Chapter 107: Not Fighting Would Be For The Best
A single giant bronze statue could be seen right in front of Wang Chao. This was an ancient artifact of a bronze horse with its hooves raised high and its mane raised in a life-like manner.
This bronze horse had three of its hooves up in front of it while its last hoof was standing on top of the back of a sparrow.
A tiny sparrow, but in that moment, it was able to support the heavy weight of the horse!
This Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow artifact was a symbol of equilibrium. Perfection in skill, and an art stolen from the heavens, this artifact gave off a freakish impression that also left one with a feeling of mystery to it.
“The horse stance is unbelievably stable and has long-lasting power with its raised hooves. Using its gluteal muscles to explode with Jin, the legs will follow up with the abdomen, waist, chest, shoulder, neck, and head. The sparrow stance is agile and can skim through water. The sparrow stance in Xingyiquan uses the leg as well. Soaring high, the legs leap up to strike out.”
Right in front of the “Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow” artifact, Wang Chao and Chen Aiyang both began to observe it.
“That is correct. The fighting style of the sparrow stance uses both legs to fly high. Using both arms for strength, the user will then use their legs to lash out. Using one’s entire strength, it can kill in a single burst of energy. Just like how a sparrow will create a line through the surface of water as it skims across, the sparrow stance will use the human’s median line instead.”
Many disciplines of Chinese boxing did not emphasize lifting the legs. That was because many disciplines relied on using the ground to borrow power. There were many different variations, but when one lifted their legs, it would generally never go higher than the knee. Liao Junhua’s “Dog Passing Water” was an example of one of the few moves that killed using the leg.
“Dog Passing Water” utilized the monkey stance’s crouch, contraction, and then the explosive extension of the body. Its killing potential was normally hidden, but blood would be spilt when it was used. Within Chinese boxing, there was a certain mnemonic, “When one ‘contracts’ and then ‘extends’, it commands one to ‘flee’”
But the sparrow stance in battle would bring the legs into the air to repeatedly kick a person to death.
This was a terribly fierce move that would be classified as a sure-kill move to anyone that saw it.
When in the air, one would not be able to borrow power from anything, they would only be able to use their own inertia to support their movements. If one were to use their entire strength, it would be possible to kill their opponent, but it would also pose a threat to the user themselves.
Wang Chao had a deep understanding of this ideology and would rarely use the sparrow stance because of that. In actual combat, his usage of the Chopping Jin of the tiger stance and the Eagle Claw would rarely have anyone being able to dodge it.
Against an inferior opponent, the first strike would defeat them. But against a superior opponent, the move had to be pure and being open to change! If one was able to chain one killing move after another, then in a competition, one would forever be invincible.
Although Wang Chao would use the Assault of Dragon and Snake as his killing move to turn the tides, if he were to come across a high leveled expert capable of understanding the mysteries of the dragon and snake stances, then they would be able to defend themselves against it. From there, it would only be a windfall for them and a downfall for Wang Chao.
If one’s repertoire of techniques failed to provide any results, then the heart would be devastated. And in an instant, the inspiration would decline.
The most important thing in a competition was inspiration. This held especially true in a match between experts. If the heart were to be disappointed, then no matter how strong one’s martial arts was, they would find it hard to run away from fate.
Therefore, the more killing moves one could pull out from their repertoire, the better. If one technique failed to land, at least there was still one more in reserve. The heart would not yet feel disappointed.
Chen Aiyang had been carefully explaining the profundity of his “Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow” killing move to Wang Chao.
“Take a look at how this horse steps on the sparrow with both hooves high in the air. At this moment, the horse is the sparrow, and the sparrow is the horse. The horse borrows the sparrow’s strength to transform in midair. When the horse flies, it becomes the dragon!”
Chen Aiyang’s arms and legs moved to demonstrate for a moment before he felt a sharp pain in his chest. As a result of his impatience to explain, he had immediately stopped speaking.
“Master Chen, you should rest for now. There will be another time to demonstrate.” Wang Chao spoke in a hurry. In his heart, he was already thinking about just what Chen Aiyang was getting at with his hands and feet.
The horse stance had originally included the dragon stance. Within the dragon stance was the meaning of millions of things. Pratically every single killing move of any animal could be found within the dragon stance. No matter the practitioner, in the end, every practitioner would have a different understanding of the dragon stance. Thus, the form and movements would differ.
“No need to worry, I was merely short of breath.” Chen Aiyang touched the bronze statue. Despite it being an imitation, it was still of excellent handiwork that had only been made after its creator understood the beauty of the original.
