View Full Version : Bak Mei couplet:Five animals

06-02-2000, 03:36 AM
Bak Mei has quite a few poems and couplets. Here is one of my favorites.

"Immortal(s) instructs the Dragon, Serpent, and Crane."

"Sfiu(s) transmits the Tiger and the leopard (forms)"

Please note that in Chinese the couplet was written with 7 characters on each phrase. The word "Ying" (forms) on the second phrase seemed to be redundant. Personally, I find it adds to the couplet a different dimension. IMO, it serve 2 purposes. I shall discuss it below.

Let's take them apart:

Immortals: this shows the Taoist origin of the style and implies also the metaphysical facet of the art.

The Five animals:

Dragon is majestic in its "Shan" the perceptive spirit. (Feel your opponent)

Serpent is venomous in its "Sum" heart/mind.
(Calculate your options)

Crane is airborn/graceful in its "Yi" the intent. (Dominate the fight at will)

The above show the metaphysical aspects and internal nature of the style.

Tiger is tyranious in its "Lik" the strength.
(Command your opponent's respect)

leopard is fierce in its "Sai" the determination/dispositions.
(strike terror into the core of your opponent's very being)

The five animals show the Shaolin connection of Bak Mei.

Sifu and "Ying" imply physical aspects and external nature.

"Ying" also makes up the 7th Character.

The coulpet is than to illustrate that:

1. metaphysical aspects and internal teaching are "the esscence" and is so hard to grapse that only the immortals can instruct the student when he is ready.

2. The physical aspects (power, strength, forms, dispositions, etc.) are the external teachings which Sifu can transmit in person.

If we see a performance that seems to have all the power and the right movements but something is amissed, we know that the Sifu has done his best. It is the essence which is missing. That is up to the student to learn the ultimate truth of the art.

Any thoughts?


Contraria Sunt Complementa

06-03-2000, 12:57 AM
Any thoughts?

How about WOW...

A teacher strives to reach his student by understanding how that individual learns. Is it a catch phrase? Is it likening an action to an animal movement already familiar? There are so many considerations when becoming a good teacher. Just as many martial artists will never expand without education, so do teachers need to constantly learn.

The student who best exemplifies the teacher's ability is not only one who can percieve the teaching, but also one who can study on his own and is open to the "immortal" wisdom. These are glimpses of perfection achieved when the mind is open and receptive. The word "Eureka" comes to mind.

So in other words, there are three things that can only be learned and developed from introspection: perception (Feel your opponent), heart/mind (Calculate your options), and intent(Dominate the fight at will).

Then there are two wisdoms which the teacher (or physical body)can impart: strength (Command your opponent's respect)and determination (strike terror into the core of your opponent's very being).

Of course I may just be trying to narrow this into my hopelessly linear western thinking...

wisdom mind
06-05-2000, 03:05 AM

[This message has been edited by wisdom mind (edited 08-28-2000).]

06-05-2000, 10:43 PM
Hi Meltdawn, Wisdom mind


Like I always say it takes two to Kung Fu.


Nice to have Bak Mei people on board. Would you mind talking a bit on your lineage? As for myself, it goes like this Sigung Cheung Lai Chun - Sifu Chow Fook - Me. Sifu Chow Fook had some clipping of his own (I got a copy from him but it is in a horrible shape,)writtings and drawing on some forms. The poems and couplets are in Chinese. I could try to copy them for you. But you will have to be a bit patient (I still owe Lau and others). You are welcome to email me for your address or even if you just feel like Chatting. Love to see your input in he future.

I will continue to share my limited knowledge with you guys and gals. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

It is great to have you two on board. Thanks


wisdom mind
06-06-2000, 10:11 PM
see above edited post!

06-07-2000, 02:45 AM
Hi Meltdawn and Wisdom Mind,

Thank you for your kind words and support. You have done me much honor. It is my wish to share my limited knowledge with those who need a helping hand. I'm in no way have mastery in the art yet, for this art is very profound. What I have touched on is only the tip of the iceburge. Much of the wisdom of the pass masters were collected in couplets and poems like this. Only we work and think hard, we could get a glimpse at the Ultimate truth.

Here's another one.

Internal work, external work; study hard, they will work.


Contraria Sunt Complementa

06-23-2000, 04:18 AM
Hi everybody,

I give you an opportunity to share your knowledge which I guess are much greater than you pretend.

I would like to know that bak mei is teached in vietnam. Do you know the master who brought the style there? and what is the story of that master. what is the lineage with great master cheung lai chuen?

