Yue Nu


        Yue Nu, of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC-256 BC), was one of China's earliest recorded martial artists and was renowned for her swordsmanship. She said, "The way of swordsmanship, its ways are shallow and easy, its intents are mysterious and deep, its way has doors and windows, as well as yin and yang, and when doors are open and windows are closed, yin is declining while yang is rising. The way of fighting, gather strength on the inside, show tranquility on the outside, appear like a calm woman, take like an enraged tiger…" She spoke of the difference of movement and idleness, fast and slow, attack and defense, hollow and solid, inner and outer, against and along with, exhale and inhale, and other opposing elements in her explanation of the use of agility, change, and unpredictability in combat.