As many have already heard, I was interviewed recently by Sinovision for a series on their English language channel. One of the first questions they asked me was “what should we call you?” My answer might surprise you? “David, my name is David.”
In the martial arts industry, there are a lot of bloated, pompous, stuffed shirt arse holes who wanted to be called big titles. When my billing company calls me, they ask for “Master Ross” because they are used to this community’s culture. But I always laugh. I know a complete jerk who insisted everyone that deal with him call him “Grandmaster.”…
Technically, my title is “sifu.” Unlike some of the above mentioned, I know I earned my title. I spent 16 years with the late Chan Tai San. I studied with him 6 days a week, traveled the country with him, and helped him administer his school and federation. I engaged in a very traditional ceremony called “baai si” (worship your teacher) in which I was formally adopted. While my teacher had engaged in this practice in China, I was the first American admitted from his American school.
The BIG DIFFERENCE is that I don’t expect anyone to call me “sifu.” For most people, I am not YOUR sifu anyway. And if you are a member of my school, call me whatever you want to. My name is David, but feel free to scream “hey you!” and I will answer to that as well.
Considering this, some might find it strange that the term “sifu” is used in my school. A lot of my students call me “sifu.” I didn’t demand they call me this. I didn’t ask they call me this. Eventually, based upon our relationship, they felt like calling me sifu. So, again, in another way I earned that title.
I love martial arts, but I hate the politics and bullcrap.
NOW GO AND TRAIN!