This will be my last comment since, it has been done to death. I have no problem with anyone's want in a Martial Art (basically).
I have a problem with people thinking "it has to contain" or "it isn't a Martial art" because it "lacks" these components you enjoy. I'm not implying that is what you meant but, that is usually what these type of comments lead us to.
Originally Posted by It is Fake
Understood. Actually, I agree with you entirely despite what my comments may have conveyed.
Hey, wouldn't want to see a good Catholic on a guilt trip!
Originally Posted by Pennypacker
Happy grapplilng and God bless.
First let me say that I have read all the posting so far and it's great to see so many interested in talking about Pai Lum. I've been training in Pai Lum for 25 years and still train presently. This is a very physically demanding system consisting of Kung Fu, Kempo, Tai Chi, and Chi Kung. In my travels amongst promenent martial artists, Pai Lum receives and deserves great respect as an martial arts system. Earlier in the threads someone had mentioned that the Pai Lum system was not a good self defense system. I'm sure this was based on their limited experience of the Pai Lum students he may have been exposed to. I assure you this is not the case for the majority of the Pail Lum practioners. As far as the comments on St. Charles and Wilson go, I was present from the beginning when Pai first started putting together his dream of a Pai Lum society where all of the different Pai Lum students from around the world, trained in the various parts of this system, could come together to share knowledge and partnership. Wilson was the one he chose to be at his side during this development. I was also present along with Dave Cader from Inside Kung Fu when Pai announced Wilson position at the head. I have met and had some dealings with St Charles of which I was impressed with none! Wislon has a vast knowledge of Pai Lum and martial arts in general and his ability to perform is still amazing. I also know that Wislon treats you with respect and would be happy to help those serious inquiries.
Those looking to train in Pai Lum I say the following to. There are good Pai Lum teachers out there and the art is awesome. Search out one of these instructors and their ability within the art. I myself am a Master within the system and would be more than happy to aid in this. I don't get out to Bullshido often but serious inquiries can reach me through my phone number posted on my website.
Some info on Pai Lum. There are a number of families of Pai Lum.. i.e. Direct students of Master Pai. Glen Wilson, Fred Schmitz, Shawn Dick, John Riddick, Thomas St. Charles, Mike Kalor, Pai LiLung, and others. Each one is head of their families and superb teachers. You can follow their Path through their web pages.
I see that the last post was from 2006.... so, I don't even know who is going to read this........ I earned my Black Belt from Christopher Casey in 1974 as an 18 yr. old. I had been studying both Pai Lum and Kenpo. On the day of my test I was informed I could only test for Kenpo. The week before, a fellow student had tested and earned a Black Belt in both arts. I was told that Daniel Pai had learned of this double dipping and forbid it. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was, (still am 37 yrs. later). I never understood it until NOW... after reading this thread........ And, I only read this because as a now 55 yr. old man, I am looking back to really appreciate the people that influenced my life greatly, Sensei Christopher Casey being one of them... and a HUGE one, being that I studied young and earned Black Belt rank. But, I loved the Pai Lum style and was part of the "KUNG FU" generation. So, you can imagine my disappointment at having to go through life as a brown belt when I had Black Belt knowledge. It was political.... and now I understand that thanks to the wonderful, sad thread I just read. Technology has allowed me to find my master after so many years... and I had no knowledge of the great political mess I was ignorantly a part of....... NOW I KNOW. And.... if he never officially accepted Black Belt status, how could he just a week before my test grant that status?....... Anyway, I was hoping to find Kai Sai (I never knew that part either)... alive.... but he has gone on........ but I must say.... he was a great teacher. I learned at the Fort McPhereson Army base in Atlanta and was charged only $10/month!!.... and he brought in teachers to give Master classes often enough that I wondered how he paid them. I am sorry I do not get the chance to thank him personally late in life (I imagine he'd be 75 or so at this point)..... but ...all of the NEW info on Pai Lum.... it's connection (ugly as it seems to be) with Kenpo.... is brand new reality tv stuff for me......... Oh well. I have my own manual put together by Christopher Casey himself.... so, it would seem I lucked out. Praise God..!!! Okay, that didn't come from his training.... but he did teach meditation.... and those fist forms I know and love....... sticky hands was a favorite of his, and mine. It may well be the thing that remains most when one has gone decades without real, constant practice. In any case, I am a Christian minister who fought in tournaments in the 70's where Christian orgs were present with their Karate for Christ t-shirts, etc....... All I know is... I learned to believe in myself, to understand the place of the fighting arts.. and how to be respectful. Okay, so I learned that in church, too..... but Martial Arts training remains a strong and powerful ally in my life... though fighting has turned to peace....and love... and joy!
