Different styles of martial arts: Bak Mei, Liu He and Bak Fu Pai

Bak fu pai

According to legend, Fung Do Duk, the founder of the system, was one of the few monks who escaped with his martial arts knowledge from the brutal burning of the Shaolin temple in the south in 1723. While meditating on Emei Mountain, he was visited by a goddess on a golden throne. She demonstrated a set of meditations called “fae fung sunn gung”, which were said to greatly benefit the health of mankind, but also warned the monk that because the exercises and meditations were heaven-sent, he had to choose. who was teaching them. to very carefully. Consequently, a tradition of secrecy has always surrounded art.

Bak fu pai, as taught today, includes a series of Southern-style Chinese punches and kicks, including the “reverse punch.” Low kicks to the shins and knees are a commonly employed tactic and, along with the study of meditation and nutrition, “iron palm” practices are widespread. The most spectacular blow of the iron palm is the coconut break, in which, after several years of practicing the iron palm, practitioners can crush coconuts with the fist or the back of the hand; a clean break indicates a good, solid iron. -Technical palm.

Liu He

The guiding principle of this art is the belief that the impact received from a blow or force is much greater when the body works as a harmonious unit. There are two elements in this martial art: the external and the internal, which have three harmonies or combinations. “San wai he” (the external harmonies), refer to the coordination between hips and shoulders, knees and elbows, feet and hands.

If the blow is to deliver the maximum amount of energy, all parts of the body and mind must act in complete harmony with each other. “San nei he” (the inner aspects) relate to how spirit harmonizes with intention, how intention harmonizes with physical energy, and how physical energy harmonizes with force. These six harmonies must work together to produce the most effective hits.

Bak mei

The system is said to have been developed by a Shaolin monk nicknamed Bak Mei, which means “white eyebrow.” Some practitioners, however, claim that he was a traitor to the Shaolin temple and worked as a spy for the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), an alliance that resulted in the temple burning and Bak Mei’s subsequent escape.

To this day, some animosity persists among kung fu stylists, with some teachers refusing to teach Shaolin arts to students who have previously trained in bak mei.

Powerful principles

This important and powerful system is characterized by explosive, aggressive and close contact punches and blocks that are often thrown in decisive combinations. The hand movements spank, cut, and push, and practitioners exhale forcefully when they throw punches.

In essence, the system is a close-range fighting art founded on four principles: float, sink, swallow, and depart. These principles of power refer directly to forward, sideways, and up and down movements of movement, and in particular the surrender or division of power and the swallowing or absorption of force. Other important fighting techniques used within the system are sink, jump, push, and neutralize.

The style has been to fictionalize popular Hong Kong films such as The Shaolin Heroes or Shaolin Yir Xiong (1980) and more recently by the character Pai Mei, played by Gordon Liu, in the Hollywood film Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004).

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