I designed Short Fist Boxing as a quicker method to learn than White Brow and as a precursor to learning that style. The movements are based on boxing as in the west, and one of the sets in Pak Mei. The things I see in martial arts then, as in now, was the lack of stamina. In the old days, classes were 3 hours or more and were a good deal harder … and the students demanded it! The forms are designed as fighting forms – none were for exercise. They require an understanding of body control that is not taught in the majority of arts. The term ging is near to impossible to explain, as there is no such term in English. Therefore, one needs a partner who understands the term in Chinese. At least that has been my experience. There are also breathing and body movements that are found in few martial arts, if any, taught in public. Most need space to be used effectively, and as an old friend once said, …“if you can’t fight in a phone booth, you can’t fight”. The movements were designed for groundwork, the use of small weapons, as well as the use of hand traps. In the old days we did roadwork as well as the movements, but I added Chinese medicines and body conditioning. The medicines I have collected over a period of years, with the help of Chinese doctors and teachers. These medicines require the greatest of care or they can be dangerous to use. In the wrong hands, they can poison the user. However, used properly, the medicine can make a hand into an extremely hard weapon. Also, the exercises were used for sensitivity in close, and the use of sand bags, as well as leg conditioning. They started out with light contact, with no gloves, learning to use the body movements to overcome the strikes. Learning to swallow and redirect is also important in order to negate the power in a strike. The end results were that they could fight 5 or 6 rounds full contact, as in the Tournament rules from Taiwan, without getting badly hurt. We have a saying in Pak Mei – We teach teachers not students. It’s hard to teach a beginner that knows nothing.
Pak Mei Pai