Although WuXia is based on true-life martial arts, the genre elevates the mastery of their crafts into fictitious levels of attainment. The hero or heroine in the novel usually would have a distinction source of martial arts associated with religion, school, society, etc. And these various sources can be differentiated further.
Pai (派) is a school of arts. In WuXia, a Pai is a martial arts school, sect, or style. The school can have a certain religious background, but it is not necessary always the case. Example of school with religious background would be ShaoLin (少林派) , WuDang (武當派) , E’Mei (峨嵋派) etc. For non-religious background would be HuaShan (華山派), TaiShan (泰山派), KunLun (崑崙派), etc.
Bang (帮) is an association, clan, or a brotherhood which is defined by a certain way of life or conduct. They are not religious in nature. Example of clan would be Beggars Clan (丐幫), Iron Palm Clan (鉄掌幫), FanYang (鄱陽幫), etc.
Jiao (教) is a religion or cult. The school would follow its strict religious practice. Example of cult would be Ming Cult (明教), Holy Silkworm Cult (天蠶教), Sun Moon Holy Cult (日月神教), etc.
Men (門) is a martial arts school derived from the 派 (Pai), hence 門派 (MenPai). It is a sub-system from its originating school. Example of MenPai would be Iron Sword School (鐵劍門), Five Lake Sect (五湖門), Deaf Mute Sect (聾啞門), etc.
Hui (會 ) is a society or organization that functions similarly like Bang (帮), however they are religious in nature. It practices its tradition and upholds the level of loyalty. Example of society would be Red Flower Society (紅花會), Heaven and Earth Society (天地會), Blue Dragon Society (青龍會), etc.
ShiJia (世家) is a martial arts family. Three generations of martial arts family is considered as a family martial art while five generations is called an ancestral martial art. Example of martial art family would be Royal Duan Family of the Kingdom of Dali (大理國段氏), Murong Family of Gusu (姑蘇幕容氏), Peach Blossom Island (桃花島), etc.
Zhuang (莊) is a manor or village of martial arts community. Its members and their families usually live within the same landscape. Example of manor would be Cloud Assembly Manor (歸雲莊), Phantoms’ Mountain Manor (幽靈山莊), XuanSu Manor (玄素莊), etc.
BiaoJu (鏢局) is an escort agency. They are a hired protection agency to safeguard the transportation of good. The leaders more often than not are former disciples or still associated with a Pai (派) or Men (門). Example of escort agency would be Dragon Gate Escort Agency (龍門鏢局), WeiXin Escort Agency (威信鏢局), PingTong Escort Agency (平通鏢局), etc.
Zhai (寨) is a stronghold or martial arts camp. It’s a martial art community or rebel camp that follow a similar strict military rules. Example of stronghold would be Ferocious Tiger Ridge Mountain Stronghold (惡虎溝山寨), Qin Family Stronghold (秦家寨), YinMa River Mountain Stronghold (飲馬川山寨), etc.