The following passage continues on from the section on feiyanzoubi 飛簷走壁 or ‘flying eaves running walls’ skill, as recorded by Bai Yansheng in his book Authentic Techniques of Weightless Leaps on Roofs, Walls, and Water 飛簷走壁水上飛行真傳合刊, published in China, 1926:
4/ Probing: To familiarize oneself with the layout of the house and to avoid bumping into furniture, the tip of the sword is used to tap the floor, to make sure that every step is on solid ground.
5/ Breath Test: Even when the night prowler is trained in weightless techniques, intruding in the house of a martial artist requires caution. The breath test is to ascertain that the inhabitants of the house are genuinely asleep. When a person is sound asleep his breathing is regular. A dissembler, however, is conscious of every move in the house and therefore his breathing is erratic.
6/ Lights out: Should lights be suddenly extinguished, this means that an intruder has been detected. Thus, to the prowler if a light is put out, he may be in imminent danger.
This passage makes the warning “intruding in the house of a martial artist requires caution”. It highlights the skills of “martial artists” in historical times were much more deadly than modern people seem to understand. In fact, in several of our ancient manuscripts, we find a warning that confronting martial artists could end in a swift death.