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The Origins of Pak Hok Pai

The founder of Pak Hok (White Crane Kung Fu) was the Reverend Tibetan Monk ADATO, born in AD 1426 at the beginning of Hsin Chung's reign in the Ming Dynasty.

Adato's ancestors were Nomads based in Yuk Shu County of Ching Hoi Province. Adato became versatile in the hand seizing fist techniques taught by his tribe, and soon after the tribe emmigrated to Tibet. Adato acquired the art of Tibetan wrestling from his master Gongut. It was in Tibet that Adato was cloistered and ordained a monk. Soon after, Adato learned some unusual hypnotic martial arts techniques (DINAH) from an old master from Tabli.

During the deep meditations that are part of a monk' s education, Adato witnessed the swift, evasive animal manoeuvres and precision attacks between a crane and an ape in physical combat. His observations ultimately formed the foundation of the White Crane Kung Fu system.


From watching both the ape and crane's technique, the symbolic number eight was used to establish eight fists, stances, fingers, palming, kicking and seizing. This was the foundation upon which the "Lion-Roar" was based.

The name "Lion's-Roar" is based upon the Buddhist teachings describing, "Sounds that shake the earth are like the lion's roar" (Rapid Journal p. 18). The "Lion's-Roar" was a symbolic name given to signify the birth and creation of something significant. "Lion's Roar" was subsequently changed to Pak Hok Chung by Dologutan, more befitting to the title Pak Hok (White Crane). During the Ching Dynasty, there were 10 imperial guards in the palace. Two were Lamas of the Pak Hok origin.