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Deck of One Art: Painted Cards from a Kung Fu Tarot

11 August 2013

The Painted Monk’s fighting style is a study in movement.  He moves with an evasive speed, weaving in and out with shifts, slips, sweeps, and leaps.  Lightning-like combinations of punches and elbows are punctuated by thunderous knees and kicks.  When pressed, a fluid center guides his motions in hypnotic and elusive forms where full body counter movements lead to ensnaring trips and locks or sudden releases of shaking force.

A compassionate fighter at heart, the Painted Monk tries his best to subdue his enemies if possible without causing permanent harm. The practice also links the arts of calligraphy and painting to fencing and fighting, with the flow and flourishes of lines evident in the maneuvers.

In a deck of cards, each one speaking of a style or technique, his future is laid out one image at a time…

Number Martial Arts Maneuver Tarot Major Arcana
0 Black Tortoise Kowtows The Fool
1 Shadow Feint The Magician
2 Dance of the North Wind The High Priestess
3 Old Version Lightning Leg The Empress
4 Cloudburst Flurry The Emperor
5 Paper Binding Technique The Hierophant
6 Sorrow-Frozen Heart Posture The Lovers
7 Style of the Cutting Elbow The Chariot
8 Precise Ink Combination Strength
9 Solitude Palm Reverse The Hermit
10 Form of the Endless Snake Wheel of Fortune
11 Calligraphy Brush Kicks Justice
12 Lunatic Frog Leap The Hanged Man
13 Bloodied Knuckle Stance Death
14 Stealing Ghost Step Temperance
15 Mysterious Bat Evades the Sun The Devil
16 Adamantine Guard The Tower
17 Serene Mirage Shifting Positions The Star
18 Lightning Moon Illusion The Moon
19 Poetic Silence Cross-Counter The Sun
20 Thunder God Knee Crush Judgement
21 Forgotten Yin-Yang Transformation The World


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