Concepts of Pak Mei Kung Fu

LIKE all martial arts Pak Mei has its fair share of concepts, physics and theories. The most common among all martial arts is to beat your opponent in the shortest possible time. But to achieve this in the style of Pak Mei the practitioner must know and understand the fundamentals of the Pak Mei system.

First we will start with power. In Pak Mei there are different forces of power that work together to create one great powerful force. There are six points of power in Pak Mei, these points include the six major body parts: teeth, neck, hips, back, hands and legs. By using the six body parts in harmony you can focus the combined energy into one focal point of attack. This is known as the six points of power. An example of this is when executing a straight punch the practitioner's teeth are clenched to stop the shock of the impact travelling to the head and damaging the central nervous system as well as not biting off the tongue. Clenching of the teeth also causes tension in the jaw and neck muscles aiding in physical development. The hips are used as the focal point, prior to impact the pelvis is tucked up, the chest and back become sunken and the elbows are close to the body with the hands forward. Add to that a spiralling, twisting motion from the hips to the torso to the elbow to the hand and finally to the target. Therefore the back and the hips have to work together. While executing a punch the stance must remain firm to keep the body balanced. The stance is the foundation that the power is based upon. The initial power begins in the heel using a spiralling and twisting motion it travels to the hips, the back, the shoulders, the elbow, the wrist, and finally the fist. In execution of this move this is a short but sharp snap. This short power is not based upon strength but based on speed. Short power is the essence of Pak Mei. It is generated from the six points of power. When they are used suddenly and focused into a single focal point, devastating explosive power is generated. If a practitioner can achieve this explosive power, then they have acquired one of the basic requirements of Pak Mei.

Another type of power in Pak Mei is what practitioners like to call "geing jak ging" (Scared Power). Scared Power is a fast explosive power that everybody has, but being able to bring it out in an instance is another basic requirement for a Pak Mei practitioner. An example of scared power is; imagine you are sitting in a room all by yourself watching the television, out of nowhere somebody taps you on the shoulder, your natural instinct is a scared one which makes you jump. You have a tremendous adrenaline rush in such a short amount of time. This is what a practitioner calls "Scared Power". To be able to bring out such power in a combined effort with the six points of power, one will be able to achieve tremendous power in a strike.

The Pak Mei system is best known for its Eye of the Phoenix. The Eye of the Phoenix is different type of power in itself. The eye of the phoenix is a quick strike with knuckle of the index finger. This is an extremely effective technique when applied to pressure points and delicate areas of the body such as the throat, temple, and armpits also on sensitive exposed area such as the ribs, solar plexus and kidneys. This strike is so effective because all the momentum and power of the strike is focused in a small area of a single knuckle for deep penetration in comparison to larger areas such as the palm, fist or back of the hand. This technique is similar to that of driving a nail into a piece of wood, whereas hitting the wood with just the hammer just does not have the same effect. Both are delivered with the same amount of power and momentum, however, only the nail penetrates the board. In the same manner the Eye of the Phoenix is devastating, as the power of the blow is driven further into the target area. The concept of focusing power and energy into a strike is not only limited to the phoenix eye, at higher levels the practitioners may produce such results with the palm, fist and other parts of the body used for striking.

Sinking and floating can be described as a power, a power of force. These two forces supply the power in Pak Mei techniques, and when performed correctly it is an impressive source of power to behold. Practicing a sequence of body movements and breathing patterns generates such power. Over time a well trained practitioner will be able to generate such forces which are not found in other systems. The most commonly seen force is the sinking force of gravity and the least seen force is the floating force which can be considered as the opposite of the sinking force. The human body is naturally designed to take advantage of the sinking force since we are constantly subjected to the forces of gravity and we know how to use our body weight to put more power behind a strike, however, using the floating force where defying gravity takes much more work and intensive training.