View Full Version : Sifus, When are they of age?

06-03-2001, 11:51 PM
I'll start by telling you guys my story and why this interests me. I am a young Sifu (19yrs old) and find people don't take me seriously. I have been an instructor for the past year under my Sifu but now am trying to start my own classes. I find that alot of martial artists don't take me seriously or believe I am for real until I demonstrate my abilities. I have been training in Shaolin kungfu for 5 yrs and I can understand that people think this is a short time but it was full time(if you think about it it is the eqivalent of collage with hands on exerience) and also have taken chinese medicine and acupressure classes. People seem to be more comfortable with a Tang Soo Do sensei (we have 3 in town) that is between 30 and 40 years old and with 25-30 yrs of experince even though they are bad martial artists. Anyways what do you guys think is a reasonable age and time of experience for a Sifu to start teaching on his own?

Witness the Dynasty!!!
www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com (http://www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com)

06-04-2001, 07:52 AM
Totally off topic, but I think the term sifu tends to generate some confusion. To some people, it merely means an instructor or teacher, while to others it means someone who has mastered the art they are teaching.

I can accept someone being an instructor in 5 years, but IMHO there are very few people who could truly master an art in 5 years.

It is hard to get credibility as a young teacher of the martial arts simply because people have a preconceived notion of what a martial arts teacher should be like. They should be experienced and wise etc. on top of being proficient in their art. Maybe it is hard for people to accept that you have the experience and wisdom to truly hold the title of sifu.

What we do in life echoes in Eternity

The Willow Sword
06-04-2001, 09:09 AM
i have talked to a number of young chinese men and women about that very title. as always we americans trivialize THIS as well or we put it into a light that blinds. simply put from them.
sifu is a mentor, a father figure, a teacher.
someone with whom you admire and trust to teach you. a sifu is part of all the students families he teaches. it is not to signify rank or an accomplishment. there you have it.

06-04-2001, 09:25 AM
If a student comes to you with problems such as of marital, of bringing up children, social, pyschological, medical, etcc......can you help them? If not you are a good martial artist and should be named instuctor/coach/teacher until you are of age (no specific age) and experienced in life upon which in time should your skill as a person develop you may be inferred to as sifu and you would have earned and be given the title by others rather than yourself and by qualification. Not to mention that 5 years is not usually sufficient time, most teachers usually have studied for at least 10 years with the average of a starting teacher being around 15yrs.

06-04-2001, 01:21 PM
I don't want to sound like I am putting down Americans, but every man and his dog over there calls themselves sifu. I was always brought up to believe that sifu was a very difficult title to earn, and that only a minute proportion of martial artists ever achieved it.

Don't get me wrong, heaps of people give themselves the title here in Australia too, but every time I have gone to international martial arts events, every American there seems to be a sifu. Maybe the standard of martial arts is very high over there, but I suspect that the title gets given out far too easily. Unfortunately, that is happening here in Oz too :(

What we do in life echoes in Eternity

06-04-2001, 04:46 PM
You can be an instructor at a school after 5 years, but a "real" sifu I don't think so. After 5 years of training I began to realized that I didn't know as much as I though (an I train & teach 5-6 days a week at my school). Being a sifu is not just about knowing forms or fighting applications it has a lot more important qualities. A sifu is generally looked to as a father figure and therefore takes on the responsibility of trying to mold his students into not only good martial artists but good people. It is hard for people to take a young sifu seriously because at 19 or 20 your not a man and later when your 30 or 40 you will realize this.

Don't be so eager to become a sifu let time take its natural course. Teach at your school for at least 5 years. During this time you can really sharpen your teaching skills so that when you reach an older age your kung fu level will be much higher.


06-04-2001, 05:48 PM
It doesn't matter how good you think your martial arts is. People come to you to learn, not to become involved in your kung fu master fantasy.

It is more important to be a good teacher. As a student, I don't care how good you punch is. All I care about is how you can help me learn to punch, and ensure that I have a good time learning it.

5 years practicing martial arts is nothing, and you are fooling yourself if you think you are "better" than someone with 25 years experience.

Remember that at 19, you're a kid. With five years experience, you are a beginner. To think you qualify as a sifu is just silly.

How do I know this? I've been in your situation and have learned a great deal about myself from it.

I would spend more time training than teaching, although we all need to learn to teach. Remember that it takes far longer to learn to teach well than it does to become proficient in the physical techniques. It also requires more life experience.

Being a sifu is like being the head of a company..you don't come out of undergrad and jump right to the top.

