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Pai Lum (Bai Long, White Dragon) Kung fu is a martial arts style that was established by Daniel Kane Pai.

Pai Lum History

Daniel Kalimaahaae Pai was born in Kameula, Hawaii. The Pai family, being Chinese, were looked down upon and mistreated by the locals. In 1946, at the age of twelve, it is said that his grandfather had him sent to the White Lotus Monastery, Byakurenji, on the north coast of Okinawamarker, Ryukyu Islandsmarker, to study Kobayashi-ryu karate-do. After five years of intense training, Daniel returned to Hawaii and became the most prominent fighter of the islands, winning trophies and respect for his family name. Filled with pride for his grandson, Pai Po Fong taught him the family martial arts style which contained mainly elements of the crane and dragon movements as well as the other animal styles which were later contained within a larger martial arts system called Pai Lum.

After the end of World War II, Daniel and his stepfather went to the "Big Island" to work. They herded cattle like cowboys of the "Old West". He studied Judo/Jujitsu and was involved with the Hawaiian Kenpo Association.

In late 1951, Daniel joined the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean War in 1952 and 1953. He reenlisted in 1953, he spoke of being in Vietnam in 1954 and retired from active duty in December 1955. In May 1962 he was given an honorable discharge after finishing his time in the U.S. Army Reserve. Medals that he was awarded include 4 Bronze Stars, Korean Service Medal, U.N. Service Medal, and the National Defense Medal. Daniel told of numerous experiences from Korea and Vietnam, as well as other places where he served.

June 20, 1960 was his graduation day from the Chicago Medical College, Calcutta, India in Homeopathic Medicine which led to his being called Dr. Pai.

The early 1960s found him working at 20th Century Fox as a stuntman. Some of the movies he played in include Blue Hawaii and Girls, Girls, Girls with Elvis Presley and in The House of Bamboo and Rampage with Robert Mitchum. He also appeared in a few episodes of the television series "Hawaiian Eye".

Master Pai's fighting style was developed from years of training in Chinese, Japanese, and Okinawan martial arts to produce an amalgamation of these different movements. It was told that he studied at Mas Oyama's Kyokushinkai karate dojo during the 1960s and was known as a "strong fighter" from Hawaii.

In addition to being the director of the Pai Lum Association during these early days, he served as chief instructor for both the U.S.K.A. and the Canadian Fire Dragon Association while also serving on the board of directors for the East Coast Karate Federation.

This era peaked with more than fifty Pai Lum and Fire Dragon schools operating in North America. These students are known as the "old school" lineage. Master Pai was living in Hartford, Connecticut until 1976 when he decided to move to Florida where he resided for the next seventeen years. Some of his first students who were trained in mostly Kempo styles stayed close to Master Pai as he developed new students whom he trained in Kung Fu and Tai Chi movements over the next two decades to come. White Dragon became the common reference of Grandmaster Pai's martial arts system.

The U.S. White Dragon Martial Arts Society was formed and produced a team that on July 4, 1976 was awarded a Certificate of Merit for superb achievement during the Kuoshu demonstrations held in Taipeimarker, the Republic of Chinamarker, by Tsai Hung-Wen, President of the Kuoshu Federation. His team participation in the 2nd World Chinese Kuoshu Tournament in 1978 at Taipei led to Grandmaster Pai being appointed "Delegate at Large" for the Chinese Kuoshu Worldwide Promotion Association. The 3rd World Chinese Kuoshu Tournament was organized by Daniel K. Pai and was held in Hawaii in 1980.

During 1983, his team participated in the 4th World Chinese Kuoshu Tournament in Taipei, Taiwanmarker. On November 10 he was elected as Vice President of the 2nd Executive Board, Chinese Kuoshu Worldwide Promotion Association (CKWPA).

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) appointed Grandmaster Pai as Delegate at Large to the National AAU Kung-Fu Committee and the International Kung-Fu Association (IKFA) representing the Florida State Region in April 1984. This announcement was made by Master Donald Buck, Chairman of IKFA and the National AAU Committee.

The summer of 1989 saw his organizing the 6th World Chinese Kuoshu Federation tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was the last event he personally oversaw as his tenure as President of the United States Chinese Kuoshu federation branch came to an end by the following year.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Daniel Pai worked in association to the commercial seafood industry in the southeastern United States with several of his senior Florida students.

Every year he kept busy teaching martial arts clinics in his affiliate schools across several states. He also taught regular classes in Florida locations every week right up to the last days of his life.

In late 1992, he sought to organize all his Pai Lum schools with several associated systems under an umbrella organization called World White Dragon Society. This process was still underway when he passed on. During these final months he finished two new manuals and four video tapes for instructional use.

On May 28, 1993, while in the Dominican Republic, Grandmaster Daniel K. Pai passed on from this life and was laid to rest with full military honors, at the Hawaiian National Cemetery.

