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Thread: Do Ancient Tomb Sect's MA necessarily have any advantage over the other Greats' MA?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Do Ancient Tomb Sect's MA necessarily have any advantage over the other Greats' MA?

    The Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts were devised by the sect's founder, Lam Chiu Ying, specifically to counter the Cheun Jen Sect martial arts of Central Divinity Wong Chung Yeung. Thus, although Lam never personally defeated Wong, her followers usually held the upper hand against Cheun Jen Sect acolytes (except in those rare cases when the Cheun Jen Sect member in question, such as Gok Dai Tung, was far superior in martial arts to the Ancient Tomb Sect member, such as Granny Sheun). The Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts were the specific "black star" of the Cheun Jen Sect martial arts.

    During ROCH, we did not get to see very many examples of the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts versus those of the other Greats'. The only such fights were brief skirmishes between Lee Mok Sau and assorted Peach Blossom Island personnel.

    Do you believe that the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts have any significant advantage over the other Greats' martial arts such as Hong Lung 18 Palms, Dog Beating Stick Technique, Ha Mo Gung, 1 Yeung Finger Technique, etc.? Would Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts face a better challenge from these other techniques to which the Ancient Tomb Sect's techniques are *not* the black star?

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    From what we see of Yang Guo and Xiao Longnu, who were extremely young by wulin standards, they couldn't compete head on with even second tier masters of the clibre of Qiu Chuji. However, once they'd learned to evade rather than confront, they could escape harm for a while even against the likes of Jinlun Fawang. If an Ancient Tomb disciple has enough nous about them, they're able to punch somewhat above their weight. But they have a lower ceiling compared to Quanzhen, until they break that ceiling with the top Ancient Tomb arts. At the very top, Ancient Tomb is comparable in effectiveness with the arts of the other Greats, but with a completely different paradigm.

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    Junior Member 东邪黄药师's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on whether you believe if the Greats eventually surpassed WCY.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 东邪黄药师 View Post
    I guess it depends on whether you believe if the Greats eventually surpassed WCY.
    Even if they didn't, their martial arts might match up better against the Ancient Tomb's than the Cheun Jen Sect's martial arts did because, after all, the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts weren't specifically set up to be a black star to the techniques of East Heretic, West Poison, and North Beggar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Even if they didn't, their martial arts might match up better against the Ancient Tomb's than the Cheun Jen Sect's martial arts did because, after all, the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts weren't specifically set up to be a black star to the techniques of East Heretic, West Poison, and North Beggar.
    At its most extreme, Ancient Tomb arts weren't specifically a counter to Quanzhen, but took a different direction altogether to the arts of the other Greats, resulting in extreme speed. Yin Zhiping got dizzy from watching Huang Yaoshi's fight against the Quanzhen masters, but he was many levels below. Qiu Chuji, who was as high a level as the sub-Greats got, couldn't distinguish Xiao Longnu's individual stances, whose hypnotic effect was an intended effect of the Ancient Tomb arts. That the hypnotic effect didn't just affect Quanzhen disciples could be seen in the feelings of love that Huang Rong felt when she watched Yang Guo and Xiao Longnu fight against GWM using Lovers' swordplay. Ancient Tomb arts didn't just counter individual Quanzhen stances, but on a higher level used extreme speed, with enchantment as a side effect.

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    In his younger years Huang Yaoshi took that similar approach of speed and deception over pure power and orthodox martial arts. His palms were of many different styles and elements, and his footwork was designed to complement the craftiness in his martial arts approach.

    Given how tricky these two were, it makes sense.

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    Junior Member tangoki's Avatar
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    Doesn't appear that the greats would have too much trouble with the techniques from the ancient tomb..

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Just how powerful were the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts, really?

    When the Ancient Tomb Sect was introduced/retconned into the world of the CONDOR HEROES TRILOGY during ROCH, it seemed, at face value, probably the most powerful group of martial artists yet to appear at that point of the CHT. After all, during LOCH, Central Divinity Wong Chung Yeung had been depicted as the winner of the First Mt. Hua Sword Tournament and the "Greatest of the Greats," "undefeated under Heaven," etc., but Lam Chiu Ying supposedly "defeated" him and invented a set of martial arts that stymied his.

