Jie Kon Sieuw
Pak Mei 傳奇的白眉上人
Fall of the Ming Dynasty (明朝) Raise of the Qing Dynasty(清朝)
When the last and 17th Ming Emperor Zhu Youjian (朱由檢) took over the Ming Dynasty from his older brother (emperor Zhu Youjiao 朱由校) the Ming dynasty was already in strong decline. The lifestyle of the imperial family had been to expensive. In an attempt to try to save his empire Zhu Youjian raised again the taxes to a maximum height. This last tax raise turned out to be his last.
When his troups were collecting taxes, many of the poor people could not pay. This was also the case when the tax collectors came to the little farm of the Hakka (kejia 客家) peasant Li Zicheng (李自成) 1605?-1648. When he could not pay the soldiers attacked him. When Li Zicheng defended himself, a Ming soldier got killed. Li Zhicheng fled to the mountains to save his life, there he formed a rebel army. They attacked the Ming armies successfully and entered Beijing in 1644. The Ming Dynasty officially came to an end when the last Ming Emperor committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree on a hill overlooking the Forbidden City. After taking Beijing (北京) in April 1644, Li Zicheng led his army of 60,000 strong to confront Wu Sangui (吳三桂), the general commanding Ming's 100,000 strong garrison stationed at Shanhaiguan (山海关). Shanhaiguan is the major northeastern pass of the Great Wall of China located fifty miles northeast of Beijing and for years its defences were what kept the Manchus (滿州) out of China.
Wu Sangui, caught between two enemies, decided to cast his lots for the Manchus and made an alliance with Dorgon, regent to the then six-year old Shun Zhi (順治), son of Hong Taiji (皇太極 also known as 洪太極) who had passed away the year before. Together the two armies met Li Zicheng's rebel forces in battle on May 27, 1644. Even though the rebel forces were routed, Wu's army was so weakened by the day's fighting that he had no choice but to join the Manchus forces as they captured Beijing on June 6 and began their conquest of the whole of China. The process took another seventeen years of battling Ming loyalists, pretenders and rebels. The last Ming pretender Prince Gui took refuge in Burma but was turned over to a Qing expeditionary force headed by Wu Sangui who had brought him back to Yunnan province and was executed in early 1662.
The Southern Ming Dynasty (Nan-Ming 南明)
To control China the Qing troops had to rely heavily on the surrendered Ming forces. In addition, three surrendered Ming generals were selected for their contributions to the Qing imperial cause, ennobled as feudal princes (藩王), and given governorships over some territories in Southern China. The chief of whom was Wu Sangui who was given the provinces Yunnan (雲南), and Guizhou (貴州). While generals Shang Kexi (尚可喜) and Geng Jingzhong (耿精忠) were given Guangdong (廣東) and Fujian (福建) provinces respectively.
As the years went by, these princes and their territories became increasingly autonomous from the central government. Finally in 1673 Shang Kexi petitioned emperor Kang Xi (康熙) stating his desire to retire to his home town in Liao Dong (辽东) province and nominated his son in place for succession. The young Kang Xi emperor granted his retirement but denied the heredity of his son. In reaction, the two other generals decided to petition for their own retirements to test Kang Xi's way of thinking, assuming that he wouldn't risk to offend them. The move backfired as the young emperor called their bluff by accepting their requests and ordered all three feudatories to be revert back to the crown.
Faced with the lost of their powers, Wu Sangui felt he had no choice but to revolt. He was later joined by Geng Jingzhong and Shang Kexi's son Shang Zhixin (尚之信). The ensuing rebellion lasted for eight years. Their activities between 1674 and 1681 are called the "Rebellion of the Three" (San Fan zhi Luan 三反之亂). At the peak of the rebels' fortunes, they managed to extend their territories to as far north as the river Changjiang (长江). But ultimately, the Qing government was able to put down the rebellion and to take control over all of southern China.
During these years rebels in southern China were having the upper hand. From all over China, Ming loyalist, rebels and others came to the southern parts of China. Many entered the rebel armies, monasteries and secret societies (triads 三合會).