The only name I have is "Tai Che cam". But it is the only know I know.

thanks for your help.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mantis108:
Hi Meltdawn and Wisdom Mind,

Thank you for your kind words and support. You have done me much honor. It is my wish to share my limited knowledge with those who need a helping hand. I'm in no way have mastery in the art yet, for this art is very profound. What I have touched on is only the tip of the iceburge. Much of the wisdom of the pass masters were collected in couplets and poems like this. Only we work and think hard, we could get a glimpse at the Ultimate truth.

Here's another one.

Internal work, external work; study hard, they will work.



Kevin Barkman
06-23-2000, 06:45 AM
There is an article in this months Inside Kung Fu on Futshan Bak Mei, which mentions Vietnamese Bak Mei connection (first I've ever seen).

If you are interested in the connection, you may want to contact Andy Truong of the Wah Nam Society in Australia - he learned the Bak Mei from a Vietnamese teacher.

Contact me if you need addresses, etc.

yours truly - kevin

06-23-2000, 05:45 PM
hank you very much Kevin.

But I am leaving in France (europe) so I can not get inside kung fu magazine.

Do you mind scanning me the article and post me theM?

If you want I can post you an old article from "real kung fu" magazine about pak mei in hong kong. That article was written in 1976.

your truly

06-23-2000, 10:24 PM
Hi Kevin and Cricri,

Great Kevin! If you don't mind posting that article or some part of it for our international brothers. I really don't have any info on the Vietnam theater. I would surmise that the generations before Sigung Cheung Lai Chun would have more practitioners. They might have scatter around all over Asia. It seems to me Bak Mei system use to be very strict on take disciples. Many (could be just a few) masters rather study the art then teaching the art. I really hope that the art will go on strong and vibrant.


Welcome aboard. Really appreciate your interest and love to see the article from "Real Kung Fu". Is that in Chinese?


Contraria Sunt Complementa

06-24-2000, 01:00 AM
hi mantis108,

the article is in english. I do not have your email adress.

If you have any interesting article i would also love to see it. I do not care the language.


06-24-2000, 02:27 AM
Hi cricri,

My email is sifu1@internorth.com. Please feel free to contact me. Thanks for the article in advance.

Best regards


Contraria Sunt Complementa

Kevin Barkman
06-24-2000, 05:45 AM
Hi Mr. Cricri,

I do not have a scanner, so am unable to post this article. however, there is nothing in it that you could not get from any other public Bak mei article out there. They only mention that Bak Mei spread through Vietnam, and has a following there. I would be happy to mail it to you if you e-mail me your address (my own is posted).

I do not believe in "exchange" relationships, but I would be happy to receive that article from HK nevertheless!

Cheers - kevin

06-24-2000, 04:49 PM
Hi kevin,

what is your email adress? It will post you the HK article.

So can anybody post me the article about bak mei in inside kung fu magazine?

My email is chris_rou@yahoo.fr


wisdom mind
08-03-2000, 07:52 PM
I think Im going to bounce this back to the top, due to the recent influx of Pak Mei family in the house.....

Ill respond after some thought on the matter!

Lu Chi-hwa
08-06-2000, 12:38 PM

quite interesting!
where do you get this material? are these texts in chinese or english available?
i do have one book on bak mei chi gung, are there more?

question questions...

08-06-2000, 11:08 PM

The couplet as the first among the others I know since it was right at the alter of Sifu Chow Fook's Kwoon. He had the Lung Ying signature couplet with it side by side. The meaning of the couplet was more a oral teaching. Depending on your Sifu and lineage somethings are taught or not taught, somethings come early or later. IMHO, Bak Mei retain quite a bit of tradition in that sense. I respect that because I love to have personal touch. Sifu Chow also gave me some drawing and clippings of Both Lung Ying and Bak Mei. The couplets and poems are among them. BTW, you were asking questions on Guo Bo Tyui (9 steps push). What would they be? Anything I can help?


Contraria Sunt Complementa

Lu Chi-hwa
08-07-2000, 12:08 AM

My teacher did give me a lot to think of. To much at that moment. And he did stick to tradition.

Thirst question I have is: why it is called 9 steps push???? However I count, I cannot find the number 9 in it.

Do you know the other 2 forms also? 18 times crossing the bridge and fierce tiger coming out of the forrest. The last one I still can not get the proper feeling with the movements.

08-07-2000, 01:01 AM
Hi Lu,

The Guo Bo Tyui is structured like the character nine in Chinese. If you look at the form from an aerial view you will see it. This is much like the idea of "Gong Ji Fok Fu Kuen" in Hung Gar.

"Sup Baat Mor Kiew" is considered reaching the internal stage of Bak Mei. This means that you should have a good understand of "Yau" (soft aspect) of Bak Mei.

