View Full Version : Eight Step Sifu Program

08-30-2000, 05:44 PM

I went to two different posts this morning and saw critiques of the Eight step Sifu Program. Perhaps if everyone has questions we should open a forum for them to be answered rather than distracting each other from the messages we originally went to see.

I have siscussed this with 8step sifu in the past, and he(she) is aware of my apprihensions to an "accelerated" training program. My sifu does not "test" us to see what level we are at. He does not award rank. My sifu has students who have trained with him for nearly 20 years, who are exceptional martial artists.... and he will not give his blessings to teach the style.

I would agree that this seems like a "commercialization" of kung fu, save for the fact that I have heard rumors that Paul ENg studied with Sigung Chiu Chuk-Kai for only six months, and he is the president of the CCK Alumni. This would either say a lot about Eng Sifu, or not much. But from my contacts in TCPM, I know that Eng Sifu's skills are nearly unrivaled.

While I will continue to remain skeptical of something like this "sifu program" I also canno't put my own reputation on the line by judging something I have not witnessed firsthand. If any of you would like to discuss this, I feel that this is a much better place to do so, than by destracting from anothers message by criticizing 8step.


Yeild and overcome,
Bend and be straight,
Empty and be full,
Wear out and be new,
Have little and gain,
Have Much and be confused.

Lao Tzu


08-30-2000, 07:02 PM

I guess I should have proofed this post huh?
My spelling is atroshus...

just kidding... I know how to spell atrocious! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif!!!!


08-30-2000, 09:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Taijimantis:

I went to two different posts this morning and saw critiques of the Eight step Sifu Program. Perhaps if everyone has questions we should open a forum for them to be answered rather than distracting each other from the messages we originally went to see.


Good idea!

my 2 cents

Let us keep in mind that this is America, most thing here revolve around money. Without this comercial slant to the systems there would be no schools, everyone would be in the parks and would have no "home" to speak of. I am not saying park learning is bad. But the general public thinks less of a school that only teaches in the park. No matter how high skill level the Shifu has. This is a western mind set, if you are so good why do you not have a school. To those who are committed to learning it does not matter where one learns, on a roof top, park, garage, ally. These students are the minority therefore generally cannot support a school alone. There are only a few people who can keep the doors to their schools open without some type of commercial play. I have notice some people not only here but on other forums are very quick to speak negativly on everything and everyone. Why are people so quick to see dark and ignore the light. If our 8 step cousins wish to have a Shifu program, so what, it is their school , their art, their thing, and not our business. If people spent more time, helping , supporting, postive aspects of things instead of the low points, we would be much better off as humans. There will be always something someone does not agree with that is human nature. If the amount of energy spent putting down people, styles, ideas, was spent in practice, and postive ventures , think how much better the CMA would be overall. There is somethig to learn in all styles, from all people, all ideas. When will we grow up and and stop the my dad can beat your dad BS, and wasting everyone time posting crap about others. Will it really make a difference, to the 8 step people how many post there are here about the Shifu program. It must work for some otherwise people would not go through it. I believe it is 8stepsifu, who says he is happy with it, if that is the case. Who are we to say that it is about money therfore junk. There are people here that study in a school that use belts, sashes, test, our system does not, it is their business, it has nothing to do with what I learn in the Tai Chi Mantis school. So why should I put them down, it is their choice.
Ok, that was more than 2 cents, and I feel like I am going off so in short...grow up, take care of your home, help when needed, we are all after the same thing, there are many paths to the mountain top.

Zai Jhin wode pengyous


08-30-2000, 10:46 PM
Thanx Shalin Mantis....
Think about it this way. For the public program, you are in kung fu high school. For the Sifu Program, your in kung fu college. For Sifu Camps (post Sifu Level) you working towards your doctorate. You are paying for education. Some people get their bachelors degree in two-three years working their tale off and some get it after 7 fun and easy years. Its your choice and no one pressures you into it. It anything they suggest that you don't do it because it's too hard. I was invited to do it based on my preformance, attitude, and persistence in the regular kung fu class. It's the perfect thing for some people and for other's they can work at their own pace and become a Sifu that way. The military makes soldiers quickly through hard intensive training, thats what the Sifu program is.

[This message has been edited by 8stepsifu (edited 08-31-2000).]

08-30-2000, 11:03 PM
I am not intending to be disrespectful here.

That is why I started this little thing...

My 2 cents:
I was a United States Marine. In 13 weeks of boot camp and subsequent 10 weeks of infantry training, I learned... well, how to be an *******...


8step...I want this to be a place for you to explain what you feel you need to, and ignore the idiots.

If it works for you good. I do it my way, you do it yours, you are probably a much better martial artist than I am anyway.


08-31-2000, 12:20 AM
here goes.

