Hero Born Q7: Supernatural martial arts


The martial arts presented are clearly supernatural. There are the extreme acts of fighting and the techniques. Strikes on pressure points can disable limbs and people. The cultivation of neigong (inner strength) gives all sorts of supernatural abilities, like the ability to climb impossible cliffs and rid ones body of poison. The culmination of that is inner kung fu leading to immortality.

What are your thoughts on this sort of magic? How does it compare to the "traditional" fantasy tropes of wizards and spells, or the subtle magic of Lord of the Rings or other folk stories?


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    Loved it! Again (as with the previous discussion starter) it reminded me very much of my very limited explorations of Taoism. It's never just about fighting, or breathing, or sex, or whatever - ultimately it's all about immortality.

    Contrasting with other tropes, there wasn't the same sense of mastering particular skills (which of course converts into "going up a level" in gaming terms). There was more of a roundedness of life mastery, which happened to emerge in fighting or whatever, but wasn't centrally concerned with that.

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    I was expecting this based on my movie viewing, but I don’t really have a strong feeling about it. I know it’s a genre trope. It probably has cultural significance. But I don’t feel it enhances the fight scenes, and it’s not as interesting as exploring spellcasting or summoning, so I could take it or leave it.
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    That's the core of Wuxia. once past the basic techniques, things become more and more powerful and complex. The whole 'cultivation' thing is central to the wulin, and expresses itself through the techniques. I found it fascinating!

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