As for "Meng Fu Chut Lum", it is the "currently" most advance form of the system. Be patient when you are studying this form. Kung Fu is a life time commitment. You have learned the highest set but you need time to perfect it. This is what the Five Animals couplet is about. It takes two to Kung Fu. Your Sifu should give you guidence and you should also think hard. Technically speaking, footwork, breathing and relaxed alertness are keys to Meng Fu. I persume you are talking about the opening move which is most important in the sense that it convey the message - "emotional content" of the form. Relaxe, use proper body mechanics and the shock power will come. If you are using "Lik" (brute strength) you will never get it. "Tiger leaving its forrest" meditate on that imagery, you will find something from it.

You are welcome to contact me via e-mail. sifu1@internorth.com

Hope this would help


Contraria Sunt Complementa

08-07-2000, 07:21 AM
Hi Mantis108,

Why do you label Meng Fu Chut Lum as the "currently" most advanced form of the system? Do you think another set may eventually be added or are there other forms yet unrevealed?

BTW, I have a little more information about the Vietnam branch. From what I was told, Cheung Lai Chuen taught Jang Wai Bok who taught Yip Gwok Leung (sorry, I gave you the wrong spelling originally) who brought the art into Vietnam. Jang Wai Bok was somewhat of a hooligan (from what I understand, most of the Baahk Meih in Vietnam was controlled by gangsters and others of ill repute) and Yip Gwok Leung was a moon cake seller by trade.

Thanks /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

08-07-2000, 06:28 PM
Hello short hand brothers,

Thanks Mantis 108, your posts are always like little treasures, I read them over and over again. So it all comes down to 'breathing and relaxed alertness'. If only it was so easy to do as it is said... I notice I'm not as out of breath as I used to be after a form. But do you mean that I shouldn't be out of breath at all after finishing a form?

By the way, here's a link to the vietnamese pak mei lineage. http://www.firstlink.com.au/wahnam
Regards, Lau

08-08-2000, 02:27 AM
Hi byz,

It been awhile since we have heard from you. How goes it?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Why do you label Meng Fu Chut Lum as the "currently" most advanced form of the system? Do you think another set may eventually be added or are there other forms yet unrevealed?[/quote]

I am pretty sure that there is a most advanced set called "Ng Heng Mor" (Five Element Touch) A.K.A "Mor Hau Sau" (Touch Throat Hands). I remembered someone posted the HK Bak Mei's curriculum, which has it listed, on this forum before it was moved. As a fool, I forgot to copy it down. I was told by Sifu Chow Fook that this set has not been taught to many people due to its lethal potential. It is consider lost. I hope this wouldn't be the case; otherwise, it is a sad and irreversable mistake of the system. So currently Meng Fu, IMHO, is considered the most advanced.

Hi Lau,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Thanks Mantis 108, your posts are always like little treasures, I read them over and over again. So it all comes down to 'breathing and relaxed alertness'. If only it was so easy to do as it is said... I notice I'm not as out of breath as I used to be after a form. But do you mean that I shouldn't be out of breath at all after finishing a form?[/quote]

Thank you. You have given me much credit. I am glad you find something in my posts. I only try to share what little knowledge I know so that more brothers and sisters would follow suit. Hopefully, getting more people interest in the art and we are further develope.

Breathing is a sign of mastery. It is also, the body and the mind's way of communitcating to the individual their states of well being. If you are emtionally or physically stressed, you will be breathing hard, right? Correct breathing empowers the individual. In Lung Ying and Bak Mei, we talk about "Tun To". That's correct breathing that is taught when doing Bak Mei's "Jik Bo" (Straight Steps). I believe the Macao book has Jik Bo as the main internal training exercise. Most of Bak Mei's forms are like that. You can do them relatively slower and focus more on the breathing and use them as internal training ("Sup Ji" don't really follow this since it is more or less an assimulated set). So, yes I would consider a player of Bak Mei with a calm and relaxed composture as a sign of mastery.


Contraria Sunt Complementa

08-08-2000, 05:02 AM
Hi Mantis108,

Like Lau, I too, appreciate your words of wisdom, insight and knowledge. Thank you for being such a great role model! I know that all of the founders and past masters are smiling down on individuals such as yourself and the others on the list who are trying to help spread the arts and keep them at a high standard.

I was visiting C.S. Tang's site: http://www.go.to/cstang
and I noticed that he had Ng Hahng Mo listed as well as the syllabus taught by Master Cheung's son. Is this the same as the list you referred to?

Also, I am still unclear about the principle of "fauh chum." Could you please clarify this for me and other beginners?

Best wishes /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Bai Mee Player
08-15-2000, 08:09 PM
Hello mantis108,

Thats a very nice poem!!! Thank you.

I never did see any poems on Bai Mee before. Nice to know they do exist.
You guys in kung fu online talk often about lineage, well my teacher is Kong Mien Ho. I studied Bai Mee in Holland for more then 15 years with him. His teacher trained under Cheung Lai Chuen.

