Xiang Long Shiba Zhang
The famous and fearsomely powerful martial art of the Beggars Clan. It was created by the book, I Ching. The first appearance of the martial art starts from Qiao/Xiao Feng (蕭峰) with 28 palm techniques. Later with the help of his sworn brother - XuZhu (虛竹), Qiao/Xiao Feng created a more simple version by combining some technique's stance and movement, shorten 10 techniques. Then it becomes 18 palm styles. The 18 palm technique was passed down to the new Beggars' Sect leader through XuZhu. Later was taught to Guo Jing (郭靖) by Northern Beggar Hong QiGong (洪七公), then the eighteenth reigning Beggars Clan's Chief and one of the five greatest martial arts masters of the time. It is mentioned in the novel that this technique is the single most powerful Waijia or external style martial art in the world, being unmatched in its ferocity, meticulousness, and sheer power. Xiang Long Shi Ba Zhang became Guo Jing's most powerful martial art skill and his default fighting technique.
1. Dragon Sighted in the Field - 見龍在田 / 见龙在田 -
Resulting in an amazing burst of energy, this is also the strongest of the 18 Dragon-Subduing Palms. Just as its namesake implies, utilizing this stroke alone will bring doom (and possible destruction) upon an opponent (hence good fortune for the practitioner).
2. Flying Dragon Soaring Through the Heavens - 飛龍在天 / 飞龙在天 -
The second stroke in the 18 Dragon-Subduing Palms is based on the Chinese adage that a dragon in the sky will be able to spot men of greatness below it. This suggests that the dragon, from its elevated position, will have an overview on the affairs of the world hence being able to keep track of mortal ongoing and spot men of great deeds and virtue.
As its namesake suggests, this is a down-ward hitting stroke which may be initiated from high ground or a jump. Just as how a dragon may ride on the fame and reputation of the great men it spots to enhance its status, this stroke draws on the strength of both its practitioner and the impact from his/her fall to deliver a forceful and unrecoverable blow on the adversary. It was also the second stroke that Hong QiGong taught Guo Jing.
3. Swan Gradually Lands - 鴻漸於陸 / 鸿渐于陆 -
Emphasizing on the importance of advantage, the practitioner would bear in mind the importance of keeping an eye for opportunity, perhaps a moment of weakness in an adversary. The stroke teaches one to seek out coincidental opportunity and seize it, hence gaining the upper-hand and ultimately, victory.
4. Jumping Into the Abyss - 或躍在淵 / 或跃在渊 -
Overpowering one's opponent is an important criteria in battle. The practitioner, through his presence and awe, will be able to invoke fear and submission in an adversary. Therefore, half the battle is already won even before it takes place.
5. The Ram Charges the Fence / On the Horns of a Dilemma - 羝羊觸藩 / 羝羊触藩 -
Believing in one's strength is essential in combat, so is pulling off one's most effective blows to injure the opponent. In using this stroke, the practitioner must be focused and confident, or run the risk of self-injury.
6. The Hidden Dragon is Forbidden / A Capable Person Biding His Time - 潛龍勿用 / 潜龙勿用 -
This stroke emphasizes on the practitioner's reservation of energy for counteroffensive purposes. It is similar to the 4th stroke, Leaping Into the Abyss, in that it aims to cripple an opponent's confidence, but while the latter achieves this by physically overwhelming the opponent, The Hidden Dragon Is Forbidden seeks to punish the provocator by releasing conserved force upon him/her.
7. Sudden Advent - 利涉大川 / 利涉大川
8. Tremors Shake A Hundred Li - 神龍擺尾 / 神龙摆尾
9. Dragon Battling In The Wilderness - 密雲不雨 / 密云不雨
10. The Divine Dragon Swings Its Tail - 突如其來 / 突如其来 - The stance came from the trigram, ‘to tread on’ which is part of the Yi Jing (Book of Changes). The master who created the ‘Eighteen Dragon Subduing Palms’ actually named the stance “Treading on the Tiger’s Tail” (Lu Hu wei). It was a more powerful description compared to ‘Attacking the Tiger from Behind’ because if one steps on the tiger’s tail, it will no doubt turn around and attack furiously. However, the later generation felt that this description in the Yi Jing was too soft and not pleasing to the tongue. Thus, they changed it to the ‘The Divine Dragon Swings Its Tail’.
11. The Proud Dragon Shows Remorse - 雙龍取水 / 双龙取水 - the first stroke Hong QiGong taught Guo Jing.
12. Twin Dragons Fetch Water - 魚躍於淵 / 鱼跃于渊
13. Fish Frolicking In The Depths - 震驚百里 / 震惊百里
14. Timely Using The Six Dragons - 損則有孚 / 损则有孚
15. Thick Clouds Refuse To Rain - 時乘六龍 / 时乘六龙
16. With Injury Also Comes Confidence - 龍戰於野 / 龙战于野
17. Treading On Ice - 履霜冰至 / 履霜冰至
18. Skillfully Crossing The Vast Rivers - 亢龍有悔 / 亢龙有悔