Living in Martial Arts World

By Ting Chee Kheong (Club's Humorous Speech Contest 2009)

I am a great fan of martial arts novels, where the setting is usually in ancient China and where men and women of great martial arts skills come together in love-hate and loyalty-betrayal relationships.

Many of these novels were made into television series, and I have found out that if you apply the following points, you too can live in the ancient martial arts world!

Point number 1: You do not need to worry about lodging – there’s always a run-down temple somewhere for you to stay put for the night.

Temples then have a lot more uses other than for worshipping. In fact, I suspect that some of them were deliberately built to be left vacant. If not, how can you explain that every time the heros cannot find a place to stay for the night, there will be a run-down temple somewhere nearby for them to do so. Another great use that spins off from this point is: temple was the best SDU or Social Development Unit meeting place. Don’t you ever wonder why is it that the hero and heroine will always get trapped in a vacant temple, and the love relationship will blossom from that one night spent in the temple? Well, there is another great SDU place, but I will leave it for later.

Temples were also great meeting place, for staging an ambush and for fleeing from enemies.

Of course, when the temples were needed for their real purpose, that is, for worshipping, you will have no problem looking for one nearby. And very often, it comes with a very talented fortune teller, who would almost unmistakenly foretell how the rest of the show will be.

Point number 2: You do not need to worry about upgrading your martial arts skills; you only need to find the right cave or grave.

For some mysterious reasons, the great master will hide in a cave or valley, waiting for the hero to appear. Sometimes, when the hero fell from a mountain top into the valley, or stumbled into the cave, the great master will still be alive. But his main purpose of staying alive is to teach the hero the great martial arts skills he possessed, and very often, he will die soon after the disciple mastered his skills.

Sometimes, the great master is already dead by the time the hero found the place he was hiding. But rest assured, drawings on the walls or martial arts manuals were sure to be left behind for the hero, so that the hero can master the great skills.

My own observations concluded that such great martial arts master do not need food at all, for most of the time they are maimed and it would not be easy for them to find food. Also, I suspect greatly that all of them died of boredom. But do not mistake me, I do not undermine their existence. In fact, they play a very important role, like in nature how some insects survived for the whole benefit of another species, and die after fulfilling their mission.

Very often, the encounter with these great masters is the turning point for the heros, where they utilize their skills to seek revenge or fulfilling their heroic roles in the stories.

Oh yes, I told you earlier on that there is another great SDU place. Sometimes, the author will place the heroine with the hero at these caves/valleys to keep the hero company. I suspect the authors do so either because he is bored, or he is afraid that the reader/viewer will be bored.

Point Number 3: You do not need to worry about money and changing your clothes!

Look, have you seen the hero of the show worrying about money, food, bathing and changing? I suppose their great martial arts skills render them immune to hunger and thirst, and they emit a certain aura that repels dirt from their bodies. For that matter, transportation were rather advance then: you either use “qing gong” to travel hundreds of kilometers in a day or for some reason, a horse, a camel or a donkey will appear no where to bring you to your destination.

In conclusion, life in the ancient martial arts world is a lot more easier and simpler. You don’t need to worry about having too much CPF spent on getting a roof over your top, about transportation fare-hikes or upgrading your skills.

But first of all, you must decide whether you are a stayer or quitter!