Pak Mei History
Pak Mei existed in the late 1600's during the Ching Dynasty. It
was within the walls of Siu Lum Jee (Shaolin Temple) where an
anonymous Monk trained and mastered his Kung Fu skills. He was
selected with three others - a nun Ng Mui, Jee Shin Shim See and
Fung Doe Duk - to learn from a Tibetan Lama who was visiting the
Temple at the time. The Manchurians, ruler of China during the
Ching Dynasty, suspected a gathering of revolutionaries who wanted
to overthrow the Ching government and rebuild the Ming Dynasty.
The Manchurian Emperor sent an army to destroy the rebellions.
At that time Ma Lin Yee, a monk who was dismissed from the temple
for breaking a precious lamp given by an emperor, became a traitor
and gave information to the Manchurians. The attack came as a
surprise. Many monks died trying to protect themselves and the
burning Temple. 18 monks escaped from the destruction.
But once the Manchurian commander learned about the 18 survivors,
he ordered his army to hunt them down, stopping them from spreading
their knowledge and their cowardly attack. 13 monks were found
and killed, while the 5 survivors travelled to Ngor Mei Mountain.
A 3099m high mountain with about 70 monasteries and temples at
that time,is the best place to hide from the Manchurians. They
took refuge at a Taoist Kwong Wai Temple. When the five masters
requested to stay at the temple, the Abbot Taoist priest asked
for their names. They all responded, except for the anonymous
Monk. He hesitated to tell the priest, knowing he was one of the
wanted men. The Taoist Priest understood his reasons, accepted
him and gave him the name Pak Mei, because of the anonymous Monk's
The five Masters needed to create a new system. The Old Shaolin
system took 15 to 20 years to master - too long to take revenge
- and the Manchurians who may attack at any time if their hideout
was given away.
Pak Mei led the life of a hermit studying Taoism
and Taoist Kung Fu. It was here that Pak Mei refined his Kung
Fu by combining Shaolin and Taoist training with his study of
the fighting animals of the Ngor Mei region. His style was known
as Ngor Mei Siu Lum, an external and internal system. The other
four masters also developed their own system.
Ng Mui the nun: Mui Fa Kuen (Plum Blossom Fist)
Jee Shin Shim Shee: Kept the traditional Shaolin
System, But was later responsible for a lot of the new Southern
Fung Dao Duk: Pack Fu Pai (White Tiger Style)
Mew Hin the unshaved monk: Ng Ying Kung Keun (5
animal style) and 18 Taoist palms
They were all so very content with their new fighting styles that
they started to test and challenge each other. This was also for
them to decide who was the best person to spy on the royal palace
and gain information to plan for their revenge. After many tests
and fights they came to the conclusion that Pak Mei and Fung Dao
Duk were the best. The two styles looked quite similar and are
often confused. But Pak Mei was finally chosen to take on this
dangerous task while the others would travel and start rebellions
and secret societies.
Jee Shin Shim See travelled back to the Shaolin Temple after it
was rebuilt and became the abbot. He taught numerous students,
such as Hung Hei Gung (Hung Gar), Lau Soan Ngan (Lau Gar), Lee
Yao San (Lee Gar), Choy Gau Yee (Choy Gar), and Mok Ching Gui
(Mok Gar). And also Fong Sai Yuke the son of Mew Choi Fa (the
daughter of Mew Hin). Ng Mui went to a nearby village near the
Shaolin Temple where she taught her Kung Fu to Mew Choi Fa, and
later became the master of Yin Wing Chun (the founder of the Wing
Chun style). The Taoist priest Fung Dao Duk travelled from village
to village helping, healing and teaching people while Mew Hin
went around the country side. Pak Mei stayed at the Ngor Mei Mountain.
He became the Abbot of the whole Ngor Mei Mountain and gained
the name Pak Mei Do Yun (White eyebrow Taoist Priest).
The secret societies established by the five Masters was called
the Anti Ching Triads. Like Hung Mun the famous society that's
responsible for a lot of today's modern triads. They use the phrase
FAN CHING FUK MING (overthrow the Ching, restore the Ming). These
four Characters were also represented by four fingers and a fist
- these were the code of their societies. Each master had their
own hand respect and this can still been seen at the start and
end of a Kung Fu form or pattern. Pak Mei's hand respect is different
from the rest. The vertical right palm on top of the left fist.
If ever the Manchurians asked them what these hand respect meant,
they would say a different phrase: SEY HOI YUT GAR (All men are
brothers within the four seas).
Pak Mei and his students went on their task but failed to the
emperor's trap. He joined the forces of the Manchurians to save
his students from torture and death, helping them to locate the
rebellions and teaching his deadly kung fu system to the army
and the emperor's bodyguards. While gaining followers in Northern
China, the Southerners turned against him for betraying his fellow
revolutionaries and Pak Mei's martial art was called "the forbidden
style". The Emperor ordered him to take soldiers to the Shaolin
temple and capture the rest of the rebellions. Pak Mei was confronted
by Jee Shin Shim See at the front of the temple. This was to distract
Pak Mei while the rebellions try to escape, but in the end Jee
Shim lost his life to Pak Mei. The ones who escaped later took
vengeance on Pak Mei.
One of them were Fong Sai Yuke, the best fighter among the other
students. Since childhood his mother Mew Choi Fa was taught by
her master Ng Mui to bath him in Tid Da Jowl (Chinese Medicine)
then condition his whole body by hitting him with a stick. His
body was Tune Pey Tid Gruck (copper skin, iron bones). Pak Mei
had known the boy since young and knew the lower spine of Fong
Sai Yuke wasn't conditioned. Pak Mei struck his lower spine with
fatal results and the rest all hesitated to take revenge again.