Your time will come. In about 10 or 15 years.

06-04-2001, 07:03 PM
Let me start by saying that I was not trying to brag about my skill level I know there are lots of people better than me. I was also not saying that I can lead students to the highest levels. If there is someone who can reach a higher level than me I will send them to my Sifu and I tell them this right off. I also did not create a style but am teaching exactly what I learned. In my school Sifu means instructor. I am a martial arts instructor. In order to teach martial arts I need to know only martial arts and related subjects not raising kids etc. If you need someone to talk to you about raising kids or whatever you shouldn't go to a martial arts class but find a friend. I know of plenty of Sifus that will argue that one for me (Adam Hsu for one). You can say that a sifu is "one who mastered his art" but the term Mastered cannot be clearly defined and this makes it impractical to give a title to. If this is how everyone defines sifu though I cannot go against the majority so I will call myself an insructor.

Lyle- A person CAN be better with only 5yrs experience than someone with 25. It comes down to the individual. If the person that trained 5yrs trained between 5- 8 hours a day and took the martial arts seriously and trained a good martial art and the person with 25yrs experence trained only two times a week for an hour each time then goes home and doesn't think about it again till next class. I make this point even though I never said I was better than everyone only those 3 "martial artists" in town that I was talking about. I never base my skill level on fantasy. This also helps me demonstrait a point that I recieve alot of disbelief and "bashing"(on forums anyway nobody ever seems to do this in town)when people here my age. They think I am some punk kid who watches too many movies. I can help my students learn to punch. My Sifu taught me how to do it and I know how to teach it to someone else. He besides teaching Kungfu to me, taught me how to teach he thought this was equally important. He also says that the only way to get better at teaching is to gain experience. He is always close by if I need help.

Witness the Dynasty!!!
www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com (http://www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com)

06-04-2001, 07:36 PM
Your retort was just as I expected. I had the same argument.

In fact, I don't even disagree with you. But I have taken the time to step outside myself and view myself from the perspective of others. It is this perspective I meant to reveal in my post.

By keeping these harsh criticisms in mind, you can be a better teacher and become an even better martial artist.

Personally, I hope you find success in every way.

Johnny Hot Shot
06-04-2001, 07:42 PM
Your still young and it seems as though you are very cocky not to mention you are claming to be A Shaolin Sifu. All I ever read about Shaolin school is that they are surrounded in contraversy. Combine that with a young cocky Instructor? dude no wonder no one takes you seriously.

"Life's a great adventure, mate."
Jacko Jackson

06-04-2001, 11:14 PM
I don't feel cocky. I think all martial artists should have some level of confidence in their abilities. Shaolin schools are surrounded by controversy? Well, maybe the temple. Really I was just experimenting with this post. Your reactions were just as I expected. I noticed when I told you my age all of a sudden I am a fool, when before you guys knew how old I was you took my comments seriously. No offence to Austrailia but you guys seem to have attacked me the hardest. Maybe you just have alot of frauds down there.
Anyway, I find it interesting that you people seem affended by my age when some of the people you now consider to be great Sifus started just as young.
Tat Mau Wong
Lily Lau
Tai Yim
Lai Hung
Bruce Lee
I am not saying by any means that I have all the answers, actually that is part of being a sifu is knowing when you can't answer a question. I believe I honestly act in the best interests of my students and kung fu brothers and that is what is important to me. Being a young sifu is not impossible or a disgusting concept we all have to start some where and I don't beleive in waiting for some magical age where I will know everything because that age never comes. All the sifus I mentioned above say that they are still learning and that teaching others is the best experience they have had. Mastery is a process of continuous, evolution. I will help those I can now and hopefully I will be able to bring people to a higher level when I acheive that myself. I started this disscusion not as to question my ability to teach but what you thought of in majority about young sifus. My sifu says I am ready to teach our art so thats all the reasurance I need.

Lyle- I am unclear as to what your post means could you please clairify. When you say my reaction was no surprise was it in a good way? I noticed on your profile that you study with Shi Yan Ming that must be great! He has the best kungfu I have ever seen. How long have you been training with him?

On this thread lets all post our ages before the comment that would make our stances a little more clear and expose any personal biased we might have.

I am 19 and am pro young instructors as long as they teach a style that they didn't create and teach it thuroly

Witness the Dynasty!!!
www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com (http://www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com)

06-05-2001, 05:24 AM
Slow day on the southern forums so i'm lurking around here...

