JY's Characters Mini Biography - Dugu Qiubai Jun 29, 2014 2:44:31 GMT
Post by Admin on Jun 29, 2014 2:44:31 GMT
DUGU QIUBAI -独孤求败
Dugu Qiubai is a fictional character whose name appears in three wuxia novels by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). Nicknamed "Sword Devil" (劍魔) to reflect his prowess in and devotion to the practice of swordplay, he attains the philosophical level of "swordsmanship without a sword", which means that he uses swordplay techniques in combat without the physical existence of a sword
Dugu never made any appearances at all in any of the three novels. He is merely mentioned by name only as he lived in an age long before the events of the novels took place. He is briefly mentioned in :
1. Divine Eagle, Gallant Knight (Return of the Condor Heroes) Chapters 23, 26, 32
In this novel, set in the late Song dynasty, Yang Guo inherits Dugu's 'Heavy Sword Technique'. Yang encounters the Condor, a giant bird-like creature that once accompanied Dugu. The Condor saves Yang after the latter lost his arm, and leads him to Dugu's Tomb of Swords. Yang learns the technique with the help of the Condor and uses the Heavy Iron Sword to practise the skill.
The Heavy Sword Technique has a rigorous requirement on inner energy. It emphasises simple swings and moves accompanied by potent inner energy exertion. Although it lacks the fancy and stylish movements of typical swordplay styles, it is more effective than the most complicated form of sword attacks. When Yang was learning this technique, he commented that average swords would be broken immediately when he channels his inner energy into the sword during fights. The sword's weight would also boost the power of his swings and thrusts. Yang mastered the inner energy technique used by Dugu and fulfilled the requirement.
Dugu's final resting place is known as the Tomb of Swords. In The Return of the Condor Heroes the Condor leads Yang Guo to the Tomb. Yang Guo reads Dugu's personal statement at the latter's tomb:
"Having roamed the jianghu for more than 30 years, I have killed all my foes and defeated all champions. Under Heaven no one can be my equal. Without any other choice, I could only retreat and live in seclusion in this deep valley, with only a Condor as my companion. Alas, all my life, I have sought a match but in vain. Unbearable loneliness is my destiny." - "Sword Devil" Dugu Qiubai
Yang read this from the Tomb of Swords:
"The "Sword Devil" Dugu Qiubai has become the invincible and unchallenged swordsman under Heaven, hence he buried his swords here. The heroes of the realm bow before me. Now, my Long Sword is of no use anymore. The agony!"
The first sword (present)
"My first sword was so sharp, strong and fierce that none could withstand it. With it in hand, I strive for mastery by challenging all the heroes of the Northern Plains in my teenage years."
The second sword (not present, represented by a wooden tablet)
"My second sword was violet in hue and flexible in motion. I used it in my 20s. With it, I have mistakenly wounded men of righteousness. It turned out to be a weapon of doom that caused me to feel remorseful endlessly. I cast it into a deep canyon."
The third sword (present)
"My third sword was heavy and blunt. The uttermost cunning is based on simplicity. With it, I roamed all lands under Heaven unopposed in my 30s."
The fourth sword (represented by a wooden sword)
"After the age of 40, I was no longer hampered by any weapon. Grass, trees, bamboos and rocks can all be my swords. Since then, I have developed my skills further, such that gradually I can win battles without reaching for weapons."
2. Smiling Proud Wanderer (State of Divinity) Chapters 10, 17, 20
Dugu's swordplay technique 'Nine Swords of Dugu' (獨孤九劍) is featured in this novel. The protagonist Linghu Chong learns this technique from the recluse swordsman Feng Qingyang.
This form of swordplay has nine forms, each of which can be used to defeat and overcome a certain type of attack. It is based on the principle of "no pattern can follow any other pattern". One is unable to predict (and counter correspondingly) a move which does not follow any pattern or sequence. Theoretically, the forms of the Nine Swords of Dugu do not follow any fixed sequence or pattern and hence the moves are all unpredictable.
The nine forms of the Nine Swords of Dugu are all offensive moves. They revolve around the principle of "defend oneself by forcing an enemy to defend himself". In simple terms, it means that those moves are used to attack an enemy and force him to take defensive moves, thus the practitioner does not need to defend himself from the enemy as he is attacking. Although each move is just one stance, it has endless variations. The more the swordsman learns, the more powerful his moves become as he comprehends the connections between the stances. The last three stances are the most difficult ones to master.
The key to mastering these techniques is to comprehend them and not simply rigidly memorising them. Once the essence of the swordplay is grasped, the swordsman can use it in endless forms and variations, hence the swordplay is said to take no fixed sequence or pattern. During combat, the less the swordsman remembers, the less restricted he is by the original stances. He is thus able to use his own custom form of the swordplay.
3. The Deer and the Cauldron (The Duke of Mount Deer) Chapter 23
In a very brief inner monologue, Chengguan, a very knowledgeable, yet naive, elder Shaolin monk ponders about two powerful swordmen in the past who performed swordplay without defined stances - Linghu Chong and Dugu Qiubai.
Dugu's surname "Dugu" (獨孤) is made up of two Chinese characters that literally mean "single and lonely" when placed together. His given name "Qiubai" (求敗) literally means "to seek defeat". His full name is thus roughly translated as "The Loner Who Seeks Defeat". It represents Dugu's status as an invincible swordsman who is haunted by solitude as no one can defeat or equal him in swordplay. (Based on his surname, he's presumably a Hun/ Xiongnu tribe.
DGQB in other media :
Dugu Qiubai appears as a female character in Wong Kar-wai's 1994 film Ashes of Time. The film is meant to be a prequel to The Legend of the Condor Heroes. The character's creator Jin Yong received credit as a co-screenwriter. In this film, Dugu Qiubai (renamed to Murong Yan) has a severe split personality of both genders. She gets involved in a love relationship with Huang Yaoshi.
In 1990 Hong Kong's TVB aired the television series Kim-mo Tuk-ku Kau-pai (劍魔獨孤求敗), featuring the life story of Dugu Qiubai. Felix Wong played the titular character, who was also known as "Lam Hong" (林康) in the series