The wonderful names of kung-fu moves in Jin Yong’s A Hero Born

Jin Yong’s novel, A Hero Born, is like one of those bootleg Jackie Chang VHS tapes your best friends uncle gave you wrapped between two covers.

There’s romance and fight scenes, but what has me re-reading pages are the names of the kung-fu moves:

Mischievous Cat Catches the Mouse

Hawk Fights the Rabbit

Autumn Wind Blows the Fallen Leaves

Iron Ox Plows the field

And those are only from Chapter 5…

Sadly, these moves are fictional. No one has uploaded any Hawk Fights the Rabbit instructional videos to YouTube (if you have, email me, NOW). They’re trapped in Jing Yong’s China, a China where kung-fu is magic.

That said, the 8 steps of Ba Duan Jin Taichi share similar names to Yong’s fictional kung-fu moves:

Draw the Bow to Shoot the Vulture

Wise Owl Gazes Backwards

Sway Head Shake Tail

The influence is apparent. Note the references to animals and nature are a constant in both fiction and real life.

From: A Hero Born: The Definitive Edition (Legends of the Condor Heroes, 1

By: Jin Yong

Translated by: Anna Holmwood

Four Panel Friday: Saints, by Gene Luen Yang

It’s been 6 years since Boxers and Saints was released, but it’s still an underrated set of graphic novels. Gene Luen Yang created an ambitious work, writing and drawing two separate graphic novels that tells both the Conservative Chinese and Christian/foreigner sides of the Boxer Rebellion.

Boxers and Saints acts as an excellent entry point for a time in history mostly unknown to non-Chinese Americans. Instead of picking up a doorstop tome on Chinese history, Gene Luen Yang shares the horrors and sadness of a story in a memorable form, leaving a kernel of curiosity for readers to explore further.

I’m only forty pages in and Gene Luen Yang isn’t bullshitting around. This is a brutal tale, and one that deserves more attention.