A legacy of knowledge and wisdom was left with many devoted practitioners of Pai Lum across several decades. These students are found all across this country and the world and are charged with the obligation to protect and to preserve the curriculum that their teacher has left them.

Curriculum

The first student in Pai Lum Kung Fu was NOT recorded by Dan Pai but he was very fond of Kalaii Griffin as he told his devoted student in Florida. According to Master Griffin, he stated that Master Thomas D. St Charles was a student of Dr Pai's in 1967. Who met him first...the many followers of Dan Pai hardly know each other as evidenced by these varied accounts of his life. According to St. Charles Master Griffin did not meet Dr.Pai until 1970 in Bridgeportmarker, Connecticutmarker and then Master St.Charles gave Griffen his first Karate/Kung fu lesson. At that time the curriculum within Pai Lum was Goju Ryu Karate and also the roots of Pai Lum Kempo. Master Pai had Goju Ryu Rank but he already wanted to move away from the crowd.

He began teaching people such as Thomas D. St. Charles in 1967, then in 1970 when he was brought to Bridgeport and given a school there to encourage him, he began teaching Peter Genero, Charlie Hatchett...names lost in past. In 1971 Master Pai relocated to Hartfordmarker, Connecticutmarker and in 1972 he opened Park St. White Dragon Kung Fu in Hartford and taught many people either from that location or they traveled from their schools to see him. A few names...Robert Schoolnick, David Everett, Anthony Galiano, Thomas L. Turcotte, Jeffrey K. Rathnam, Lauren Porter (ex-wife of USKA champion Don Collyer) Jeffrey Guifffre, David L. Smith, Phil Hunter, Chow Lum, Clarence Cooper, Pat McCarthy [Canada/Australia] Karen A Tolczyk(aka Tiger), John Guerrera and many others not named here. It was at this time that Kung fu forms were first introduced to the public and specifically named Pai's Family System and as source of endless argument that persists today, adding Kung Fu forms from various styles, including Hung Gar routines from Bruce Currie [West Virginia] and Pat McCarthy [Park St. school in Hartford], as well as Choy Li Fut, Lau Gar, and northern style Chang Chuan forms. Certain Pai family forms were introduced, as well, and taught alongside of the Kempo methods. The Fire Dragon school, fueled by heightened interest in the Chinese Martial arts via the Bruce Lee craze, was a commercial success for a few short years in Ct. but continued to do well in Fl even today. Based in Cocoa Beach under Fred Schmitz and his one time students, friends and later rivals the Wilson brothers, most notably Don Wilson, who was being fought over as having the 'right " stuff, oriental good looks and a real physical talent. Struggling with high rent and not enough paying students, Hartford school moved several times until in June of 1976 Dr. Pai moved to Daytona Beach, Fl where he spent the rest of his life (or up the road in Orlando with Glenn C Wilson). It is amusing to this author that tales of the missing...having seen, fed, carried and served the teacher daily since early 1977 I wonder where these people went who tell the tale here. During these years the Pai Lum curriculum was refined and taught through travel to Pai Lum association schools in Pennsylvania, Nova Scotia, North Carolina, Florida, and Missouri. David Everett was Pai Lum chief instructor at this time, later maintaining the Pai Lum presence in the Hartford area at his White Lotus Martial Arts Center, even after he left Pai's organization in July 1980.

Daniel Pai personally taught his students several curricula, and in fact, what he taught changed over the years as he added to his instructors' versatility. Many attempts were made, via his personal students, to develop a set curriculum, with good success coming during the Hartford years and also in his Fl schools. This varied curriculum resulted in confusion among Pai Lum instructors who would occasionally compare what they had learned. Today, this continues to be the case as instructors broaden their martial arts experience through cross-training and are surprised to find out what other Pai Lum students are practising.

Many of the practice forms (or katas, to use the Japanese equivalent term) in Pai Lum closely resemble those of the Hung Gar system, but tend to be longer and more drawn out, purportedly for the purposes of building endurance. For example, Pai Lum's 'Outer Tiger' form doubles many of the 90-degree, 4-direction movements found in the original Hung Gar form into 45-degree, 8-direction movements. This is an opinion held by someone who has only viewed the public demonstrations of Pai Lum obviously for the style is not fundamentally a hard fist system.

Seemingly no two of Daniel Pai's high-level black belt students got there via the same curriculum. The test for first level black belt was, however, very brutal in the early days of his stateside teachings. When one of his students did earn a black belt, it was many times said to be as much a rite of pain as of skill.

