Pak Mei Pai Poems 白眉派對聯

Pak Mei Pai Deoi Lyun (白眉派對聯 Bai Mei Pai Duilian)

In Traditional Chinese Boxing schools a unique way of passing and preserving their heritage is through poems or si in Cantonese (詩 shi). China has a long history of poems, with their golden age of poetry in the Tang Dynasty. Most Chinese poems are compiled by strict formal patterns. Patterns or forms of poetry are for instance "five-character-ancient-verse", "five-character-regular-verse", "seven-character-ancient-verse" and "‘seven-character-regular-verse". In Chinese Boxing schools poems (or in some branches called character formula (字訣 zijue), mind formula (心法 xinfa) or secret formulas (秘訣 bijue) are used as method of remembering the usage and applications of forms and techniques. A normal poem is considered an art, but to make a martial art poem one must be a master with great skills.

In Pak Mei we also have these poems that pass along a part of the heritage. So for instance our Lee Family Pak Mei Altar is written in two verses of seven characters. Also a number of Pak Mei forms have their poems to pass on the techniques and essentials of a form. And a poem of the grandmaster. The poems can be classified into several groups, poems about the forms, poems about the creed of the clan, about respecting your kungfu ancestors, etc.


Cheung Lai Chun Zung Si Wai Fan (張禮泉宗師遺訓 Zhang Liquan Zongshi Yixun)

Pak Mei Grandmaster Cheung Lai Chun passed a part of the teaching in a creed (poem) called a Wai Fan (遺訓 yí​xùn) or literal "wishes of the deceased".

On the altar you can find for instance a picture with text or only texts (creed) and the usual items as incense, food, etc. In Pak Mei school many times picture of Grandmaster Cheung Lai Chun (張禮泉宗師) with characters is found (see below).

尊祖尊師尊武道,學仁學義學武功。

Respect your kung fu ancestors, before you can claim to respect your kung fu.
Learn to be righteous and temper your conduct, before you may learn kung fu.

學得武功能守己,英雄半點莫欺人。

If you know kung fu, you may not commit any illegal offenses.
The best kung fu practitioners never hit people, even for the slightest offenses.

相逢不是忠良輩,萬兩黃金也不傳。

If you encounter an evil person,
Even if you are offered thousands of pounds of gold, you may not teach them.

有親無義不可教,無親有義則可傳。

You may not even teach a close relative, if they are not morally decent.
You may teach a perfect stranger, as long as they are righteous and decent.

學得白眉真妙手,縱然廢石作金磚。

If you understand the essence of Pak Mei kung fu,
Even a stone is precious like gold.


Pak Mei Cyun Hau Kuyt (白眉拳口訣 Bai Mei Quankoujue)

All major forms in Pak Mei have their own poem that contains the techniques and essence (secrets) of the form. These poems are called Fist Poems, in Cantonese Hau Kuyt (口訣 koujue). Literal this means 口=mouth/verbal & 訣=secrets (of an art), but the characters Hau Kyut (口訣) means Mnemonic chant. Meaning of chant and a memory aid (called Mnemonic) to retain that meaning for long time in our memory.

Ngaan Cyun Faat, Gau Cyun Zung (研拳法、究拳宗)

Study Boxing Techniques, Investigate Boxing Ancestors

直练功,吞吐浮沉在其中。

Practicing "Straight Step Fist (form)" is the bases for accomplishment. (Because the four foundations of Bak Mei): "swallow", "spit", "float", and "sink" are in it.

十字本是扣打術,三門乃是偷打功。

"Cross Shape (Form)'s" root skills are to detain and strike (simultaneously). The "Three Door (set)" is the skill of ambush and strike.

四門八卦猛如龍,追空搶打势如風。

"Four Doors Eight Diagrams" is as fierce as a dragon, It pursues the (enemy's) opening with momentum like wind to seize and strike.

若要下盘腿功好,朝夕勤練地煞功。

If (one) needs to build a strong lower body, One must train in the "Earth Demon (form)" day and in night.

九步推,法猶凶,摧馬行橋任我攻。

There are even more ferocious methods (within) "Nine Step Push", (With) pressing horses (steps) and moving bridge (hands/techniques), I can attack at will.

十八摩、 變化多,暗藏機關重叠重。

"Eighteen Stroking (Bridge)" is full of changes, transformation, And layer upon layers of hidden traps and setups.

練到爐火纯青后,猛虎出林是高 。

Practice until just like the hottest hearth flame that turned blue--- (the point of perfection), (Then one could practice) "Fierce Tiger Dash Out of the forest" which is the peak (highest).

 

Translated by David Wong (NY USA- student of Chin Dor (陳佐))