The Northern Shaolin (北少林寺)
On one of the 5 holy mountains, the Song Shan, in the Henan (河南) province of China lays the northern Shaolin Temple (少林寺). This temple was established in 496 AD in the Northern Wei Dynasty (北魏 AD 386-534) by the monk Ba Tuo
(仏陀跋陀羅 Buddhabhadra). Later it got famous by two of it’s unique aspects: first the Chan-Sect of Buddhism initiated by Bodhidharma (菩提達摩 ?-528 or 536 AD) and second for it’s martial art. This very well known temple was much respected by the new rulers (Qing) out off its religious and cultural background. Although some sources will tell you that the Qing were against the northern Shaolin. Many high placed Qing officials have visited the temple and paid there respects. The second Qing emperor Kang Xi visited the temple in 1704 and gave the temple as a gift a large black board with in gold the characters Shao-Lin-Si and the imperial seal. This gift hangs nowadays above the main entrance of the temple and can be seen on many pictures.
The 4th Qing emperor Qian Long (乾隆) did also visited the temple in 1750 and made a poem about the temple during his stay. Because of the respect of the Qing rulers, the temple was allowed to maintain it's privileges, like controlling the landed estates and land around the temple.
The legend of Pak Mei and the Southern Siu Lam Temple
Through the many tales we know that there have been several "Shaolin" temples in the south of China. In the last couple of decades excavations have revealed most possible 3 temples; one on Jiulianshan (九蓮山) near Putian (莆田) villeage in Fujian (福建) Province, the second in Fuqing (芙卿) country Fujian Province and the third that was called Zhenguo Dong Chan Shaolin Temple (鎮國東禪少林寺 Zan Gwok Dung Sim) at the foot of the Qingyuan Shan (清源山) in Quanzhou (泉州 ) in Fujian Province.
One of the southern Siu Lam (南少林寺) (Shaolin) temple (most possible the Putian one) also wanted the same privileges as their northern brothers. Unfortunately there was no chance of that happening, because in China the rumours were spreading that the southern Siu Lam temple was supporting the rebellion and even was stimulating anti-Qing activities. The "southern Ming dynasty" attracted many rebels and other anti-Qing individuals like former Ming royals (family name of Chu/Zhu 朱), former Ming military and many others. The new rulers were in the beginning loyal to the Qing court, but could not betray their former Ming friends, military collegues and Royal rulers. After a while their loyalty for the Qing rulers slowly disappeared.
During the reign of the second Qing emperor Kang Xi (康熙 1661-1722) the Qing empire was getting into trouble. Also around the Qing empire it was known that the Qing rulers had a hard time in controlling China. The Qing army was big enough to conquer China but not to control or defend it. On the command of this prince of the "state of Xilu", the general Peng Longtian (彭龍天 Pong Lung Tin) attacked the empire of emperor Kang Xi. Surprisingly the small army of Xilu (西魯) defeated the Qing general Guo Tinghui (郭庭辉 Gwok Ting Wui) and conquered many victories and held some large parts of the land. Xilu means "western Lu", it is not real clear where that state was, but it is believed that they came from Tibet or that region. (Although there was in ancient times a kingdom in Shandong with that name). Their reputations as fearless and merciless warriors grew with each battle they won. When the emperor saw that his empire was being threatened very seriously he gave two of his ministers the order to end the attacks that vexed his country. What the emperor did not knew is that the reputation of the warriors of Xilu was immense and that the ministers did not dare to the take the assignment. The ministers fled the country to escape being beheaded.