Kuoshu Federation

Discussion about Pai would be incomplete without reference to his 25 years supporting the Kuoshu Federation of Taiwan. This group of martial artists and ex-military Chinese formed an association to bring traditional forms of Chinese martial arts to the world. Dedicated to the preservation of classical family systems that number in the hundreds as to practice, scope and definition, the Kuoshu Federation represents the democratic Taiwanese in their struggle to fend off the dissolution of history and tradition to the precepts of communism. As a patriot and former enlisted man Pai did all he could to promote the freedom of the individual as demonstrated by his life style.

Philosophy

One of the central points of Pai Lum as taught by the World White Dragon society is brotherhood. [1] They teach that all members of the society are equal, and should be treated as such. In addition there is a very taoist lean in their philosophy, even using the yin and yang as part of their symbol. [2] Pai Lum stresses wisdom, courage, honor, strength, purity, and knowledge.

Controversy

The historical legend as told above has never been substantiated and is even considered dubious by many within Pai Lum. Issues arise when one finds that there has never been a "White Lotus Temple" in Okinawa and that the Okamura mentioned within the legend's text is more likely to have been the founder of the "Okinawa Kenpo Karate" system, namely Shigeru Nakamura. It also raises the question as to why a master of a Chinese martial art would send his grandson half a world away to study an Okinawan martial art system when he could have taught him. Moreover, the date of Pai's alleged travel to Okinawa seems highly improbable, since according to the legend he would have travelled there in 1942, after the Second World War in the Pacific began, which is clearly very improbable, given that Okinawa was one of the Japanese home islands. Another controversy is that Daniel Pai was often called "Dr. Pai" by his students but to date, there is no record of Daniel Pai going to medical school or achieving a doctorate from any academic institution.

Those who knew him well know that he achieved a doctorate of homeopathy and was a skilled physician in the classical Chinese practitioner tradition. He practiced chiropractic, accupressure, bone and sprain setting and medicine making. Eclectic and an odd communicator, he did not always impress his audience and often seemed determined not to do so on purpose.

In 1974 the Gong Yuen Chuan Fa Federation was established to govern the ranking and curriculum taught. Additionally, Grandmaster-Pai accepted Sifu-Glenn C. Wilson as a student with Sifu-Glenn maintaining the rank he held in Gong Yuen Chuan Fa and with the Kuo Shu Organization in Taiwan, that was 3rd higher level. The traditional blend of two great systems - White Dragon & The Way of the Hard & Soft fist began.

Before his passing, Grandmaster Pai proclaimed only 5 active families of Pai Lum Tao.

In 1993, while in the Dominican Republic, Great Grandmaster-Daniel Kane Pai passed from this life and was laid to rest with full military honors, at the Hawaiian National Cemetery. A legacy of knowledge and wisdom was left with many devoted practitioners of Pai Lum across several decades. It has been said that for many years he had told many students of Pai Lum that his successor would be his senior adopted grandson, Pai Li Lung (John Weninger) - which cannot be confirmed or denied. Other adopted grandsons who were more senior to Pai Li Lung had left Pai Lum over the years preceding his death. Depending on the school and location, you will get different responses as to who exactly should have been named the head of the system. Some contend that no one should be the head of the system since each succeeding master develops something new. Besides the many non-aligned instructors, such as former chief instructor, Pai Tao Chi (David Everett), two publicly competing factions exist within Pai Lum, namely the White Dragon Warrior Society and the World White Dragon Society.

The White Dragon Warrior Society, which is headed by Pai Pao Lung Huit (Glenn C. Wilson) supported by his wife Hilda Guerrero Wilson, and students. Under the direction of Si Gung-Glenn C. Wilson, a Board of Directors was appointed during 1994 to protect and preserve the curriculum of the Pai Lum family, as Si Gung-Glenn had promised his teacher. During 1994 and 1995 there were a few individuals who would not conform to the by-laws of the World White Dragon Kung Fu Society and there was a division in the organization.

The other competing faction is The World White Dragon Society made up of early students of Daniel K. Pai including Pai Shao Li (Steve Mathews), Pai Li Lung (John Weninger), Pai Shin Zan (Thomas D. St. Charles) - [who was later dismissed for killing a man with his skills*], Pai Ching-Lin (David L.Smith), Pai Hsin-Lung (Philip Hunter), Pai Ying Lung (Robert L. Skaling-Pai), Pai Bok Hok (Marcia Pickands), Pai Lung Li (Honey Silk), Pai Hsieh (Lauren Porter), Pai Ban Lung (John Riddick) and many others.

  • Master Thomas St. Charles (Pai Shinzan) was not "dismissed for killing a man with his skills." Master St. Charles killed a man in self defense which was ruled "justifiable homicide" by the court.


References

[1] http://www.pailum.com/dc.htm

[2] http://www.pailum.com/

[3] http://www.pailum.com/dwc.htm
  • http://www.pakmei.net/PaiLum/PaiLumCanada.htm
  • http://www.pailum.org/



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