This story is an excerpt from a book called Yiquan: Kung Fu Revolution. Guo is Guo Yunshen, a famous xingyiquan master. Wang would have been only 13 at the time. 1898 was the year Guo died, in his mid-70’s. The story makes me think of several Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon scenes. First, assisting the convoy is like the job of Michelle Yeoh’s character. Second, when he touches the weapon, I imagine that awesome courtyard battle scene with Yeoh’s character vs. Zhang Ziyi’s character, with the vast array of weapons on the wall. That may be my favorite fight scene. It has awesome action with some good emotion and a touch of humor (when Michelle Yeoh’s character drops the oversized weapon as it’s really way too heavy for her). Anyway:

In 1898, one of Guo’s students, who was head of a guild of merchant convoys guards in Baoding asked Guo to take part in one of convoys. Because lately one of convoys was attacked and all the merchandise robbed, the reputation of this guild declined. Guo Yunshen’s presence would keep potential robbers away, and would help to persuade merchants to use service of this guild. But because Guo was very old, he sent little Wang with a letter, in which he explained refusal, and suggested that the boy could go with convoy. When head of guild read the letter, Wang waited in hall, looking at weapons placed on racks. Then he took a wooden staff from one of the racks. One of guild’s members, who saw this, immediat[e]ly went to the head to tell him about it. Usually when someone who was not member of guild touched one of guild’s weapons, it was understood as a challenge. The head run out of his room, and being aware that it was not boy’s intention, grabbed his wrist, shouting: “What are you doing, boy!” Wang did just a little jerking movement, and the man was thrown down. When he stood up, he praised the boy: “Excellent! I see that our master passed true kung-fu to you. You should stay with us and teach us this technique”. When Wang returned to Guo, he made detailed account of what happened. Guo, smiling, said: “They didn’t practice zhan zhuang, how could they be able to develop this kind of force?”

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