    In actual practice/execution, however, were the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts really that dominant?

    After Lam Chiu Ying's death, the best practitioners of her martial arts were Yeung Gor and Little Dragon Girl. Yeung Gor eventually became a Great, but that wasn't primarily due to the martial arts he learned from the Ancient Tomb Sect during his youth. Yeung Gor's ascension to Greats level only got going in earnest after he learned the sword theories of Dook Goo Kau Bai, and he only arrived at Greats level after inventing his own martial arts technique, the Sad Palms, which were decidedly *not* an Ancient Tomb Sect martial art.

    The best skills that Yeung Gor and Little Dragon Girl had before the former learned/developed Heavy Iron Sword Technique and Sad Palms were Jade Maiden Manual and the Double Sword Technique, but both techniques had their limitations (or Yeung Gor and Little Dragon Girl never finished training in them properly). The Jade Maiden Manual skills were good and capable of thwarting the Cheun Jen Sect Taoists, but weren't necessarily better than the 9 Yum Jen Ging or the Greats' skills (e.g. Hong Lung 18 Palms and Dog Beating Stick Technique, Ha Mo Gung, Divine Finger Snap, 1 Yeung Finger Technique, Left/Right Hand Technique and Vacant Fist, etc.). The Double Sword Technique was effective against the Golden Wheel Monk, but wasn't ever tested against the skills of the other Greats and in any case, was dependent on one of the users using Cheun Jen Sect swordplay.

    When you add all that up, the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts, though impressive, aren't *that* impressive. They were presented as being better than the arts of the other Greats, but at best, they were only (perhaps) equal.

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    Senior Member Mandred Skavenslayer's Avatar
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    To answer your question we must look at the Ancient Tomb Sect martial arts in the hands of it greatest practitioner ie. Lam Chiu Ying.

    Remember the martial arts of the 5 Greats in the hands of lesser practitioners were also unimpressive.

    None of Eastern Heretics students ever reached his level (granted he did cripple most of them)

    Southern Emperor's 4 students couldn't even handle the Mongol mercenaries.

    Western Venom son was also very limited.

    Even the greatest of them Central Divinity, none of his students distinguished themselves as individual fighters.

    Only Northern Beggar had impressive students but he can't claim sole credit.

    As LCY was considered WCY equal then we can safely assume that at its peak her martial arts must be at least on his level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandred Skavenslayer View Post
    To answer your question we must look at the Ancient Tomb Sect martial arts in the hands of it greatest practitioner ie. Lam Chiu Ying.

    Remember the martial arts of the 5 Greats in the hands of lesser practitioners were also unimpressive.

    None of Eastern Heretics students ever reached his level (granted he did cripple most of them)

    Southern Emperor's 4 students couldn't even handle the Mongol mercenaries.

    Western Venom son was also very limited.

    Even the greatest of them Central Divinity, none of his students distinguished themselves as individual fighters.

    Only Northern Beggar had impressive students but he can't claim sole credit.

    As LCY was considered WCY equal then we can safely assume that at its peak her martial arts must be at least on his level.
    Right, but we need to also consider that Yeung Gor (like most wuxia protagonists are wont to be) was a bona fide martial arts prodigy, and likely too was Little Dragon Girl. The two of them, however, got only so far with Ancient Tomb Sect martial arts alone, and had to add/develop other arts to break through to elite levels.

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    Cultivating your inner power on the ice bed increases the speed of your progress tenfold. Does that work with all types of inner power or only a specific type taught by the Ancient Tomb school?

    Also, was there a plausible reason why they stopped taking advantage of the ice bed for their training? If not, then that would be a huge plot hole, as that ice bed is one of the strongest tools in any martial arts novels.