Many of the Sifu's from Hong Kong started their schools when they were 18-21. This is pretty normal in the old days. (Now a day, most sifu kids go into other business because MA is not that profitable).

Age has nothing to do with it. The most important thing is that you you get respect from your students. That isn't given to you by your age, lineage, or years of study. It's earned by your actions.

Sure it's harder for a young Sifu. Just like it's harder for a not so pretty lady to attract a mate then a pretty one. Not impossible and it doesn't devalue the person but the fact of life is that it will require more work.

As far as Sifu used in Chinese, it's a term of respect. If someone is willing to follow you, you are a Sifu. If someone sees you have mastery in a field, you are a sifu. While it's true that there is a Father/Child bond to the term, it doesn't mean that you are not a sifu if you can't tutor them in ALL aspects of life. For sure, the young hong kong sifu's had followers that were older then they were. That was common.

Finally, before start to validate yourself, what does your Sifu say? Has he given you permission to open your school? If so, then that should be enough for you. Now you have to put in the work.

06-05-2001, 05:40 AM
He has given me permission to teach on my own and it is enough for me this was just an experiment. He went as far as to offer me finacial help to get started(althoug I declined, I want to build it myself it will give me a greater sense of acomplishment). I also noticed it was pretty common for Hong Kong sifus to start young(examples in above post). This was also my deffinintion of a Sifu but I guess many people don't see it that way. So maybe I'll continue to tell my students to call me sifu but "officially" call myself an instructor(I don't want to cause alot of problems over something so trivial). Good to see someone on my side! Maybe this is more of a southern style thing.

Witness the Dynasty!!!
www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com (http://www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com)

MonkeySlap Too
06-05-2001, 06:18 AM
I wouldn't woory yourself. I just kicked a student of mine out into the world, and at 22 with about 7 years of training, I'd put him up against 90% of the 'experts' out there.

Just train hard, train intelligently, be a good person, and train, train, train. Just avoid the ego trips.

You'll be fine. If you want to be called Sifu, and that is how you do it in your school, great. One thing you'll find in CMA is that no one agrees on anything.

Well, except for Shaolin Do is funny looking ;)

I am a big beleiver in luck. The more I work, the more luck I have.

06-05-2001, 07:19 AM
Sorry, don't see how Australia has attacked you the hardest. I am not sure of anyone else, but it looks like I am the only Australian who has responded, and I didn't intend my post to be an attack. I simply shared my views based on my experiences.

I have been in your situation and I know how hard it is. Trust me, I was 18 and only training for 4 years before I was given the responsibility of running a school. It is very daunting and yes it is hard to get credibility. All you can do is stick it out and build your credibility.

BTW yes we have our share of frauds, but probably no more or less than anywhere else.

What we do in life echoes in Eternity

06-05-2001, 07:59 AM
Dude if I were you. You put in the time, the sweat, the money and it seems as if you worked hard. You have been given permission to teach, so teach, but dont forget to keep learning.

You have more experience or just about the same as some of these Asian instructors that come over hear from Taiwan and Hong kong with less experience than you, but because they are in an extreme social and economic crisis they teach the little martial arts that they learned in their home land and come here and profress that they are sifus and masters in the art. I am in no way putting down Asians or those sifus that are asians and worked hard and put in their time.

Americans dont know the difference, they see some one that fits the stereotype and go head over heels for the stuff cause they fit the role; old, asian and can do some tricks.

if I were you nurture what u have learned, hold your head up high and teach, it will help you find the essence of your system and discover it and at the same time yourself.

Dont listen to criticizm to much, what matters is who you are, what you want to do and who you want to become. No matter where you go people will try to trod on you and put you down because they are jealous, envious and less talented. Be confident, but humble, sure and with a purpose and learn to make your system you, and learn how to use it so you can humble some of these people if you have to.

" Moss Never Grows on a Rolling Stone"

The Willow Sword
06-05-2001, 08:21 AM
I was a student from the age of 14 till the age of 26,,,,i then became a disciple. now i am 30,and still a disciple. i have been an assistant instructor for the past 4yrs or so during that time. i am now going to teach on my own. i am as jittery as a tick on a hot plate(texas,saying) do i deserve the title of sifu? i think not at this point. i will leave that up to my students to determine if i have earned that title,,,regardless of whether or not my SIFU gives me that title. he is now considered master and has earned it. i as of yet have not.
teaching is also a learning experience,,the more you teach the more you learn about your system and yourself as a teacher. SO,,if you have been given the opportunity to teach,,then teach,,and screw what these old fogeys say about it. be you a young prodigy? bruce was,,,,,,so were a number of others. title yourself whatever you wish to title yourself dynasty. hey if it is of ANY consolation to you I FULLY SUPPORT YOU TEACHING,,,as for the title of SIFU,,,,,what does YOUR heart tell you? what does YOUR ego tell you?
many many respects,,,willow sword

06-05-2001, 04:03 PM
I'm sorry if I am not being clear. It is difficult to understand how people will read into your posts.

