The Way of the White Dragon – Pai Lum Tao
by Sifu Andy Kunz & Sifu Al Sanchez
Pai Lum Tao, the Way of the White Dragon, has brought many excellent fighters. The most celebrated ones, who become recognized movie stars, are surly Don "The Dragon" Wilson and "Lady Dragon" Cyntia Rothrock. Don Wilson has 11 World Champion titles and is regarded as the best Kick Boxer ever. "Lady Dragon" Cynthia Rothrock has won five World Champion titles in forms. The success in movies and competition of these two brilliant fighters is based on a traditional Martial Arts called Pai Lum Tao, which, through the effort and love of this wonderful Art, has been interpreted and supported by the Grandmaster Glenn C. Wilson. The promotion and the worldwide spreading of Pai Lum Tao, a wonderfully complete Martial Arts system, is Sitaigung Glenn C. Wilson's life vision.
The spirit of an art is found in its execution of motion. To know the spirit of Pai Lum Tao is to master its way. This "way", the "way" we train, has been called Pai Lum, Pai Lum Tao, White Lotus, Bok Leen Pai, Pai Yung Tai Chi Chuan, Kuan Yin Chi Kung, White Dragon, White Fire Dragon, and many other family names. Those who train in Pai Lum constitute the Gong Yuen Chuan Fa Pai Pao Lung Gar family of the teachings of Great Grandmaster, Sijo Dr. Daniel Kane Pai.
Pai Lum Tao teaches one how to balance energy in all realms of life. This balance helps the student understand that the mind, body, and spirit are a perfect blend for martial arts as well as life itself. Students of Pai Lum Tao will be able to find that balance while in their place of training (kwoon), while deep in compeition, or inside the corporate world.
The mind of a student is expanded with tranquil meditation exercises as well as with the harmonious movements of Kuan Yin Chi Kung. The body is stretched, strengthened, and chiseled to its maximum in order to meet the challenge of rigorous routines of the Way of the Dragon.
Some of the styles that have had a direct influence on the development of Pai Lum Tao are - Shaolin Five Animals, Hung Gar, Choy Lay Fut, various Kenpo styles, and Judo/Jujitsu. With such diverse styles merging together throughout the generations of its development, it is no wonder that htis style is so complete. Pai Lum Tao's curriculum includes hard and soft techniques, long and short-range punches and kicks, traditional animal combat, a vast arsenal of weapons and the ancient Buddhist Monk Boxing routines.
Pai Lum Tao - The Way of the White Dragon - is not just a way to throw a punch or kick, a way to throw or lock an opponent into submission. It is a Way of Life. A way of life that was and is evident in two of Pai Lum's greatest warriors, the late Great Grandmaster Dr. Daniel Kane Pai and Grandmaster Glenn C. Wilson.
Pai Lum Tao's Buddha Palm Series
There is much speculation around the history of early China's fighting arts. It is generally believed they were popularized by the monks of Shaolin Ssu. Although history as well as popular accounts point to a host of hand-to-hand combative systems existing at that time throughout Asia, few are as well known or as universally accepted as Shaolin Ssu.
Pai Lum Tao's teachings tell us the Kung-Fu-Chuan-Fa-Kenpo practiced by the monks of Shaolin Ssu were not just a Martial Arts, but a way of life that was held in the hardest regard by those who endured the daily routines that allowed the unification of the energies of the body and mind. It is very important that one understands that monks did not create or practice Kung Fu as a means of self-defense, rather as a form of self-preservation through synchronized exercise routines, which are today better known as forms. One of the oldest of these forms of Pai Lum Tao practiced by the early monks of Shaolin Ssu is Shi Pa Lo Han Sho: the 18 Hands of Lo Han. This form is still practiced by Pai Lum Tao warriors today throughout the world with the same sense of respect, dedication, tradition, and hard work that was demonstrated by the monks of Shaolin Ssu.