Doc, I loved reading your post! I can relate, I left my first school two weeks before my black belt test when my instructor wanted me to sign a piece of paper saying any profit I made he got a percentage. After that I bounced around alot, then found Pai Lum. Luckily I have an instructor who could care less about the "political problems" with our style. I train and teach for myself and my students, more my students than myself. I try to only train four people at a time but in the last month I'm up to ten. I charge only what I need to pay the rent and enjoy every minute of it. The martial arts is a life style for me, not a business. I'm reminded of this every time I bring my 4 y/o to the only karate class in the area. They are great with the kids, but there is just something missing for me. I think it's the atmospher. Too much rigid bowing and adherance to techniques that don't work but are required for advancement. I'll stop now before I b**ch all night. Pai Lum has been a constant possitive influence in my life and I credit my Sifu for not getting caught up in the "political" bull.
Having been associated with Pai Lum form the early 70's I may be prejudice as to my thoughts on this subject. Pai himself had exceptional knowledge and was happy to pass it on to others. If you trained with him in the early days you went away with knowledge and many bumps and bruises from the sessions. Nothing was given but was earned by hard work and sometimes blood.
Now as to where his teaching true TCMA I have no idea as I never studied in China during that time period or any other time period. Might there be some inconsistency in his history possibly so but I'm sure that if one studies many of the old masters they will find the same thing.
As to the stories about St.Charles running around half naked with a sword or his drinking and drug use well all I'll say is that many of us used drugs and drank a lot in the 70's. I will say that he was one of the best fighters and forms competitors in those days ( even while he was drunk and stoned).
If anyone whats to study Pai Lum or thinks they want to see what it looks like do not go to youtube.com go to a school that teaches Pai lum. And yes, there will be good schools and instructors just as there are bad ones in any MA.
Yep I'm a noob here but I've been around the martial arts community for over 40 years.
I can't believe I got through five pages of all these posts and didn't see ONE post about the Harrisburg Kung Fu Center in Pennsylvania.
I started training there when I was 14 and had to quit because my parents didn't want to pay for it anymore. Then at 17, I went back for a short time and only made it to Orange level (which is the second belt... But really the first belt, since you start with no belt), and had to stop again due to finances.
But I can tell you this, Pai Pono Li, the Sifu at the HBKFC is an amazing man. I know that he trained under Pai Li Lung and I had the pleasure of being his tackling dummy during most classes. I was very tall, so he liked to show how Pai Lum could circumvent size differences. I was on the receiving end of some very effective moves and I remember watching him as I waited for classes to start and thinking "Holy moly, this guy is the real deal."
Many years have passed since then, but I still have the notebook that we were required to keep and I have a little Orange level refresher course once in a while, and I'm happy to say that since training in Pai Lum all those years ago, I have yet to be hit in the face or taken to the ground. I've worked quite a few jobs as security/bouncer and I credit Pai Lum with not only techniques, but also an awareness that has kept me safe in some very nasty situations. And I fondly remember and appreciate Pai Pono Li taking a firm and wise stance on some big life decisions that I was trying to make while I was his student.
If you're a current of former HBKFCstudent, chime in and let me know how things are around there these days?