What I am trying to say is that I understand what people who don't get along with a young instructor are thinking. By understanding these obsticles, you can deal with them. It is unfair to judge a person by age. I have been a victim to that. You get less respect, lower salaries in the work place, and your words are quickly dismissed. My post was harsh because these feelings are harsh.

My point is, keep perspective. You compared your training to 4 years of college, but when compared to the whole world of martial arts it more like the first four years of grade school.

As a side note, I trained with Yan Ming for a little over two years. A satisfying and highly educational drop in the bucket.

Keep beginner's mind, take your licks, and let yourself evolve.

06-05-2001, 05:35 PM
I realize 5yrs of training isn't much and I have alot of learning to do(by experience not forms collecting). It was't a question of credability more of battling stereotypes. I find it interesting that there are alot of people that started at my age too. Thanks for the support guys.

Witness the Dynasty!!!
www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com (http://www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com)

06-07-2001, 05:22 PM
Those that prejudge you because of your age are NOT WORTHY of your instruction, ShaolinDynasty.

Besides, you won't be 19 forever.

Do your students complain about your young age? I'll bet that they simply respect you straight up as a martial artist regardless of your youth.

06-07-2001, 08:01 PM
They need a devil's icon on this board...

As you know, I find nothing wrong with your age or you teaching. Also, I am not saying that Shaolin Dynasty actually believes what I'm about to rant about but a line in his post struck a pet peeve of mine.

He wrote: "It was't a question of credability more of battling stereotypes."

**rant on**
Well the question is one of credability because to battle stereotypes you have to change all of the type you are grouped with. Somewhere in not so distance past, we americans started believing that they could get other people to stop using their past experiences to make on the spot judgements.

If the question is "When is a Sifu of age" then the answer is, age doesn't matter. If the question is, "why can't I get any respect becuase I'm young" then the answer is because a large percentage of young folks are not responsible or mature and you have to deal with it.

People will judge you on what they have experienced and heard. It's human nature and it's actually a good instinct. If we had to start fresh on every interaction, we'd get no where.

Is it bad to be cautious because car salesmen are "sterotyped" as trying to trick you into paying more for your car then they would be willing to sell it for?

Of course not all stereotypes are good but nothing is absolute. (Taiji lesson there for you
:D )

I just get peeved at the victim mentality that is so prevalent these days. Life isn't fair and it won't be fair. If it was fair, there wouldn't be a food chain. Some will have to work harder then others. Not everyone can win. This is what makes life a challenge and enjoyable. Adversity brings out the best in humans and isn't that what kung fu is really about?

At least your situation is your choice. If you don't like being a young sifu, then wait till you are an older one. Nothing you alone can do will change the stereotype.

**end rant**

We can now return to our normally scheduled discussions.

06-07-2001, 11:23 PM
I wasn't complaining. I just used myself as an example so we would have something to base this conversation on. I never meant this to really be about me. The harder life is on me the better, hardship builds character. I never met someone pro sterotypes before, but whatever. Never said I can't get respect of anyone, just people I have never met face to face and that does't really bother me. I'll say it again I never wanted to be the topic of this disscusion I wanted to know what you guys thought of young Sifus in general.

Witness the Dynasty!!!
www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com (http://www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com)

06-08-2001, 09:23 PM
Ive been in your situation...and did teach for a while. But the thing is, when i was teaching i didn't have ALL the answers...and quite honestly i felt that although i was good fighter, i was by no means a Sifu. I felt like a rip off ****ty teacher... I felt like the people whom i was teaching deserved more, they atleast deserved the quality that i had recieved. The school i was in said i should teach... In the end i moved on and went back to being a student again (best decision i ever made). The whole "Sifu" thing is an ego trip if you not ready for it. You might need to do it though to see for yourself... After 1 year you will know.