In two-4 years depending on how it's set up, you go through 5 grades of material with traditional endurances.
1. Punching-you learn power punching, throwing applications for all the eighths. Long forms, short forms. 100 rocking push ups
2. Kicking-power/speed kicking. Throwing applications to kicks. Must hold your leg out in different ways eg. strait out, like a side kick, hold it in your hand for 3 minutes and do 10,000 punches in 20 minutes. 3 minute falling stance and other tortures. 120 push ups
3.Throwing grade. Learn 40 throws, throwing applications, Long forms for throwing, Too many endurances to write down and excersices geared towards teaching throwing. Also basic groundfighting is taught. 240 push ups in sets of 40 (different kinds of push ups.)
4. Joint lock grade.- hand releses. hand controls, joint locks (chin na) with applications that go to the ground. 10 minute horse stance w/ weights. five hundred frog jumps. 500 crunches in 5 ways. 280 push ups. grip excercises.
5. Sets grade. Learn how all the above correspond relate, and work together. It all comes together at this point. learn 5 sets, two man sets etc.
(throughout this whole time the person has also been learning the 108 posture tai chi health set and Low set along with silk realing excersices and chi kung.
5th grade is hell.
150 single leg squats each leg. 30,000 punches in 1 hour. 400 of 8 kicks 3,200 total. 400 different kinds of push ups in sets of 50. hand stand push ups. 10 minutes of all previously mentioned endurances. 10 minute falling stance.
The following was a rough idea with some of the main things from each grade listed. There are far more excercises and work that go into this, but I hope you get a basic idea from this. Grades are anywhere from 3-6 months apart depending on when a person is ready to meet their next challenge. Or when Sifu says, "testing is in two months" then you groan, look towards heaven and start conditoning.

Each of the testings for the following grades start at about 8:00 in the morning and go till about 5:00 at night. You carbo load the night before and don't eat breakfast or else you will puke) For lunch time. Sifu goes to eat lunch at which time you do some major rehydrating, eat an orange and pop some more ibuprofin. Then more endurances and the tai chi set to give you somewhat of a chi boost. After the physical part is done you are tested on all the applications by memory. I think the idea is to get you to think when your at your physically and mentally weakest. Sometime towards the end your lips are white and your smiling from the endorphins and your sense of reality is somewhat warped. This is called, "happy time". Its really fun and from what I understand about the drug "extacy" the results are the same. Afterwards you go home, eat what you can and sleep. Sometimes you get too tired to sleep and you have to wait till your body stops vibrating till you can snooze.

After 5th grade testing you memorize all of the information that has been swelling you head for the past years, go to the national testing comitte and see if you pass or not.

Eat bitter, taste sweat.
One of the things I learned from this training is that the greater one's pain is, the greater they can enjoy life (balance of yin and yang) and that in kung fu a single second can be a lifetime, and a whole day can seem like a dreamy hour.
hope this gives you a peak inside the Sifu Program.

09-19-2000, 12:02 AM
I am going into 3 gold and see how tough it is going to be for just the phsical fitness and endurances. Are all done in sets or are they done straight through? I have been working out and find myself better shape than the younger kids. I will be in my middle 30's and feel great when I find myself beating the young ones but I know my time will come and looking at this level it is making me feel like it is. I have no intesions of letting up but it is very hard can you tell me how to prepare for this level. I have been studying my ass off but kind of ignored the physical part but not that much. thanks /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

09-19-2000, 04:35 AM
If you would like I have the whole 8 step sifu program on video. It has all the 8's the tai chi form. The added throws and stright sword forms, and applications. If you would like I will make you a copy? /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

09-19-2000, 10:10 PM
hey 6hmantis!!! Shove it up your ass for all I care. I would rather do it the right way and not take notes from a looser like you. You can show all you want. Do you really think Grandmaster will show us all. In order to get to the system you have to become a sifu. That is why schools are the way they are because of *****s like you. If you have a problem, then you should handel it in a more adult manner but obviously you are still a child and need to learn a lot.


09-20-2000, 01:19 AM
So do you want a copy????? I have videos of the GRANDDDD MASTER getting trained on doing throws..... Part of 8 step???? I dont think so.... You cult people should crawl back into your hole and leave well enough alone. You have no idea what I have in my archive. /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif So why don't you stick your head between your legs and go out for a chicken dinner. It's funny that noone has ever seen the papers that make your boss sole inheritor.... ohh yea burned up in a fire. Did it ever occur to you gerble boy that you're getting taken for a ride...Listen to what your own master is saying "I NEED A TWENTY YEAR COMMITMENT AT $100.00 A MONTH. AND AFTER 20 YEARS YOU WILL HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION ON 8 STEP, AND I WILL BE RICH"
Do you want to know something BOY?! I got all the information on 8 step by e-mailing people who know who you people are. They gave me videos on the real 8 step Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Not this pack of bull **** lies you cult people are trying to push off on people.....Luv Ya! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