What do you mean I could "just email them?" ;)
Does anybody know what happened to Sifu Bill Gates?
B.T.W., I read every comment on all 5 pages of this thread.
Originally Posted by btbl
Does anybody know what happened to Bill Gates (no, not the Microsoft guy), who was Master St. Charles' student in Pittsfield, Massachusetts?
Also, there are a couple of people here I probably know or have met. The one guy who said he used to attend the Sikaran clinics at Sensei George Chartier's house in Ashfield (or Ashton, I forget) New Hampshire, and also the Fire Dragon school in Maynard, Massachusetts. Since our (Bill Gates's) school (we were probably four students, tops) used to go to these places in the 1980s to cross pollinate, it is very likely I met that student.
I went to two of the summer clinics at Sikaran, at Sensei Chartier's house & dojo, and I don't remember anybody chasing people around with a sword. Very likely it was something done playfully, but since I didn't witness it (and if it isn't verified by a witness, then it might just as well have been made up), I can't say what happened (or, more likely, didn't happen). So, skeptical inquiry works both ways, friends.
I learned the Flowing Motions form, and the Ling Bo form from Master St. Charles at the Sikaran clinics. Also, Sifu Genaro was there, but only taught the advanced degrees. He had some "bullshido effect", as I remember. Sifu Gates said "Master Genaro is well on his way to becoming a mystic. I saw him levitate once." I probed for more specificity, but it wasn't coming!
There was also a guy Sifu Gates liked to call "Mr. Hollywood", byt the name of Chris Valentine. He wore a belt of "many colors", just like Saruman the Wizard! LOL. I once said something that pissed him off, because he misinterpreted what I said. He asked me why I wasn't in the dojo practicing. I said, "Sifu Genaro is in there, and he said only the senior students (or the teachers, I forget the details) are allowed in right now." So, this guy, Chris Valentine goes around telling everybody--my teacher, Master St. Charles, and Sensei Chartier, that I told him he wasn't allowed in the dojo...I tried to explain what I really said, but I guess my factual version didn't make for as dramatic a story. My teacher, Sifu Gates, said, "Never be afraid to tell the truth."
As I also studied Okinawan Uechi Ryu for a while, and all these MA people seem to know, or at least be aware of each other, I remarked about George Chartier to Uechi teacher George Mattson of the (forget the town, next door to Framingham...my college friend introduced me to Sensei George and Walter Mattson) Uechi Ryu dojo. He said, "Is he still fat?" Unfortunately, Sensei Chartier has passed on. It is true that that "fraternity" or group, Chartier and St. Charles, were not considered to resemble the character and virtues one associates with pious Buddhist or Taoist monks, or even Kwai Chang Cane. Master St. Charles also recited bad poetry in lieu of profound aphorisms.
The Sikaran clinics were pretty tough weekends with lots of exposure to different techniques and forms, and we learned a lot. I even learned a lot about the bo staff form and wooden staff chi kung exercises from Sensei Valentine.
I did learn a lot from Sifu Gates, however, and his training was extremely rigorous.
Also of note, but haven't seen his name anywhere in the discussion, was Sifu Bernie (Lummon? Leonard?). Sifu Bernie re-taught me a more correct way of doing Three Books of the Tiger. I first learned a bastardized version of Three Books of the Tiger from a Real bullshido artist, a man who epitomized "bullshido" in every sense, a guy by the name of Tony Stevens ("I am here to teach you Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee's style") in North Adams, Massachusetts. When Sifu Bernie visited out kwoon in North Adams, suddenly everybody wanted to learn from Sifu Bernie, and little by little (until he was arrested for selling cocaine), everybody gradually left Sifu Tony (a charlatan, IMO).
Although I know Master St. Charles is "still kicking" as he said in an email many years ago, I know nothing about his student Bill Gates.
I ended up dropping out after some years, and for the past few decades I have barely trained at all, for reasons unimportant to this discussion.