Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts: Meir Shahar on the Origins of the “Iron-Cloth Shirt” and “Golden-Bell Armor”

Kung Fu Tea

hard qigong.marketplace.spear

Meir Shahar. “Diamond Body: The Origins of Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts” in Perfect Bodies: Sports Medicine and Immortality, Edited by Vivienne Lo. London: British Museum, 2012.

Introduction: The Significance of Invulnerability in the Chinese Martial Arts

I can think of few topics that the Chinese martial artists I regularly associate with want to discuss less than invulnerability magic or spirit possession. Granted, this has a lot to do with selection bias and the sorts of individuals who are drawn to the more “practical” and “modern” aspects of the Southern Chinese martial arts. These are the communities that my personal and academic study focus on.

Yet as I watch other discussions unfold, “serious” martial artists seem to be pretty uninterested in hard Qigong. Even at a time when these time-honored displays are being banished from the Chinese military, no one is calling for urgent efforts to “document” or…

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