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Thread: Teacher Titles

  1. #1
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    Teacher Titles

    If you are a kung fu instructor, what title do you go by: sifu, coach, master, grandmaster, Mr./Ms.? Why have you chosen this particular title?
    Richard A. Tolson
    https://www.patreon.com/mantismastersacademy

    There are two types of Chinese martial artists. Those who can fight and those who should be teaching dance or yoga!

    53 years of training, 43 years of teaching and still aiming for perfection!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

  2. #2
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    Shifu means Teacher Father.

    Why would you call yourself anything other than teacher.

    People that call themselves masters or grandmastes are deluded. It is a title that other use for you, not yourself. Deluded twats.

    practice more and stop calling yourself by false names.
    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

  3. #3
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    My Sihing and I always just went by our first names.

    In recent years, we picked up more students that are native Chinese speakers. They just naturally call us Sifu, so we just go with that now since we're all Chinese anyway.

  4. #4
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    You don't get to choose your title. Your social role, the situation, and the people around you determine that.

    I've been called "coach" here in the USA, but I prefer people use my first name. I prefer peer-to-peer over teacher-student, as usually most people I've "coached" usually have a skill that I want to learn as well. The benefit to this is that everybody learns, and nobody expects payment.
    "I'm a highly ranked officer of his tong. HE is the Dragon Head. our BOSS. our LEADER. the Mountain Lord." - hskwarrior

  5. #5
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    Way too many as shat here in the USA who are calling themselves things that would NEVER be said.

    You want to call yourself a master, be prepared to be called to the mat and showcase all that you have mastered. Most of these fools could not find their behinds with a flashlight and a map.

    Lame and sad.
    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

  6. #6
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    too many people want to be a martial arts master without mastering the martials arts.
    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

  7. #7
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    "boss" with a western drawl Cantonese accent.

  8. #8
    I tend to feel that if my actions do not inspire others to say my name with respect, then no title will solve that problem.

    I understand the use of sifu, just not big on being called it.

  9. #9
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    I'm good with Dave.

    David is also good.

    I do have certificates that say I'm an instructor though!!
    lol. They're buried in a closet somewhere upstairs....
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  10. #10
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    I originally started this thread because this past weekend one of my Chinese instructors referred to me as a "master" when speaking to another individual. I felt honored that he would compliment me in such a way, but I don't use those types of terms when referring to myself.

    Most of my adult students address me as "Richard". One always addresses me as "sifu" because of his past training in another guan.

    I expect my teenage students to refer to me as "Mr. Tolson". Since, even at 56 years of age I still address my seniors as "mister" or "ms".

    I hate the term "coach". Maybe if I taught volleyball or boxing, but not for TCMA.

    After 46 years of training, I do feel that I have mastered a few skills. Yet, referring to myself as a "master" seems arrogant. Though other trades, art-forms and at least one sport refers to highly accomplished individuals as "masters". So, I don't think that using the term is necessarily wrong.

    BTW, I refer to my instructors by the terms "sifu" or "master" depending on those overhearing the conversation in public and by their first name in private.

    Thank you for the feedback!
    Last edited by mooyingmantis; 06-05-2014 at 04:51 PM.
    Richard A. Tolson
    https://www.patreon.com/mantismastersacademy

    There are two types of Chinese martial artists. Those who can fight and those who should be teaching dance or yoga!

    53 years of training, 43 years of teaching and still aiming for perfection!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

  11. #11
    1. A teacher, instructor or coach all appropriate.

    2. if you teach for a long time or for more advanced classes

    senior instructor is also appropriate.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooyingmantis View Post
    I originally started this thread because this past weekend one of my Chinese instructors referred to me as a "master" when speaking to another individual. I felt honored that he would compliment me in such a way, but I don't use those types of terms when referring to myself.
    Well, if you're introducing or referencing yourself, you just go by name. You don't introduce by any title that students might call you.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooyingmantis View Post
    BTW, I refer to my instructors by the terms "sifu" or "master" depending on those overhearing the conversation in public and by their first name in private.
    Traditionally, the student always uses the term Sifu, whether in public or private.

    Culturally, I would never be able to call my teacher by his first name.

    No different than how people expect youngsters to say Mr. or Ms.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Dugas View Post
    People that call themselves masters or grandmastes are deluded.
    I was in a Catholic church English class when I was young, during the introduction, I said, "I'm Mr. ...". Everybody was laughing.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 06-05-2014 at 09:23 PM.
    http://johnswang.com

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    When I was in a Catholic church English class when I was young, during the introduction, I said, "I'm Mr. ...". Everybody was laughing.
    One of my Japanese friends told me she was embarrassed that a karate instructor introduced himself with, "I'm Sensei ..."

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