The desperate emperor decided to make a summon for volunteers to join his army in the attacked region. These summons of the emperor where everywhere orally announced (because of illiteracy) and hung up in his empire. This cry of distress was also heard by Zheng Junda (鄭君達 Cheng Gwan Taat), a cousin of the known Ming rebel Zheng Chenggong (鄭成功 Koxinga). Zheng Chenggong conquered Taiwan from the Dutch in 1661. From a "pro Qing" like he changed into an "anti Qing" after the death and betrayal of his pirate father Zheng Zhilong (鄭芝龍 Cheng Si Lung) by the Qing. Zheng Junda lived at that moment in the southern Siu Lam temple where he studied kungfu. Zheng Junda went with the news of the emperor to the abbot of the temple. Abbot Zhao Yuan (朝元禅师 Ziu Jyun) had also heard that the empire was being attacked by a rebel army from the state of Xilu, but as an anti-Qing he did not matter. But the summon of the emperor could maybe mean more to the monks. The abbot went into consult with his other monks about the request of the emperor Kang Xi. This could be the chance they were waiting for to be well received by the emperor. When things would go right they maybe receive as gratitude the same privileges as their northern brothers had.
In the Tang Dynasty (唐朝) 618-907 the Shaolin monks helped the first and second Emporer Li Yuan (李淵) 618-626 and Li Shimin 626-649 (李世民) in their war against Wang Shichong (王世充) and Dou Jiande (竇建德). The Emperor(s) gave the Shaolin temple many gifts like a lot of land (400 mu), they could eat meat, they were allowed to defend their land with arms (private monk army), etc. Eventually the monks decided to help the emperor Kang Xi, not for the rescue of the Qing empire but to obtain the privileges after their victory. These privileges would help them eventually in their resistance against the same Qing dynasty. In 1673 the abbot Zhi Yuan ordered his head disciple Tak Wan to lead the attack of the 128 monks of the temple and to organize the attack together with Zheng Junda and his wife Guo Xiuying (郭秀英 Gwok Sau Jing) (Zheng Junda's wife also trained at the temple). The group left the temple ready to attack. Before they could attack they had to receive the permission of the emperor himself. Emperor Kang Xi was very impressed by the group of courageous monks. Because it was forbidden by the Qing law to carry any weapons, the emperor gave the monks all the weapons they needed, he gave them food and other provisions for the journey and the permission to fight the army of Xilu without the imperial Qing army.
The emperor was even more surprised when the Siu Lam monks managed to beat the army of Xilu in a period of 3 months and without having any casualties. After their victory the monks were greeted as true hero's in Beijing and many gifts and honourable titles were given. The monks were very disappointed that they didn't receive the privileges as their northern brothers. Disappointed the monks retreated to their temple in Fujian. The emperor gave them a very special imperial iron (shuaiyin 帥印) seal in a triangular shape. The weight of this seal was sayed to be 20 catties and 13 ounce (+\- 10,5 kg). Within in this triangular shape the characters ri (日 sun) and shan (山 mountain) where carved.
Although an imperial seal is not really what the monks wanted, in those days a imperial seal had tremendous power. The imperial seals were the visible evidence of the emperor’s authority and legitimacy and very very seldom given as a present. They ratified every edict, decree and appointment. This seal gave the Southern Siu Lam temple great respect and protection against local rulers. But envy of the seal by Qing authorities would in the end become the fall of the Siu Lam temple.
The only person that was happy with the result and this gifts was Zheng Junda. His reward was that he was made Army General (總鎮 zongshen) of the Qing army in the district of Huizhui (惠州 Wai Chow) Guandong province. In his new position he could spy and inform his rebel friends with great ease.
In the beginning everyone was very happy with the result the monks had achieved. But with their actions the Siu Lam monks had also made some enemies, especially within the Qing army and at the Qing court with some influential rich people. Of those persons it was expected in the first place that they would have done something about the problem of the attacking army of Xilu. Soon after the victory an offensive of rumours was started against the Siu Lam temple to bring the monks into discredit. The rumours found a good breeding place in the Qing court, because many had the feeling that they were passed over. At the Qing court (army) they started to realize what a great power the monks should have to terminated an entire Xilu army with only 128 monks. Very fortunately the emperor Kang Xi had not forgotten the monks who helped him to safe his empire. It took until the reign of the 3rd Qing emperor Yong Sheng 雍正 (1723-1735) that the order was given to destroy the Siu Lam temple. The assignment of the destruction was given to Zhang Jianqiu (張建秋 Cheung Gin Cau) the military commander of the Fujian province and to Chen Wenyao (陳文耀 Chan Man Jiu) the magistrate (zhixian 知縣) of the Putian (莆田) district.
