Mo Duk Pai

What is Mo Duk Pai?

Mo Duk Pai is the system of martial arts that we teach at Southwest Portland Martial Arts.  The phrase “Mo Duk Pai” translates from Chinese to English as “Martial Ethics Method”.  This means that we believe the practice of martial arts should lead students to ponder the ethics (rights and wrongs) of the use of physical force.

The roots of Mo Duk Pai are both wide and deep. Throughout their studies, students are exposed to striking, grappling, throwing, weapons, sparring, teaching and forms. We believe that the generalist – a well-rounded student, with a broad range of experience – has a better chance at survival [in facing the unexpected] than the specialist.
You can read more about Mo Duk Pai at the system website.

If you do such a wide rangle martial of martial techniques, why don’t you call it mixed martial arts?

We feel that the phrase Mixed Martial Arts implies the sport of  MMA. While we appreciate all the amazing  and important things that MMA has contributed to the world of martial arts, it is not our focus to train people to fight in the sport of MMA (though we are happy to do so).  Our primary focus is to be generalist martial artists who can appreciate sport, self defense and the joy of movement for its own sake.

Who are the instructors?

Check our instructor page.

Why do you offer Mo Duk Pai and CrossFit in the same Gym?

When people first did martial arts, they didn’t need to do any extra fitness because they were laborers and farmers.  Today, most children and adults spend eight hours a day sitting at desks.  Thus, without a good fitness program, the body, mind and spirit will have a tough time keeping up with the demands of a quality martial arts program. We think CrossFit is a good, general fitness program that if done correctly, will help students in their martial arts journey.

Why do you offer Mo Duk Pai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the same Gym?

Because we believe, as both a style and as students of the martial arts, that we should always strive to improve where we are lacking.  Our grappling, as a system, was lacking.  The addition of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to our system helps improve our grappling skills, increases our body awareness and gives us confidence in techniques that we can use against a fully resisting partner.

When are classes and how much do they cost?

Check out our schedule and fees page.

How do I get started?

Check out our getting started page.

What if I’m injured or out of shape?

Get in the door – it’s the hardest part.  If you want to train, we can make it happen; together we’ll find a way to make it work.

Are there other Mo Duk Pai schools?  If I pay at one school can I attend classes at another school for free?

There are two other MDP schools in the Portland area: the Southeast Portland Martial Arts and the Northeast Portland Martial Arts.  If you pay dues at any of the three schools, you are welcome and encouraged to attend any MDP class at the other two schools free of charge.  All of the schools have other programs besides MDP, so if you have never visited the school before, we encourage you to call or email in advance to see if the same free class policy applies at that school to non-MDP classes.

Are there any hidden testing fees in your system?

We charge $20 a test for adult ranks. There are no tests or testing fees for children. Your dues will stay the same, no matter what your rank.  We do not have a set schedule that people must test on.

More questions?

Email us at