View Full Version : Bak Mei

Black Jack
10-04-2000, 09:55 PM
I need you guys to help me with a mental picture I am having trouble imaging.

I have heard a lot about Bak Mei and how it works with the self defense aspect of its system to a great degree and how it has a serious approach to taking out the attacker with fast, powerfull and efficent strikes.

What my question is about is that I can not picture there breathing technique in combat. A lot of systems have different breathing techniques that help them with there endurance and focus...some like Bando have more than one way of combat breathing, depending on the animal system which is used...most of the breathing techinques used in striking are about breathing out, some in forcefull gusts and others low and sharp.

Bak Mei uses some type of compression method where they breath in as they strike?????

As the compress, they then strike and from what I have read and heard it creates a lot of power in the outgoing attack.

What gives? Would this not create serious problems if they got struck while doing so? Would this not creat a lack of endurance due to the reverse breathing? What about multiple strikes or are they from the one strike school of thought? How does the breathing method work if you have to flow with more than one strike or work with a takedown or better yet on the ground?


10-04-2000, 10:03 PM
I just acquired a Bak Mei video of a school in NYC. It has the first form, some self-defense techniques, and some weird qi-gong. Anyway, nowhere does it mention any reverse breathing, and as far as I could tell, the people were breathing out on strikes the same as the rest of us mammals. The striking has some resemblances to stuff I know in Bagua, most of it open-handed, rapid-fire, backhand striking. Anyway, they talk about it on the video as being what my master would call an intermediate art, with some internal elements and some external elements. It's really f-ing cool stuff to see at full speed, I wish I knew someone qualified to instruct in it around these parts...

Anyway, hope I was of some help

Paul DiMarino
10-04-2000, 10:17 PM
Physiologically, I can only see disadvantages to breathing in while trying to do any motion where speed, strength, and precision are needed.

10-04-2000, 10:49 PM
Dwid, could you please tell me where I can pick up a copy of that video? I would really appreciate it.

10-04-2000, 10:54 PM
By "reverse breathing" used in some schools, it is meant that the abdomen expands on exhale and contracts/compresses on inhale. This is usually an esoteric breathing for chi gung practice. I have never heard of this other kind of turned around breathing and I think there's some confusion somewhere. I think the Taoists valued normal breathing for most other activity

10-04-2000, 10:56 PM
It's an ESPY-TV Video. I don't know if they have a website or what. I won it on an e-bay auction, so I'm not even sure if they still make it. If you can't find it, we can make arrangements for me to make you a copy. I have access to video duplicating, etc...

FYI- It's only about 30 minutes in length, but there is ample material in that 30 minutes.

Black Jack
10-04-2000, 10:57 PM
Look in the new issue of Black Belt...the article is called the Hard-knock Power of Bak Mei.

It is talks about reverse breathing, sinking and how they use it in striking?


10-04-2000, 11:01 PM
Regarding the video, it's available at the following website...


wisdom mind
10-04-2000, 11:04 PM
search here on KFO...pak mei breathing.......nice thread

10-04-2000, 11:06 PM
Who is the article about in Black Belt. I understand there are a lot of fake White Eyebrow Sifu's and very few legitimate ones, and I've always thought of Black Belt as a kind of sketchy magazine, prone to misrepresenting martial arts for the sake of catchy articles, etc...

wisdom mind
10-04-2000, 11:14 PM
is on point with the above reply....

10-05-2000, 12:47 AM
...They are trying to sell copies. You can hand them cash and they'll print that you are the Grandmaster of Shaolin...

As far as the "Pak Mei breathing" thread, there seemed to be some strange theories too, like inhaling on "sink" and exhaling to "float" which really makes no sense...

10-05-2000, 03:20 AM
There are a few ways to "fa chin" with the waist/torso. The most common ways are by twisting or torquing the waist.

The second way is linerally. By compressing the torso and straitening it up again. It makes sense to inhale as you compress, and exhale as you extend.

At a no brainer level, the diaphram cam be pushed
up when you compress and decends, distenting the abdomen as you come up.

There is also a nice gimmick where you double impact your strikes in a number of ways. One contextually accurate method (for white eyebrow) would be to crunch to torso, sink at the legs, strike out to feel out your opponent, then on contact, apply light pressure, then rise up, straiten the torso while exhaling while distenting the abdomen shocking into the target.

