the one who launches first will strike first. But swordsmen have bodies, and consequently, bodies have parts that stick out here and there and there are hundreds of different angles you could point to and from with a sword. There is geometry behind how if you bend your arm one way, it shortens the distance between the opponent.

    Remember, even though swords are straight lines, they're attached to arms that are limited in the range of movements they can make. So you can't just say the shortest distance is simply a straight line. You have to decide HOW to position your body, where your leg will be, is it sticking out, is your back sticking out, is your chest bent forward, etc. etc.

    Using one example given before:
    "Missing out on the grab, Feng Buping immediately drew his sword and slashed it at Linghu Chong’s back neck. Following normal sword art principles, Linghu Chong should have jumped back quickly before returning the attack, but with all his internal energy in a state of complete chaos, which prevented him from using any bit of inner strength, he simply couldn’t jump back to dodge. Having no alternative, he retrieved his sword out from Cong Buqi’s shoulder and used another technique out of the Dugu Nine Swords. Stabbing his sword out with a backhand, he pointed the sword tip at Feng Buping’s belly button. It looked almost as if it was another death-defying move of Linghu Chong that would end up in common ruin, but the stab had a surprising position that his sword would have pierced the enemy’s belly before the enemy’s weapon would ever reach him. It would only be a split of a second difference in speed, but the end result would be dramatically different."
    Feng was slashing at the back of Linghu's neck, Linghu facing the other way. Linghu bends his neck forward, increasing the distance between Feng's sword and his neck, while at the same time, his arm stabs backwards in a backhand motion (think tennis backhand). In the way Feng made his slash, he probably exposed his belly and has it sticking out more than it should, making it much more likely to get hit before his sword can reach Linghu's neck. Aiming for his belly button was the perfect counter in that situation.

    This ties in exactly to all the drawings in the Huashan cave that outlined how to counter all the moves of the Five Peaks sects. When you counter a move, you're always attacking second aren't you? You have to recognize what move your opponent is making, then you execute the counter for it. This doesn't defy any spatial logic, it just means given the relative positions of your bodies and your swords, what is the best / closest motion to make to hit the opponent. Dugu 9 Jian just takes this one step up by giving the user the insight into being able to find and execute counters for any possible move the opponent makes.

    Remember the difference is only a split second. Launching your attack second, but choosing a motion and target for your sword to strike that is closer than what your opponent is trying to strike with his sword, doesn't really defy any inter-spatial deception for me. Hopefully my post is somewhat understandable for all those who consider Dugu 9 Jian illogical. I think it's a big misconception.
    Last edited by bliss; 03-15-08 at 12:23 AM.
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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Bliss, your argument is not illogical if both swordsman are of about equal speed.

    But LHC did that to 15 swordsman while halfdead.

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    Senior Member ChronoReverse's Avatar
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    About that part. It's clearly one of the most egregious examples of LHC and DG9J (certainly one that makes little if any sense).

    However, part of it can be handwaved away if one assumes a large portion of it was artistic license and assume that LHC didn't actually launch all those attacks within one second (which would put his attack speed up in XLN's class) AND if you realize that LHC had an internal energy clash rather than zero internal energy (that is, sometimes he was able to move properly for a moment).

    It is a pretty basic principle when dealing with multiple opponents that you don't actually take their combined attack all at once. This isn't impossible to do; there are multiple methods to achieve that. One simple example for when you're encircled and they all charge in at once (LHC's case) it to move towards one side which would add chaos to the circle. Add a dose of standard wuxia suspension of disbelief and it's quite workable... for a healthy martial artist.

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    Senior Member KJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    ....................
    Meaning he's surrounded and he just slash his sword and spins. *think, like a top.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KJ View Post
    Meaning he's surrounded and he just slash his sword and spins. *think, like a top.
    I don't think it was that simple. Unfortunately, the novel described it as 30 consecutive thrusts executed one after another so quickly that it seemed like one motion ...

    But back to the original topic, this example is more an example of ridiculous increase in speed as opposed to attacking second, striking first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    I just read another instance of Linghu Chong being able to execute a Post-Attack Counter (PAC) and still hit the opponent first.

    How can he always execute second, but hit first?

    What's the secret?

    It could be speed.

    But personally, I think he must have had a really long one.

    A sword, that is.