When the Shaolin temple was destroyed by the armies of Emperor Wu Ti in A.D. 574 and after the rebuilding of the new temple, the monks were forced to go underground and practice their Art, which also resulted in the spreading of Shaolin Chuan throughout China.
During the Manchu dynasties, many Kung Fu masters fled China in order to practice their art in peace, a peace that was once found in their native land. The country of choice for these masters was Okinawa, Japan. These early masters built their monastery and continued to practice their art. The people of Okinawa came to call these warriors, or early immigrants, "the monks of White Lotus".
The White Lotus System practitioners were very highly respected, and also known as the Bok Leen Pai Society. They were highly skilled Martial Artists who served in several capacities, which included security, police, special agents, and as specialists in personal protection. They were primarily Buddhist and would seek a peaceful solution was not possible and a confrontation was unavoidable, their lethal techniques would be demonstrated on their assailant. The instructors/masters would utilize the vast array of knowledge available to them and utilize the most effective techniques for their particular usage.
One of the most formal and revered segments of training was the Buddhist Palm Series. Little is known of its traditional fighting theories outside a few systems which maintain their Shaolin heritage. The two major divisions of the Buddhist Palm training are the praying hand and split hand techniques. The practitioner would get ready in a powerful stance while holding their hands in front of them in a praying position. Then, when the attack began, they would counter with hands together or move them in two direction. This would be done in a circular or linear fashion with lightening speed, coupled with a repetitive arsenal.
Stances utilized with the Buddhist Palm Series should be strong and powerful like an oak tree. The roots must reach deep into the ground while the body is kept supple so that it can move agilely. This allows the practitioner to move quickly from one combat routine to the next. Some of the powerful stances of Pai Lum Tao are: the square horse, riding side horse, short and long bow, scissors, monkey, and the cat stance. Each individual stance works at developing several skills. Some of the skills practiced from these powerful stances are: cutting punches, power punches, piercing strikes, clawing strikes, snapping kicks, whipping kicks, sweeps, and very powerful take-downs.
Within the Buddhist Palm Series, all executions of techniques start at the ground level and work upward. They are practiced by concentrating on stance, posture, and then technique. The energy used in practice develops in the stance, is re-generated in the waist, the whipped and expelled outwards through the technique. This insures maximum results in the encounter.
All strikes of the Buddhist Palm are coupled with a unique balance of physical motion and chi flow. At the nucleus of all Buddhist training is the development of one's chi flow. The "Kwan Yen" discipline of Chi Kung is practiced daily for health as well as combative skills.
Chi Kung breathing should be practiced slowly and in unison with the physical motion. After a short period of time, the channels open up and energy flows freely. A practitioner learns to control their chi flow after serveral years of practice. This insures that they will have maximum power and penetration when executing the various strikes utilized in Buddhist Palm training.
Within the Buddhist Monk Boxing series lies the revered 'BUDDHA PALM SERIES' of training. This curriculum holds the ancient self-defense techniques practiced by the security and bodyguards of the Buddhist monks in Asia. The society known as the 'White Lotus' perfected these lethal techniques to insure the safety of their principal members.
Buddha Palm training begins with thousands of basic punches covering the various gates and zones. Punches such as the will palm, ram's head, sun fist, spear, knife, are practiced in the air, on punching bags, makawaras, and then with a partner for accuracy and timing. each punch has a distinct target area and mission of its own. The 'gong chuan' hard fist punches are used to crush and stun the attacker while the 'uen chuan' soft fist strikes will misdirect and confuse. The animal claws and punches will immobilize and seize the attacker.
The Buddha Palm techniques are surely a no-nonsense approach to self-defense. The strikes are placed to nerve endings, pressure points and areas which will leave the attacker unable to pursue their attack any further. Strikes are thrown in a rapid fire, repetitive fashion. The helpless attacker won't even know what happened to him. The counters are varied and go to different parts of the attacker's body. the strikes will immobilize and even paralyze them long enough for the Pai Lum Tao practitioner to escape or subdue their assailant.