I remember from long ago a story about a martial artist, The Bully, who was renowned for his "100-step punch": if he lands the blow, you will die after taking 100 steps. One day another martial artist, The Hero, gets into a fight with The Bully, and is hit by the 100-step punch. The Hero staggers away, and The Bully believes he has won.

Later, The Hero returns to defeat The Bully. Surprised, The Bully asks, "How did you survive my 100-step punch?" The Hero replies, "I only took 99 steps!"

If this sounds familiar to you... Where did this story come from, and is there a better rendition of it than my paltry summary?

  • 3
    These type of stories are fairly common in the folklore of Chinese martial arts. Most of it comes from oral tradition, but miraculous martial powers are also a staple of Wuxia literature. If interested in Wuxia, I highly recommend starting out with Louis Cha's The Deer and the Cauldron :)
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


This reminded me of the unique "Kill Bill" (Vols. I & II) movies. Found the following on Pinterest:

Pai Mei played by Kung Fu movie legend Gordon Liu in Kill Bill - character is based off of the villain White Lotus with Gordon Liu as the hero. It was a 1980 Shaw Brothers Kung Fu film called Fist of the White Lotus. In that movie after delivering the version of Kill Bill's "Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique", a man would die after 100 steps. "See, my Kung Fu is better than yours. I only took 99 steps!" ~ Gordon Liu.

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    There's another dimension to Tarantino's casting of Gordon Liu, in that, in Liu's early career, he fought Pai Mei in Clan of the White Lotus
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 19:41

The movie that you are referring to is called "Fists of the White Lotus" it stars Gordon Liu and Lo Leih. The monk Hung Wen-Ting (Gordon Liu)fights against the evil priest White Lotus(Lo Leih)who is a tai Chi master that has achieved invincible armour. In the fight White Lotus hits him with the 100 steps Palm. He staggers away to a man who heals him with acupuncture and then trains him in the Deadly Needle style of Kung Fu enabling him to return and defeat White Lotus. When he returns, the priest asks him, "how did you survive my 100 steps palm?" The monk replies, "I only took 99 steps!" GREAT MOVIE!!!!

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