Pines and cypresses grow on the Mount Wudang peak.
The eighteen disciples of the DaMo Hall stepped forward to seize Zhang Junbao. Jueyuan didn’t think anymore and turned a circle and the two iron buckets were rotating, causing the monks to back off. Jueyuan threw the remaining water out of the buckets and placed Guo Xiang and Zhang Junbao in the buckets. He whirled the buckets round and round like a pair of comet hammers. All the disciples of the DaMo Hall quickly moved away.
Guo Xiang and He ZuDao walked towards the ShaoLin Monastery, before long they reached the gates of ShaoLin and didn’t see anyone.
He ZuDao said: “I’m not going in either, I’ll just ask that monk to come out and deliver the message.” He raised his voice and said: “He ZuDao of Mount KunLun pays a visit to the ShaoLin Monastery, I have something to say.”
After he said that, they could hear ten large bells ringing.
The door opened and two rows of grey-robed monks came out. In the left row there were fifty-four monks and on the right side there were also fifty-four monks. There were one hundred and eight monks, these were all disciples of the LuoHan Hall, filling up the positions of the one hundred and eight Arhats. After them, eighteen monks came out wearing yellow kasayas. These monks looked a bit older than the disciples of the LuoHan Hall, they were the senior pupils of the DaMo Hall. After awhile seven old monks came out wearing robes with big squares. These seven monks all had wrinkles, the youngest was seventy odd years the eldest was about ninety years old. These were the seven elders of the Meditation Hall. After them, Abbot Tianming came out, on his left reverend WuXiang head of the DaMo Hall and on the right reverend WuSe of the LuoHan Hall. Pan Tiangeng, Fang Tianlao and Wei Tianwang followed after the three elders.
In the end there were seventy, eighty *common disciples of the ShaoLin Monastery.
(*These pupils are not monks, just ordinary people. For example, pupils like Xiao Feng, Chen YouLiang, etc. belong to this category)
That day He ZuDao sneaked into ShaoLin and left a note in the LuoHan Hall. This incident startled abbot Tianming, WuSe and WuXiang. Days later Pan, Fang and Wei said they would come to ShaoLin and duel, making all the monks very restless and vigilant. The Western ShaoLin was located far away from here and for many years the monks there didn’t make any contact with the ShaoLin monks here. But all the monks knew that the patriarch of the Western ShaoLin Master GuWei was a powerful martial arts expert. So his disciples should be extraordinary people too. After hearing that Pan, Fang, and Wei didn’t dare to look down upon “The three Saints of KunLun,” and as the saying goes: “He who has come is surely strong or he’d never come along”. The entire monastery was very vigilant and the abbot has ordered every disciple within a radius of two hundred and fifty kilometers to return to the monastery and await orders.
In the beginning, everyone thought that “The three Saints of KunLun” were three people, but after hearing from Pan Tiangeng, Fang Tianlao, and Wei Tianwang they knew it was only one man. But concerning age and appearances, even Pan and the others weren’t too sure. They only knew that he was proud of his skills in the zither, chess, and swordsmanship. Playing the zither and chess could slacken and leisure the heart and concentration that does no good to their Buddhist meditation. But martial arts experts who specialize in swordsmanship were very willing to duel with this arrogant man who called himself a “Saint of Swordsmanship”.
Pan Tiangeng and his two martial arts brothers felt very confident of themselves and thought this entire incident was their doing and hope to travel thousands of miles to finish it here. They wanted to defeat He ZuDao before he could reach the monastery . After that, they would have a duel with the monks of the monastery and the Western ShaoLin will be greater than the Northern ShaoLin Monastery. However, after the battle at the stone pavilion, He ZuDao only used half of his abilities and he could easily overcome Pan, Fang, and Wei.
After abbot Tianming heard of this, he knew that ShaoLin was facing an imminent danger. After careful analysis he realised that he, WuSe, and WuXiang were about the same level as Pan, Fang, and Wei. So he asked the seven elders of the Meditation Hall to help out if necessary. However, no one knew how high the martial arts of the seven elders were, and if they are strong enough to defeat He ZuDao if it really was necessary. These were all speculations of abbot Tianming, reverends WuSe and WuXiang.
When abbot Tianming saw He ZuDao and Guo Xiang he put his palms together and said: “This must be the saints of chess, swordsmanship and zither, Benefactor He. Forgive us for a late welcome.”
He ZuDao returned respects and said: “My name is indeed He ZuDao, the nickname of three saints is not worth mentioning. I apologize for causing trouble at your monastery and I dare not deserve having all reverends coming to welcome me.”
TiangMing thought: “This arrogant scholar doesn’t talk very arrogant. He seems to be around thirty years old, how could he easily defeat Pan and his martial arts brothers?”
Tianming said: “You’re very kind benefactor He, please enter our monastery for tea. However this benefactress……” He looked a bit awkward.
When He ZuDao heard that abbot Tianming wasn’t going to allow Guo Xiang to enter, his arrogance was aroused and laughed: “Old abbot, I came here to deliver a message on behalf of someone. After doing that I’ll leave, but the rules set by your monastery prohibiting women from entering is ludicrous. Frankly, I have problems with that rule. According to Buddhism, every life is equally precious, not making unnecessary distinctions between men and women.”
Abbot Tianming is an enlightened priest, and is very broad-minded. Tianming smiled and said: “Thank you for pointing that out. We are a bit petty when it comes to that. Well, Miss Guo, please enter for tea too.”
