Fighting Without Weapons, baida
Fighting without weapons, baida, includes boxing, cyuanshu, and wrestling, guanjiao.
According to a poem written by the poet Wang Jian, inviting martial arts masters to
perform in the Hanshih festival by the local government was a custom in the Tang Dynasty.
The book, Minsiaoji, by Jhou Lianggong at the beginning of the Cing Dynasty, also
says that the term "baida" was the old name of shoubo,
which was used among the writer's contemporaries, and baida, fighting without
weapons, is the final item of "The Eighteen Weapons".
Speed is the essence of boxing. It is necessary to watch carefully and punch quickly, and
to be fast with jumping, moving, leaping and skipping. In Yongtong Siaopin by Jhu
Guojhen of the Ming, there is a line saying that boxing, also called dacyuan, can
kill people by pulling the bones apart; the faster the strength of the movement is the
sooner the victim dies. The book, Jisiao Sinshu by General Ci Jiguang says,
"Although boxing is not an essential martial art to be used in the battlefield, it
can strengthen the learners' body, and the skills of boxing can also be applied when using
the general weapons, so to learn boxing is the start of learning the martial arts."
At the beginning of the Cing, a martial arts master called Li Mutian also told the
well-known Confucianist scholar, Yan Sijhai, that boxing is the fundamental of all martial
arts. He showed his willingness to teach this 57-year-old scholar by demonstrating various
forms of boxing under the moonlit evening. General Ci Jiguang also said, "The fastest
punch is to hit before the opponent is aware; if you raise your arm to defend, you will be
punched ten times, and if you do not defend, you will only be punched once."
Records about wrestling can be found in articles written in the Jhou Dynasty. A record of
2600 years ago in the Chun Ciu says that the ruler of the country of the Cin
dreamed of wrestling match, bo, in which he contested the ruler of the Chu. In Gongyang
Jhuan, a story says that a Hercules of the Song called Song Wang wrestled with and
broke the neck of the country leader, Mingong because Mingong made fun of him. Minggong's
bodyguard wanted to stop him but was also killed with a crushed skull by the Hercules.
Another story recorded in Guliang Jhuan says that two countries' aristocrats, Ji
You of the Lu and Jyu Na of the Jyu had a wrestling match after Jyu Na was captured in a
battle, in which Ji You and Jyu Na were in charge of the troops of each country. Ji You
suggested the idea of a wrestling match; he said to Jyu Na that the battle between two
countries was caused by a disagreement between the leaders, so instead of sacrificing the
people he proposed the wrestle match. The above evidence shows that wrestling was commonly
practiced in the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Periods.
The official history book, Han Shu, says that Emperor Aidi was not interested in
ordinary entertainment but liked to watch wrestling. In the chapter of 'Yiwunjhih' of Han
Shu, there is section about wrestling, which shows that wrestling was a popular
martial art practiced in the palace. Emperor Wunti of the Wei, Cao Pi, had a wrestling
drill with General Deng Jhan, who was well known for his wrestling skills. Cao Pi
described the drill saying, "I know he will attack me in the front, so I pretended to
attack him first. Expectably he came straight forwards. At the same time I stepped back,
raised my thigh and kicked him on his chin." Obviously Cao won.
There are various ways of boxing in the wusia novels. Many of them have special
supernatural power, such as the Anran Siaohunjhang, in Shendiao Sialyu by Jin Yong,
could crush the shell of a turtle, when the protagonist, Yang Guo, practiced it. Anran
Siaohunjhang, literally means the hand knife of the most depressive mood, is an example
created by the novelist to spice up the plot. And there are many boxing forms created for