Its good to see more people know Bai Mee, for years I thougt it almost did not exist. I am happy that I got it wrong. Any idea how many people studie Bai Mee and in what countries?


08-25-2000, 02:08 AM
Hi All,

Glad to be back.


Thank you for your kind words and support. I think I will open another thread on the concept of "Tun To Fau Chum". It is a very important concept in both Lung Ying and Bak Mei.

Bai Mee Player,

Welcome aboard. Nice to know more different lineage out there. May I ask how many people are in your Kwoon (school) and how long have you studied BM? There are quite a few Bak Mei brothers from Europe on this broad. In fact, the number of BM people is much larger than most of us think. Stay tuned my friend, more good people and good stuff should be coming.


Contraria Sunt Complementa

10-20-2000, 03:51 AM
sorry to bring this back out.

ng hung mor, is the most highest form. i have it and i also have a pak mei hay kung manual. all advance levels of pak mei must be yau (soft). like the yau kung moon system, i believe thats the way they do there forms. this is high level pak mei. i think yau kung moons internal is probably correct for learning pak mei. any ykm people like to confirm this for me.


ps do you know how the five elements go into forms and the five animal, 8 step cicada form of pak mei.

10-20-2000, 08:41 AM
fierce tiger,
you are correct, our highest level forms are all internal. they are practiced slowly like tai chi. they are different though.our other level forms are all external and practiced hard.

01-17-2001, 08:41 PM
Just revive this for Pak Mei.


Contraria Sunt Complementa

01-18-2001, 01:12 PM
Ng Hang is not the highest form of Bak Mei. Fierce Tiger From Forest is highest from of Bak mei.

There is something called Ng Heng in Bak Mei but it is not a hand form.

To know Fierce Tiger form is to really capture the power and ferocity of a tiger. Your "jing" should be so powerful at this time that ppl. who see you perform it would be terrified to even come close to you.

I agree with Fierce Tiger and lungyuil Bak Mei use internal qi, soft(yau)kung, but it is unlike tai chi. Think ppl. mostly think that tai chi move slow, look relax, calm, Bai Mei is not like that. Bak mei energy explode like atomic bomb, hand strikes like lightning. Very diff. type power from tai chi. Bak Mei power also described in poem.

[This message was edited by kull on 01-19-01 at 05:20 AM.]

fiercest tiger
01-18-2001, 01:36 PM
i would like to talk to you on a few thing about bak mei. do you have a email i can drop you a line??

or you can email me! :D



01-18-2001, 03:46 PM
The YKM soft internal forms are like tai chi as in they are practised soft and slow but don't resemble tai chi . T

01-18-2001, 06:59 PM
BFP has these forms too. Done relaxed and smooth, but alittle faster than Taichi, to develop speed and internal power.

So what's up with this 5 Animal couplet? Isn't this a Shil Lum thing? Does this fit in with Bak Mei's O'mei mt. studies? It IS written like some esoteric Taoist stuff. Where are these "songs and poems" from?

[This message was edited by MoQ on 01-19-01 at 11:08 AM.]

01-18-2001, 09:32 PM
This one hanged at the alter of the Kwoon. There are also others like the Lung Ying one. Most of the couplets, which are on display, are motivational, self-growth, history types. This one basically tells of the difficulty of both learning and transmitting the system. The immortal part depicted the Taoist connection; where as, the five animals show the Shaolin root. In many Chinese mind, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are all for one and one for all. They all point one towards the turth.


Contraria Sunt Complementa

01-19-2001, 07:58 AM
Sure what you want to discuss about bak mei?


01-21-2001, 12:41 PM
We have this couplet on our training uniforms.

We get many people coming up to us, asking what these characters mean. Only a few of us have got this couplet explained and translated.

It's great to see that, someone can translate the meaning and keep the true essence in which it is written.

Mantis108, once the Chinese New Year has finished, I will send you a copy of the Gow Bo Tuew Kuen couplet.

Dave Stevens

01-22-2001, 12:17 AM

Thanks for the compliment. Bak Mei has so much depth to it that, I am only able to share little of what I know. I hope more of our brothers will follow your example to bring about genuine discussion on our beloved art. Thanks in advance for the material. I shall send over mine in due course. BTW, the training uniform would look real great with the couplet on it. Is it red ink on white shirt?


Contraria Sunt Complementa

01-22-2001, 11:52 AM

Yes it is in red ink, but we have two uniforms, white t'shirts for the that mainly train in Pak Mei and black t'stirts for guys the train in Pak Mei & Lion Dancing.

Personally I prefer the balsck t'shirts with the couplet in red ink, and the Tiger design and writing are in gold ink.

However most of the students are now lion dancers, it must be the uniform!!!LOL.

Dave Stevens