Bak Mei Kung Fu is a type of internal kung fu style originating from Szechuan Province in Southern China. The style does not have many forms and focuses on projecting short range tremor-like power to attack the opponent. Hand techniques, especially the phoenix eye fist (the fist held with the second knuckle of the index finger protruding) are favoured over kicking and other techniques.
Bak Mei has a high stance with small crisp motions. There is a clear distinction between the tensing and relaxing of muscles. Tensing only occurs at the moment of impact. The idea is to relax immediately upon tensing. By not carrying the tension, the Bak Mei practitioner is able to generate crisp and sharp hits.
There is a strong emphasis on remaining soft and relaxed until the instant of impact, whereby the entire body tenses with "scared power” to attack the weak points of the opponent (e.g. pressure points) with great force.
Offense is considered the best defense in Bak Mei. The idea is to defend the centerline rigorously, while creating openings and attacking such relentlessly through the combination of highly aggressive hand techniques and offensive footwork that never stops until the opponent is down.
Bak Mei put a lot of emphasis on the training of breathing and the concepts of power generation Tun To Fao Chum (literally, Spit, Swallow, Float and Sink). Tun To Fao Chum is the key lesson to be learnt in Jik Bo Kuen and relates to how the hand moves in coordination with breathing.
Maintaining the correct posture is also a critical part of Bak Mei. The three body types are the Round, Flat and Thin Shapes. As elaborated below, Roundness relates to the upper body arm. Each plays an indispensable part in shaping how the Bak Mei fighter engages his or her opponent.
The Bak Mei system was founded by the Taoist Priest Bak Mei and the style is therefore named after him.
Bak Mei traces its roots to the time of the Qing Dynasty, during the rule of Emperor Qianlong around the 18th Century. At the time, Bak Mei was one of the Five Elders of Shaolin.
The Five Elders of Shaolin were Ng Mui, Bak Mei, Gee Sin, Fung To-Tak and Miu Hin. Each of these Elders was accomplished kung fu masters, who went on to found their own respective styles. Notably, Ng Mui is associated with Wing Chun and White Crane. Gee Sin is closely associated with Hung Gar.
After escaping from the temple’s destruction by the Qing Dynasty he escaped to Mount Emei where he lessened the Shaolin style’s emphasis on form and repetition, and distilled the essence into his own martial arts style that became known as Bak Mei.
Bak Mei in modern times is credited to Cheung Lai Chun. Grandmaster Cheung was born in 1882 and died in 1964 at the age of 82. Cheung was a dedicated martial artist who learnt from three kung fu masters from a very young age. By the time he was seventeen, Cheung was already an accomplished kung fu master.
At the time Bak Mei had already passed away. At the time, his successor Jik Fat Wan had a pupil named Lin Sang. Through circumstances, Cheung challenged Lin Sang to a duel but was soundly defeated. So humbled by Lian’s skills, Cheung pleaded for Lian to introduce him to Jik Fat Wan as a pupil, which Lian finally agreed after some effort.
Cheung studied Bak Mei under Monk Jik, and eventually learnt all the essence of Bak Mei. Prior to him, Bak Mei Kung Fu didn’t have a name, so Cheung named the system Bak Mei Kung Fu in homage of its creator the Priest Bak Mei.
Although Cheung was a dedicated proponent of the Bak Mei system, he did not forget his roots. He incorporated the sets taught by his former three masters into the Bak Mei system and these sets remain in the curriculum of many Bak Mei schools to date. Notable examples include Sam Moon Kuen, Sap Jee Kuen and Dei Sak.
The Bak Mei system is popular in Guangzhou, Fujian, Hong Kong and Macau. The techniques of the system resemble Southern Shaolin styles, and Bak Mei is therefore commonly categorized as a member of the Southern Kung Fu styles. Jackie Chan is thought to have trained extensively in Bak Mei prior to his rise to fame.
Known as Jik Bo Kuen in Chinese, the Straight Step Form is a fundamental training set of Bak Mei. It incorporates the four essential concepts of inhaling, exhaling, rising and sinking in its movements.
It also trains the correct body posture, the stances, body movements and the coordinated exertion of the power using the Six Sources. Traditionally the set has to be practiced over one year before pupils were allowed to move on to the next set.
You will find set out in our eBook a guide to the concepts and techniques of Bak Mei Kung Fu, before introducing the Beginner’s Form - Straight Step Form.
Our eBook covers:
The hand techniques, stances and stepping methods of Bak Mei
Three Points and Three Shapes Theories - The key combat theories of Bak Mei
Reverse Breathing - Illustrated guide to the critical breathing method of Bak Mei
Guide to the different types of power and the eight methods, including the critical concept of Inhaling, Exhaling, Floating and Sinking i.e. "Tun To Fo Chum” in Chinese
Key target areas and the effects of hitting them
The Straight Step Form (Jik Bo Kuen), illustrated with step by step instructions
Application of techniques from the Straight Step Form
Informative and packed with diagrams:-
The illustrations for the form itself comprise of over 47 carefully created color diagrams in addition to the many illustrations in the main body of the eBook.
Easy to understand instructions:-
Our eBooks contain detailed instructions written by our expert editors in a friendly, easy to read style. All text is in English.
Multiple camera angles:-
Multiple angles of the technique are covered in the diagrams where applicable so that you can see the technique from all perspectives.
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