Zhang Jianqiu and Chen Wenyao started to make preparations. These preparations had to be very thorough because in the ancient China there was no way they could fail. If they would fail it would surely cost them their heads. It would not be easy to defeat the very well trained monks with their regional Qing army. The Qing army had to plan a surprise attack and not one of the residents of the temple should survive this attack. The southern Siu Lam temple was build on a high hill, it's position was very strategical. The view from the temple was wide, so a surprise attack was not easy. Zhang Jianqiu and Chen Wenyao knew that under the temple there was a network of secret tunnels and corridors. This made the chance bigger that monks could escape during the attack through these tunnels. The exits of the tunnels were in the wide surroundings of the temple. To make sure that the losses on the Qing side were kept minimal they decided to avoid a direct attack, but to bat the monks in another way. The plan was made to poison or drug the monks, by putting something in their wine or drinking water.
After they had decided on their strategy Zhang Jianqiu and Chen Wenyao just had to find out how and by who. They had to find a volunteer. They couldn't find one amongst their army men because their soldiers feared the superior monks. So Chan Man Kiu went out to look for someone close to the monastery, in order to obtain as much information about the monastery and its inhabitants as he could get.
On one of his searchs he came across a wandering man. Chen Wenyao noticed that the man had a shaved head bearing Siu Lam marks. The marks gave away that he had to be or had been a monk. Chen Wenyao immediately started to make friendship with the monk.
The name of this wandering monk was Ma Ninger (馬寧兒 Ma Ning Ji), a.k.a Ma Yifu (馬儀幅 Ma Ji Fu) and Ma Erfu (馬二幅 Ma Er Fu). He used to be a prominent monk in the Shaolin Monastery and was highly skilled in Shaolin kung fu and was an expert in the Shaolin staff. He used to fight with a iron staff of 18kg.
According to a legend he was a 7th grade monk therefore he was named "A Qi (阿七 A Tsat)". One of his daily tasks in the monastery was lighting the "10.000 years precious lantern" (wan nian baodeng 萬年寶燈 maan min bou dang) . This lamp was a very expensive gift out of former Persia. The lantern had to be refilled with oil only once a year on the 15th night of the first lunar month. Lighting and extinguishing the lamp was a task especially given to Ma Ninger. In the beginning he gently took the lamp down with a stick with an iron hook on top. After a while he got bored doing this. So one day he started using a high kick to get the lamp down. The abbot warned him several times to be very careful with this priceless lamp. One day the inevitable happened. He kicked the lamp but didn't catch it so the lamp got damaged beyond repair. The abbot was so displeased with this that he banned Ma Ninger from the monastery.
A second story is that Ma Ninger had seduced the wife and sister of Zheng Junda and then was banned from the temple. This story is not very likely to have happened because of the dates.
The banishment of Ma Ninger got around quickly and people could recognise him easily because of his shaved head and Siu Lam marks. In the streets people laughed at him and mocked him. This made it difficult for Ma to start a new life. He became a bitter man. Chen Wenyao immediately knew that this was the man he had been looking for. Chen Wenyao offered Ma Ninger his help in return for information on the monastery. Ma Ninger agreed to help Chen Wenyao in exchange for a generous reward. Ma Ninger told Chen Wenyao everything he wanted to know. He told him everything about the monks, their rituals, their habits and most important about the secret exits and entrances of the monastery.
The date for the attack was carefully planned. After consulting several people the date was set on the 6th day of the first new moon (also the date 13th day of 1st month is sometimes told) (according to the lunar-calendar) in the year 1723 (1728?).
