“Grasshopper – the notion”

Many people asked me recently why on 9dragons forum avatars are call ‘grasshoppers’, have grasshopper rank, and what that means. From where The Hermit took it? Is the connotation of the word positive or negative?Well, it depends… but he didn’t invented the term applied to kung fu.

1. In kung fu movies world, the term came from 1970s television series call “Kung Fu” where David Carradine’s character, Caine (as a child) was called ‘ young grasshopper’ by Master Po and the shaolin monks who trained him. So, calling someone “grasshopper” implies that he’s young, inexperienced, and somewhat impulsive. Grasshoppers can’t jump backwards, they must always move forward. So, a grasshopper is good way to describe a student with potential.From here we also have some expressions like “Wise choice, Grasshopper” and “Patience, Grasshopper.”

From that TV show we have a famous dialog.In some flashbacks, Master Po calls his young student “Grasshopper” in reference to a scene in the pilot episode:

Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?

Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.

Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?

Caine: No.

Po: Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet?

Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?

Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

From this moment on, the blind master befriends Caine and becomes a mentor to him. He gives Caine the nickname of “Grasshopper” in an affectionate reference to this first encounter.

From Grasshopper to Caine – Creating Kung Fu part 1

From Grasshopper to Caine – Creating Kung Fu part 2

2. In another sens, the term connotation can be negative. Remember Aesop and La fontaine’s fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper” ?The morale suggests that the lazy grasshopper is the bad guy, so calling someone a grasshopper in this way could be negative. Grasshoper is the ‘drone’, doing nothing, while ant spends all her life working to accumulate possessions.

3. Also, in dictionary a grasshopper is an insect famous for its ability to jump. So,  someone called a grasshopper could be someone who often “jumps” from one thing to another, from one girl to another 😛 … a person that is not stable.

4. In urban dictionary we see as a adding  : ‘A term for someone learning from a wiser master. Often used in mockery when something is ‘common knowledge’ that is easily forgotten. This word is similar to padwan.’ …’Term that refers to one who is a novice, a greenhorn, a student/disciple, a subordinate, or just simply ignorant. ‘

In the end, as someone said, “Grasshopper” is just another roll-your-eyes cliche from pop culture. “More training, Grasshopper” !

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38 responses to ““Grasshopper – the notion”

  1. Intersting, if I remember correct,in the book, that sifu called the boy another thing and they translate it wrong for the movie. Was a joke in that moment in movies industries. Grasshopper in kung fu land sounds weird.

  2. I don’t think the players should be called ‘ grasshoppers’, but Playdome/Acclaim official team, they look like that in front of the entire MMO gane world and in front of the community, including me. Cool stuff out there. Love the videos.

  3. This was…well, very interesting indeed! We should ask Hermit sometime about how a mild attraction to ‘insects’ has turned into an obsession. …

  4. Damn interesting. Stroke of midnight insects 😛
    Acclame team as many said above me ‘deserve’ teh title of grasshopper in a negative connotation of the term, ofc.

  5. The story of the grasshopper was always in my mind since I was a kid and watch ‘Kung fu’. There was others sentences like : “You are not ready, grasshopper”. Was a lovely story.

  6. Because I am a huge fan of the TV show, here is all the quote :

    “Young Caine: You cannot see.
    Master Po: You think I cannot see?
    Young Caine: Of all things, to live in darkness must be worst.
    Master Po: Fear is the only darkness.
    Master Po: [after easily defeating the boy in combat] Ha, ha, never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. Close your eyes. What do you hear?
    Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
    Master Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
    Young Caine: No.
    Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
    Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
    Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?
    Master Po: What do you hear?
    Caine: I hear the grasshopper.
    Master Kan: Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand.
    [Young Caine tries to do so and fails]
    Master Kan: When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.
    Master Kan: Avoid, rather than check. Check, rather than hurt. Hurt, rather than maim. Maim, rather than kill. For all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.
    Caine: Is it good to seek the past, Master Po? Does it not rob the present?
    Master Po: If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.
    Caine: I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.”

    Brings back the memories….

  7. Great post in here. Kung Fu series is full of wisdom words, I remember few :

    “When one eye is fixed on the destination, you have only one eye to search for the way.” – Caine

    “I can see beyond the eyes. A sometimes unfortunate gift.” – Caine

    “If a man sees a wrong and does nothing, how can he still call himself a man?” – Caine

    “A battle avoided cannot be lost.” – Caine quoting Sun Tzu
    “I do not drive … I do not [have a social security number].” – Caine

    “You have a lot to learn, my son … but you do have … a good right cross.” – Caine to Peter

    “You helped me. You understood even, even though I couldn’t always talk to you. That night you … you understood. I love you for that. Just for being there.” – Peter

  8. I figured out was a copy/paste from something, nothing original.
    Great comments till now and fantastic readers quotes. 10x for the post.

  9. Ok people, let me add some wisdom to this post too…

    ‘All creatures – the low and the high – are one with nature. No life is insignificant. If we have the wisdom to learn, all may teach us their virtues. From the crane we learn grace and self-control. The snake teaches us suppleness and rhythmic endurance. The praying mantis teaches us speed and patience. And from the tiger we learn tenacity and power. And from the dragon we learn to ride the wind. Life sustains life and all living creatures need nourishment. Yet, with wisdom the body learns to sustain in ways that all may live.’

    – Master Kan

  10. You missed somehing >… Caine: What is the greatest obligation that we have?Master Po: To live, Grasshopper. To Live! > 😛

  11. Many wonder that it was just a copy from a movie, and not something original from Hermit himself. But don’t forget that he even copied my Vagabond Guide for the last Vagabond Event.
    If he even copies me, then of course he copies movies too.

  12. When TheHermit is obsessed…here we go : ‘grasshopper rank’. He needs treatment for debilitating conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.

  13. You guys, Hermit wanted to show the kung fu world of 9d that he came with something new and you ruined it 🙂 So bad… we all are so bad… Joking.

  14. Is that important ? Grasshopper or young padawan? The Hermit or Yoda?
    Anyway, in “kung-fu” world , the “grasshopper” is an apprentice on the path to learn from a master to become a…mantis (mantis religiosa)?:D
    PS: Using a common term (adopted by modern culture from specific sources as movies, books, etc) is NOT plagiarizing (unless you declare it as being yours as proveninence)

  15. Nobody speak of ‘plagiarizing’, just about originality.
    If you are a writer you should have plenty of it no?

    ‘ Originality is the aspect of created or invented works by as being new or novel, and thus can be distinguished from reproductions, clones, forgeries, or derivative works…” *wiki*

  16. I don’t like how young grasshopper or grasshopper is used. In kung fu world is nothing, just a bad joke that someone made when translated the novel for that movie.

  17. I believe SEA aka TheHermit is the ‘mother’ of all Acclame official team grasshoppers. That is why they end like that… a failed grasshoppers…

  18. I have to agree with you people when you speak of originality. As Merville said,“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”
    To get more players or keep the ones you have, you need it. That is why the official team fails in everything they do, NO ORIGINALITY.

  19. I am big fat grasshopper and I WILL EAT THEHERMIT !
    10x for the post, thanks for sharing new knowledge.

  20. In a net game enviroment where al change so quick, indeed you need the force of creation, the originality to keep it up with everything around you.

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