Excerpt: Kung Fu Morals – Wude

Spring and Autumn was Plum’s first major publishing event. Written by Professor Kang Ge Wu it is the most condensed and at the same time exhaustive survey of Chinese martial history ever produced in the English language. Though it has sold well over the years, we have been surprised that it has not become THE standard text for research. One reason might be that we have never mentioned the brilliant essay Professor Kang included at the beginning of the book with its analysis of the entire field of Chinese martial — contemporary and traditional —all in a few pages. When we initially read the book we remarked that this essay justified the price of the whole book. Here is an except from that essay…

Wushu morals (Wude) are the criteria for words and actions commonly believed to be valuable by both Wushu enthusiasts and society as a whole. In accordance with this practitioners cultivate their bodies and minds, standardize their words and deed, and evaluate good and evil. Thus, Wushu practitioners must advocate Wushu and emphasize its virtues, and they must study and practice Wushu assiduously and with perseverance. In dealing with human relationships, Wushu teachers are required to love their disciples as their own children and disciples to respect their teachers as their own family elders. It also requires Wushu exponents to treat their friends with good faith; to help strangers out of injustice; to defend their country and save if from danger; to conquer opponents but not to hurt them (if they are wounded, on should also give them necessary treatment). Wushu practitioners believe that one who knows only fighting techniques, but is ignorant in the ways of medical treatment goes against the ideals of humanitarianism. The most well-known Wushu specialists such as Wang Ziping, Tong Zhongyi, Zheng Huaxian, Sha Guozheng, Wan Laisheng and Peng Qin were all good in medicine and became the models for the morality of Wushu. The highest sphere of Wushu morals is to ask Wushu practitioners to sacrifice themselves for the defence of their nation and to serve the people with their Wushu skills for just causes.

The Spring and Autumn of Chinese Martial Arts – 5000 Years

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