With the information of Ma Ninger Zhang Jianqiu placed his soldiers on all the strategic positions around the monastery. Chen Wenyao and a small group of soldiers took a cart with wine to the monastery. He told the monks that it was a gift of the emperor Yong Shen himself. The temple was filled with many guests. The guest were friends from other temples and rebel friends. But the abbot distrusted this present brought by Chen Wenyao. With the precious sword (Boajian 寶劍 Bou Gim) he stabbed at a barrel. When the sword came in contact with the wine the sword immediately changed colour. This was a sign that the wine had been poisoned. Chan got scared and ran out of the monastery. When Zhang Jianqiu saw Chen Wenyao running from the monastery he immediately started his attack. Burning arrows rained down on the wooden monastery which almost at once caught fire.
The monks were taken by surprise by this cowardly attack. Panic broke out and the monks and guests tried desperately to fight of the overwhelming amount of soldiers (some 3,000 troops). Most guests and 110 monks got killed in the fights and because of the fire. A small group of 18 persons took their refuge behind a Buddha statue in the Grand Hall. There they started to pray for help and their prayers were heard. It is being told that a yellow cloud appeared and protected the group against the fire and the suffocating smoke.
The Qing troops left the remains of the monastery satisfied because they didn't find any living monks. After some time the 18 survivors regained their consciousness. One of the surviving monks managed to make a hole in the wall and the group fled quickly from the smouldering remains of the destroyed monastery. The surviving monks tried to find a safe place to stay. But as soon as Zhang Jianqiu learned of the 18 survivors he started to hunt them down. He had to kill these monks in order to keep his cowardly attack a secret and to prevent the monks from spreading their knowledge.
The hunt lasted 70 days. During those days many got killed on both sides. But the number of soldiers was too big. At the last of the 31 battles on Ding mountain (丁山 Ting San) in Hubei (湖北) province 13 monks got killed. Only five elders survived. These five are known as the 5 Ancestors (Wu Zu 五祖 Ng Zou) or the 5 Elders (Wu Lao 五老 Ng Lou).
Their names are:
|Wu Mei Shi Tai (五枚大师 Ng Mui)||
She was the only nun of the five elders. Her lay name is said to be Lu Si Niang (呂四娘 Lui Sei Leung) and she was the daughter of a Ming general. Which explains her pro-Ming attitude. She was a fabulous fighter and there are many stories of her defeating male opponents. Wu Mei is also said the be initiator of many Chinese martial arts like Plum Blossom Boxing (Mei Hua Quan 枚花拳 Mui Fa Kuen), Eternal Spring (詠春 Yong Chun) and White Crane Boxing (白鶴派 Bei He Hok Pai)
|Zhi Shan Sin Shi (至善禅師 Jee Shin Sim Si)||
The legendary Buddhist monk master from the Southern Siu Lam Temple. He was an expert in all the Siu Lam fighting disciplines. He taught the 5 founders of the 5 family styles of Siu Lam. And there are branches of Wing Chun (永春) that claim to have him as their founder.
|Bai Mei (白眉道人 Pak Mei)||
"Man of the Way" (Pak Mei Tao Ren) was the eldest in biological age. Before he came to the Siu Lam temple he had already studied Chinese boxing on the Emei Shan (峨嵋山 O Mei shan) in the Szechuan province. He supposed to have studied in a Taoist Temple the boxing style of the Ngok family (Yuejia 岳家). Because of his anti Qing attitude he joined the Southern Siu Lam and trained there in Chinese boxing. Before he came to the Siu Lam temple he supposed to be a follower of the Taoist way and so is often called "Tao Ren" or "man of the way". This should not be confused with a Taoist priest (TaoGuan 道官).
|Feng Dao De (馮道德 Fung Dou Dak)||
Taoist priest (TaoGuan 道官) who also joined the Southern Siu Lam temple boxing training.
|Miao Xian (苗顯 Miu Hin)||
The "un-shaved" pupil. He was a lay man who joined the Siu Lam rebels in their training. The wellknown Miao Cui Hua (苗翠花 Miu Cui Faa ) was his daughter, she was a student of the nun Wu Mei. On her turn she (Miao Cui Hua) taught her fighting arts to her legendary son Fang Shi Yu (方世玉 Fong Sei Yuk). His father and husband of Miao Cui Hua was Fang De (方德 Fong Dak) of the powerfull Fang clan that was trained by Wu Mei).
