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  • Pak Mei Kung Fu

    Has anyone here had any direct experience with this style of kung fu, from whatever lineage and in whatever form? Though known for its brutality and violent directness (something not quite in-line with Wahnam practice or value), it is surprisingly rare to see in the world of self defense, BUT, this school, located in France, appears to have been able to take a very traditional and seldom-seen style out of pure demonstrative form and into the realm of intensive and realistic street application while still maintaining its traditional roots and form. I don't really have any interest in pursuing this, just thought this find was very interesting and a fun look at what level a traditional art can be taken to, even by those who don't seem to have or have access to any internal methods of cultivation or internal force (though they certainly have plenty of external force.

    First, Sifu's comments from one section of his Q&A regarding Pak Mei and his style (http://shaolin.org/answers/ans01a/feb01-3.html):

    "Pak Mei Kungfu is a superior fighting art. It was specially developed by Pak Mei to fight the Southern Shaolin Kungfu of Chee Seen, and its hallmark is the phoenix-eye fist for striking vital points. But this does not necessarily mean that a Pak Mei fighter is better than a Southern Shaolin fighter.

    Personally I prefer Southern Shaolin Kungfu to Pak Mei Kungfu. There are many reasons for my choice, and one of the most important is my kungfu philosophy. While combat efficiency is important, other considerations are also significant. To me, Pak Mei Kungfu is mainly geared to fighting, whereas Shaolin Kungfu offers a complete programme for personal development.
    Pak Mei Kungfu is deadly; it does not bother with those technique which do not kill or maim. Hence, its range of techniques is limited — very few holds or throws, for example, but its limited techniques, such as a strike to the solar plexus or throat, are highly effective and destructive.
    In contrast, Shaolin techniques are marked by compassion. Instead of striking an opponent's throat, a Shaolin disciple would hold his neck under control but without seriously harming him. Instead of breaking an opponent's arm, he would press the arm to the ground.
    Pak Mei Kungfu emphasizes internal force training, but it is tailored to destroying an opponent. In Shaolin Kungfu, besides its use for combat, internal force is used for enhancing vitality and mental freshness."



    Check out these two videos from their Youtube channel:

    Traditional training and inside look:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFJ0CPbcA3A

    Street-applied self defense:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3JRze8aTEs

    Thought this would be an interesting look into this style and maybe generate some discussion into their street-approach or what they may be sacrificing or overlooking when emphasizing combat only.

    Kristian

  • #2
    RE: Pak Mei

    Hi Kristian,

    Thanks for starting this interesting topic.

    When I hear the name Pak Mei, I usually think of his betrayal first.

    But actually, Pak Mei Kungfu was the first martial art I practiced back in 1999 just after my wife and I had our first child. I was in poor condition, and it wasn't quite right for me, so I practiced for only three months, which was the minimum initial enrollment, which fees I paid up-front. The sifu was a young Vietnamese man, in his 20's, who if I recall correctly, learned from his family. I don't remember the sifu's name, but I suspect I could probably find it on the internet. I took the subway to the north shore of Montreal island to practice in a park.

    I recall:

    --standing in crane stance for extended periods (thus corroborating the importance of internal force training)

    --seeing the sifu sparring with a senior student, using quite a bit of speed; primarily, perhaps exclusively, using hand strikes to the upper body and head, though they appeared to be stopping an inch short. The sifu's manner was intense, highly aggressive...

    --being impressed by the manner and bearing of the students

    Of course, my quitting after such a short time indicts me, and not the art. But from my experience, I can say that Shaolin Kungfu we practice is a much better fit for me.

    Yours,


    Charles
    Charles David Chalmers
    Brunei Darussalam

    Comment


    • #3
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FJnOFl2uJzo

      I've heard of this master, this was the video that I saw.

      He has some clean and fast kung fu.

      I've not had any experience with the art, but it reminds me of a mix between hung gar and wing chun. Which considering the history of the five grandmasters might be an interesting question.

      All the best,
      Shaolin Wahnam USA

      "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Charles David View Post
        --standing in crane stance for extended periods (thus corroborating the importance of internal force training)

        --seeing the sifu sparring with a senior student, using quite a bit of speed; primarily, perhaps exclusively, using hand strikes to the upper body and head, though they appeared to be stopping an inch short. The sifu's manner was intense, highly aggressive...

        --being impressed by the manner and bearing of the students

        Of course, my quitting after such a short time indicts me, and not the art. But from my experience, I can say that Shaolin Kungfu we practice is a much better fit for me.
        Wow, what a direct experience! And I can definitely see what immense contrast their is between this style and and Southern Shaolin in general, and especially Shaolin Wahnam in style, approach, purpose, aims, and results. Both certainly have their merits and, while no art is wholly perfect or totally flawed, the devastation and combative nature of the Pak Mei techniques, while impressive and definitely functional, might not be the best choice for the modern world and especially for anyone not forced to fight for survival or as a career (law enforcement, military, etc.) It's interesting to read your account and your mentioning the emphasis on the crane stance definitely makes sense in viewing the movements in these videos which are incredibly controlled, elegant, accurate, graceful, and balanced.

        Wonderful exploration and a fun dabble into a unique combat approach/system.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by David Langford View Post
          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FJnOFl2uJzo

          I've heard of this master, this was the video that I saw.

          He has some clean and fast kung fu.

          I've not had any experience with the art, but it reminds me of a mix between hung gar and wing chun. Which considering the history of the five grandmasters might be an interesting question.
          Hmmmmm I had forgotten about the history of the five grandmasters and Pak Mei's role in the temple assaults and also that nun Ng Mui was reputed to have been a superior fighter to him as well! I can see where many ways of moving, striking, and setting up positions are directly absorbed from some other arts and also where the specifically tailored focus toward destruction and violent disarmament of an opponents body and weapons (limbs, joints, even nervous system and air supply) has been emphasized in bringing those together into a single art/style. Definitely impressive and certainly a master with great skill and understanding of combative approach and even self defense application (the inside-of-the-car demonstrations from the videos were really quite impressive and seemed very JKD in their effectiveness and speed)!

          Comment

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