“The most vital area of this style is to having a good balance of one’s center of gravity. In that split moment when the horse rises into the air, it kicks out in the way of the sparrow. In the horse, the sparrow is hidden while the sparrow supports the horse. Take a look at this bronze statue. When the horse rises in that moment, all of its power follows the hooves up in front while leaving behind only a little bit in the back. But this center of gravity is extremely small so that it can follow the sparrow’s movements. While small, it is extremely important. Without this center of gravity, the horse would not be able to fly.”
After taking two long breaths, Chen Aiyang and Wang Chao walked out of the room together.
This was the house that Chen Aiyang owned in Singapore. A single-story house with a large courtyard in the back. Within this courtyard were countless of great trees. Each one had a rhythm to growing large so that it was like a giant lush-green parasol that covered the ground beneath from the tropic sun.
Chen Aiyang’s eyes had a sharp glint as he explained Using his own body to demonstrate, he made sure to use that as an explanation for any of Wang Chao’s shortcomings of understanding.
“While competitions placed emphasis on a sure-kill move with outstanding speed and no delays, there are always exceptions. When two experts with the same level of strength met, or two disciples of the same discipline are familiar with one another’s style of fighting, it is hard to determine who will be the victor. Your tiger stance pounces forward vigorously and your Eagle Claw captures and rips the opponent requires in instant, but it is unsuited for a long battle. The movements of the monkey stance leaps and hops to dodge, but against an expert with an equally agile style of movement, your killing moves will fail to land and would easily be used against you. Your snake stance focuses on the Drilling Jin to search for a hole in one’s defenses. Then, after baring your fangs, the snake transforms into a dragon. The Drilling Jin requires a timely strike, but against an enemy, it isn’t enough. This type of attack is easily suppressed by an enemy, do you not think so?”
Wang Chao thought back to his battle with Zhang Wei where he had used the snake stance to fight. As a result, his strength had truly not been enough to overwhelm his opponent. While the snake stance was fierce, it was inherently reserved. It would not be able to bring out an overwhelming amount of strength.
“That day, if Zhang Wei was just a little more capable and subdued my attack, then my snake stance would most likely not have transformed into the dragon stance. By then, I would have been beaten down. Truly, the Drilling Jin of the snake stance has abundance in fierceness, but lacks firmness.”
When Chen Aiyang saw Wang Chao nod his head, he continued to speak, “The tiger and eagle are both very fierce, but they cannot be maintained for long. The monkey stance is very agile, and the snake stance very sinister, but using these two won’t bring one’s inspiration to the top. However, your Pounding Fist of the horse stance will continue forward without fail with both the hands and feet. Fierce in power and eternal in presence, it will trample across any enemy. Combined with the tiger and eagle, the strength will persist. With this, you gain the benefit of both. But the Pounding Fist of the horse stance, while it contains the explosive collision force, it cannot bring an attack to its maximum. Against an expert, they can still block it with difficulty. You may be able to take the upper hand, but you will not be able to take his life. Even if you try to persist, the dream lasts as long as the night does. Taking the advantage is one thing, killing is another.”
“With the Flying Horse Treading on a Sparrow, when the Pounding Fist of the horse stance reaches its pinnacle, it will transform in that instant. The center of gravity will change and the inspiration will soar. Rising high in the sky, your kick will lay claim to his life.”
Taking in two deep breaths, Chen Aiyang moved forward two steps. His body had been in synch with his breaths and moved as he inhaled and exhaled.
Suddenly, Chen Aiyang’s arms and legs took action. His legs moved like how a horse would trot, and his arms moved up and down. With each fist, his vertebrae swayed along with his body and brought his entire momentum up to his fists.
He had learned Wang Chao’s Pounding Fist of the horse stance! A fist a strike, and a step a stamp! Like a hoof his fists moved, and his entire body moved along with his fist. His entire body surged forward and truly resembled the ferocity that a stampeding horse would have!
The explosion of fists continued, and with each strike, the air around it gave a explosive crack! Even under his own feet, Wang Chao could distinctly feel the tremors. It was almost as if he was experiencing the recoil of a gun from underneath the surface and caused an earth tremor.
While Chen Aiyang had been unable to bring out the sounds of thunder with his movements, the chain of Pounding Fists had been enough to bring about a strong gale within the courtyard and blew past Wang Chao’s clothes fiercely.
In particular to the Jin of his feet, whenever the hooves turned over to reveal the soles, there seemed to be some sort of attractive force in the soles. Sucking up the dust behind the feet, even the grass, stolon, dirt, and fragments of bricks could be seen flying upwards.