These five survivors were not only lucky that they survived, but probably were also the best trained and talented fighters of Southern Siu Lam temple. All had trained extensively in the "eternal spring(time) hall" (Yong Chun Dian 永春殿) under monk master Fa Hai (法海 Faat Hoi).
The five elders were given shelter by many friends, secret (anti Qing) societies and stayed in many monasteries. Mostly they travelled as Taoist priests because the Qing officials were looking for Buddhists monks. Local guides took them from one place to an other. From Fuijian, through Hubei they went to Guangdong province.
They were taken by their guide Tse Pong Hang to the Bao Zhu monastery (寶珠寺 Bou Zyu Zi) in Huizhou (惠州 Waichow), Huiyang district (惠陽縣 Wai Yeung). There they stayed for the longest time before travelling on.
After 2 years of travelling and hiding from the Qing army they reached their goal. Emei Shan (峨嵋山 O Mei shan), "the most famous mountain in the world" in the western province of Sichuan. It was and still is a very important Buddhist place. On this 3099 meter high mountain there were about 70 monasteries and temples at that time. This holy mountain was the perfect hiding place for the 5 elders.
In the beginning of the Qing dynasty Sichuan was a major rebel place. Monk Ming rebel Man Jiulong (馬九龍 Ma Gau Lung) let a rebel army, with an army of 48 monks from the Daoist Qingcheng shan (青城山) temples Sichuan, against the Qing. Unfortunatly they got beaten at the battle of the mountains of Mo Shan (磨山), Hubei (湖北). The few survivors (13) of this rebel army fled to the Siu Lam temple in Fujian.
Far away from the Qing army and amongst thousands of other monks and nuns on the Emei mountain they would be hard to find. The 5 Elders took their refuge at the Kwang Wai Temple on Emei Shan. There they picked up their training and started to improve their skills. Actually the monks had already started to improve and further develop their styles during their stay at the Southern Siu Lam temple. Because of the rising revolution the monks started to teach laymen. Teaching "non-monks" kung fu was not their habit but they felt that is was their duty in the fight against the Qings. They changed their teachings because the old ways were not suitable for the circumstances their country was in. They developed a style which was easier and quicker to learn and more suitable for fighting.
In the old Siu Lam system it took at least 15 years to master the style completely. This included the unarmed level, the weapons level, the physical skills, the philosophy of the style, the traditional medicine and the production of medicine, the meditating, the development of qigong and most often studying the religion (for example Buddhism or Taoism). This is just a summary of the skills that persons living in the monastery were trained in.
For the new system the old way of learning for 15 years would be way too long. To be ready for the Qing the minimal time was required. People that were working intensively on the development of the new system were (amongst others) the nun Wu Mei and the monk master Zhi Shan Sin Shi. Both taught a lot outside the monastery. Wu Mei was teaching the old Siu Lam to Miao Cui Hua (daughter of temple friend Miao Xian) and she was teaching her new styles to the young woman Yan Yong Chun(嚴詠春 Yim Wing Chun). The monk master Zhi Shan Sin Shi taught parts of the traditional Siu Lam boxing to the founders of the 5 great family styles (五大名家).
