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Lai Tung Pai
 

 

Lai Tung Pai (Poon Kuen - Encircle Fist Style, also spelled Lai Tung Pai) Kung Fu is an art dating back to the beginning of the Ching Dynasty in China. It later moved south from the Sil Lum (Shaolin) Temple in Hunan to the Kwantong Province where it acquired the name of Lai Tung Pai. Lai Tong which we think means "dig a hole or in a hole" and Pai which means "family." The style being named after the village that did so much for the Sil Lum monk of Poon Kuen. He honored the town by changing the name from Poon Kuen to Lai Tung Pai. Centuries later, the style was taught to Kong Ki and later by Kong Hoi in Hong Kong where it became available to the public. This art eventually passed on to us by our Grandmaster Kong Hoi of the Kong Hoi Kung Fu Association - Hong Kong through Sifu Li Chi Keung. For more on Lai Tung Pai history, please refer to the History page.

Lai Tung Pai is an art concentrating on internal power, the one and three inch punch, and long, medium and short range techniques. Lai Tung Pai has sometimes been compared to Wing Chun, when seen demonstrated, by the untrained eye, but is a much older and bigger style. It possibly has a connection with the earliest days of Ng Mui and Wing Chun but we can not verify that through historical documents.

Lai Tung Pai uses Long Fist as well as Short Fist techniques. What makes it unique is the fact that it not only uses long fist/long stances and short fist/short stances but that it also uses long fist with short stances and short fist with long stances. Luk Sao (Sticky Hands) is also included in the style. Below is a brief overview.

Lai Tung Pai uses various forms to teach students to blend from short to long fist applications or vice versa.
Unique to Lai Tung Pai, is the fact that it uses long fist techniques with short stances and short fist technique with long stances as well as the traditional fist-stance combinations. There are 12 empty hand forms being taught in the US.
Lai Tung Pai holds true to its Sil Lum (Shaolin) traditions by teaching the original weapons of Kung Fu. There are roughly 10 weapon forms taught in the US. The two sectional spear being its most unique and prestigious. The Mook Jong (wooden man) is also taught. There are eight different Mook Jongs in this style.
Lai Tung Pai also includes the teaching of Chinese Medicine and Chi Building exercises.
Lai Tung Pai includes lion dancing as part of its system. This is integrated in the training by using the Lion to mimic the footwork of the style. Lai Tung Pai uses many different training aids handed down from the Sil Lum Temple. These include Mook Jong training, 18 Lo Han Sow and other ancient kung training exercises to develop strength and stamina in the student.


For more on Lai Tung Pai, call us at our Kwoon or email us at the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Lai Tung Pai Lineage

Lai Tung Pai Lineage
 
Lai Tung Pai - History

The history of Lai Tung Pai (Poon Kuen) reaches far back to the Sil Lum (Shaolin) Temple located in the Soong Shan Mountains. The style was created by a monk Chi Sen and propagated through Yuen Kok and Yuen Mau who were ordained monks. It is said that there were also two other monks named Yuen Cheuk and Yuen Sing that were taught the Lai Tung Pai style.

Let's talk a little about the history of China at the time Lai Tung Pai was created. In the beginning of the Tang Dynasty (618-905 AD), there was an army general Hwang Shih Chung, who came to Szechwan Province, only to rebel against the government. He occupied a place called Tingchow. Between the troubles caused by the general and marauding hordes of bandits, many of the Sil Lum monks decided to leave the temple for safer shelters elsewhere. Included were the four monks of Lai Tong. The four monks never saw each other again.

The focus will remain with Yuen Mau. He traveled down south to the Kwangsi Province. At the end of his journey, he found shelter in a monastery. However, trouble soon made its way south, but rather than run, he decided to teach all the other monks the Lai Tung Pai style.

Lai Tung Pai was never allowed to be taught outside the monastery walls until the late Ching Dynasty (1644-1912 AD) when the monastery's abbot Fa Hoi decided to travel south to Canton in the Kwangtung Province to oversee the Hoi Tung Monastery. This monastery, located on the south bank of the Pearl River, was a famous edifice in Canton. The monastery still stands today. That is where Kong Ki, the first layman to ever learn the style, was taught the style by Abbott Fa Hoi. Kong Ki then taught his son, our current Si Gung, Kong Hoi. Kong Ki, upon becoming ill, decided he could no longer teach Kong Hoi, so he sent him to the monastery to train directly with Fa Hoi. All this took place in the late 40's and early 50's. Hong Hoi trained with Fa Hoi till he died and then left Canton in 1955.

Si Gung began teaching our Sifu Li in the late 1960's at the Kong Hoi Kung Fu Association - Hong Kong when Sifu Li was in his early teens. Sifu Li was Si Gung's last closed door student and trained under him exclusively for several months. Sifu Li joined the merchant marines and after his tour of duty settled in America where Lai Tung Pai is now taught in Charlotte, NC, Kings Mountain, NC and Rock Hill, SC. Mint Hill Kung Fu School, Sil Lum Mountain Kung Fu and Kong Hoi Kung Fu Association - USA are the only schools in the world where you can learn the style. Si Gung Hoi has been retired for many years now in Hong Kong and no longer teaches publicly but does teach privately.
 
Lai Tung Pai - Lion Dancing

Kong Hoi Kung Fu Association - Mint Hill is proud to teach the art of Lion Dancing in addition to Kung Fu to its students. Lion Dancing is part of the traditions of Kung Fu and also provides culture to our students.

There are many different stories to how Lion Dancing began. The most popular was a mysterious beast was eating the crops of a local town. The beast was not seen before in the area, but travelers said it looked like what the western world had called a Lion. Most town Doctors were also the local martial arts teachers, and were called on for help in matters such as these. He got his students to build a scary costume and to scare the Lion away. Only his top students were allowed to wear the Lion outfit, as if they had to fight the beast, they could handle themselves. The plan worked and the Lion Dance evolved into a celebration for many different events.

At Kong Hoi Kung Fu Association - Mint Hill we provide Lion Dances for the Chinese community, as well as special events and public associations, such as high schools and the YMCA. We feel it is a way for us to give back to the community.

If you would like a Lion Dance for your event, or would like more information please e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
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