What is Pai Lum?
To answer this question in a few short sentences is
almost impossible. It may even take a book full of writing
to do the definition justice. But in any event, I shall try.
The thoughts and definitions contained herein are my
personal feelings, and understandings based on my
personal journey through Pai Lum.
Pai Lum is a martial art.
Gee, maybe it won�t take a book full of writing!
Pai Lum is a way of life.
Pai Lum is a self defense.
Pai Lum is a philosophy.
Pai Lum is an exercise.
Pai Lum is nature.
For the beginner (first ten years of training) one
should focus entirely on basics. This includes basic
fighting techniques, theories, and concepts, basic health
techniques, both internal, external, and the basic
philosophy of Pai Lum. A beginner should learn how to
construct the basic techniques, the mechanics of executing
the techniques, and the basic striking points on which to
apply the techniques. This method of learning may appear
to be slow, but a good understanding of the purpose and
function of techniques is essential for the mind to accept
that technique and allow it to work.
Pai Lum for the beginner starts with practice and
repetition. In order for the mind to accept and understand a
technique, it must be thoroughly familiar with that
technique. It must be friends with it. It must know it as
One knows the neighborhood one grew up in; all the back
alleys and shortcuts, where to go and where no to go.
When the mind gets this familiar with a technique, it
accepts it and uses it without thinking when the need arises.
So remember, �what the mind accepts, the body must do.�
And this is accomplished through:
I always tell my students that when they become sick
and tired of doing a technique, they are probably beginning
to master it, and their real training is just beginning. It is
essential to master your basics because advanced Pai Lum
is basics combined and applied without thinking as a
situation calls for it.
Now since, we realize that there is a lot of physical
practice for the beginner, we must also realize that the
philosophy of Pai Lum is found through that physical
training. The motions and positions cause the mind to see
and understand the true nature of being and why things are
the way they are.
Truth is not what someone tells you it is. It is what it
is. This becomes apparent throughout the physical practice of
I would like to interject a thought at this point. I
believe Pai Lum to be a unique and individual art that is
not like any other. Sometimes it might appear to be similar
to other arts, but that is usually an intentional illusion;
�illusion structure� as Lung would say. It has a deeper
truth to it and causes each practitioner to be able to make it
work in their own way� quite unusual and hard to explain
if you haven�t experienced it. That is what Grandmaster Pai
brought to the students, and this is why they may do the
same technique, but appear to be different. Pai Lum is not a
technique, it is a way of doing technique.
In order for Pai Lum to continue for the next
generations, it must rise above any individual. To do that,
the responsibility is given to me by Lung, I have established a
system of progressive learning. It starts at the very
beginning, and slowly takes a student on a journey towards
mastering this art in an orderly and reasonable manner.
Things are learned when they should be learned, not before
or after. You start at the beginning and continue to add
things to your learning so that you progress smoothly from
beginner, to intermediate, to advanced level until you
simply realize you are a practitioner of Pai Lum.
There are no tests, sashes, or titles. The only
exception is in teaching. You must be given permission to
instruct by your teacher and license to teach by your teacher.
I believe that the true study of Pai Lum is to reach a
level of �egolessness.� How can we do this if ego-
promoting ranks and titles are used. It may look good on
paper, but in application, it does not seem to work.
Grandmaster Pai said �I do not call myself a master,�
neither should we. If someone recognizes your
achievements, and acknowledges them by calling you by a
title, the humility learned in practice should cause you to
continue training and not go on an ego trip. In other
words, I know how much I don�t know. Remember, skill is
relative. A beginner might think you are a master, but your
teacher thinks you need more work and practice. It�s
relative to who�s watching you.
There was an old Tai Chi master who would cry
whenever he did his form. When asked why, he said, �I�ve
been doing this for 70 years, and it�s still not right.� So let
us not think we are that good, we still need improvement.
If you are a senior, humbly help those under you, don�t
gloat in your achievements and you will truly be masterful.
Now� On with the Journey!
LUM PHILOSOPHY | BASICS
MEMORIAM | SEND
© 1998 - Pai, Li Lung. All rights reserved.