10-08-2000, 05:36 AM
I do respect the fact you asked the question with out putting in alot of B.S. I am currently working towards my fist Gold Mantis and it is an ass kicker. i have receive a ton of stuff and not only does it take the time to learn all of of it, but extra time working to try to even remember it. MOST stlyes do work on a belt or sash sytem and when trying to get a stlye semi-popular do you have to wetsernize it (for lack of a better term.) It is not easy by any means and once you fo pass your Sifu test you still have to learn alot to stuff. Once you reacj Sifu by no means does it end the learning process. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

05-19-2001, 07:53 AM
Not to be disrespectful or take any ones side but 6hrmantis says he has a tape the grandd master being trained on the throws! I will have to agree with him for i have the same tape! it is a suai chiao master from china correcting the throws in the san fran school with t.j stone i know this because i tapped it! master sun is being showed the right way suai chiao is executed I just wanted to clearthat up thank you for you time P.L.U.R


Located in Buffalo, NY.

Teaching 8 Step Praying Mantis Kung FU, Shyun style Tai Chi Chuan, Jin Gon Tzu Li Gung, Qi-Gong

05-20-2001, 07:06 AM
I don't agree with what you said, because just because someone comes into your school and shows you the "correct" way to do something doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. We've had people come into our school and have showed us the "correct" way to kick or punch. It's a different way to kick or punch, but not necessarily the correct way to do it not to mention that it's very disrespectful to go into another school and do so. I think your arguement there is very weak and shouldn't be taken into any consideration at all. This arguement is silly and should be stopped. We come here to prosper in knowledge. Not to attack each others credibilit

05-20-2001, 11:12 AM
From several of your posts, it seems that you are saying that people gain the rank of "sifu" in the 8 Step Praying Mantis system (as if it was actually a rank, hehehe) *before* they actually learn everything from Grandmaster Sun... This is what I have inferred from the wording of a few of your posts, so if this is wrong, please tell me. So you are a sifu in the 8 Step Praying Mantis style, but you have yet to finish your studies under your own sifu? Is this correct?
I am not implying that somehow you are "not a sifu" or that your skills are lacking because of this, it is just something that, if true, I find very strange.

Also, to Taijimantis:
While I have not met him personally, I have heard from several of his students (and students of other sifu) that Sifu Paul Eng is very good. Apparently he only claims to teach Praying Mantis, but he has trained under Wong Jack Man and other masters of non-Mantis styles.

cha kuen
05-21-2001, 02:11 AM
Talking to sifu Eng he says that he can only truly pass down with confidence northern mantis and hung gar. He's also practice tai chi since he was eight but does not claim to be a master of the style. He grew up with southern but has concentrated on mantis for the last 30 years.

05-21-2001, 04:45 AM
how is it strange? You can learn to play the piano well enough to teach it, but your no mozart.

You can learn high school physics, but you no Einstein.

When your a Sifu, your training is just begining. Thats learning the basic martial arts that are the foundation.

Especially with eight step, there is lots and lots of information there. Sifu IS a level. There are levels after that. I don't know how other places work, but being a Sifu means that you have met the mental and physical requirements and know all the techniques that you are required to know. It means that you understand the tai chi, and have learned and practiced professional teaching methods.

Take the world lightly, and your spirit will not be burdened. Consider everything minor, and your mind will not be confused. Regard death and life as equal, and your heart will not be afraid.

05-21-2001, 07:55 AM
Well I find it strange because apparently we have different ideas on what being a "sifu" really is. I follow the more convential Chinese belief that being a sifu simply entails being a member of and playing a role in a specific relationship (this is in the martial arts sense, not in the general usage sense). Also, if one is a sifu, that implies that one has finished learning all that one can from one's sifu (and thus has attained the rank of sifu himself). Sure, there is still more to be learned, but that type of learning is more like revelations to be uncovered under personal practice and exploration of the art, things that cannot or should not be learned from another person. What you believe is markedly different from this "definition." From what you have said, I am inferring that you believe that being a "sifu" is a rank, much like being a "1st Dan" is a rank in TaeKwonDo. There are other ranks after that (could you please elaborate on what those ranks are? I am very interested to hear more about your particular views on this subject) which denote greater "master" or skill. Also, from your other posts it seems to imply that, although you are a sifu, there are still things you need to learn from your own sifu. And these are not "hazy concepts" which can only be grasped through practice and reptition (e.g. heightened sensitivity, greater ease in controlling an unwilling opponent, etc.), but they are specific and categorized techniques and principles which can be directly shown and taught. If anything, then it seems that my previous comparison that you believe that being a "sifu" is similar to being a "1st Dan" is very apt. Being a 1st Dan simply means that one has mastered the basics, there are still more techniques and more concepts to learn from your superiors (which is why there is a 2nd Dan all the way up to 10th Dan).
Is what I have said indicative of your attitudes/beliefs on the subject, or have I gone off the deep end completely?
Please understand that I am not trying to "bash" you or say that you are "wrong," I am simply trying to understand your point of view on the subject. My view is not "right" and your view is not "wrong," they are simply different.