    I think a shift in positioning of the body can help a great deal also. It's like in wing chun, when an opponent throws you a straight punch, shifting your body 30 degrees away from his center line will not only allow you to reach him first, it can help you to deflect/deviate his punch with a attack of your own. That's countering and attacking in one single move already. It's about an economy of movement and efficient maneuvering/execution of force, not necessarily speed as well.

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    The only problems with Dugu 9 Jian come when Linghu Chong is injured -- all the stuff he does when he has decent inner strength seems acceptable to me. When he's injured though, he has the strength and speed of an ordinary person, while the others *should* be moving a couple times faster than him. Your positioning and economy of movement can be the most efficient ever, but you're not going to be fast enough to even threaten mutual destruction, nevermind thrusting 30 times while they do nothing.

    And I imagine those guys didn't stand in a tight circle around him, so he had to actually run/step a few times in order to reach 30 different eyeballs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    The only problems with Dugu 9 Jian come when Linghu Chong is injured -- all the stuff he does when he has decent inner strength seems acceptable to me. When he's injured though, he has the strength and speed of an ordinary person, while the others *should* be moving a couple times faster than him. Your positioning and economy of movement can be the most efficient ever, but you're not going to be fast enough to even threaten mutual destruction, nevermind thrusting 30 times while they do nothing.

    And I imagine those guys didn't stand in a tight circle around him, so he had to actually run/step a few times in order to reach 30 different eyeballs.
    Well, the novel did mention that the user of Dugu 9 swords has to be faster than his opponents, but it was also about being able to understand the flaws in their fixed attack patterns. A young guy can be fast, but speed can't be the advantage of an aged person. Cos Feng Qing Yang himself mentioned that moving at such great speeds isn't possible for a old man like him, he will have to rely on precision and his experience in order to win his opponents. It does make a lot of sense actually. It's here:

    Feng Qingyang didn’t answer the question and went on explaining the moves. “The third move, Knife-breaking Stance, stresses on using light to resist heavy and using fast to overcome slow. The chap Tian Boguang’s fast knife chops are surely very fast, so you will have to be even faster than him. For a young lad like you, it’s probably ok to try to be faster than him; you might win or you might lose. There’s no guaranteed success. For an old rotten folk like me, if I still wanted to be faster than him, then the only solution would be launching my attack before he even starts his. If you can foresee what kind of a move he will be using and then scramble before him, before the enemy even raised his hand, your sword is already pointing at his vital parts. That way no matter how fast your enemy is, you will still be faster.”

    I also think there's simply a limit to how fast you can go, and if you meet someone who is at the pinnacle of speed, how will you possibly beat him? E.g practitioners of Bixie Swordsplay. But I guess speed is not going to be the primary factor here then, but breaking down patterns. Like how Linghu Chong beat Yue Buqun in the novel, he really had to wait for the perfect chance (when YBQ repeated the set of skills in BXSP) before he defeated the guy completely.
    Last edited by jcmonkey; 04-10-14 at 10:14 PM.

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    Yeah, but in too many other novels, we see ordinary people (which Linghu Chong effectively is) just can't react to people appearing and disappearing behind them because they are so fast. The final with against Dongfong Bubai is really what all fights should have been for Linghu Chong in the beginning of the novel; everyone is 5x faster and stronger than him.

    I take Fengqing Yang's words to mean that speed cannot be the strength of older people, that they will probably by somewhat slower. But Linghu Chong (by wulin standards) should be SO slow that his skill shouldn't matter.

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    Welcome to the forum jcmonkey. It's a breath of fresh air to see new members that are just as passionate about wuxia as longtime readers.

    Your argument makes a lot of sense, overcoming speed by predicting the opponent's intention is definitely what DG9J is about. I wish the combat scenes were written in a coherent way, so that your logical argument would apply throughout the story.

    However, like Tape and others pointed out, for the early part of the novel, Linghu Chong could not use his internal power to speed up his attacks. So his swings would ""only" be as fast as modern day fencers. On the other hand, his opponents who could tap into their inner power can boost the speed of their strikes and be so fast that they can attack several times in the blink of an eye.

    Someone like Yu Canghai displayed superhuman speed like this during his battle with Yue Buqun early on. We can only assume that Feng Buping was even faster than Yu Canghai. Feng Buping was the adversary that was soundly defeated by a LHC that could not tap into his inner power.

