"More than just technique is required of the master. The master must also be deeply involved in philosophy. The master must seek the truth and allow no boundary to set a limit on his search. This is the master, one who is always beginning at the beginning regardless of his years of experience."
Dr. Daniel K. Pai
Chinese fighting arts have many names -- Kung Fu, Chuan Fa, Wu Shu, Kempo, etc. The name used to indicate Chinese martial arts is of little importance compared to the techniques embodied within the Chinese style. For our purpose we designate Kempo as a comprehensive term used for Chinese martial arts. Kempo underwent its early development within the walls of Chinese monasteries. The monks possessed the time and learned natures to refine and synthesize the combative arts. In the 1600s, the Manchu dynasty overthrew the Ming Empire and subjugated the Chinese people to foreign rule. Because of the native resistance to alien rule, men with power, such as martial artists, were hunted and killed by the Manchus in an effort to break the back of the resistance. Monasteries were burned and monks were forced to flee for their lives. But, with them, they took their art, Kempo -- Law of the Fist. Many went to Okinawa to regroup and continue fighting the Manchus. Because Okinawa is an ideal seaport, many refugees turned to piracy in their efforts to subvert the Manchu rule. Since the nature of the pirate is to travel and fight in many lands, the Kempo masters learned new fighting techniques from their enemies. One particular band of Kempo Pirates who were especially successful both in battle and collection of booty were caught in a storm at sea. With the violence of the ocean pounding their small craft, many of the masters regretted their past violent ways. They pledged to each other that, if they survived, they would dedicate the remainder of their lives to monastic study as had been the custom in China prior to the Manchu conquest. Those few masters that were washed ashore, surviving the storm, built a monastery in the northern coast of Okinawa. At this monastery, they began again to practice the ways of the Kempo masters of ancient China. The style that resulted is quite unique, since it encompasses both classical and non-classical movements. Some elements within this style are found in other styles, but few if any other styles have the overall uniqueness of the Northern Okinawan Monastery Kempo style, hereafter referred to as Chinese Kempo. This style made its way to this country via Professor Daniel Pai. The Professor's grandfather, Po Fong Pai, immigrated to Hawaii from China during the early 20th century. He had relatives who were monks of the Okinawan monastery described. Po Fong had been treated poorly by many of the Hawaiians and felt that, only by force, could the Pai family name be restored to a place of honor. With this in mind, Po Fong broke his young grandson's hand at the first two knuckles. When Daniel's hand healed, the bones formed one super-knuckle. At the age of twelve, Daniel was sent to the Northern Okinawan Monastery for a period of five years. During this time, he mastered their Chinese Kempo style. Daniel returned to Hawaii and fulfilled his grandfather's fondest wish; he became the pre-eminent fighter of the islands. Because of Fong Pai's love for his grandson, Fong taught Daniel the Pai family Kung Fu style, White Dragon Fist. Daniel was able to learn this style quickly because his Chinese Kempo contained many of the elements of the White Dragon Kung Fu. Professor Daniel Pai left Hawaii and became a famous fighter and teacher on the mainland United States. One teaching trait that the Professor followed was never to teach any student the same exact techniques. His black belts would meet and discover that no two had learned the exact same thing from the Professor. Not until 1972 did the Professor reveal his most secret forms. Only then did he teach these private forms because he knew that his death would mean the end of the Chinese Kempo style. At great effort and personal sacrifice, a few of the Professor's black belts began traveling around the country visiting with others of the Professor's black belts in the hope of assembling the Professor's unique style. On June 24, 1974, Christopher Casey, a student of the Professor's for over ten years, passed his test under the Professor for the 4th degree black belt, the grade the Professor confers only upon the Kung Fu Master. Mr. Casey's success came not only from hard practice of what the Professor had taught him, but also knowledge gained from traveling all over the country collecting the Professor's techniques from various individuals who had either practiced with the professor or knew something about the Professor's style by working with others. As the Professor expressed to Mr. Casey after the examination, "more than just technique is required of the master. The master must also be deeply involved in philosophy. The master must seek the truth and allow no boundary to set a limit on his search. This is the master, one who is always beginning at the beginning regardless of his years of experience." The Northern Okinawan Kempo Masters realized the same truth centuries earlier when they returned to the monastery from the pirate ship. NO PERSON REGARDLESS OF HIS RANK MAY STOP PRACTICING OR LEARNING. TO STOP MEANS THAT ONE CAN NO LONGER BEGIN. DEGREES ARE MERELY POINTS ON THE CIRCLE, ALL BEING AN EQUAL DISTANCE FROM THE CENTER, THE TAO. NEVER LET RANK OR THE LACK OF IT CLOUD THIS TRUTH.