05-21-2001, 03:06 PM
What is a "Golden Mantis"? A form?? Rank?? I have never heard of this before.

"It's all the same; Only the names have changed........."

06-15-2001, 07:39 PM
gold mantis is the americanized version of 1st grade, "black belt if you will" .......simply levels incorporated into americanized thinking of learning or goal setting to help americans feel like their learning and getting their knowledge for their money! please dont take this as negitivity it kinda sounds that way but I mean it nicley I too rank my students in levels! i hope this answers your question thank you


06-16-2001, 06:39 AM
A think a lot of confusion is based on a chinese way of learning vs. americans attempting to learn their way! As japanese karate became popular in the u.s during wwI americans took what they learned overseas and attempted to make it exceptable by americans. One example is the different colored belt system! the belt in japan is designed to hold the (gi) uniform together and thier pants up "if you will" all belts are black. When a student ties and unties his belt several 100,000 times the belt wears out and turns to white, so with the idea of the higher in training you go the darker the belt, was never put into play until it hit the states. as far as a sifu program one of james sun lifetime goals was to spread 8 step to as many people as he could to prevent the system from becoming extinct, like so many great styles which have become lost in todays world. however if his dream turns into a "black belt factory" and the quality of learning weakens, then unfortunatly the integrity of 8 step will weaken with it. people use the term sifu like the do "master" and to be a master means one cannot learn any more in his art for he has mastered every technique! I beleive no matter how you are, you are always learning! thank you for my 2 cents as they say


Hua Lin Laoshi
06-17-2001, 09:19 PM
I've always heard the opposite concerning tradional belts in Karate. You start with a white belt and, since belts aren't washed, the dirtier (and darker) it get's the longer you have been wearing it (practicing). Thus a 'black' belt means you have spent many years training.

I agree with you about a Sifu playing a specific role but I think you're limiting the Sifu title to specific knowledge. A Sifu is, technically, a teacher. As such he has sufficient knowledge and experience to take on students of his own. This does not mean that he has learned all that his Sifu has to teach. There can be different levels of Sifu. In Wah Lum we have Sifus operating their own schools yet are on different levels of the curriculum. What they have in common is that they all reached at least the minimum level of profeciency to allow them to teach. I believe you should never reach the same level as your Sifu, or learn everything he knows, since that would indicate that he has not progressed or improved the whole time he was teaching you. Unless circumstances prevented him from continuing his training like permanent injury or health reasons.

06-18-2001, 05:55 AM
what you said is true! my mistake , what I meant was that after one reaches a certain level you complete a circle and return back to the basics, meaning after the dirty belt has been tied and untied it returns back to white. My point was that the ranking in between i.e colors was an american influence to satisfy impatient students but Im glad some one out there knows the truth! and I agree with your statement of shifu meaning (teacher/father) not learning all that his shifu has to teach him..... however your last staement of your student should never surpass you in skill, my teacher says that if your teaching is great, your student will one day be better than you, you will then know you have taught them the best that you could holding nothing back.....you mentioned wahlum how is master chan pui? I ve had the pleasure to train with him very breifly on my trips to goldenrod road!!!!


Hua Lin Laoshi
06-18-2001, 09:07 PM
I was a little off in that last part of my post but didn't have time to think it out and put it to words. The student should strive to surpass his Sifu in order for the system to progress. I was thinking along the lines that a Sifu should be continuing his training and advancing the same as his student. If that's the case then the student should never equal or surpass his teacher. But then that's in an ideal world I guess.

Master Chan is doing fine. We're all looking forward to him leading us through another exciting tour of China. If you like you can e-mail me your name and I'll pass on a hello.

06-19-2001, 05:51 AM
Shifu Michael Haley tudi of Shyun Kwan Long from taiwan kungfuusabuffalo@cs.com thank you


09-04-2001, 03:48 AM
hey 6secmantis you little ****** you talk **** about my sifu and good freind mike! Im comming down to hamburg and waiting for you outside your office real soon! Im gonna break your ****in fingers so you wont be able to type any more lies about anyone you inbread ******!who the hell do you think you are? and as for talking about his wife, Im sure you wife would love to hear that! if you can get her to stop sleeping around on the reservation long enough! watch your back Im dead serious