Chapter 185: The Dragon Within the Shaolin (One)
Miyagi Yoshida was a grandmaster martial artist of the Japanese Goju-ryu Karate. As he was now, he was in his forties. But he was still an active figure in the Japanese world of martial arts as one of the thirty or forty masters. His name was second only to Iga Minamoto and was basically considered one of the few only martial artists that could genuinely fight.
He was a man of many disciples and many dojos in places such as Europe and America. In the markets, his Goju-ryu Karate was on par with the two major Shotokan Karate and Kyokushin Karate styles.
In this current moment, the grandmaster of the Goju-ryu Karate was currently meeting with the “Iron Fist Hwarang” Choi Jang Baek along with their disciples to discuss and plan the very first transnational exchange of martial arts. This time, Miyagi Yoshida had brought his disciples to Seoul so that the two schools could exchange some pointers with one another.
For a school of students to truly improve, an exchange of pointers like this was inevitable.
“Mister Jang Baek, I’ve heard you’ve managed to obtain the quintessence of the Sun style Taichi recently. It’s no wonder then that my disciples lost more than they won today in our visit to Seoul. When lady Sun Jianyun came to Japan to teach her art, I was fortunate enough to bear witness to it. If I could describe her in motion, she would be considered a godhand. Her death was an unfortunate one, and her art was considered lost.”
Miyagi Yoshida’s shoulders were irregularly broad and looked to be packed with muscles that made a bulge in his sakura kimono look like wings.
This was the zenith of the Goju-ryu Karate. Upon this zenith, one would naturally have the sign of a crane showing its wings.
Goju-ryu Karate was a school of Karate that Miyagi Chōjun had founded by his studies of Shuri-te and a combination of the principles of the White Crane style found in the Wubei Zhi. In the case one fought against another, the hand and the foot acts together to strike like thunder while the back muscles moved fast enough to spark wind. With the muscles of the waist and legs, they could stare down and pounce at their enemy with unbelievable speed. The most remarkable aspect of Goju-ryu Karate was that the hands, when forming a knife hand, could peel at the skin while the legs had the strength to be like a shovel. With this magnitude of power, the art of Goju-ryu was often enough to earn them the crown of kicking styled Karate.
“Let’s not talk about that.” Choi Jang Baek was seated in an upright manner that made him look like he was meditating. “The disciple of the Laoshan Internal Fist had one of my more talented second dan disciples, Lee Cheol-han into a cripple while he was in the southwest parts of China. I’ve heard before in the past that a member of your Miyagi family, Hanshin I believe? He was killed three years ago by Wang Chao, correct?”
“That is true.” Miyagi Yoshida’s eyes grew cold. “And it is for that reason why I’ve agreed to bring my disciples to Seoul today to listen to you. My only fear is that this meeting of ours might attract the united wrath of the entire community of the Chinese world of martial arts. You must know that aside from Laoshan, Shandong and the rest of Northeast China still has the Shaolin Temple.”
“The Shaolin Temple has some grievances with the Laoshan school as well. This time, I’ll be having the Shaolin join us in this exchange. It was because of Wang Chao that their introduction into the Hong Kong stock market wasn’t a major success. If I bring those two groups into this exchange, they will not unite against us. Whilst headmaster Wang Chao is an extremely talented martial artist, he is what–a few years old into this business? His disciples are strong, but even he has only one or two of them. That is nothing to be afraid about.”
Originally, Choi Jang Baek had made Nguyễn Hồng Tú as his gun against Wang Chao. It had been a test to see Wang Chao’s skill, and the result had been that Choi Jang Baek himself was no longer sure of his chances of winning.
He was caution at its finest. Even before it rained, Choi Jang Baek was the type to have his umbrella out and ready and would never do anything he wasn’t sure of. But Wang Chao had been like the boat that rises with the tide. As the headmaster of the Laoshan School of Internal Martial Arts, his influence had spread throughout Shandong and through the straits to reach even Korea. It had caused even the Jangbaek style Taekwondo a considerable amount of negative business.
A few days ago, he had brought a few of his more talented disciples into Vietnam to teach and spread his business. But when he heard that Lee Cheol-han had been crippled by Huo Ling’er while he was in China, Choi Jang Baek had been utterly furious.
Lee Cheol-han had been a youngster of formidable potential–but all of that had gone to waste. It was with grievance and anger that he had invited the Miyagi family, whom of which had also hatred for Wang Chao. He had even sent an envelope with some of his own funds to the Shaolin Temple so that they could take part as well. Everything was so he could bully the disciples of the Laoshan school.
It would serve as a nail into the coffin that was Wang Chao’s name.
The warrior monks from the Shaolin Temple would often make trips to the Americas and Europe. Each time, the mass media, newspaper, and followers would introduce them to the world and cause a tremendous amount of popularity for them.
If Choi Jang Baek led his disciples from Korean to Shandong, all he would have to do is to send an envelope to Wang Chao and the head of the Shaolin Temple in Shandong to receive them. From there, the media would take the rest of the work and cause a surge of interest from the general populace.