06-08-2001, 09:26 PM
...oh yeah, and im from australia too, so that ATTACK came quite naturally. (We are all the same!!!!!) :rolleyes:

Sil Lum Palm
06-09-2001, 02:54 PM
I have studied Martial Arts for over 15 years of my life ( MMA , Boxing , TKD , a small amount of White Crane , and I finaly settled with the Southern Five Family Fist/Emperor's Long Fist styles), and I must say ShaolinDynasty, that yes I believe you may be very well qualified to teach. However, I do feel that to attain the name "Sifu" , it must be appointed by your Sifu. We have the 6-9 hours a day training at our school as well ( and it is called College Courses) and I believe it is a very effective method for producing great Martial Arts Instructors. The training that you get from being with yout Sifu and the Head Instructors for those long amounts of time is priceless. I have seen average Kung Fu stylist go from average to allmost stunning in 6 months of this kind of training. Chinese Medicine is taught as well in these classes, but takes another four years to get a degree.
I know it isn't required, but I believe to open your own school and be deemed a Sifu, that one must also have experience teaching in the school that they attend for a few years, and only then trying on their own. After the experience is there , and your Sifu approves, then you are ready. Doesn't matter what anyone else believes.

( and for the note: I am not an instructor by no means at all, this is just an opinion.)

06-10-2001, 09:37 AM
If you look at the word "sifu," or "shifu," in Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin respectively), you will see that there are two characters making up the word, and two ways to write the word using a different second character.

The first ("si" or "shi") means master/teacher. This character remains the same with both words.

The first "second character" means teacher as well, giving the meaning of a Master Instructor, implying someone who has really mastered his subject.

The second "second character" means FATHER, and implies a familial relationship as a father to his children...

This is what makes it tough to consider a 19 year old a "sifu" in the second sense of the word.

No matter how many years of training you have, and I don't doubt your skill at all, at the ripe old age of 19 you would be hard pressed to fully qualify for the first sense of the word either. You simply lack (as do I at 32) sufficient life experience both in teaching, training, fighting, and LIVING to present yourself as a sifu (and doing that is just kinda tacky anyway... "Hi! I'm Master Billy!").

However, and here is where I, without knowing anything about you, give you the benefit of the doubt and honor and respect whatever skills you may have, if your STUDENTS call you sifu without you telling them to do so, then you have earned it... Ultimately, the perception is in their eyes. If they feel you deserve it, then you do.

A TRUE master would never call himself one...

Matt Stone

06-10-2001, 07:40 PM
Dynasty, don't worry about the age. It seems to me that you have your teachers blessing and he feels you are skilled enough to represent his arts.
As long as you teach the best way you know how and continue to learn as best you can, you will to grow into these big "Sifu"
shoes. But, if you you feel, even for a moment, that teaching is distracting you from your own development, stop and assess what is most important to you. When you are most at peace with yourself, you will be most able to show the way to others.

Regards, Pete.

06-10-2001, 09:02 PM
My Sifu was only 18 or 19 when he began teaching, and he has been going strong at it for 27 or 28 years now. You are ready to teach when your Sifu says you are, if you have people come to your school who are uncertain of your credentials maybe you should post a letter from your Sifu showing your lineage. This would serve to demonstrate your abilities toothers and be a source of pride for you.

06-11-2001, 12:12 AM
Part of the reason for me to teach is the area I live in. There is (besides my Sifu) no other kungfu in the area. My Sifu is very busy with his muscle therapy center so I have been basically running his classes for the last year. He "certified" me to teach up to a certain point of the material. I still work with him teaching his classes but besides this I am begining to start classes of my own. My teaching has happened gradually over the past year. I did not wake up one day and say "time to start teaching". My fellow students have never questioned my ability to teach over this past year and my Sifu has said I am ready so that is all I need. If there were any better Kungfu teachers in my area I would not be teaching I would send my students there I only care about development in Kungfu it is not a matter of ego or money with me(Ibarley make anything anyway). I started teaching to give people in my area some better opportunities to train.

Bai He- I thought long and hard about it myself. I find that teaching forces me to analyze my techniques more and ask myself questions as a result I am learning more about myself and my style than ever before. When you teach you will also train more because you are always on dispay.

Tsui- Great idea but I teach at the local park district and in local parks(no rent!).

YiLIQuan- If you lack life experiance at 32 when will you have it? Also how old was your Sifu when he started teaching? How do you know if you have sufficient life experiance? These ideas are good but to abstract to actually base anything from.

Witness the Dynasty!!!
www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com (http://www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com)

06-11-2001, 12:42 AM
You must be very honored. Be proud and make your Master proud. Spread the seeds of good Gong-Fu in your area and turn out good students. That's how Gong-Fu stays alive.


