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Thread: The 5 Deadly Venoms..do those esoteric animal styles really exist?

  1. #1
    Erasmus Lightstone Guest

    The 5 Deadly Venoms..do those esoteric animal styles really exist?

    What a movie!! One of the first kung fu movies..I've ever seen and it STILL get's better every time I see it!! I've heard of animal styles such as the Elephant,Sparrow,Ape and Falcon(Hawk) but I was always curious if the animals from the movie(Centipede,Snake(ok-we KNOW there is a snake),Scorpion,Lizard and Toad) really exist? Anyone care to comment?

  2. #2
    Erasmus Lightstone Guest

    Clarification of previous post

    OK-DUH!! I KNOW they exist in real life..what I mean is..are there really kung fu styles patterned after these animals?

  3. #3
    iamaloser Guest

    Venoms

    The only style (in name only) that is an actual style is the Snake Style. It is originally part of the Shaolin Five Animal Style (Dragon, Tiger, Snake, Leopard, Crane). Like all martial arts films, the styles and techniques tend to be "movie versions". However, I agree the movie is extremely entertaining. It is available on DVD as well as "Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms". There was actually a Sprite commercial that was influenced by that movie about two years ago but using different animals.

  4. #4
    premier Guest
    I've heard of scorpion style.. it could be BS, but never know. Scorpions are lethal animals and I've understood there's some species in China too. so why not?

  5. #5
    Jimbo Guest
    There might be real styles that use movements of the lizard, centipede, scorpion, and toad in China, but as mentioned above, the styles used in the movie were not based on real styles (except the snake).
    There was a movie came out in 1991 called Operation Scorpio, and the villain used "Scorpion Style," but in reality he was a Korean Taekwondo/acrobatic expert. In "Five Deadly Venoms," the scorpion stylist is played by Sun Chien, also a TKD stylist from Taiwan.

    The "toad" stylist was Lo Meng, supposedly a southern mantis stylist from Hong Kong.

    The lizard (Kuo Chui), centipede (Lu Feng), and the young disciple looking for them (Chiang Sheng), were all classmates of the Fu Hsing(?)Opera School in Taiwan. Kuo Chui (english name, Phillip Kwok), made a brief appearance in the second-to-last James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh ("Tommorrow Never Dies"???). Unfortunately, Chiang Sheng died nearly ten years ago in Taiwan of a heart attack.

    Now there are a lot of movies out on video starring these actors, but they are often collectively called "The Venoms." The movies include: "Invincible Shaolin," "Daredevils," "Magnificent Ruffians," "Kid with the Golden Arm," "Flag of Iron," "Killer Army," etc., though the quality of the movies are good, the tape quality varies.
    Jim



  6. #6
    Erasmus Lightstone Guest

    Thanks! I have another question

    You mention the Venom movies.. Are any of them with the same actors yet the story line is a continuation of the same previous script?

  7. #7
    iamaloser Guest

    Chang Cheh Films

    Yes many of the films star the same actors but they all are completely different films with different plots. Here are some of them:

    - Killer Army
    - Kid With The Golden Arm
    - Super Ninja
    - Five Deadly Venoms (DVD available)
    - Return of the Five Deadly Venoms (a.k.a. Mortal Combat and Crippled Avengers) (DVD available)
    - Avenging Warriors of Shaolin
    - Five Masters of Death
    - Ten Tigers From Kwangtung
    - Roar of the Lion
    - Unbeatable Dragon
    - Daredevils of Kung Fu
    - Masked Avengers
    - Disciples of Death

    [This message was edited by iamaloser on 12-31-00 at 07:01 PM.]

  8. #8
    iamaloser Guest

    Another One

    Another movie:

    - Spearman of Death

  9. #9
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    ttt 4 2019!

    Stumbled on this thread looking up venoms.

    Read Deadly Venom: The Toad By Gene Ching in our SEP+OCT 2016 issue.