In the 1990s, there had been a group of Shaolin warrior monks that traveled to Europe to put on a show. And as a result, a wave of interest had been started for the study of Chinese martial arts.
In the 1970s, many masters of Japanese Karate had been sent to Europe to perform and fight in the events. The result had been a surge in interest for Karate dojos in the European market.
It was because of influences like these that even now, many westerners were under the illusion that whether a person was Japanese or Chinese, they were strong in martial arts. They had also believed that of these two ethnicities, they had surely a mysterious power in their bodies.
But while Choi Jang Baek was secretly plotting this exchange, Wang Chao was completely unaware.
He was currently teaching at the Southwest Infantry School.
“In the anything-goes fighting, street brawls, battlefield massacres, the most important thing is close combat grappling. In this grappling, or Chin Na, the two hands and all ten fingers are used.
In a grand hall, a crowd of male and female students wearing the symbolic camouflage clothing of the army could be seen listening to Wang Chao. He himself had been wearing the same camouflage clothing, but on his shoulder epaulet was the one star sign to symbolize his rank as a general as he spoke about grappling.
This institute was filled with the best of the best that the army themselves had picked out. As such, the student populace here were of great aptitude and were the cream of the crop.
But what had really shocked them about Wang Chao was the four high ranking military officers; Liu Qing, Gao Jun, Zhang Kai, and Fang Wei. Each one of them were fiends that even the most elite students feared and respected.
There was also Huo Ling’er and Tan Wendong. Neither of the two had worn the camouflage clothing as like the students, but they were standing with them and listened to Wang Chao as well.
For these two past days, Huo Ling’er and Tan Wendong had been acting as Wang Chao’s personal disciples. They had been inducted into the institute, but of course, the rest of the students had not been so accepting of that outcome.
In the army, the braves were the ones who had fought with one another to earn respect. To be unaccepting of these two would be inevitable.
By the end of the next day, Huo Ling’er had knocked down over a dozen of the so-called ‘elite’ male students. Even the first-ranked participant in the weekly mixed martial arts competition in the institute, Guo Nanyang, had lost to Huo Ling’er. From childhood, he had practiced the Shaolin Ten Methods Fist, but in the end, Huo Ling’er had only used one single move to defeat him. With the “Vulture Wrapping Wings”, she had broken his ribs and sent him to the infirmary to recover.
Afterwards, every single student and even the instructors themselves knew of the two amazing disciples of Wang Chao. While they had never seen Wang Chao himself in action, they could infer of his strength from the strength of his disciples.
It went without saying that every instructor that was qualified to teach at this institute was powerful. Each one of them had students over the thousands with plenty of them being strong ones hidden amongst the rest. But the majority of these students weren’t ones to disregard the outside world as he did. Wang Chao was a man of fame that had earned the title of being undefeated in Beijing. And with his fight in Hồng Kong, he had earned the nickname of the Crocodile Immortal. What fame like that, any ordinary martial artist would find it hard to even talk to him, let alone spar.
So for the next few days, Wang Chao had been the young military instructor. Each class of his had hundreds of people in attendance. In fact, there had been a thousand people per class. While it was an eye-catching crowd, not a single one of them had acted unruly.
Today was a collective course day and so Wang Chao was explaining a fight with grappling techniques.
In front of so many people, Wang Chao had been explaining the Eagle Claw from Xingyiquan and how it was best aimed at the back joints to tear out the ligaments.
“Instructor Wang Chao, the Eagle Claw grappling technique you’re teaching, you say it relies on the strength of the fingers. How would my Shaolin Dragon Claw grappling technique fare then to you?”
Just as Wang Chao was teaching the thousand students, an unfavorable-sounding voice suddenly made itself known.
A single man wearing the army camouflage clothing walked in from the outside. He wore a hat that was pressed down low so that it essentially covered his entire face. When he spoke, all of the students in the room had turned to look at him.
This person had not cared for their attention and strode forward two to three steps at a time. As he passed by the sides to the auditorium, he spotted several soccer balls that had been placed by the side. With a sweep of his feet like the influx of wind that a dragon’s spiral would create, five or six balls immediately flew up into the air following contact with his foot.
His movements had been extremely fast–with frightening speed, both of his hands flashed outwards. Pop pop! Following two pops, two soccer balls had been burst apart from his claw-like hands. It had been like a bullet had been fired in the room as a wave of gust blew about the room. The blown apart pieces of leather from the ball had then came floating down following the explosion.
At the same time, the other two balls had landed on top of his shoulders. But at the very moment of contact with his shoulder blades, these two soccer balls had exploded upon contact as if a bullet had shredded them apart as well!
With the hand claws and shoulder blades, this man had been able to pop four balls at once. And then with a rise of his knee like the beak of a bird, he had snapped out and kicked the remaining two balls in the air. Swinging his foot down, the two balls had been like bullets and flew off towards Wang Chao with the speed of lightning and two shrill sounds to accompany it!