It is not quite finished but I have been working on the text for the back cover of my book, thoughts?
The Immortal and the Angry Baby…
General Qi Jiguang was coughing up blood, near death in a field hospital, when he received a visit from the Sage Lin Zhao’en. Lin performed a martial exorcism (with talismans and explosions) enshrining the vengeful ghosts (of pirates) who blamed General Qi for their deaths—Lin also taught Qi the first stage of the Golden Elixir of Immortality. General Qi was completely healed, beginning a twenty year relationship between the General and the Sage. Lin claimed to have learned the Golden Elixir during night time visits by the Immortal Zhang Sanfeng. The Immortal was a fantastic theatrical character who could defeat 24 palace guards with 32 moves while snoring like an earthquake and smelling of booze and vomit. These are (nearly) the same 32 moves General Qi wrote about, which later became known as Tai Chi!
Cutting off his flesh and returning it to his mother, then giving his bones to his father, the dragon-killer Nezha was done. Or so it seemed for several months until his secret father Taiyi gave him a new body made of the Golden Elixir and lotus flowers—making him not only invincible, but also the greatest fighter in all of China. Worshipped by caravan guards and rebels, Nezha was also the nick name for the city of Beijing, Nezha City. Once the most important hero-god in Chinese culture—in 1899 thousands of Boxer Rebels possessed by Nezha failed to protect the capital! Afterwards, Nezha followers became the targets of intense ridicule. Martial artists who practiced the dance of Nezha, had to create a new history to hide it, and they called it Baguazhang, a “pure” martial art.
The reason you never heard these histories….is a reason so dark few have dared to speak about it, until now…
Scott Park Phillips has a reputation for making his students stronger, smarter, richer, funnier and better looking. He lives in Colorado, where he mixes martial arts with improvisational theater, dance ethnology, and Daoist studies. He is also the author of Possible Origins: A Cultural History of Chinese Martial Arts, Theater, and Religion (2016).