    Here's our Who loves the Five Deadly Venoms on the media subforum
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #10
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    Three Out Of Five No_Know

    The Kung Fu from Five Deadly Venoms do not all have forms, they are skill practices.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    It is worth distinguishing Snake: Striking Snake might be close looking to Wu-Shu snake, but the movie had a Snake Head one hand-Snake tail the other, this I have seen in a book of Hung Kuen Five Pattern Kung Fu.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    The Toad and Lizard I have seen in a book titled Unseen Mind Force of Kung Fu. The Toad is staged conditioning practice it seems. Lizard (House of Lizard Kung) requires moving to condition-conditioning the elbows and heels of the feet, as these are the parts in contact with the ground at first, then a concave wall alternating bricks, one transfers from walking along the ground on back-elbows and heels to wall.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    I No_Know


    Squirrel's Scorpion Strike Kicks
    I attempted to make a Kung-Fu--Ernie Moore Jr.'s Kung-Fu (attempt), Squirrel. It is perhaps or includes a collection of exercises. One exercise I made uses the name scorpion strike kicks--Ernie Moore Jr.'s Kung-Fu (attempt), Squirrel's Scorpion Strike Kicks. The video keeps the framework of Squirrel and mentions a principle of keeping balance--that one might accept losing balance to gain balance--in Squirrel, the concept is, that by the moment one chases balance the balance shifted and one cannot easily catch-up to gain balance...Yet if one accepts the loss of balance, since it shifts, then one can be present when the balance comes back to where it got lost and waiting there, one can better catch or regain balance.-Ernie Moore Jr. Also, have a concept of where the foot should be to sent the kick--where the mind touches in space by conceptualization, the foot tip has been sent-ish.-Ernie Moore Jr. No_Know

    I No_Know
    Last edited by No_Know; 04-15-2020 at 12:51 AM. Reason: Switched URL for Visible text title;add SquirrelEMJ mechanics
    There are four lights... impulse...all donations can be sent at PayPal.com to qumpreyndweth@juno.com; vurecords.com

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamaloser View Post
    Yes many of the films star the same actors but they all are completely different films with different plots. Here are some of them:

    - Killer Army
    - Kid With The Golden Arm
    - Super Ninja
    - Five Deadly Venoms (DVD available)
    - Return of the Five Deadly Venoms (a.k.a. Mortal Combat and Crippled Avengers) (DVD available)
    - Avenging Warriors of Shaolin
    - Five Masters of Death
    - Ten Tigers From Kwangtung
    - Roar of the Lion
    - Unbeatable Dragon
    - Daredevils of Kung Fu
    - Masked Avengers
    - Disciples of Death

    [This message was edited by iamaloser on 12-31-00 at 07:01 PM.]
    Alot of these movies are now available on Amazon Prime for free to watch it you have Prime.
    "God gave you a brain, and it annoys Him greatly when you choose not to use it."