The one knuckle isnt always used as a primary weapon. Rather, its the 'feeler' before you snap into the target. It can also be done with fingers to panther fist. Fist to back of wrist. Fist to elbow, ect.

The sunken chest posture isnt really good for the circulatory system however. There are better and other ways in my opinion. I'll have a page to show a bit more about this idea with pictures soon.

The metafor for internal jing is "water" and a great way to understand its issuance is by thinking of parts of the body as a "wet towel" and your body movement the means to "wring" it out or snap at/into your target.

Hope that helps.

BTW: I'd like a copy of that video. I heard some things about it that wouldnt make me spend a dime on it but I can get you some $$ for helping me out with a copy. E-mail me: ordosclan@china.com

Black Jack
10-05-2000, 04:57 AM
On a personal note, I find Black Belt on the average to be a much more self defense focused mag than Inside Kung Fu.

Just my take.


Black Jack
10-05-2000, 06:08 AM
Thanks everyone.

I still do not see any benefit at all of this reverse breathing if it is done at the moment of a strike, to me it seem to be put a fighter at a serious disadvantge...if that is what they do and if I was not reading the article wrong.

The article is about Wayne Chin and his master Chin Bing-Hao and Cheung Lai-Chun who is stated to be one of the most revered figures in Bak Mei.

Maybe they mean that they "compress down" (breath in and sink) and then "rise up" (rise up, exhale and strike)to strike. Would this not be the same as a standard exhale on a strike, with the exception of the sinking and rising aspect...even though if you watch a good puncher, he will sink and rise to get good body mechanics and torgue to some degree, even if it is hardly seen to the naked eye.

Again I am just trying to get a mental picture off of the article.


10-05-2000, 03:36 PM
-----On a personal note, I find Black Belt on the average to be a much more self defense focused mag than Inside Kung Fu.------

I would agree that neither magazine is very good. Check out "Wushu-Qigong" or "Taichi and Alternative Health" (I think this is the correct title - it's a British mag.) Both are solid internal style magazines, and Wushu has some stuff on external styles. I guess my problem with Black Belt is it gives a snapshot of an art that is more distracting than enlightening (even though it's technically more self defense focussed). You're right though about Inside Kung-fu, in trying to be some pre-eminent magazine about the incredibly huge world of kung-fu, it kind of seems unfocussed on anything very specific, and I've read some pretty poorly researched stuff in it, like last months diatribe on what is internal and what is external in the martial arts - that was a hoot...

Anyway, if you want a good mag, check out those two I mentioned above.

10-06-2000, 05:28 AM
the information about breathing in and compressing your stomach is correct however it does not apply to bak mei breathing. it is of daoist origin.
the siu lum monks breathed normally but filled the stomach region, many people these days breathe through the chest, not through the stomach.
bak mei has sui lum origins as well as daoist methods.
when we breath, we breathe in and float, exhale and sink (tun toa fou chum).
it is like breathe in and rise, breathe out and fall.
power is generated through the perfect usage of these breathing and body techniques.
when we breathe out it not a full breath, just a little, so we keep reserves for follow up techniques.
your idea of breathing in to strike is correct in a way.
when performing jik bo kuen, you use bui ji as an initial technique while breathing in. it can be used for deflecting, bridging and attacking at the same time, depending on your angle or the attack. so it can be said that we breathe when we strike. this does not mean that every strike your breathing in. that is incorrect.

fubokuen is correct in that the breathing in compressing the stomach, and the breathing out expanding the stomach theory comes from daoist beliefs and is used to channel chi through different chi gung methods. just like different breathing persentages activate different parts in meditation

i hope this helps /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

[This message was edited by bigbear on 10-06-00 at 10:39 PM.]

[This message was edited by bigbear on 10-06-00 at 10:42 PM.]

10-06-2000, 05:55 AM
I like Journel of Asian Martial Arts.

10-07-2000, 12:05 AM
yut tun, yut tou
hay chum dan tian

hope this helps if you understand...

10-07-2000, 12:17 AM
big bear- very nice post
if your doing multiple strikes eg: breathe in once punch out 3x breathe out 3 short breaths.
never exhale all your breath.
reverse breath is daoist and is more for chi kung and meditation. your breathing should be deep and it should sink and stored down in your dan tian,
then pushed out through the body. (ging)

10-07-2000, 01:10 AM
These last posts are too good for THIS Forum. Please, open a topic in the Southern?

