Reflection on Research

Research is the same as Kung Fu, as Jin Yong described in his novel.

Chinese version

节选 《倚天屠龙记》第二十四回 太极初传柔克刚



只听张三丰问道:“孩儿,你看清楚了没有?”张无忌道:“看清楚了。”张三丰道: “都记得了没有?”张无忌道:“已忘记了一小半。”张三丰道:“好,那也难为了你。你自己去想想罢。”张无忌低头默想。过了一会,张三丰问道:“现下怎样了?”张无忌道: “已忘记了一大半。”




Translated version

Extract from “The Heaven Sword and the Dragon Sabre”, Chapter 24

Zhang Sanfeng said: “It is an immeasurable honour for the Eight-Armed Divine Swordsman to give a few pointers. Wuji, do you have a sword?” Xiao Zhao stepped forward and presented the wooden Heaven Sword Zhang Wuji had taken from Zhao Min to him. Zhang Sanfeng pick it up and laughed: “A wooden sword?Isn’t this used for drawing talismans and expelling demons?” He stood up with the sword in his left hand and his right hand forming sword forms. Both hands made a loop and he slowly raised them. This opening form was followed by “Encase the Moon with Three Rings”,”Biggest Star in the Big Dipper”, “Swallow Skims the Water”, “Left Block”, “Right Block”…each form smoothly following the other. At the fifty-third stance “The Compass” his hands simultaneously drew a circle followed by the fifty-fourth form “Grasping the Sword and Returning to the Begining”. Zhang Wuji did not try to remember each stance and form. Instead, he focused on the spirit of the unbroken, flowing sword.

At the end of Zhang Sanfeng’s demonstration, not a single person applauded. Everyone was thinking: “How can such a slow and gentle sword art be used to fight an enemy?” Then they thought: “Master Zhang must have deliberately slowed down for Zhang Wuji to learn.”

Only to hear Zhang Sanfeng say: “Have you seen everything clearly” Zhang Wuji answered: “Yes.” Zhang Sanfeng asked: “Do you remember everything?” Zhang Wuji answered: “I’ve already forgotten a small portion.” Zhang Sanfeng said: “Good. Think about it for a while.” Zhang Wuji lowered his head in contemplation. After a while, Zhang Sanfeng asked:“What about now?” Zhang Wuji replied:“I’ve forgotten a large portion.”

Zhou Dian yelled out:“Damm!He’s forgetting more and more as time passes. Master Zhang,this sword art of yours is too profound. How can anyone remember it all after seeing it only once? Please demonstrate it once more for our sect leader.”

Zhang Sanfeng smiled and said: “Alright, I’ll demonstrate it once more.” He picked up the sword and went through the moves again. After watching a few stances, the spectators were surprised. The stances in the second performance were completely different from the stances in the first. Zhou Dian yelled: “Damm, damm!This will make him even more confused.” Zhang Sanfeng drew a full circle, then he asked:“Child, what about now?” Zhang Wuji replied: “I still haven’t forgotten three stances.” Zhang Sanfeng nodded his head, put down the sword and returned to his seat.

Zhang Wuji paced slowly in a circle. He contemplated a while, then slowly turned a half-circle. He then lifted his head up and with a joyous expression, said: “I’ve completely forgotten it all, not a trace is left.” Zhang Sanfeng said:“Not bad, not bad!You forgot it very quickly. You can now ask the Eight Armed Divine Swordsman to give you some pointers!” After saying this he gave the wooden sword to him.