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 yíxùn) 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).
Respect the ancestors, masters and morals of our martial arts.
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 ir 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.
Beside the poems of the forms there is also a general poem that direct the essence a the forms:
Ngaan Cyun Faat, Gau Cyun Zung (研拳法、究拳宗)
Study Boxing Techniques, Investigate Boxing Ancestors
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.
"Cross Shape (Form)'s" root skills are to detain and strike (simultaneously).
The "Three Door (set)" is the skill of ambush and strike.
"Four Doors Eight Diagrams" is as fierce as a dragon, It pursues the (enemy's) opening with momentum like wind to seize and strike. If (one) needs to build a strong lower body, One must train in the "Earth Demon (form)" day and in night.
There are even more ferocious methods (within) "Nine Step Push", (With) pressing horses (steps) and moving bridge (hands/techniques), I can attack at will.
"Eighteen Stroking (Bridge)" is full of changes, transformation, And layer upon layers of hidden traps and setups. 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))
Gau Bou Toi Hau Kyut (九步推口訣 Jiubutui Koujue)
Poem of the Nine Step Push form
The first line of the Gau Bou Toi poem translates as:
Divide "Yin and Yang" by splitting palms,
"biu tze" as eclipse,
Circle claws shut gate "Cam" shoots "Ging",
Grabs towards upwards follow his will.