Learn about Lama Pai - Chinese Martial Arts

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Learn about Lama Pai - Chinese Martial Arts

Lama Pai is a Chinese martial arts that is derived from a Tibetan tradition known as the Lion's Roar. This martial arts combines animal-style movements and attacks such as crane-like precision striking techniques and ape-like grabbing techniques.

History of Lama Pai

According to Wikipedia, "While today the martial arts known as Tibetan Lama Pai, Tibetan White Crane (白鶴派), and Hop Gar (俠家) exist as relatively distinct lineages and/or organizations, all originated with a single figure known as Sing Lung during the Qing Dynasty and taught a martial art then known as “Lion’s Roar” (獅子吼)… The original Lion’s Roar system is attributed to a monk named Ah Dat-Ta (阿達陀), also sometimes known as the “Dai Dat Lama”. Ah Dat-Ta was born in 1426 and was a member of a nomadic tribe that traveled throughout Tibet and Qinghai… For several years Ah Dat-Ta retreated to the mountains to live in seclusion, studying Buddhist texts and practicing meditation. He also hoped to improve his martial art skill. One day Ah Dat-Ta’s meditation was disturbed by a loud sound. He left the cave he had been meditating in to investigate and found an ape trying to capture a crane. He was astonished. Despite the ape’s great size and strength, the crane eluded the great swings and pecked at soft, vital points. Ah Dat-Ta was inspired to create a new martial art… Ah Dat-Ta created a system that mimicked the deft evasion and vital point striking of the white crane and the ape’s powerful swings and grabbing techniques… The system consisted of 8 fist strikes, 8 palm strikes, 8 elbow strikes, 8 finger strikes, 8 kicking techniques, 8 seizing (clawing) techniques, 8 stances and 8 stepping patterns."

Lama Pai Outside of China

Lama Pai was brought to North America by Chan Tai San (陳泰山) in the 1980's, centering around New York City. There he taught many students who continue today to pass his traditions on across the US and abroad.

The following videos are examples of Lama Pai forms and techniques as taught by Chan Tai San in the 80's and 90's in NYC:

Demonstration Video of a Basic Lama Pai Form - Sup Ji Kuen or "Cross Pattern Fist"

Fighting Applications as taught in Lama Pai Forms

Demonstration Video of an Advanced Lama Pai Form - Bot Sin Joi Jow or "8 Immortals Get Drunk"


  1. Sifu Carl's Northern Southern Combined Fist, Tibetan Lama Pai, http://www.lawclansman.com/tibetan-lama-pai/ Added - 12/05/14
  2. Wikipedia, Lama (Martial Arts), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chan_Tai_San, Added - 12/05/14

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