Guo Xiang smiled at He ZuDao and said: “You’re very eloquent, with just a few words this old monk already gave in.”
Abbot Tianming moved aside and made a gesture to welcome guests when suddenly an old and skinny monk to the left of Tianming stepped forward and said: “Just because of benefactor He’s one sentence, ShaoLin should abolish an ancient custom, which isn’t a bad thing, but we would like to see if the person who said those words have any real, impressive abilities. Or does he just clings on to a false reputation. I would like to ask benefactor He to reveal one, two special abilities so all the monks can be convinced of your specialties, so we all know that we just abolished a thousand year old rule for a worthy purpose.”
The old monk who said this was reverend WuXiang, head of the DaMo Hall. His voice was clear and loud showing that his internal strength was full and solid. When Pan TianGen, Fang Tianlao and Wei Tianwang heard this, their facial expressions changed. The words of WuXiang clearly indicate he has no high opinion of these three Western ShaoLin disciples. He ZuDao defeating them didn’t necessarily mean He ZuDao had any great abilities.
Guo Xiang saw reverend WuSe looking awkward and thought this old monk is a good man and a friend of Yang Guo. If He ZuDao really fought against the monks, and either party would lose, she would still feel bad about it. So she said to He ZuDao: “Brother He, I don’t really have to enter the monastery. After you’ve delivered the message, we’ll go.”
Guo Xiang pointed at WuSe and said: “This reverend WuSe is a good friend of mine. I hope you can be friends too.”
He ZuDao said: “Oh, I see.” and turned to abbot Tianming and said: “Old abbot, there is a Master Jueyuan here in the monastery. Who is it? I have been entrusted a message that I have to deliver to him.”
Abbot Tianming softly said: “Master Jueyuan?”
Jueyuan’s position is very low in the monastery. For many years he was just staying in the library and no one really paid any attention to him. Also, never did anyone call him [Master Jueyuan] so that’s why abbot Tianming didn’t know who He ZuDao meant. After awhile, Tianming said: “Oh! The monk who lost the “Ni Jia Scriptures”. Benefactor He, does this have to do with the lost of the “Ni Jia Scriptures.”
He ZuDao shook his head and said: “I really don’t know.”
Tianming told a pupil: “Tell Jueyuan to come out and meet our guests.”
The disciple quickly left.
Reverend WuXiang said: “Benefactor He, is the saints of the zither, chess and swordsmanship. Ordinary people wouldn’t dare to be called [saint]. Benefactor He must have extraordinary abilities in these three arts. Many days ago you left a note in the monastery telling us that you’re were eager to display your martial arts. Today you have come and we are very eager to see your martial arts.”
He ZuDao shook his head and said: “Miss Guo already said that both parties should not create any grudges.”
WuXiang was really annoyed and thought: “You left a note challenging us, now you’re saying you don’t want to fight. In these thousand years, who dared to look down upon ShaoLin like that? Furthermore, Pan Tiangeng, Fang Tianlao and Wei Tianwang were defeated at your hands. If word would get out that the head disciples of the ShaoLin School were defeated by you, your name the saint of swordsmanship will be even more famous in WuLin. Ordinary pupils are no match for him, I must challenge him personally.”
WuXiang walked forward and said: “Exchanging views on martial arts doesn’t necessarily mean creating grudges. Benefactor He, there is no reason to be humble.”
Wuxiang turned to a disciple of the DaMo Hall and said: “Get a sword! We will see the swordsmanship of the famous [saint of swordsmanship]. And we will see if the word [saint] is the right word to name it.”
The weapons of the monastery were already prepared, but were not brought out. That was to avoid people from saying ShaoLin monks were petty.
The disciple went back in and brought seven, eight swords and went to He ZuDao and said: “Benefactor He, will you be using your own weapon or will you be using one of our swords?”
He ZuDao didn’t answer and picked up a sharp rock from the ground and started carving lines in the tiles. He drew a chess board with that sharp rock. Every line was precise, accurate, and deeply carved into the stone tiles. He ZuDao just picked up a rock and drew this, this use and possession of internal energy was rare in the realm. He ZuDao laughed and said: “Dueling with swords might create unnecessary animosities between us. There is no way in competing music. If all you are interested, we could play chess.”
This display of internal energy and drawing a chessboard with a small rock was amazing. Tianming, WuSe, WuXiang and the seven elders of the Meditation Hall looked at each other and were stunned.
Abbot Tianming knew that this man’s internal strength was very powerful and no one in the monastery was his match. The abbot was about to admit defeat when they heard a metallic sound walking towards them. It was Jueyuan carrying two large metal buckets. Behind him was a young tall man. Jueyuan put down the buckets and paid his respects to Tianming and said: “I await your orders, abbot.”
Tianming said: “This benefactor He has something to tell you.”
Jueyuan turned around and didn’t know who He ZuDao was. Jueyuan said: “I am Jueyuan. Benefactor He, can I help you?”
After He ZuDao finished drawing the chessboard, his interest for chess was awoken and asked: “The message can wait now. Who is interested in a game of chess?” He ZuDao didn’t want to show off his martial arts, but he was always very captivated by the arts of zither, chess and swordsmanship. If his interest was awoken he can forget everything around him. He ZuDao just wanted a monk to play chess with now and forgot entirely about fighting.
