• What is Wu Mei Pai?
• Health & Longevity
• Self Defense
• Self Realization
• A Note About Spelling

Self Defense

Wu Mei was a woman; she faced opponents who were almost always bigger and stronger than she, and this fact is central to her system’s approach to combat.

Wu Mei Pai is direct and aggressive. We wait for our opponent to move first, but we strike first, and continue striking until the opponent is unable to continue. The Wu Mei strategy is to dominate from the outset, and to resolve conflict quickly, leaving an attacker no opportunity to attack again.

Wu Mei Pai “follows strength and seeks weakness.” For all of Wu Mei’s aggressiveness, we do not follow a strategy of meeting force with force. Rather, we cooperate with an opponent’s power, following it, absorbing it, and re-directing it, all the while seeking the gaps through which we can enter and make use of it.

Every Wu Mei movement is an attack. We do not block the opponent’s arm, we attack it, or immediately counter-attack the body that sent it. Everything an opponent sends in our direction should be sent back damaged, so that every move they make is a step toward their own defeat. A corollary of this idea is that we will attack whatever is in range: if an opponent extends a hand, we are perfectly happy to attack the hand.

Every Wu Mei technique contains the potential of simultaneous defense and offense. One hand may defend while the other attacks, or the elbow may defend while the fist attacks, or the hands may defend while the leg attacks, etc. Simultaneous counter-attacking cuts right through the “your turn, my turn” dynamic so often seen in fighting; for a Wu Mei player, it is always “my turn.”

Wu Mei Pai never stops. On the most basic level, this means that we move continuously, but continuous movement is only useful if there is continuous power. In most athletic activities, techniques are designed to create a peak of force at a special time, like the moment the bat hits the ball, or the snap at the end of a punch. Most of the time is not spent doing work: there’s a big “windup” and then a long “follow-through” that are only there to help create that one special moment. The problem for martial artists is that if we behave this way, we’re sitting ducks throughout the windups and follow-throughs, and our opponents only have to worry about the special moments. In Wu Mei Pai we train to make every phase of every movement powerful, and therefore useful. Each movement is both the current power stroke and the windup for the next: pushing becomes pulling, rising becomes falling, left becomes right, hard becomes soft. Continuous power in Wu Mei comes from continuous change, just as it does in nature, and the result is that there is no time when the Wu Mei player is vulnerable, and no time when the opponent is safe.