“Send your intent like wind rolling over the ground” Within Chen Aiyang’s movements, he had perfectly demonstrated one of the mnemonics of the Quan Jing in regards to intent.
In his attacks, his entire body had been completely covered by the dust carried by the wind he had brought up.
As he moved forward, he drew close to a giant tree with the width a human could barely hug at the end of the courtyard. Suddenly, the very instant he got close enough, both of his arms exploded forward and struck the tree trunk. Shaking violently, the tree leaves began to rustle, and almost as if it was autumn, they began to flutter to the ground.
Following straight after this, Chen Aiyang leapt into the air with both legs wafting through nothing. In a moment, he had lashed out three times with his feet. These three kicks had been in uniform with the median line of a person and onto the tree. Each kick had a resounding smash with the tree, causing a fierce splitting sound to be heard.
Right in front of Wang Chao’s eyes, he could see the bark of the tree splinter off into every direction possible like shrapnel. Some smashed into the courtyard walls while some smashed through the glass to the windows, signifying just how strong the bark had been sent flying.
At last, the tree was given one last smashing kick, causing the tree to split down the middle.
Chen Aiyang landed back on his feet with an extremely rosy face. His eyebrows and hair stood up on its end and the blood in his face seemed as if it was on the verge of leaking out from the pores. Suddenly, he coughed out a mouthful of blood and flopped to the ground.
“Master Chen!” Wang Chao started before striding eight meters towards Chen Aiyang like a madman.
“Your body is injured, you shouldn’t use up too much energy. You didn’t need to show me the Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow, with just your words, I would have been able to find my way to it eventually, what was the need for this?”
Chen Aiyang shook his head, “This move is far too profound and requires one to see it for themselves personally in order to understand the mystery behind it. I’ll be fine, I just overexerted myself and overworked my lungs. I’ll have to recuperate for another ten or so days if anything.”
“This strike still has another variation from the one I showed you if used against an enemy. Urk…” Chen Aiyang suddenly went into a fierce coughing spell for a moment. After a while, he continued, “I was fighting against the air just now, and not an actual person. If there is a person you are fighting and wish to borrow power from him, then in the final two Pounding Fits, you must use your arms to hold onto him. When your horse stance reaches the final Pounding Fist against an expert who does not wish to dodge and instead wishes to defend, then you must go head to head with him. Both arms must adhere to him with all your might. Borrow the powerof his arms and soar into the air. With this, your kick will be many times stronger than what I demonstrated.”
“There is more. When you borrow the power of his arms, your center of gravity must be overturned as well. It is not just your arms, but your entire body must change. You must have the changing ability a goshawk has in its flight. However, the body does not need to truly overturn, it only must have the intent to.”
“A sparrow skims the water, a goshawk drills the skies. In truth, these two are of the same stance. If you can learn the ‘Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow’, then you will also be able to bring out the spirit of the goshawk stance. When the goshawk turns over to bore into the skies, its intent remains the same. This intent cannot be found in the ‘Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow’. Instead, this is the connection I had found from Xue Lianxin combined with the Taichi concept of borrowing power to defeat power, Xue Lianxin’s martial arts and movements were all inherited by the Xue Dian of the Tianjin Guoshu Institute. Whenever you go exchange notes with Xue Lianxin is the day you will begin to understand many more things.”
Wang Chao asked in a hurry, “I know I know, you shouldn’t say anymore and get some rest. This upcoming match I will definitely be careful in fighting.”
Chen Aiyang took in several more deep breaths, causing the blood in his face to finally retreat back and restore his pale color.
“Your martial arts is already drawing close to the Transforming Jin realm. If you grasp onto the fundamentals, the rest will follow with ease, so I can rest with ease that you will be able to understand this form. However, this ‘Flying Horse Treading on Sparrow’ is extremely fierce. If used, then if it isn’t he that dies, then it will be you. There is no second road. In the competition, if you don’t need to sue it, then try not to use it. Cheng Shanming is the legacy of Cheng Tinghua. Elder Cheng is an example to us practitioners. I don’t wish for you or him to kill one or another, and in fact, losing or winning means nothing here. The most important thing is that the both of us survives. If I become the leader of the family, then I will dissolve the issues. I would rather the original business than not.”
Wang Chao sighed, “It is better to squash any enmity rather than to keep it alive. We are all Chinese in the end, and he is still the legacy of Cheng Tinghua. If we come across Cheng Shanming, we should try our best to resolve everything. If we don’t fight, then that would be for the best.”