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

Self-Realization

As a spiritual discipline, Wu Mei Pai is a system firmly rooted in the Buddhism that adopted it 350 years ago. Wu Mei is a martial art, but we do not practice it to become better at hurting others. We practice it to become better at resolving conflict, and this defines a path that leads beyond the goals of power and victory, and toward the ideals of compassion and wisdom.

At the beginning of training we simply learn movements, and our first experience is usually frustration: the movements don’t look like much, but they are difficult. Often, even when we know exactly what we’re trying to do, the body won’t cooperate, and persists in doing what we know is wrong. What’s going on? We’re experiencing a form of conflict, conflict between the new instructions and the old habits. We struggle, and our forceful efforts often make matters worse, seeming to strengthen the habit’s grip, and exhausting us. Learning the new movement is not a matter of prevailing in this struggle, but of resolving this conflict. We must discover that it is not the old habit holding us in it’s grip, it is we who are holding onto it; we must let it go in order to have the freedom to pick up something new.

When we begin to move our bodies correctly, that is, efficiently and powerfully, we can start working with opponents, and right away we experience conflict again, because we instinctively deal with opponents by opposing them. If they push, we push back; if they pull, we resist; whatever they do, we try to stop them, and we are soon exhausted again. Just as before, we must stop struggling and start cooperating; we must stop throwing our bodies against the brick walls and learn to slip effortlessly through the open doors; we must stop resisting, and learn to let our opponents defeat themselves by doing whatever they want.

Cooperating with an opponent is much more than just the easiest way to victory—it is a vital step in changing the pervasive habit of setting the self in opposition to the environment. In our daily lives, we don’t just oppose our enemies—we oppose the traffic, we oppose the weather, we oppose impermanence and inevitable change. This is how we turn the facts of everyday existence into the causes of our own suffering, and this is the most important error that our gongfu has the power to change.

So, we begin working on the body, and we discover that to transform the body we have to engage the mind. We go on to work on our behavior, and we eventually discover that to truly transform what we do we have to transform the doer. The practice of Wu Mei Pai is a path that leads inexorably back to the self—not to the self-image, but to the true self—and all the other benefits of practice—the strength, the vitality, the martial prowess—are only the outward signs of having come closer to the inner truth.