Abbot Tianming said: “Benefactor He’s ability to draw a chessboard with a mere rock is amazing. Such magnificent ability is something I have never seen before. All the monks here are no match for you.”
When Jueyuan heard these words, he looked at the lines on the ground and realised that this He ZuDao came here to challenge the ShaoLin Monastery. Jueyuan picked up the iron buckets and took a deep breath and focused all his internal strength to his feet and started walking towards the lines.
The chains bound to Jueyuan’s feet dragged over the lines and erasing it. When the monks saw that, everyone called: “Good!”
Tianming, WuSe and WuXiang were surprised and happy to see that this old and pedant monk had such powerful internal energy. They lived in the monastery all these years and never realised it before. Tianming knows that no matter how powerful the internal energy of one person is, he/she can never leave such deep prints in the ground. The reason why Jueyuan could do this was that his iron buckets were filled with water so in total, there was two hundred kilograms.
Before Jueyuan could erase all the lines, He ZuDao spoke to him: “Very powerful internal energy, I don’t have such powerful internal strength.”
Jueyuan felt his energy growing in his public region but his legs were getting tired. Jueyuan stopped when he heard He ZuDao talking to him and turned to him and said with a smile: “Is there a difference in white and black pieces?”
He ZuDao said: “Right! This game of chess cannot be played anymore, I lose. I will try your swordsmanship.” He ZuDao drew his sword and aimed for his own chest and the hilt was facing the opponent. This was a very strange technique and looked like he was trying to kill himself. In all the sword stances in the world there was never such a strange technique.
Jueyuan said: “I only how know to meditate and recite scriptures. My responsibility is to tidy the library. I’ve never learnt martial arts.”
He ZuDao didn’t believe him and scoffed. He ZuDao advanced forward, the tip of the sword was now aiming for Jueyuan’s chest. This technique was very fast and was practically unequalled by all sword techniques in the realm. This stance wasn’t meant to aim for yourself but the position He ZuDao took was to generate his internal energy to the sword and lash out. However, Jueyuan’s internal energy was so powerful it was able to come and go as Jueyuan pleases. Jueyuan used one of the buckets to block this technique and the tip of the sword hit the iron bucket. The sword bent a bit and He ZuDao retrieved this technique and attacked again. Jueyuan used the other bucket to block that stance.
He ZuDao thought: “No matter how high your martial arts is, these buckets are not easy to be handled. How can you block my stances? If you used your hands instead I would have slightly feared you.”
He ZuDao used his index finger to point at the tip of the sword producing a buzzing sound. It was similar to a cry of a dragon.
He ZuDao called out: “Watch out, old monk!” With incredible speed He ZuDao launched sixteen stances towards Jueyuan.
However, Jueyuan blocked all of them, these sixteen techniques were called “The Swift Lightning Swordsmanship.”
Everyone could see that Jueyuan was in a frantic state, anyone knew now that Jueyuan didn’t know any martial arts at all.
These excellent sword techniques of He ZuDao were all blocked in a very silly way.
WuSe and WuXiang were very worried and called out: “Please spare him, benefactor He!”
Even Guo Xiang called out: “Don’t harm him!”
He ZuDao put everything he knew in this battle but still couldn’t overcome this monk.
He didn’t believe this monk didn’t know any martial arts. The reason why Jueyuan could avoid being hit was that he had very powerful internal energy.
He ZuDao realised his swift techniques were in vain and yelled out. A light flash was aiming for Jueyuan’s abdomen.
Jueyuan called out and used the two buckets to clip down the sword. He ZuDao wanted to pull the sword back but couldn’t move an inch. Quickly, He ZuDao changed technique and released the sword and placed all his energy to his palms and attacked with his palms. He aimed for Jueyuan’s head.
At this point, Jueyuan couldn’t block that move anymore. The situation was very dangerous. Zhang Junbao was very worried for his teacher, so Zhang leapt out and used the technique that Yang Guo taught him three years ago, namely “Extend in all Directions.” Zhang hit He ZuDao on his left shoulder.
At this time, the internal energy of Jueyuan was focused on the two buckets. The energy forced the water out in two spouts of water. When the energy of He ZuDao met with the spouts of water, the water was dispersed but also the energy of He ZuDao was gone. Both He ZuDao and Jueyuan were wet.
He ZuDao was engaged in the fight with Jueyuan and didn’t pay any attention to the young Zhang Junbao. Little did He ZuDao realise that Zhang’s palm technique and internal energy were very good and strong. He ZuDao was pushed away and could only stand still after three paces backwards.
Jueyuan said: “Amitabha, Amitabha! Please let me go, benefactor He. Those few attacks were really frightening.” Jueyuan used his sleeve to wipe away the water on his face and quickly stepped aside.
He ZuDao angrily said: “The ShaoLin Monastery has indeed many extraordinary people. Even a little boy has such good martial arts. Youngster, let us fight, if you can withstand ten of my stances I will never step foot again in China.”
WuSe and WuXiang knew that Zhang Junbao was just a boy who cleaned the library and helped out Jueyuan in his duties. Zhang never learnt any martial arts, he just accidentally hit He ZuDao just then. If they really fought, Zhang Junbao wouldn’t last one stance.
WuXiang spoke: “Benefactor He, you’re wrong. You are called “The three Saints of KunLun, your martial arts is unequalled through the realm. How can you fight with a mere young cleaner? If you don’t mind, let me accept that challenge.”