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    Many protagonists had to combine different martial arts to become elite level. That doesn't make their original martial arts bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackRaven View Post
    Cultivating your inner power on the ice bed increases the speed of your progress tenfold.
    That's what Lam Chiu Ying told her followers, as reported by Little Dragon Girl. I think Lam might have exaggerated the effectiveness of the icy bed, however, because Little Dragon Girl must have used it for about a decade...and Yeung Gor at least three or four years, but their inner power cultivation was not even a quarter that of a Great's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yangguo_ View Post
    Many protagonists had to combine different martial arts to become elite level. That doesn't make their original martial arts bad.
    It's not bad, but it's exaggerated. The expectation we were led to have when the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts were first introduced is that it might have been the most powerful to appear yet in L/ROCH, but when we see more of it, it's not as great as initially advertised.

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    Senior Member Mandred Skavenslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Right, but we need to also consider that Yeung Gor (like most wuxia protagonists are wont to be) was a bona fide martial arts prodigy, and likely too was Little Dragon Girl. The two of them, however, got only so far with Ancient Tomb Sect martial arts alone, and had to add/develop other arts to break through to elite levels.
    True, but their path in learning Ancient Tomb martial arts were constantly thwarted.

    In their first attempt at mastering the international powers of the art they were interrupted and Little Dragon Girl nearly died.

    Then there were the long periods of separation preventing them from developing their combined sword art.

    Not to mention the massive injuries/poisoning they suffered.

    As smart as they were I doubt any art can be perfected under these circumstances.

    I agree that some of their most impressive achievements were made when they went beyond Ancient Tomb martial arts but these were only achieved when they had time, guidance or medical stimulus not just their own intelligence.

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    Her teacher probably meant it increases ten fold compared to a normal person, not ten fold a great level.

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    I never got the impression that Ancient Tomb sect martial arts was supposed to be stronger than the other Greats' martial arts.

    Yang Guo never even semi-dominated in the way that Guo Jing did in LOCH pre Heavy Iron Sword; he was always losing in pure martial arts but escapes by craftiness. Guo Jing after the Peach Blossom Island arc pretty much completely wrecks anyone that isn't a Great; and even against Qiu Qianren (because of main character shield imo) he performs extremely well.

    Yang Guo with bits and pieces of Dog Beating Stick can beat Huo Du, but his years of training in Ancient Tomb sect leads to defeat immediately. Granted, Huang Rong has a similar experience with Li Mochou in that she can beat her easily with it but is only on par when using her Peach Blossom kungfu, so perhaps Dog Beating Stick is just *that* good.

    The general feel I get for Ancient Tomb martial arts is that it's based on lightness skills, crafty techniques, and perhaps has a slight illusion-like effect when it's used, but I never thought it to be superior even if Lin Chaoying was able to use it to great effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    I never got the impression that Ancient Tomb sect martial arts was supposed to be stronger than the other Greats' martial arts.
    It's the first impression, because the first example we see of the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts is an eighteen-year old girl (Little Dragon), who had *no* previous fighting experience up to that point, fairly easily defeat one of the Cheun Jen 7 Disciples (none of whom was known to be a pushover). Later, as we learn more about the history of the Ancient Tomb Sect, we learn that Lam Chiu Ying's martial arts were supposedly "superior" to those of Wong Chung Yeung...the same Wong Chung Yeung who defeated the other Greats at Mt. Hua and claimed the title of World's # 1 Martial Artist. The Jade Maiden Manual was said to be superior to anything in the Cheun Jen Sect's martial arts repertoire.

    But then we begin to see the Ancient Tomb Sect's martial arts in use and it turns out that while those arts aren't bad (and certainly quite weird), they weren't necessarily better than anything we'd seen before from the Greats.

    Yang Guo never even semi-dominated in the way that Guo Jing did in LOCH pre Heavy Iron Sword; he was always losing in pure martial arts but escapes by craftiness. Guo Jing after the Peach Blossom Island arc pretty much completely wrecks anyone that isn't a Great; and even against Qiu Qianren (because of main character shield imo) he performs extremely well.
    ...and therein lies the wonder of it. Yeung Gor's "basic training" with the martial arts under Little Dragon Girl's tutelage was much smoother and more productive than Gwok Jing's basic training with the Gong Nam 6 Freaks in Mongolia. For one thing, Yeung Gor was a faster learner, and Little Dragon Girl's straightforward teaching methods didn't confuse him the way the Freaks confused Gwok Jing.

