Esoteric Martial Arts

The Cultivation of Wude

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This page is a guide to Wude martial morality.

Wude is a Chinese term that is translated as martial morality. Wude is an important element of Chinese martial arts, and indeed, martial morality of one kind or another is present in most martial arts systems, although this is particularly the case in traditional martial arts as opposed to modern martial sports such as kickboxing or mma. Wude can be considered as an extension of the discipline required by any training  regime.
Wude is something to be cultivated during one's training alongside more obvious attributes such as strength, speed and skill, but it is also considered to be a prerequisite of kung fu training, in that you should consider your Wude even before enterring a lesson, in order to gain the most from it. In China some instructors still refuse to teach  students, or hold back advanced teachings from them, if they do not have high enough Wude. Ionce heard of a famous sword maker in modern China who created his best peice of work - a beautifuly crafted broadsword -and was offered a large sum of money for it, but instead he gave it away saying that none of the buyers had Wude.
The fact that Wude is considered necessary if a student is to attain a high level of skill highlights an important point about this kind of morality. Wude martial morality is not just about being a good person for its own sake, or for the greater good of humanity, it is a practical code of conduct which will help you t o reach your maximum potential. This is morality as described in the philosophy of Kant - a set of actions designed to manifest a particular ideal. In this case the ideal itself is not compassion, or love or social cooperation as it is in most familiar moralities (although these are certainly a part of its attainment) but rather the ideal is of the perfect warrior. Simply put- the attitude with which you approach your training will define how much your get out of it, and therefore what level of attainment you reach.
Wude can be divided into two categories - morality of deed and morality of mind. Morality of deed consists of - Humility (Qian Xu), Respect (Zun Jing), Righteousness (Zheng Yi), Trust (Xin Yong) and Loyalty (Zhong Cheng). Morality of mind consists of Will (Yi Zhi), Endurance, Perseverance and Patience (Ren Nai, Yi Li, Heng Xin) and Courage (Yong Gan).
By cultivating these qualities you will greatly enhance you abilities as a martial artist.

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