Sandralala

Warrior traditions

Posted on: December 9, 2008

We love watching warrior movies and admiring their skills. But have you noticed any traditional elements about those warriors? After watching several warrior movies and reading The Woman Warrior, I found out some interesting warrior traditions.

 Stance

Warriors, especially oriental warriors, always stand in special stance to get ready to combat. They all have their hands raised in front of their chests, body slightly turned to the side and eyes staring intensely at their enemies’ eyes. In the Chinese movie Crouching tiger, the two female characters stand in certain stance, punch, kick for a while, and occasionally pose in their stance in between the fights. Also in Japanese animation called Dragon Ball, the warriors stand in certain stance and pose before they fight with the enemies. The stance seems to be there to get ready to perform certain routines that the warriors are trained to follow when they are fighting. When they fight, they don’t just randomly kick and punch, but follow the routines that their masters taught them, which is why in some of the movies, people recognize who the master of their enemies is by looking at the style of movements.

Zhang Ziyi in her fighting stance

Zhang Ziyi in her fighting stance

 

Samurai Jack in his fighting routine

Samurai Jack in his fighting routine

Clothing

Usually, man male warriors seem to wear similar outfits in many different countries. They often take off their shirts to show masculine body. However, female warriors’ clothing differs greatly between western and oriental countries. In oriental culture, female warriors try to hide their identity as women by dressing as males. They often tie their hair and wear long sleeves to cover their body as much as possible. We can take Mu Lan as the best example. Even if the warriors are not trying to hide their female identity, oriental women warriors still try not to show their bare body parts. In many movies, the actress Zhang Ziyi ties her hair and wear long clothes as a woman warrior. On the other hand, western female warriors are exact opposite. They wear clothes that expose their feminine body, which we often refer as sexy. For example, Wonder Woman and Tomb Raider show female warriors who wear short sleeves and emphasize the strong but feminine body line.

Typical male warriors show their muscular bodies instead of wearing clothes

Typical male warriors show their muscular bodies instead of wearing clothes

 

Mulan is perfect example of woman warriors hiding their identity as females.

Mulan is perfect example of woman warriors hiding their identity as females.

 

Above is a video clip of Wonder Woman transforming into ‘sexy’ woman warrior

 Inner tranquility

Many martial arts warriors emphasize their inner tranquility as part of their strength. We often see the warriors meditating to control their mind and train to have more inner power than the enemies. The more the warriors can control their mind, the stronger their qi (inner power, spirit) becomes. In the book Woman Warrior, Mu Lan is trained to gather inner strength by living independtly in the forest, and settle her mind down to become one with the nature and animals.

Nature

Another trait of martial arts warriors is that they blend in with nature. They meditate in the forest or near a stream, and also fight in woods where there are no other people. Usually, Chinese warriors fight in bamboo forest, as we can see in the movies House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger. Becoming one with nature is considered important for Chinese warriors because it provides shelter and strenth for them.

Bamboo forest seems to be favorite place for Chinese warriors to combat

Bamboo forest seems to be favorite place for Chinese warriors to combat

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  • Alice: Very insightful. I shall take your advice :]
  • Mr WordPress: Hi, this is a comment.To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts' comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

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