About some of the founders of the five great family styles there is some uncertainty. Here we have put the most used (and likely) names:
|Hong Jia (洪家 Hung Ga)||
Hong Xiguan (洪熙官 Hung Hei Gun) 1743-1806
|Liu Jia (劉家 Lau Ga)||
Liu Qingshan (劉青山 Lau Cing San)
|Cai Jia (蔡家 Choi Ga)||
Cai Zhanguang (蔡展光 Choi Jin Gwong)
|Li Jia (李家 Li Ga)||
Li Shikai (李式開 Li Sik Hoi) and later completed by Li Youshan (李友山 Li Jau San)
|Mo Jia (莫家 Mok Ga)||
Mo Qingjiao (莫清矯 Mok Cing Gui)
These five students each were taught a part of the old style that fitted them best and that they could learn the fastest. In these cases they were not taught a "real" new style. Stories say that monk master Zhi Shan Sin Shi also learned a new style to someone called Sun Kong. He learned a style from monk master Zhi Shan Sin Shi that was called Yong Chun Dian (the eternal spring hall). The story of monk master Zhi Shan Sin Shi is well known and there are many stories about his travelling with the red boat opera. The destruction of the monastery ended the teaching and they had to fled for their lives. They continued the further development of their new styles on Emei mountain. These days we know their styles (teachings) by the following names:
|Wu Mei Shi Tai (五枚大师 Ng Mui)||
Mei Hua Quan (枚花拳 Mui Fa Kuen/plum blossom fist) & Yong Chun (詠春)
|Zhi Shan Sin Shi (至善禅師 Jee Shin Sim Si)||
Kept the traditional Siu Lam boxing & Yong Chun Dian (永春殿)
|Pak Mei (白眉道人 Pak Mei)||
Pak Mei Pai (白眉派 White Eyebrow Style)
|Feng Dao De (馮道德 Fung Dou Dak)||
Pak Fu Pai (白虎派 White Tiger style)
|Miao Xian (苗顯 Miu Hin)||
5 shape boxing or Wu Xing Quan (五形拳 Ng Ying Kuen) and 18 Taoist palms (八十道掌)
The unavoidable happened, they were all so very content with their new fighting styles that they started to test and to challenge each other. After many tests and fights they came to the conclusion that Pak Mei and Feng Dao De were the best. These two would fight each other to find out once and for all who was the better of the two. On the last moment they decided not to go through with it and so it stays unclear whom of the two was the best or which style/methode was better. Pak Mei Pai and Bai Hu Pai look quite similar and are confused quite often.
The five elders had not forgotten about their most important objective, despite all their hard training they had to fight the Qing rulers. To get to know more about their enemy they decided that one of them had to infiltrate the Qing court. They decided that Pak Mei had to take on this dangerous task. During Pak Mei’s infiltration the others would travel through China to teach as much as possible and to start rebellions and secret societies. Pak Mei would contact them through a secret network that the others would establish in the meantime. These secret societies against the Qing were called the Anti Qing Triads or Heaven and Earth Society (Tiandihui 天地會) and have been established by the five elders, like the well know Hong Men (洪門 Hung Mon). This Hong Men (one of the most important) is seen as one of the front-runners of the numerous modern triads. During the establishment of this triad they had the yell FAN QING FUK MING-反清復明- (rebel against the Qing, restore the Ming).
After a while the infiltrated Pak Mei realized that his attempt was not very useful but that it was very dangerous. And also the battle of his brothers would not be strong enough to overthrow the Qing. To save his life and to escape a terrible death Pak Mei retreated from his espionage work and started to teach kungfu again on the Emei shan moutain. Later Fung Dou Dak would take over Pak Mei’s task and infiltrate the Qing court. Because Pak Mei had gained a reputation to be a very good and dangerous fighter there were some who wanted to take his classes, despite the fact that it was seen as treason because Pak Mei had turned his back on the rebellion. Pak Mei was called "the forbidden style" (Gam Zi 禁止 Jin Zhi) in those days and taught to a few monks only under the name of Siu Lam Kuen (boxing).
A lot of people in the resistance, including old comrades, felt hate against their brother that had left their cause. Pak Mei was declared outlawed and they were looking for him to kill him. Pak Mei had to fight for his life a number of times to stay alive. Almost all were killed in their fights with Pak Mei. Because of this the hate grew even stronger and the fear for him and his powerful fighting style too. The story tells that Pak Mei was known for his internal and external strength. When he was young he used to be an noted "lantern fire fighter". He would whip his legs and joints to propel his body to twice his own height. With this technique he lighted the lanterns at the temple. Amongst the people that were killed in the fights with Pak Mei were: Zhi Shan Sin Shi (the Siu Lam expert), Miao Xian and Fang Shi Yu. Between his stay at Emei mountain and his fight with Pak Mei Miao Xian lived an ordinary live in Guangzhou. Fang Shi Yu was the grandson of the temple mate Miao Xian "the unshaven student" and son of Miu Cui Fa.
