Wuxia kung fu :
The martial arts in Wuxia stories are based on factual Wushu techniques and other Chinese martial arts. However, the mastery of such skills are highly exaggerated in Wuxia stories to fictitious and superhuman levels of achievement and prowess. For example, ordinary blows such as kicks or punches can have devastating effects on characters in Wuxia fiction, and certain characters who are formidable martial artists can even shoot streams of energy at opponents to knock them down or stun them. The firing of these energy streams and their impacts can even lead to explosions.
The following is a list of skills and abilities a typical pugilist or martial artist in a Wuxia story might possess:
Martial arts (Kung Fu) – fighting techniques in a codified sequence called zhaoshi (招式) which are based on actual martial arts techniques.
Weapons and objects – combatants use a wide range of weapons in combat. The most commonly used ones are the saber, sword, staff, and spear. Everyday objects such as abaci, benches, fans, ink brushes, pipes, sewing needles, or various musical instruments are also used by characters as weapons as well.
Qinggong (轻功) – literally means “the ability of lightness”. Characters can move swiftly and lightly at superhuman speeds. They can glide on water surfaces, scale high walls and mount trees, making them seem as though they can fly. Qinggong is based on real Chinese martial arts techniques. Some real-life martial artists such as those who practise Baguazhang, train in Qinggong for years by attaching heavy weights onto their legs. However, its use is highly exaggerated in Wuxia stories and wire-fu films in which characters can circumvent gravity and “fly”.
Nei Jin (內劲) or Nei Li (内力) – the ability to build up and cultivate mystical “inner energy” (Qi) and control it for several purposes. Characters use their inner energy for attack and defense purposes when combined with their martial arts. They may also use this form of energy to heal internal wounds or even purge venom from their bodies after being poisoned, or use it to attain superhuman stamina.
Dian Xue (T 点穴) – based on real-life martial arts techniques such as dim mak (点脉) and chin na (擒拿). Character use these techniques to kill, paralyse, immobilise or control opponents by attacking their acupressure points (xué 穴) with the bare hand or weapons. A victim may be immobilised for hours after being hit on the acupressure points. Such techniques may be used for healing purposes, when excessive bleeding may be halted when certain acupressure points are pressed. Real-life martial artists do use such techniques in martial arts to paralyse or stun their opponents. Their effectiveness is highly exaggerated in Wuxia stories.
In Wuxia stories, characters attain the above skills and abilities by devoting themselves to diligent study and practice. The instructions to mastering these skills are often found in “manuals” known as mi ji (秘笈). In some stories, specific skills can be learnt by spending several years in seclusion with a master or cloistering together with a group of pugilists.
Found it familiar ? In 9dragons we have the martial arts, weapons ( true, not all from wuxia), the ability of lightness as LF, “inner energy” (Qi) as the mind coordination when you level or meditation and the manuals from where you find the skills.
The code of xia
The code of xia (俠) can be likened to the Anglo-Saxon myth of Robin Hood. The hero of wuxia novels keeps his honor by upholding justice and helping the poor, just as Robin Hood is said to have robbed the rich to help the poor. A typical follower of xia would have considerable martial arts abilities that are are used not just for personal gain, but employed to achieve the greater good. However, just as Robin Hood was an outlaw, the swordsman may not necessarily submit to higher authority. When part of a larger group, the code of xia requires the the group to maintain social justice within the best of the group’s abilities.
The code of xia is composed of two main virtues. Yi (義), which means “righteousness”, and Xin (信), which means “honor”. The code also emphasizes the importance of repaying benefactors after having received deeds of grace (恩) or favor from others, as well as seeking vengeance (仇) to bring villains to justice. However, the importance of vengeance is controversial, as a number of wuxia works stress Buddhist ideals, which includes forgiveness, compassion and a prohibition on killing.
In the Jianghu, most pugilists are expected to be loyal to their martial arts teacher or shifu (師父). This gave rise to the formation of several complex trees of teacher-student (master-apprentice) relations as well as the various sects such as Shaolin and Wudang. If there are any disputes between pugilists, they will choose the honorable way of settling their issues through fighting in duels. This is similar to the one-on-one sword duels adopted by Knights in Medieval Europe. Only two pugilists are involved in each duel and they are usually of the same level or status if they belong to any sect.
Source of quotes : Cultural China
by Story Teller
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