He ZuDao shook his head and said: “Everyone saw that he just hit me, I cannot let that go unpunished. Watch out, lad!”
This palm technique was very fast and he stood very close to Zhang Junbao. WuSe, WuXiang and others wanted to help but were too late to do anything now.
Everyone was worried for Zhang Junbao. Zhang just stood there and his toes were turning to the left and his body turned fluently to the right, taking on the position of an archer. This time, his right hand and left hand were guarding his waist. His right fist attacked. This was a beginning of the ShaoLin fist style called: “The Flower Fist piercing through right.”
This stance was absolutely excellent, this was a movement that should be made by a martial arts expert, not a young boy.
When He ZuDao suffered a blow to his shoulder he knew that this young boy’s internal strength was superior to Pan Tiangeng and others. But he was confident he could defeat Zhang Junbao within ten stances. When he saw that attack made by Zhang he was quite impressed and said: “Excellent move!”
WuXiang thought of something and smiled to WuSe: “Congratulations, elder brother for having such a good disciple.”
WuSe shook his head and said: “I didn’t….” At this point, Zhang Junbao used another three stances to counter attack. All the movements were grand and energy generated was full and fluent, not inferior to any ShaoLin martial artist.
Tianming, WuSe, WuXiang and the seven elders of the Meditation Hall saw that Zhang Junbao’s techniques were that spectacular. They were all stunned. WuXiang said: ” The grandness of his stances is nothing compared to his energy……”
At this point, He ZuDao already used six stances and thought: “If I cannot defeat this young lad, everyone in WuLin will laugh at me for leaving a note to challenge ShaoLin.”
Suddenly He ZuDao changed his movement and used a stance called: “The Floating Snow Flocks of Mount Tian.”
His palms were incredibly fast, and it seemed like Zhang Junbao was surrounded by palms.
Zhang Junbao was never really instructed on martial arts by anyone, with the exception of Yang Guo three years ago. This is the first time he saw such strange and fast palm techniques and didn’t know how to counter it. In a fit of anxiety, he used a ShaoLin stance called: “Two Circling Hands.” Zhang Junbao raised his two hands above his face and stood there. This stance was very grand and majestic, no matter how, or where He ZuDao attacked, his attacks will always be met by these two hands.
The monks of the DaMo and LuoHan Hall were all calling out: “Good!” They were all impressed by Zhang Junbao’s technique and praised him for using a simple ShaoLin stance to foil a heavy and complicated palm technique.
He ZuDao changed stance again and aimed a fist towards Zhang Junbao. Zhang returned the attack with a stance called: “The Flower leaning towards the seven Stars.”
Zhang’s palm met with He’s fist, there was a banging sound. He ZuDao’s body shook and Zhang Junbao backed five paces. He ZuDao’s face changed and said: “One more stance, try your best to deal with it.”
Everyone remained silent, they knew that this final attack of He ZuDao was very powerful. They knew that He threw in everything to win at this point.
Again Zhang Junbao used: “The Flower leaning towards the seven Stars.”
This time there was no sound when fist and palm met. Both were generating internal energy. When it comes to all-round martial arts, He ZuDao would win with ease over Zhang Junbao. But when it comes to internal energy, Zhang learnt some parts of the “Jiu Yang” codex so his internal strength kept increasing and increasing. He ZuDao knew he couldn’t defeat this young boy and leapt away and let Zhang Junbao’s energy dash forward and used his right hand to push gently on Zhang’s back causing him to fall over.
He ZuDao waved his hand and smiled wryly: “He ZuDao, He ZuDao. You’re are too arrogant.”
He ZuDao turned to abbot Tianming and said: “The martial arts of the ShaoLin Monastery are renowned for a thousand years. It is indeed amazing. Today I have seen enough, knowing that the good name of ShaoLin is well deserved.”
He turned around and leapt forward a few metres, suddenly he turned around and said to Jueyuan: “Reverend Jueyuan, someone told me to deliver this message: The manuscript is in the oil/ [Jing Zai You Zhong].”
After saying that, he even leapt further away and his movements were incredibly fast, so fast that it was rare in the realm.
Zhang JuBao slowly struggled up, his face covered with sand. Although he was beaten by He ZuDao, He already admitted his defeat to ShaoLin.
Suddenly one of the old monks of the Meditation Hall spoke sharply and coldly: “Who taught this disciple martial arts?” Everyone felt uncomfortable after hearing this old monk talk.
Abbot Tianming, WuSe and WuXiang were all thinking about this too. They all looked at Jueyuan and Zhang Junbao. Jueyuan and Zhang just stood there not knowing what was going on now.
Tianming spoke: “Jueyuan’s internal strength is powerful but he never learnt any other forms of martial arts. Who taught this boy martial arts?”
The disciples of the DaMo and LuoHan Hall were all thinking, luckily today there was a young cleaner who come forward and warded off ShaoLin’s disaster. The old abbot will surely reward him and the master who taught him martial arts.
The old monk of the Meditation Hall stood still and his eyebrows were raised. He looked like he was ready to kill someone. The old monk sharply asked Zhang Junbao again: “I’m going to ask you again. Who taught you this LuoHan fist style?”
Zhang Junbao took out the little iron Arhats Guo Xiang gave to him and said: “I just learnt a few stances from these little statues. No one taught me any martial arts.”