Miao Cui Hua was also an expert in kungfu and she had learned that from Wu Mei at Siu Lam temple. After Fang Shi Yu mother taught him kungfu she left for her own classes with Wu Mei. In the time that Fong Chai Yuk was left alone he would secretly sneak in to the big barrel of Die Da Jiu (跌打酒 Tit Da Jow) medicine of his mother. The nun Wu Mei stayed out of the troubles and settled in the Bai He Si (白鶴寺 Pak Hok Ji White Crane temple) on Dai Liang mountain (大涼山 Tai Leung San) in Sichuan.
Despite his mother strictly forbidding him to do this he did this numerous times. He would sneak in to the barrel and sit on a piece of wood. He claimed that through these numerous baths his body was invincible. Pak Mei noticed this too when he was fighting him. The boy's kungfu wasn't great but Pak Mei’s strikes could not harm him. Pak Mei knew the boy from when he was small and he knew that the boy had sat in the medicine. The only place where the medicine had not worked was on the lower side of his spine where he had sit on. Pak Mei hit him there with fatal result.
2nd Southern Temple destroyed
When the (first) southern Siu Lam temple was destroyed an important anti-Qing centre was lost. It is believed that Ming Loyalist and rebels went to an other temple. This temple (at the Gaau Lin Saan/Jiao Lihn Shan in Fujian) already had a name, but became known as the 2nd southern Siu Lam temple. The Qing rulers also got aware of this centre of rebels and also destroyed this temple. About 30 survived the attack. Some stories say that among these survivors was Zhu Wenzhong (朱文忠 Chu Man Zung) student of these famous monk Zhi Shan Sin Shi. Zhu Wenzhong renamed himself Hong Xi Guan (Hung Hei Gun). Known of the style he created Hong Jia (Hung Ga). And that Zhi Shan Sin Shi stayed in the 2nd Siu Lam Temple after the destruction of the first. There he was made abbot (Fang Zhang 方丈 Fong Zoeng) of the temple.
Other important surviving monks are these five: Cai Dezhong (蔡德忠 Choi Dak Chun), Fang Dahong (方大洪 Fong Tai Hung), Ma Chaoxing (馬超興 Ma Chiu Hing), Hu Dedi (胡德帝 Wu Dak Tei) and Li Shikai (李式開 Li Sik Hoi).
These five survivors are considered by many secret societies and triads as their founders.
Guang Hui Sin Shi (廣慧禅師 Kong Wei)
Pak Mei only taught the complete system to a very few people. All of the second generation practitioners were monks. One of them was the Abbot Guang Hui Sin Shi (廣慧禅師 Kong Wei). When Pak Mei fled from southern China to seek refuge on Emei Shan, he settled in one of the monasteries on the top (Jin Ding 金頂 Gam Deng Golden Summit) of this mountain. The Abbot of this monastery was Guang Hui. He was also an accomplish master in Boxing and breathing methods. Pak Mei and Guang Hui exchanged techniques and methods. Guang Hui was specialising breathing techniques and learned them to Pak Mei. Guang Hui took an enormous risk by taking Pak Mei in to his temple. With the Qing rulers looking for him everywhere, if he was being discovered his temple and life were surely lost. It is not totally clear of what monastery Guang hui was the Abbot. The names of the White Cloud temple (白雲寺 Bai Shui Si), Guang Fu temple (廣幅寺) are mentioned. Guang Hui taught the methods of Pak Mei to his monks in his temple.
Du Fa Yun Sin Shi (竺法雲禅師 Chuk Fat Wan) 1822-1914
Abbot Guang Hui passed on his knowledge to the monk Du Fa Yun. Du Fa Yun was one of the few third generation masters to receive permission from master Abbot Guang Hui to teach the secret style. When he was getting older Du Fa Yun decided to travel through China on a pilgrimage. He did this with his disciple, the young monk Lian Sheng (蓮生 Lin Sang).