The Emei Sect is a fictional martial arts sect mentioned in several works of wuxia fiction. It is commonly featured as one of the leading orthodox sects in the wulin (martial artists' community). It is named after the place where it is based, Mount Emei.
In Jin Yong's The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, the Emei Sect is founded in the early Yuan dynasty by Guo Xiang around the same time as the Wudang Sect. Guo Xiang is the sole descendant of the Guo family from The Return of the Condor Heroes after the Battle of Xiangyang. She escapes from Xiangyang with the Heaven Reliant Sword (倚天劍), becomes a powerful martial artist and roams the jianghu as a youxia. At the age of 40, she becomes a nun and founds the Emei Sect. Abbess Fengling becomes her successor, who in turn, is succeeded by Abbess Miejue.
In Jin Yong's works, the sect's members are predominantly women and its leaders are Buddhist nuns. In wuxia works by other writers, the Emei Sect has members of both sexes, who play equally important roles in the sect.
In Sword Stained with Royal Blood, set in the late Ming dynasty, Emei is briefly mentioned as one of the "Four Great Sword Sects" (四大劍派) and has male members as well. In Gu Long's The Kingdom of the Golden Bird of the Lu Xiaofeng Series, Emei is led by Dugu Yihe, who is slain by Ximen Chuixue.
Skills and martial arts
In Jin Yong's novels, Emei's martial arts are the best among those suited for women. The origins of Emei's martial arts come from its founder, Guo Xiang. Guo's martial arts were mostly inherited from her family, including some of Huang Yaoshi (her maternal grandfather)'s skills. She also learnt part of the Nine Yang Manual from Jueyuan in her younger days. However, it does have some elements of unorthodox skills, as exhibited by Zhou Zhiruo when she uses the 'Nine Yin White Bone Claw' (九陰白骨爪) after finding the Nine Yin Manual (九陰真經).
Emei's martial arts range from powerful inner energy cultivation techniques to the use of weapons and unarmed combat. They encompass the Twelve Movements (動功十二桩) and the Six Specially Mastered Skills (靜功六大專修功). Emei's members primarily use the sword. They also use needles and hairpins, called the "Prick of Emei" (峨嵋刺) or "Jade Maiden Hairpin" (玉女簪), as projectile weapons to be thrown at enemies. The most powerful of Emei's skills are the 'Emei Swordplay' and the 36 styles of dianxue (三十六式天罡指穴法).
Like Wudang, Emei's skills have two sides to them, encompassing elements of "roughness" and "softness", "long range" and "short range" attacks, all in the same style of fighting. They rotate between deceptive and direct attacks and can be used effectively by women to overcome opponents who are physically stronger than them. Some movements in Emei's swordplays are feminine in nature and are named after ancient Chinese beauties and Chinese idioms used to describe feminine beauty.
- Cha, Louis. The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber (倚天屠龍記). Ming Pao, 1961.
- Cha, Louis. Sword Stained with Royal Blood (碧血劍). Ming Pao, 1956.
- Gu Long. The Legend of Lu Xiaofeng (陸小鳳傳奇).
- Cha, Louis. The Return of the Condor Heroes (神雕俠侶). Ming Pao, 1959.