Pak Mei retired from the Manchurians and spent the rest of his
life back in Kwong Wai Temple. It was there he taught his whole
system to monk Kwong Wai. It is written in a Taoist book that
Pak Mei lived for over 100 years. In respect to his Sifu, Kwong
Wai named the Kung Fu system Pak Mei. Knowing how deadly this
Martial Art is, it was taught only to a selected Monk within Ngor
Mei Mountain. Kwong Wai passed this system to Chuk Fat Wan who
later accepted a second disciple called Cheung Lai Chun.
History of Great Grand Master Cheung Lai Chun
Great grand master Cheung Lai Chun was born in 1880 during the
Ching Dynasty. He was a student of many great Kung Fu Masters
and completed the Gypsy/Wanders style, Lee Gar Style and the Dragon
Style. He thought he was a excellent fighter and went to try his
luck in Canton with one of his Dragon Sifuís son Lam Yiu Quai.
He met a young Monk in a Tea House and thought the Monk unusual
because no Manchurians Officers dared sit next to him. Cheung
invited the young Monk to his house to celebrate a Buddhist god's
festival. The young Monk got a bit drunk and Cheung started talking
about Kung Fu. The young Monk did not respond so Master Cheung
decided to perform a Kung Fu form. Straight after he finished
Cheung asked the young Monk if it was useful for fighting. The
Monk just replied, "It depends". Master Cheung asked the Monk
to demonstrate his Kung Fu. The Monk stood up and performed three
techniques: a spear hand, a Phoenix eye punch and one "Monk-Take-Off-Robe".
Great Master Cheung criticised him, saying it wasn't useful because
he just stood there, and challenged the Monk for a contest. The
Monk didn't answer. When he asked the Monk to put himself on guard
the Monk just shook his head. Cheung rushed forward and attacked
the Monk using all the styles he knew but he could not touch the
Monk. Unfortunately for Cheung the young Monk used the techniques
he performed earlier - "Monk-Take-Off-Robe". He turned at the
waist, blocked and pushed. Master Cheung flew off like a plane
and broke the goldfish tank upon landing.
Master Cheung was stunned by what had happened. He asked the young
Monk to teach him but he refused because his Sifu would punish
him for showing people his Kung Fu. Master Cheung asked the Monk
to take him to his Sifu. The Monk still refused, adding that his
Sifu will half-kill him. After several weeks Master Cheung gleaned
that the Sifu of the young Monk was a 92 year old Monk call Chuk
Fat Wan. Chuk was a disciple at a Taoist Kwong Wai Temple where
Pak Mei, the Taoist priest, taught Kung Fu. Chuk Fat Wan loved
eggs, so one day Master Cheung brought two baskets of eggs and
followed a young Monk to the Temple.
Master Cheung said he is looking for a true martial art and sincerely
wanted to become his disciple. Old Master Chuk Fat Wan was angry.
He refused and said he would leave the Temple. But Master Cheung
said he would sell his property and follow him wherever he went.
Chuk Fat Wan, seeing Cheung's determination, finally accepted
and taught him the Pak Mei Kung Fu. Master Cheung was never been
beaten after mastering Pak Mei Kung Fu. He passed away in the
Autumn of 1964 at the age of 84.
Highlights of Great Grand Master Cheung Lai Chun:
The first person to introduce Pak Mei Kung Fu.
Fought in the famous Battle called "March 29" during the
rebellion to overthrow the Ching dynasty.
Detective Captain Lui to capture salt smugglers. Fought the
highly proficient kung fu leader, broke his arm and arrested
the third Republic of China, he defeated a general kung fu
instructor of the Black Flag Army.
two Sifu's of a famous Iron Arm Master.
year of republic he defeated an Iron Head Monk.
by 50 hooligans. Knocked down several attackers and killed one with his phoenix eye fist. To avoid trouble, he was forced to leave Jiang
Men Town for Guangzhou.
a muscle man boxer.
the title "Seven Southern State Champion".
by a kung fu master called Tsang Wai Pok (who had close several
kung fu schools in Guangzhou). Master Cheung defeated him
and gained his prestige in Guangzhou. Tsang Wai Pok knelt
down and asked to be his disciple. He was accepted. Tsang Wai Pok went back to Vietnam and became the founder of the Pak Mei Vietnam lineage.
walking along a street with his baby son, Master Cheung was
attacked by eight assassins holding knives and guns. Master
Cheung knocked down several and took one as shield. Fortunately
police was around and arrested the wounded. Honored the title
"The Fierce Tiger of Tung Kong" by newspapers.
Instructor at the Yin Tong College of the Guanzhou Police
Training School and Whampoa Military Academy. Within his employment
in the Whampoa Military Academy, he established a set of technique
for fighting by using the bayonet (stabbing weapon fixed to
rifle). Many military officers also personally became his
disciples and followed him to Hong Kong.
the war against the Japanese in the Nanking battle, Master
Cheung was commissioned as the martial arts instructor of
the guerilla troop of Leung Kwai Ping in Dong Jiang. After
the war, he instructed the department of the Secret Agent
in the Guangdong Province.
18 Kung Fu clubs in Guangdong.
Cheung retired in 1949 and migrated to Hong Kong with his
three sons - Cheung Bing Sum, Cheung Bing Lam and Cheung Bing
Fatt. Along with him came his most loyaled and faithful disciples.
Master Cheung's time in Hong Kong, he accepted only a few
disciples whom are mostly Sifus from other kung fu styles.
the age of 80 he gave a performance at a charity, and all
the masters from other style came to watched. They were all
astonished that Master Cheung kept his kung fu standards at
a superb level.
Great Grand Master Cheung Lai Chun performing at a charity event