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Written by Cal Wong   
Sunday, 06 February 2011 13:25

Pak Mei has its roots in the Buddhist Shaolin temple, thereafter through a series of unfortunate, but awesome events, saw the art go through the Taoist mountains of China. With each transmission certain elements of these belief systems have left a theoretical and philosophical imprint on our art form.
But there was and is another undeniably powerful force. So much that is Kung Fu has been determined by Chinese culture. One overarching element to Chinese culture and Kung Fu etiquette are the relationships as determined by Confucian teachings.


Confucian teachings have had a significant influence across much of eastern Asia. It has manifested itself in many physical forms, the most recognisable of which is the stereotypical bowing by Asians. A whole book can be written on this, and indeed, has (albeit on a bamboo scroll, vertically and from right to left).
To summarise Confucian theory:

Lai (Ritual) – This started off as ceremonies, but over time has become our daily norms and mannerisms (E.g. Greeting Sifu by saying ‘Sifu’ when you see him at training)

Hao (Filial piety/respect) – This one is a massive concept. But it is the respect and duty that is required between Father (Sifu) and son/daughter (you and I); between Brother/Sister (you and I) and Brother/Sister (you and I); Son/Daughter (you and I) and Uncles (Si-bak, Si-suk). These relationships determine hierarchy. Generally it refers to respect and it TRANSCENDS race, age and skill in the context of kung fu (even if someone is younger than you or in your eyes, less skilled than you, if they entered the gates before you, they are your OLDER BROTHER/SISTER, there is no exception).
Chung (Loyalty) – Don’t train in another Kung fu style if you can help it! Defend the honour of our school and pai
Yun (Humaneness) – Compassion and restraint, especially with your skills.
Gwun Tze (Ethical Self) – The need to represent yourself and your school. Setting an example. Standing out from the sea of unenlightened monkeys.

Reflect on these concepts and your ‘fit’ in the school will be much smoother.

Happy training!

 
 

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