    The 15 masked men hired by Zuo Lengchan, imagine that their fast attacks were replaced by 15 fastballs going at 90 mph each. Even if a modern day fencer knew exactly where those 15 fastballs would land, he cannot possibly hit each of them fast enough. Only the use of inner power to boost the fencer's own speed can make the story coherent, but the novel clearly stated that LHC could not use inner power at that point.

    Anyway, despite this flaw, Smiling Proud Wanderer still remains my favorite novel. DG9J makes sense during the mid and latter parts of the novel, so that's fine with me. The early part had excellent storytelling, so a little oversight in a few fight scenes is easily forgivable.
    Last edited by BlackRaven; 04-11-14 at 12:39 AM.

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Guys, the novel also clearly stated that in that thrust blinding the 15 men, Linghu Chong DID use his internal energy. That's why he immediately collapsed afterwards (due to the resulting clash of internal energies) and was unable to follow Yue Buqun's order to sever their hamstrings to prevent them from fleeing.
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    I don't think it was that clear at all. It seemed to me that he couldn't use his inner strength, and the physical exertion alone was what caused him to collapse. He seemed more exhausted than in crazy pain, which happened earlier when he tried to use his inner strength.

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    令狐冲应道:“是……是……”俯身捡拾长剑,哪知适才使这一招时牵动了内力,全身只是发战,说甚么也无法抓起长剑,双腿一软,坐倒在地。
    Linghu Chong replied, "Yes....yes..." as he bent down and reached for his longsword. But unexpectedly, when he used this last stroke, he had agitated his internal energy. His entire body trembling, no matter what he was unable to pick up the sword. His legs went soft, and he sat down on the ground.
    I suppose you theoretically could argue that he didn't use his internal energy, and it was just the physical action which agitated his internal energy, but that's a fairly weak argument, imho. Additionally, I would also argue that the Chinese characters 牵动, while meaning agitated/affected, used here, have a subtone of "use"; 牵, after all, means to hold/to pull, and 动 means to use/to act.

    So it seems pretty clear to me that he did use his internal energy, resulting in the paralyzing internal energy clash which prevents him from moving.
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 04-11-14 at 11:01 AM.
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    The reason I am questioning it is because it's clearly stated that he didn't use any inner strength against Feng Buping, and right before that, when he tried to initialize his inner energy when the masked men first came, he literally fell to the ground because of the streams clashing. Why was he suddenly able to use his inner strength and thrust 30 times accurately and swiftly, and only feel weak afterwards when just the attempt to activate his energy minutes earlier caused him to fall to the ground in pain?

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    Senior Member ChronoReverse's Avatar
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    It's not exactly unusual in ANY story for a protagonist to bite down and eke out a bit more at a critical moment. It seems LHC exerted himself and pulled out enough to perform the projectile breaking stance at the cost of completely disabling himself immediately afterward.

    His fight against FBP didn't seem even as close to as explosive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChronoReverse View Post
    It's not exactly unusual in ANY story for a protagonist to bite down and eke out a bit more at a critical moment. It seems LHC exerted himself and pulled out enough to perform the projectile breaking stance at the cost of completely disabling himself immediately afterward.

    His fight against FBP didn't seem even as close to as explosive.
    Yeah that's possible, but that's why I'm saying it's not as clear as Ren is saying it is. The wording is vague, and from what we saw earlier, just trying to use his inner strength resulted in him falling down in crazy pain. When the masked men first came they were already butchering his apprentice brothers/sisters, so I don't see why he couldn't "bite down" at that point but could later.

    When we are sure that he just tried to use his inner strength, he experienced more pain than he did after the 30 thrusts which supposedly actually used inner strength. I don't think a weak feeble Linghu Chong portrayed at that point collapsing and messing up his inner strength purely through physical means is very strange at all. He could barely walk times before that.

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    It didnt state he used his inner power. Just after using the 30 strikes his physical strenght was exhausted and he agitaed his inner power. He may have automatically used his inner power as a reflex.

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    Hey BlackRaven thanks.

    You are right, perhaps the story could be written in a more coherent way. There are definitely flaws with the logic of these sequences. Though i guess it hinges on the idea of internal energy and its cultivation, and that's definitely another BIGGG topic..

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