Yang Kang (楊康) is an antagonist of The Legend of the Condor Heroes.
Yang Kang was the sworn brother of the protagonist, Guo Jing. He was also the husband of Mu Nianci and the father of Yang Guo, the protagonist of the sequel, The Return of the Condor Heroes. Yang Kang was descended from the illustrious Yang clan, which produced heroes who fought for the Song Dynasty. Ironically, Yang Kang himself is a traitor to the Song Dynasty.
Yang Kang was born ca. 1203. He was raised by his step-father Wanyan Honglie, who had orchestrated the disappearance of Yang Tiexin, Yang Kang's biological father. Unaware of his heritage, he truly believes that he is of Jin descent and assumes the surname of Wanyan. At age 6, he is taught by Qiu Chuji the Quanzhen Martial Arts, but Yang Kang was often not interested. He even secretly learns Martial Arts from a notorious Martial Artist Mei Chaofeng. Around his 18th birthday, he is confronted with the reality that he is not a prince of the Jin empire, but a Song Chinese.
Tragically, lured by promises of wealth and luxury, Yang Kang refuses to let go of his status as a Prince of Jin and is led to commit villainous acts. There are various adaptations regarding his death due to the different portrays of his side of the story. But the most infamous explanation of his death that was made official was the one of him attempting a critical strike on Huang Rong by her back in rage to prevent her from revealing his villainous deeds. In a twist of events he was instead suffered a counter-attack due to the poisonous armor Huang Rong often donned under her clothes unknown to him that caused his palm to be affected by the poison whilst the impact of his strike on her was too hard, the venom spreads rapidly to his entire body that eventually tortured him to death.
Yang Kang is the father of Yang Guo who is the protagonist of the second book in the trilogy.
Martial Arts and Skills
Qiu Chuji of the Quanzhen Sect finds Yang Kang and accepts him as a student upon learning that the boy is Yang Tiexin's son. He teaches Yang Kang some Quanzhen martial arts to prepare for an upcoming contest with Guo Jing, as well as some skills he created to counter the "Seven Freaks of Jiangnan". Yang Kang also learned an incomplete set of the Yang Family Spear Movement (楊家槍法) from Qiu Chuji, whose knowledge of the skill is based on recollections of his encounter with Yang Tiexin.
Nine Yin White Bone Claw
Yang Kang learns from Mei Chaofeng the 'Nine Yin White Bone Claw' (九陰白骨爪), an unorthodox version of the skills in the Nine Yin Manual. He stumbled upon her hiding place and agreed to provide her with food and shelter. In return, she taught him the 'Claw'.