06-14-2001, 04:30 PM
Northern mantis is slow right now, thought I'd check out this forum. You think being a Sifu is bad?. You have plenty of people who call themselves Master or GrandMaster with about the same amount of training. Personally I believe you shouldn't get the title of Sifu until you are at least in your mid 20's. I have been in Wahlum Praying Mantis for over 10 years training 3 days a week, and next year I will attempt my test. I don't believe skill goes with age. If you had a kid who was a expert marksman at 10 years old, would you let him carry a gun around all the time because he is an "expert"?. Of course not because emmotional inside he is still a 10 year old and will stilll act like a 10 year old. Get my point?. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: null

06-14-2001, 07:01 PM
You tell 'em Miami Mantis. :D :D :D

The title "Sifu" comes with age and dedication.it takes years to achieve such a geat deal undrstandng and hard work.It takes years to fully understand kung fu and the the theory of tachniques.That's why I feel I don't have what it takes to be a Sifu.

"Always be ready"

danny from miami
06-14-2001, 10:30 PM
only 3 days a week? tisk tisk..

06-15-2001, 12:01 AM
Why in the mid 20's?

Witness the Dynasty!!!
www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com (http://www.shaolindynasty.itgo.com)

06-15-2001, 01:14 PM
I believe by then you are emmotionally mature, and you can handle the business side of running a school. Being a sifu, people look up to you and will ask your advice on not only training but on other topics, as they respect your thoughts. :D :D :D

06-21-2001, 09:38 AM
FYI- i began my martial arts training when i was 9 y.o. in TKD. i am now 18 y.o. and have been training in the jow ga style for over the last two years. as a child myself, i would honestly have to say that at 19, one's kung fu skill and knowledge might be extraordinary! i actually have a sihing who is 1 and has been training kung fu since he was 4 y.o. under the same sifu. he's sure one hell of an instructor. but, theoretically, if i was to start over and meet him first, would i honestly consider him to be my SiFu? i mean he's barely old enough to operate a car by himself. much less buy a pack of cigarettes or a 12 pk of beer. not to take away from any of his aquired skills or knowledge of the world, but i honestly myself couldn't allow myself to be called a SiFu at this age. even if i was in it since i could first walk and talk. i am all for anyone, with the blessings of their sifu, opening up a school and teaching. but for your own sake, with that title comes the territory. either expect all the responsibilities of a sifu or leave that title in the closet for a couple of more years. also expect a lot more trouble headed your way for those ignorant enough to challenge your validity. good luck to you though and god bless you in your efforts.

06-21-2001, 09:42 AM
if a 40 y.o. man with 9 years of solid kung fu experience was mandated by his teacher to go out and start his own school, would you support or recommend him being considered a sifu if his sifu gave him this title? this is jus theoretical based on the question raised in this forum. (let's see what kinda responses we get now!)

06-21-2001, 12:50 PM
Most definitely - if he could fight effectively using the classical concepts of his chosen style.

The ability of a true traditional kung fu master is unmistakeable. Their jing is such that when they touch you, you KNOW.

If a guy can manifest such power, I don't care how young or old he is - I want to learn how to do the same thing.

06-22-2001, 01:16 AM
1st post Mysteri- I don't think buying beer and cigaretes(can do in this state legally, driving cars(can do at age 16 in IL) has anything to do with my Kungfu teaching. As a matter of fact if I was buying cigaretes and drinking beer alot that would have a negative effect on my Kungfu wouldn't it.

2st post Mysteri- That is one of my reasons for this post. I believe that the reason people object to a younger person using the title Sifu has just to do with the fact they feel more comfortable with an older person. Therefore people may go to a person with the same martial arts experience just because he is older. I do want to see more responces to that question!

Some of you guys have the wrong idea of a Sifu. A sifu shouldn't have or give you all the answers. A good Sifu needs to teach you how to search and learn on your own. There shouldn't be a point you stop learning/training and just teach. I believe your kungfu should evolve. This means there are many grades of Sifu. Some Sifu may have a higher level of kungfu than others but that is ok. The sifu's job is just to point the way. I believe that age or the number of years of training aren't as important as the Sifu's understanding of what he is teaching. I continue to learn from my Sifu and when my students have 5 years of experience I will have an additional 5 of experience added to me. This raises an even more interesting question if Kungfu is so endless how can even the best Sifu be considered "advanced".

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