The old monk stepped forward and slowly said in a threatening way: “Tell me one more time: Your LuoHan fist was NOT imparted by any master of the monastery. You learnt it by yourself.”
Zhang Junbao was a bit startled but he also believed he didn’t do anything wrong. Even though this old monk looked very stern, he wasn’t afraid and said clearly: “I’m just responsible for keeping the library clean and tidy. I’m here to look after and help Master Jueyuan. No other reverend in the monastery has taught me martial arts. I learnt this LuoHan fist by myself, I think I might have made a few mistakes in the stances. I hope old Master can give me some pointers.”
The old monk’s eyes looked like spitting fire and fiercely stared at Zhang Junbao for a ver long time and not moving.
Jueyuan knew that this old monk was a senior of the monastery. He was one of the martial arts uncles of abbot Tianming. Tianming, himself, stood a generation higher than Jueyuan, WuSe and WuXiang.
Jueyuan didn’t understand why this old monk was so angry and he saw that the old monk’s eyes were filled with hate. Suddenly he realised something, he once read in a codex something that happened more than seventy years ago in the ShaoLin Monastery.
*More than seventy years ago, the abbot of the ShaoLin Monastery was reverend KuCheng. This abbot KuCheng stood two generations above abbot Tianming.
One year in Autumn, during a yearly contest held in the DaMo Hall, something disastrous happened. It was a tradition of ShaoLin to examine and evaluate the disciples’ martial arts every year. This was done in the DaMo Hall, the abbot and the two elders of the DaMo and LuoHan Hall would be the one to evaluate the disciples to see whether they had improved this year.
That year, the judge was the elder of the DaMo Hall reverend Kuzhi and all the disciples were displaying their martial arts.
Suddenly a “TouTuo” entered and yelled out: “KuWei is full of nonsense and doesn’t know the real essence of martial arts. He shouldn’t even be the head of the DaMo Hall, this old monk is a complete disgrace!”
All the monks were surprised and saw that this “TouTuo” was a mere monk in charge of cooking meals for the ShaoLin disciples. All the monks scolded him and started telling him to be quiet.
This “HuoGong TouTuo” yelled: “The master is full of crap, the pupils are even more incompetent.”
So he went to centre of the hall, and challenged all the ShaoLin disciples one after the other. They were all defeated easily within three, four stances. It was the rule in the DaMo Hall to be lenient in the battles. But this “HuoGong TouTuo” was very vicious, he defeated the nine Head disciples of the DaMo Hall, all nine of those pupils were heavily injured by him.
The elder Kuzhi was angry and shocked and saw that this “HuoGong TouTuo” used ShaoLin martial arts, so it wasn’t an expert from a different school who came here creating havoc. Kuzhi asked him who taught him martial arts.
That “HuoGong TouTuo” said: “No one taught me, I learned it myself.”
It seems that the monk who was in charge of the kitchen was a very bad-tempered monk. This monk would often beat up other monks and this monk learned some martial arts so he often hit them very hard.
“HuoGong TouTuo” was beaten up so severely in three years that he coughed up blood three times. In a fury, he started to secretly study martial arts. All the ShaoLin monks knew martial arts and it was easy for him to secretly observe and learn it. He made extraordinary, painstaking efforts and plus, he was very intelligent so in these twenty years he learned superior martial arts. However, he kept a low profile and performed his duties and even if the head of the kitchen would beat him up he didn’t feel a thing anymore with his high internal energy. This “HuoGong TouTuo” also had a sinister and violent personality, he waited till he felt confident no one in the monastery was his match and wanted to show off his abilities in the annual contest. All these years of being beaten up made him hate all the monks in the monastery. So when he fought those monks, he didn’t show any mercy.
When reverend Kuzhi knew what he did, he scoffed and said: “Taking such trouble is worthy of my respect.”
Kuzhi stood up and challenged “HuoGong TouTuo” to a fight. Reverend Kuzhi was a top martial arts expert from ShaoLin but he was already very old and HuoGong TouTuo was just middle-aged. Secondly, Kuzhi was being lenient with his techniques and “HuoGong TouTuo” only used ferocious stances. So they were able to fight each other till five hundred stances. At this point, Master Kuzhi was gaining the upperhand and both used the same stance, namely “The Grand Intertwining Silk”. four hands were entangled with each other. However, Kuzhi’s hands were placed on the death acupoints of HuoGong TouTuo’ chest. If Kuzhi was to release his energy, “HuoGong TouTuo” was surely to die. But reverend Kuzhi admired and respected his ability to learn such powerful martial arts with no one teaching him, so he wanted to spare him. So Kuzhi pushed his two hands forward and called out: “Turn back now!”
Unfortunately, “HuoGong TouTuo” misinterpreted and thought Kuzhi used a technique called: “Eight Strikes of the Divine Palm.” One of the special skills of ShaoLin that “HuoGong TouTuo” saw the disciples of the DaMo Hall using was this stance before using both hands to strike out and breaking a wooden beam. The energy released is formidable. Although the martial arts of “HuoGong TouTuo” was high, he never received any pointers from any experts and the martial arts of ShaoLin are deep and profound. He only secretly saw and observed some skills but he could never learn everything completely. The stance Kuzhi used was “The Resolve Stance.” But “HuoGong TouTuo” thought it was the sixth technique of the “Eighth Strikes of the Divine Palm” namely the “Heart Splitting Palm.” He thought: “You want to take me life, don’t you? Well, it’s not going to be that easy.” So flew towards Kuzhi and his two fists were aiming for Kuzhi’s body.