    Yet for all that, Yeung Gor was no powerhouse pre-Heavy Iron Sword, whereas Gwok Jing was already a formidable butt-kicker at the same corresponding age.

    That leads me to believe the Ancient Tomb Sect martial arts aren't as dominant as Lam Chiu Ying (or actually, Jin Yong) initially misled audiences into believing.

    Yang Guo with bits and pieces of Dog Beating Stick can beat Huo Du, but his years of training in Ancient Tomb sect leads to defeat immediately. Granted, Huang Rong has a similar experience with Li Mochou in that she can beat her easily with it but is only on par when using her Peach Blossom kungfu, so perhaps Dog Beating Stick is just *that* good.
    It is. It's strange to say this, considering how often the Dog Beating Stick Technique is praised, but it's really one of the most underrated elite martial arts in the Jin Yong canon. People seldom speak of the Dog Beating Stick Technique in the same glowing terms as they do the Hong Lung 18 Palms, Ha Mo Gung, 1 Yeung Finger Technique, the 9 Yum and 9 Yeung manuals, Dook Goo Kau Bai's sword theories, etc., but in terms of effectiveness, Dog Beating Stick Technique is right up there with the best of them.

    The general feel I get for Ancient Tomb martial arts is that it's based on lightness skills, crafty techniques, and perhaps has a slight illusion-like effect when it's used, but I never thought it to be superior even if Lin Chaoying was able to use it to great effect.
    Ancient Tomb Sect martial arts seem to be built on speed and stealth more than power. It was effective against the weak-minded (e.g. the Golden Wheel Monk), but I imagine it would have trouble against those who can match or surpass its cleverness (e.g. East Heretic) or who have the both the physical power and mental fortitude to overcome it (e.g. North Beggar or Gwok Jing).

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    The problem is that Quanzhen martial arts doesn't even seem that impressive (even if it is maybe) in the context of LOCH/ROCH, so being better than it, isn't really a big deal. We learn very shortly, or even during, the fight between XLN and Hao Datong that she doesn't win on pure martial arts skill but through being a black star to his kungfu, so that further diminishes it's power.

    I mean given the chance to learn Dragon Palms, 1 Yang Finger, etc, who would actually choose to instead learn Quanzhen martial arts? Yeah maybe it would be the logical choice because it builds a good base, but nobody would actually pick it. It's not impressive. So something that is better than it is not impressive to me either.

    This is all about impressions though. I'm sure an argument could be made that it is actually better, but not in the context of "OOOOH you are better than Quanzhen martial arts!".

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    Quote Originally Posted by tape View Post
    The problem is that Quanzhen martial arts doesn't even seem that impressive (even if it is maybe) in the context of LOCH/ROCH, so being better than it, isn't really a big deal. We learn very shortly, or even during, the fight between XLN and Hao Datong that she doesn't win on pure martial arts skill but through being a black star to his kungfu, so that further diminishes it's power.

    I mean given the chance to learn Dragon Palms, 1 Yang Finger, etc, who would actually choose to instead learn Quanzhen martial arts? Yeah maybe it would be the logical choice because it builds a good base, but nobody would actually pick it. It's not impressive. So something that is better than it is not impressive to me either.

    This is all about impressions though. I'm sure an argument could be made that it is actually better, but not in the context of "OOOOH you are better than Quanzhen martial arts!".
    Quanzhen martial arts seems to be harder to go wrong with, whereas there are known examples of Ancient Tomb and Dragon Palm practitioners fire deviating, and Ouyang Feng dared not teach his son Toad Stance because of that danger. Going by Mei Chaofeng, Peach Blossom Island's internal cultivation wasn't great either. Only Dali's martial arts seems to have as safe a route to success as Quanzhen's.

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