10-07-2000, 06:57 AM
fu bo kuen- thankyou for your honesty

i have many things to talk about, unfortunately some people just stop you in your tracks and dont give you a chance.
i might just start up a topic!


10-08-2000, 12:27 AM
thank you for your comments
it is nice to be able to talk about topics we love with people that understand and that have mutual respect for each other.
F.T, as always, it is nice to hear your comments about topics. your knowledge of the arts is respectable.i'd be interested in your history of BMP. the similarities etc.
Fubokuen, i know little about you, but from your recent posts, i gather our systems aren't that different. body postures, power generation etc. seems very similar. i would like to know more about BFP.

thankyou /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

10-12-2000, 11:24 AM

Interesting to hear that you breathe in when you do the biu tse. I breathe out during that movement. And since it is an attack I find that more natural.

Do you have a specific reason to breathe in with that move?

Regards, Lau

10-12-2000, 01:15 PM
you can use it as both, if you use it in rising you can up root your opponent, set up for a seizing hand then follow as sinking with the rear hand exhaling, locking waist, sink shoulder,ribs elbow when striking. thats the basic bil tze choom choy.
if you use it to exhale you would simply be striking your opponent while you sink this will not allow you to up root properly, plus when sinking especially bil tze if your opponent is taller than you, you will not have the reach and the proper alingment for that strike.

in my jik bo kuen ther is a move that we breath in and sinkchi and posture not rising, then bil tze choon choy explodes in 2 short exhales with still air packed down in dan tian.

hope this helps you a little bit /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

10-12-2000, 02:03 PM
Big Bear

interesting to hear that you breathe in with the biu tse. I breathe out with that movement. and since it is an attack it seems the most logical and natural to me.

Do you have a specific reason why you breathe in with the biu tse? Do you breathe in with all the biu tse's in the other forms?

Regards, Lau

10-12-2000, 08:04 PM
But if it's like a biu sau before lap sau chung chui it's a fundamental float up "in breath" and then out for the grab and punch.

Sometimes its hard to say since to "breathe normal" is to let the body actions set the breathing and then there's breath methods that allow breathing in and out in various partial breaths to become natural.

10-13-2000, 01:53 AM
we use it primarily to uproot the opponent, so yes it is done with breathing in. however when you bridge and it is close range, you can use bui ji to attack the throat,eyes or muscle points on the shoulder region, in this instance you'd breathe out not in.
i feel more at ease with breathing in while doing bui ji because we rise then fall while punching.
you have to breathe in initially with bui ji.
however, depending on the speed of your techniques you might take a deep breathe and perform 3 moves while breathing out in short spirts.
the shorter the breathe, the quicker the technique. our forms are there to guide and educate us the fundamentals of kung fu.

hope this explains, sometimes it is hard to put in words what the mind knows.

10-15-2000, 08:52 PM
Thank uor, Dwid. Could somebody please tell me who are some legitimate sifus of this style in the United States?

10-18-2000, 08:58 AM
im in san deiago........

10-19-2000, 01:10 AM
When you breath in you can manouever easily. So in jik bo the bui tse, you breath in to manouver. You strike when you sink your ma bo.(more power)
It is very hard to move when you sink, but that is not to say the bui tse cannot be used to attack!!!
In Lap Sau when do you breath in?
F.T why do you have two short breaths?

[This message was edited by CLOUD 1 on 10-19-00 at 06:16 PM.]

10-20-2000, 02:37 AM
you must never breathe out fully exhaling and emptying your lungs. i was taught to recircle the breath (still have air inside dan tian). this is important because you can easily get winded when you have NO air, you can also get winded when you start to breath in. That is a basic understanding.

second - have you ever done a form fast, each move breathing in & out? i used to do this method until my Sifu discovered why i was out of breath. this will tire you out, you must circulate the breathing. for your strikes to become explosive, breaths are in short bursts, letting a little out each move in a combination.

you waste more energy breathing in & out as a separate technique. that is why alot of people cannot move fast, because they have exhaled everything. of course at the end of a technique you would exhale and sink your stance and chi.

peace /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

10-20-2000, 04:38 AM

Also this is where i'll be training when I get back to Flordia: http://www.pakmeikungfu.com/

For the time being though i'll be learning Nihon Ryu Jujutsu.

"Believe the unbelievable"**The Matrix**
"Without order there is Chaos & With out Chaos ther is no order"