The energy of the fists was incredibly powerful and violent, Kuzhi was shocked and quickly raised his palms to block, but it was too late. Everyone heard a cracking sound, the arm of Kuzhi was broken, as well as four of his ribs. All the disciples rushed forward to help and they saw Kuzhi looking deadly pale and couldn’t talk anymore. His internal organs were all severely injured. When they looked up, “HuoGong TouTuo” was gone in the confusion. That same night, reverend Kuzhi passed away, the entire monastery was mourning. Little did they expect that “HuoGong TouTuo” sneaked back in ShaoLin and killed the head of the kitchen and five other monks who used to bully him.
The entire ShaoLin Monastery was shocked and sent out various martial arts experts to track him down, but in vain.
After this incident, the senior elders of the monastery had an intense argument. And in a fury, the elder of the LuoHan Hall Master KuWei left the Northern ShaoLin Monastery and went to the Western Regions to founded a Western ShaoLin Monastery.
Pan Tiangeng, Fang Tianlao and Wei Tianwang are his descendants.
Also because of this, the ShaoLin Monastery was in a down period. The abbot set a new rule: no one was allowed to learn ShaoLin martial arts without a master teaching him. If not, in the worst case, this person will be put to death, and in lighter cases, the muscles and veins of his arms and legs will be snapped and this person will be come disabled for the rest of his life.
But in all these years no one ever learned anything without permission so this rule was forgotten by most monks.
This old monk of the Meditation Hall was the youngest disciple of Master Kuzhi and the image of the death of his teacher is still vividly in his memory. So this incident with Zhang Junbao stirred up his anger and hate.
Jueyuan practically read all the manuscripts in the library and remembered these event. So Jueyuan broke into cold sweat now and pleaded to the Tianming: “Old abbot, this cannot be blamed on Junbao…..”
At this time, the elder of the DaMo Hall reverend WuXiang called: “All the disciples of the DaMo Hall go forward and seize that boy!” The eighteen DaMo disciples surrounded Zhang Junbao, Jueyuan, and even Guo Xiang. That old monk of the Meditation Hall sternly yelled: “Why don’t the disciples of the LuoHan Hall go forward and seize that boy!”
All the one hundred and eight disciples said: “Yes!” and surrounded Zhang Junbao, Jueyuan and Guo Xiang. There were three circles of disciples around them.
Note: This incident of ShaoLin with “HuoGong TouTuo” happened around the same time of the First Battle at Mount Hua. That’s why there were no experts from ShaoLin in the five Great Experts. – The main reason, and also the most important reason, was of course none of the ShaoLin experts of that time came close to the levels the Huang YaoShi, OuYang Feng, Duang ZhiXing/ Master YiDeng, Hong QiGong and Wang ChongYang. And of course Qiu QianRen and Zhou BoTong. -Second reason, ShaoLin was starting to fall in the realm of martial arts, plus the incident with “HuoGong TouTuo” led to two fractions in the monastery resulting from reverend KuWei leaving with his followers. -ShaoLin couldn’t even protect their own martial arts from being secretly mastered by someone else. I don’t think the abbot would have the face to try and to get the “Jiu Yin Zhen Jing.” Arrogant people like OuYang Feng and Huang YaoShi would surely scoff and say something like: “ShaoLin can’t even protect their own manuscripts and now they want to get their hands on Jiu Yin Zhen Jing. Such audacity!”-The last reason should be why should ShaoLin try to get hold of Jiu Yin Zhen Jing. The martial arts of ShaoLin is deep and profound already. Why be greedy while many special ShaoLin skills are waiting to be mastered?
Zhang Junbao was in a frantic state, he believed that by defeating He ZuDao he broke the rules of the monastery.
Jueyuan loved Zhang Junbao like a son and he also knew that if Zhang was captured, he will certainly be punished severely.
At this time, he heard WuXiang call out: “What are you waiting for, seize him!”
The eighteen disciples of the DaMo Hall stepped forward to seize Zhang Junbao. Jueyuan didn’t think anymore and turned a circle and the two iron buckets were rotating, causing the monks to back off. Jueyuan threw the remaining water out of the buckets and placed Guo Xiang and Zhang Junbao in the buckets. He whirled the buckets round and round like a pair of comet hammers. All the disciples of the DaMo Hall quickly moved away.
Jueyuan swiftly leapt away and carried the two buckets with Guo Xiang and Zhang Junbao away. The monks gave chase, and after awhile they lost track of them. The rules are very strict of ShaoLin and the head of the DaMo Hall gave an order to seize Zhang Junbao, so even if the monks couldn’t catch up they must still pursue them. After awhile, the monks with a level in the art of levitation were still chasing while the others were falling behind. In the end, only five monks were still running about, and they knew even if they caught up with them, they wouldn’t be a match for Jueyuan and Zhang Junbao.
So they didn’t have an option but to return to ShaoLin.
Jueyuan ran kilometers away from the monastery and he stopped when they were in the deep end of the forest. Although Jueyuan’s internal energy was powerful, this running away took a heavy toll on him. He was too weak now to even put down the buckets. Guo Xiang and Zhang Junbao jumped out and lifted the buckets from his shoulders.
Zhang Junbao said: “Master, rest for awhile I will look for some food.”
