View Full Version : THE FOUR ASSASSINS/MARCO POLO question
06-16-2007, 07:36 PM
just watched this fun flick again, and the dub calls the fighting style "pugilism". not having seen a subbed version, is what they are practicing a version of tai chi? the guy picking up the stones (don't know his name) seems to be doing some form of tai chi in it, anyway.
i really enjoy this movie!
06-16-2007, 08:11 PM
Funny you ask that. When we saw those movies back in the day, iron skin stuff was always called pugilism. Never questioned it.
Grew up and later found out that pugilism meant boxing. Don't know how they come up with that out of the translation. Those dubbers/translators led a entire generation astray. Astray dammit.
06-16-2007, 11:20 PM
May have to do with the boxers from the Boxer Rebellion. Just a bad/weird translation. The Boxers were superstitious and believed they were immune to weapons and bullets.
06-17-2007, 12:47 AM
the Boxers didn't start until 1889, and Marco Polo visited Kublai Khan in 1275. while i don't expect complete historical accuracy in any movies, i was just curious as to what style they might actually be calling it in the subs or Mandarin/Cantonese.
06-17-2007, 12:52 AM
I have a copy and I'll check for you a little later. I think it is something to do with a breathing style.
06-17-2007, 01:36 AM
I'm not saying they were boxers in the movie. Just that that may be what caused the bad translation for any kind of iron skin style. They say pugilism in Legendary Weapons too.
06-17-2007, 06:29 AM
In the English dub for Abbot Of Shaolin, they call Pai Mei's technique "pugilism" as well!
06-17-2007, 06:44 AM
They may still translate it that way today. It Once Upon a Time IN china it says Yen SHi Kwan practices pugilism.
I can give you a bit of historical background on that.
Qigong can be translated as "energy work". Chinese martial arts says that the human body is powered by qi (sometimes spelled 'chi'), a type of bioelectric internal energy that's controlled by circulation, breathing and thought. When qi is used properly, it adds a lot of power to the physical techniques being practiced.
"Hard" qigong training involves using the qi to toughen or strengthen muscles, bones, ligaments, skin, etc. This is common in most hard styles of kung fu (though not so much with Tai Chi, as that's a soft style of kung fu that doesn't rely too much on physical strength). Hard qigong can consist of things light weight lifting, push ups, dynamic tension excercises, hitting your forearms and palms against things, or other things like that. More advanced stuff is things like Iron Palm training, seen in a lot of movies where they push their hands into heated rocks or sand and then treat them with special herbs, or Golden Bell Cover, which I'm not that familiar with, but I think it's similar and is supposed to toughen your whole body against blows. These training methods are real, and I'm sure they're useful and do work to toughen the skin and body against certain types of blows. As far as protecting them against sharp swords and spears, I think that's fantasy invented for the movies. Contrary to popular lore, the best Chinese swords were every bit as high quality as Japanese swords. I've handled a few historical Chinese jians and daos, and the jians average about two pounds, and the top third of the blade would have been razor sharp. I don't care how much you've toughened your skin, you ain't gonna walk away from a full power slash or thrust from one of those without a scratch :lol
As far as the Boxer Rebellion, I believe that was something quite different. That was spiritual boxing stuff, where the boxers believed that certain spells or gods would protect them against blows, and bullets. That was pretty much complete bullshit, and as we've accurately seen in some Shaw movies, it wasn't exactly too effective in stopping bullets---although I suppose it was effective as a propagandistic motivational tool to give inspiration to boxers who were going up against better armed foreign troops.
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