The Martial Code of Wude

– The Martial Code

Considering the rather brutal nature of a martial arts purpose, it seems odd that people would consider it a path a good person would take, and yet it has a reputation of building a person’s moral character. This may seem a paradox at first, but it comes from a very important aspect of the wushu called “wude” or “Martial Morality”. Great masters of wushu realized that high skill in wushu could be abused by people who were not good. So they devised a martial code in order to judge whether their students where worthy and capable of being taught this dangerous art. There are two aspects of wude, the first is used to gauge whether a student can be trusted and the second whether they have the ability to achieve the highest aim of wushu – self cultivation:

Morality of Deed

  • Humility
  • Respect
  • Righteousness
  • Trust
  • Loyalty

Morality of Mind

  • Will
  • Endurance
  • Perseverance
  • Patience
  • Courage

In the world of wushu, and China in particular, wude is an important, inseparable aspect of practicing the art. Martial artists are highly respected as it is understood that in order to achieve their skill they have also had to achieve the highly virtuous wude traits, and therefore are extremely trustworthy and courageous individuals.