But he couldn’t find anything else but some wild strawberries. The three of them ate some and rested.
Guo Xiang said to Jueyuan: “Reverend Jueyuan, all the monks of the ShaoLin Monastery are very weird. With the exception of you and reverend WuSe.”
Jueyuan only murmured something. Guo Xiang continued: “You and your pupil defeated that “three Saints of KunLun” He ZuDao. They should be thanking you and now they want to capture brother Zhang. That’s ridiculous!”
Jueyuan sighed: “This cannot be entirely blamed on the old abbot and Buddhist brother WuXiang. ShaoLin has a rule…..”
After saying that Jueyuan started coughing and couldn’t catch his breath.
Guo Xiang softly padded his back and said: “You’re tired, you should rest now. We shall talk about this tomorrow.”
Jueyuan sighed: “Yes, I’m very tired.”
Zhang Junbao made a small fire to dry his and Guo Xiang’s clothes and the three of them slept under a tree.
In the middle of the night, Guo Xiang heard Jueyuan murmuring. It sounded like he was reciting sutras. So she woke up and heard: “The strength of the opponent just reaches my skin and hair, my essence penetrate the opponents bones. Raise your two hands and let your energy flow fluently. The left is heavy, yet empty, the right flows ever away. But the right is heavy yet the left is empty…..”
Guo Xiang thought: “This isn’t a Buddhist sutra, and that final part was related to martial arts theory.”
Jueyuan continued: “Your “qi” is like a wheel, rotating through your entire body, if not your body will be dispersed and converse. This illness is caused by waist and leg…….” Guo Xiang knew for sure that he was reciting martial art theories and thought: “Reverend Jueyuan didn’t learn martial arts but he read almost every scripture he could find. And three years ago he said that in the handwritten Lankavatara sutra of Master DaMo, there was another codex namely [Jiu Yang Zheng Jing]. He thought it’s purpose was to stay healthy and strong and learnt the essence from it. Both he and his pupil didn’t have someone to teach them, but somehow he reached the same level as the other top martial arts experts of the realm. I could remember clearly that when Xiao XiangZi struck him, Xiao XiangZi was injured himself. I doubt that even brother Yang and my father can do something like that. And today, they managed to defeat He ZuDao, thanks to [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing]. He must be reciting that [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing] at the moment.” She sat up and started paying attention and remained quiet, she was afraid to disturb him. She was memorizing every word Jueyuan said and thought: “If it is [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing], it must be excellent and profound. I will memorize what he says and ask him tomorrow if he can explain it.”
Jueyuan recited: “…First use your heart to enable your body. Start from other people, do not start yourself. The back of your body can now start from the heart. Because you remain the same and people start first. Let your opponent attack first, and follow his movements. If he doesn’t move, you don’t move. If he moves a bit you move too.
Guo Xiang thought: “This is wrong, my parents always taught me that in a battle you have to strike first before being struck. Reverend Jueyuan is wrong here.”
Guo Xiang was confused, she was always taught to strike first, be quicker than your opponent. And Jueyuan’s theory was the opposite of what she learned and she thought: “In a fight you cannot really stand still and let your opponent be leading the fight.”
Because of this confusion she missed a part. She saw that Zhang Junbao sat there listening carefully. Guo Xiang thought: “No matter whether he’s wrong or right. This old monk was able to injure Xiao XiangZi and defeat He ZuDao, I saw this myself. So his martial arts theories must be good.”
For both theories something can be said. You can’t say that what Guo Jing taught Guo Xiang was wrong. It depends on the level and the user. Jiu Yang is NOT superior to Jiu Yin.
Jueyuan continued to recite and sometimes he would recite a piece from the Lankavatara sutra. [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing] was written inside the Lankavatara sutra. Jueyuan recited some parts in Indian causing Guo Xiang to be quite confused.
Fortunately, Guo Xiang was an very intelligent girl and still managed to memorize twenty-thirty percent of everything.
Jueyuan continued to recite, his voice became lower and unclear. Guo Xiang said: “Rest for awhile, you’ve been exhausted.”
But Jueyuan continued to recite: “… Borrow your strength from your opponent, your “qi” must be drawn from your spine. How to draw “qi” from your spine? Your “qi” lowers, and bend your shoulders to the back concentrate on your waist. This “qi” will come from above and go down. Meaning the “qi” is unified. Unifying means taking in, opening means releasing. If you understand opening and unifying, you’ll understand “ying” and “yang.”
After reciting to this part, Jueyuan’s voice softly ended and it seemed he fell into a deep sleep.
It was becoming dawn, Jueyuan was still sleeping and he had a smile on his face.
Zhang Junbao raised his head and saw a grey shadow appearing from the tree. This shadow wore a yellow kasaya. He was startled and said: “Who’s there?”
A tall, skinny, old monk appeared, it was the head of the LuoHan Hall reverend WuSe.
Guo Xiang was startled and happy to see him and said: “Why do keep pursuing them? Must you really capture them and bring them back to ShaoLin?”
WuSe said: “I know the difference between right and wrong. If I’m really an upholder of ancient rules and traditions I would have captured them last night and wouldn’t wait till now. Brother Jueyuan, brother WuXiang is leading the disciples of the DaMo Hall to the east. Quickly, go to the west!” Jueyuan was still sitting and had his eyes closed.
Zhang Junbao walked up and said: “Master wake up. The elder of the LuoHan Hall is talking to you.”
