I’m a martial artist in the wulin. Well… I was.
The reason I say that is because I’ve retired.
After going through all those ups-and-downs and experiencing all that turbulence, I came to the realisation that the endless fighting in the pugilistic world wasn’t for me.
You can see my point through the rough things I experienced during my training.
I remember my shifu admonished me when I started learning martial arts.
“You’re my senior disciple, but your talent is mediocre compared to the other disciples. There will be limits to what you can achieve later on. You won’t be able to keep up with your fellow disciples. I have some secret manuals that my friends in the Wulin gifted. Take them and practice according to their instructions."
"Okay! I won't disappoint you shifu!"
I was young and naive back then. I had no idea my shifu was mocking me with his spiteful smile when he handed me the books. I naively believed his bullshit. I couldn’t read a word and just practiced according to the images like an idiot.
Following that, I trained according to one of the books and ended up bed ridden for ten months after being so severely injured I spat blood. At that time, I thought it was because I was lacking. I thought I disappointed my shifu since I couldn’t even learn something simple. My guilt and self-depreciation motivated me, so I resumed my training as soon as I healed.
I improved a little the second time through. I was only bed ridden for six months. So I spent more than a year of my youth unconscious in bed…
During the time I was semi-conscious, I vaguely remember my shifu arguing with a monk.
"You Stinking monk. How dare you accuse me of stealing Shaolin’s Yijin Jing*? Do you people at the Shaolin Temple have anything worthwhile? Look at how badly my student got injured practicing your arts. Luckily for me, I wasn’t stupid enough to practice your shitty martial arts.”
Shifu?! Wasn’t this something one of your friends in the wulin gifted?! What’s this style called?! Yijin Jing?!
I basically got the first manual down pact three years later and began the second manual.
When I started the second manual, I expected it to be easier since I had the foundations down from the first manual, but I was wrong…
I experienced qigong deviation while I was going through the second manual.
My qi went out of control. My own qi bounced off the floor and threw me through more than twenty walls. While it’s true that our worthless mud walls which have to be mended every month barely even keep the wind and rain out, I went through more than twenty of them! Twenty!
I still remember now the terrorised look on my shishu’s** look when his nephew came running in crying “the walls broke down”, after he just got in bed with the girl from the village next door who he was hooking up with. After that he became impotent and never had any more affairs. Recently he’s become a full-fledged priest. Amitabha…
As a result of that incident, my arms and legs were broken, leaving me crippled for more than two years. During those two years, I fought through the gut-wrenching pain and completed the qi training, thereby completing the second manual.
During that time, seven Taoists visited and shifu gave them one heck of a scolding.
“Hey, Seven Heroes of Wudang, do you people have any respect for the codes of the pugilistic world?! Didn’t you people blow your trumpets claiming that anyone can learn your yin yang blend of Tai Chi?! How come my student ended up like this then?! If I were stupid enough to learn it, I'd be in his position right now!”
I was so enraged I nearly vomited blood.
Shifu?! What’s this manual?! You can’t train both the martial arts of monks and Taoists at the same time!!
When I got started on the third book, I was extremely cautious. I swear I was like ten-thousand times more cautious.
But the third manual only had one image.
That shouldn’t be a problem.
However, reality had another story prepared for me.
After training according to that drawing, all the meridian points in my body were destroyed. Obliterated. Over the following year, shifu’s wife brought me Lingzhi mushrooms. Thanks to her I was able to slowly regain my ability to walk.
After that, thirty strange looking visitors came by and got into a huge fight with my shifu. In the end they completely lost and got a scolding from my shifu.
“You Demon Sect bastards! Have you no shame?! Your leader himself said this Spring Wind and Rainy Night painting belongs to the mightiest and that the winner is the king. I drugged the lot of you scoundrels which knocked you all out and walked away with it after beating you lot fair-and-square. And now you’re telling me you want it back?”
So you lied? The Demon Sect’s Spring Wind and Rainy Night painting?! Why don’t you all go to hell?!
I basically gave up at that point.
I just practiced whatever he gave me. It’s just me and my rotten life. If I don’t die from practicing this stuff, then it’s only a matter of time before I’m hunted down by those sects anyway.
Shifu continued to hand me secret manuals his friends “gifted” him every day. I took them and continued to train diligently.
But it was strange. After completing the third manual, I never got injured again while completing any of the successive manuals, and with each manual I completed, successive ones became easier and easier. In the end, shifu asked me in a surprised tone: “You’re not dead yet?!”
I'm alive and kicking! But you certainly can go die!
In short, my body got stronger and stronger.
I never even contracted any minor illnesses or suffered any minor pains.
In the end, I left the mountain when I was twenty-two and realised… I was invincible.
*A manual containing a series of exercises, coordinated with breathing, believed to enhance physical health dramatically when practiced religiously
**Shishu = A senior instructor who's below the rank of your shifu