Among the Longminjong the martial arts are not just a tool, pastime, or sporting event – they are a way of life. It is as likely for a Longminjong child to learn martial arts as it is for an American child to attend school, and it is rare to find a Longminjong who has not received at least some martial training. Because of this popularity there are hundreds of martial styles among the Longminjong, possibly more than among any other people group in the world of Avnul. Some of these styles are beautiful, others are brutal, others are strange, and some are seemingly magical, but they are all deadly.
Among these hundreds of styles a few stand out. Longshi is the official martial art sponsored by the God-King himself. The style revolves around powerful strikes that have been known to crack stone pillars, or crush the tiles of fighting platforms. Master’s of Longshi have also been known to employ powerful supernatural attacks such as explosive bursts of sound or fire. It is this style that makes the Longxue Master’s one of the most feared mercenary companies in the entire Five Cities, even though they rarely number more than a score in membership.
Ogo’mukaima, a martial style that is even more unique than Longshi, is passed down secretly from master to pupil. At any time it is unlikely that one could find more that a few dozen practitioners of this ancient martial art in the entire population of the Longminjong. Even its practitioners no longer remember where the style comes from, simply that it has always been present among the Longminjong, like a hidden heartbeat in their midst, and that is calls on ancient and terrible powers to perform incredible feats.
Unlike Longshi and Ogo’mukaima, the Five Animal Styles – Houshi, Yingshi, Langshi, Sheshi, and Shenlingshi – have no supernatural backing. It is believed that the first four styles were developed by the early Honjyu, before the coming of Abin-Thul, and passed down through the ranks, taught together to train the Honjyu in all of the essentials of combat. Many of the Honjyu training schools still teach the first four styles. Shenlingshi is the most recent addition, and was developed by Mao Yu Bi, a martial arts genius and the most famous winner of the Tournament of the Four Winds.
The priesthood has its own set of nine styles called the Fa Des. No priest has ever mastered all nine of these styles, although some have tried, and few ever truly master more than one. The priestly martial arts are intimately tied to their magic as well, and onlookers often have difficulty seeing the difference between the martial art, and the magic.
Lastly the various military forces of the Five Cities generally employ variations of the same three martial styles, the Arts of Virtue – Zhishi, Danshi, and Chenshi. There are dozens of variations of these three styles, and they are very common because they are both effective, and easy to learn.