Jueyuan was still sitting there, Zhang Junbao became frightened and touched his face. Jueyuan was cold, he passed away some time ago. Zhang Junbao was devastated and cried: “Master, master!”
But Jueyuan will never wake up again.
WuSe put his palms together and recited a Buddhist scripture and left.
Zhang Junbao was crying, and Guo Xiang was crying too. When the monks of ShaoLin die, it was a custom to cremate them. So Guo Xiang and Zhang Junbao collected some wood and cremated Jueyuan’s body.
Guo Xiang spoke to Zhang Junbao: “Brother Zhang, the ShaoLin monks will not easily let you off. You must be very careful. Our paths will now part, I hope to see again in the future.”
Zhang Junbao was still crying and asked: “Miss Guo, where will you be going? Where shall I go?”
Guo Xiang felt sad after hearing his question: “I shall travel to the ends of the world if I have to. I, myself do not know where I’m going. Brother Zhang, you’re still young and don’t have any experience in WuLin matters. Furthermore, the ShaoLin monks are still looking for you.”
She removed a golden bracelet from her wrist and gave it to Zhang Junbao and said: “Take this bracelet and go to XiangYang to see my parents. They will treat you warmly. And if you’re with my parents, those ShaoLin monks will think twice before trying to capture you.”
Zhang Junbao was in tears and took the bracelet. Guo Xiang said: “Tell my parents that I’m alright and tell them not to worry.
My father likes heroic youngsters, if he sees that you’re such a talented man he’ll probably accept you as his pupil. My younger brother is a friendly, honest person, you will like him. But my older sister has a bad-temper, she’ll scold anyone for the slightest matter and doesn’t consider the feelings of other people. Just try to put up with her.”
After saying that she left.
Zhang Junbao stood there and felt very lonely and thought, although the world was big there was no place for him to stay.
He stood in front of Jueyuan’s ashes for a very long time and then started walking away. After walking for a few metres he went back and carried his teacher’s iron buckets away. In the middle of nowhere, this young, skinny man walks lonely to the west, ever so sad and lonesome.
After walking half a day, he reached the borders of the HeBei province. The city of XiangYang was not far from here and the ShaoLin monks were not be seen. This was due to reverend WuSe, he told the monks that Zhang Junbao was seen in the east so all the monks went to the east to look for him. So the farther Zhang Junbao traveled to the west, the bigger the distance he put between himself and his pursuers.
This afternoon, he reached a tall mountain. It was very green and luxuriant, the forest was thick. And the mountain looked very majestic, on inquiry, this mountain was called Wudang.
Zhang Junbao rested on a rock nearby and saw a man and a woman walking by. They seemed to be local farmers, the two looked ever so intimate and it seemed that they were just newly-weds. The wife was murmuring something and she seemed to be scolding her husband. The husband lowered his head and didn’t make a sound.
The wife said: “You’re a grown man, why can’t you support your own family? Why go to sister and brother-in-law? That scene was humiliating enough, wasn’t it? We have hands and feet, we can support ourselves, even if we have to eat simple food. Just as long as we’re happy and carefree.”
The husband just nodded and hmmd.
The wife continued: “Besides death, there is nothing we should worry about. Do we really have to rely on others?”
The husband didn’t dare to say anything back, his face was swelling up.
The words of the wife were getting through to Zhang Junbao and he thought that she was right. He stared at their backs and thought those words over and over again. Suddenly he saw the husband standing up straight and saying something. Both husband and wife laughed heartily, it seemed that the husband realised that he must take care of himself instead of relying on other people.
Zhang Junbao thought: “Miss Guo said her older sister was very bad-tempered and often scolded other people for no particular reason. She also told me to just put up with her. I’m a grown man, why should I put up with that kind of attitude. If that husband and wife cling on to their self-respect, so should I, Zhang Junbao. Why do I have to put up with anyone’s bad-temper?”
He made up his mind and carried the two buckets up and went up Mount Wudang. He found a cave and lived in it, living on water from springs and fruit from the forest. He started studying [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing].
Many years later, he realised something: “Master DaMo originated from India, even if he knew Chinese it would be very basic. The language of [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing] is very deep and profound. It is definitely not written by foreigners. Probably some ShaoLin monk created this and used the name of Master DaMo. And this monk wrote [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing] inside the Lankavatara sutra.”
But this was just his deduction and he felt still somewhat puzzled by it. Jueyuan taught Zhang Junbao [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing] for some time, so he was able to remember fifty, sixty percent of it. More than ten years later, his internal strength reached a very high level, and he started to study Taoist manuscripts and scriptures. He managed to learn a lot from the cultivation of “qi” in these scriptures.
On one particular day, he looked up in the sky and some some clouds and looked down and some the flowing water, Zhang Junbao seemed to have realised something. He went back to his cave and pondered on his discovery seven days and seven nights, finally he understood it completely and comprehended the martial arts theory that “gentleness can overcome fierceness.” [Yi Rou Ke Gang]. He laughed to his heart’s content.
This laughter produced a top martial arts master. He created a martial arts style based on Taoist theories and [Jiu Yang Zhen Jing]. He founded the famous and glorious Wudang School.
Later when he roamed about, he saw three peaks reaching up into the sky. He changed his name to Sanfeng and became China’s martial arts mysterious master namely, Zhang Sanfeng.