  12. #12

    Yes and No

    The concept of the Five Poisons is a very old traditional Chinese thing.
    They are kind of a general representation of evil or of negative influences or things which caused harm.
    In general they have more to do with magic, charms, sorcery, etc. than martial arts.
    It's been years since I looked into the five poisons so I can't remember a lot and I don't feel like taking the time to look stuff up so take all of this with a grain of salt.
    But yeah they are a big well known thing. The exact animals sometimes change but if I remember correctly the most common list is Snake, Scorpion, Toad, Spider, and Centipede, or maybe it was Snake, Lizard, Toad, Spider, and Centipede? Anyway it doesn't matter which was most common, it changed depending on region, period, who you talked to etc. But there were always five of them.
    Snake, Centipede and Toad were pretty standard. Then there was Scorpion, Spider, Lizard, and Tiger which often got shuffled around which of those became the last two.
    I know the lizard is a specific type of lizard, I think it's a skink if I remember correctly. It's not actually venomous or poisonous but people commonly believe they are. I've talked to people from both China and Japan who said they were warned against touching skinks when they were young because they could be poisoned.
    Not sure about the tiger. I think it was just there because the five poisons were supposed to be a representation of animals which hurt people.
    There are five poisons charms to keep away evil, keep away bad luck, keep away bad spirits, keep away poisonous creatures or prevent poisoning.
    Children were often made to wear five poison charms to protect them from accidents, injury, and sickness.
    There were a whole ton of other beliefs and practices and associations related to the five poisons that could be found in the local folk culture all across China
    The five poisons are also closely connected to Gu sorcery. In fact some of the oldest best known accounts of Gu sorcery mention those five animals specifically.
    In terms of traditional martial arts they really only show up in poison hand methods.
    Not all of them by any means but specifically five poisons palm methods.
    You can find a description of a five poisons palm method in the Republican era book Shaolin 72 Skills.
    Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Chinese magic and sorcery will recognize that the method in that book is based on the classical Gu sorcery method.
    Poison palm methods in general are tightly linked to Gu sorcery.
    The concept of Gu is very ancient and is spread all across East Asia and into Southeast Asia and can be found in China not only in the Han population but in many minority ethnic groups. Belief in Gu is somewhat unique and has given rise to many different variations and beliefs.
    As Gu is something created specifically to kill and sicken other people it is somewhat natural that it would find it's way into martial practices.
    Poison palm is like it sounds, it's supposed to be a way of imbuing the palms with Gu poison.
    Various methods exist and not all of them use the classical five poisons. However many use at least one type of poison, most often viper poison.
    Various internal herbs and herbal soaks are used in conjunction to neutralize the effects of the venom on the body.
    Often these poison palm methods are supposed to thicken the skin on the hand and make it more resistant to pain.
    Being linked to Gu some of these poison palm methods are supposed to give the ability to kill and person with a light touch. Generally not immediately but instead slowly through the action of the Gu poison.
    There isn't a whole ton of information on these methods and often the ones you do see modern accounts of or published information on focus more on the physical effects on the hands and fingers of that specific type of poison palm training.
    But given it's links with Gu magic the lack of many published accounts is not surprising. In general attack sorcery is not well looked on by the general population in any culture. Then we also have the modern mindset to account for. Generally methods most closely linked with magic or sorcery have either been looked down on as superstitions and subsequently abandoned and died out, described in modern Chinese medicine pseudo science type terms, or described as purely practical physical practices (in this case using herbs and striking regimens to toughen the hands.)
    Give that poison hand practices are very much linked with attack sorcery / "black magic" type stuff they tended to be kept as secrets and not taught openly. As Gu magic is the base they were also considered to be very dangerous or even possibly fatal to the practitioner. With modern western education coming to East Asia many people have started to regard the practice of poison palms as superstitious nonsense which further contributed to the decline of such practices.
    Some people have tried to recast them as modern Chinese medicine based practices. (granted the use of herbal medicines is an essential traditional part of poison palm practices.) Furthermore as it's a cool sounding name and supposed to be rare and deadly there is still some demand for it among martial arts consumers. So a number of people, mostly in the Dim Mak crowd, have taken iron palm practices and called them Poison palm to increase the appeal to potential customers.
    Just to be clear though the links between Gu and Poison Palm is one tiny aspect of Gu, same thing with the five poisons.
    Nobody in the Qing dynasty would hear a mention of the five poisons and think of martial arts, much less some tiny niche training method in some schools of martial arts. The five poisons were a common well known pervasive part of Chinese society that did not originate from and had little to do with martial arts practice.
    They were a very ancient traditional Chinese concept that just happened to be taken into a niche practice in some traditional arts.

    But as far the depiction in the movie. No there isn't any five poisons style that I have ever heard of and I doubt there is. The methods shown for those animals in the movie were just made up by their action choreographers for that film.
    Those movies were generally based on modern Wuxia novels which borrowed things like names of forms or training or other things from real traditional martial arts. But they often did so without knowing anything about them and were only borrowing them because they were cool names.
    It's quite likely the guy who wrote it knew nothing about five poisons palm training and just took the name five poisons because it was a well known concept in Chinese culture and they could make up some cool exotic looking movie kungfu sequences based on it.

  13. #13
    here's a link to a page showing traditional five poison coin charms
    http://primaltrek.com/fivepoisons.html

  14. #14
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    You should read the article I posted above.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Read Deadly Venom: The Toad By Gene Ching in our SEP+OCT 2016 issue.

    Here's our Who loves the Five Deadly Venoms on the media subforum
    A lot of people will post about the TCM 5 poisons in reference to this, but literate martial artists know that it stems more from 72-Consummate-Arts-Secrets-of-the-Shaolin-Temple.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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