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Family Terms in a Kungfu Family

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  • #76
    Dear Simui , what a beautifully mapped illustration of the Family Names, thanks a million to You and Sihing YinXian.

    Apologies Sihing YinXian, I should of addressed previously as Sihing and not Sipak, I think I have it now!

    Best Wishes

    Originally posted by Andrea View Post
    Und die deutsche Version:


    • #77
      Dear Sijatneui Andrea,

      I've often wondered about some of these, thank you for providing such a clear and comprehensive map!

      Last edited by Diederick; 27th July 2012, 10:40 AM. Reason: Got the kungfu name wrong after all :-)


      • #78
        Dear Shaolin Family and Guests,

        It is a good time to re-visit the proper forms of address such as siheng, sidai, sisook, sipak, etc. In the coming days I'll write some posts on this subject as well as some examples.

        If you should have any questions, please feel free to post them here.

        Best wishes,


        • #79
          Shaolin Wahnam Institute, like most genuine, traditional schools of Shaolin Kungfu, Taijiquan, and Qigong, are structure like a family. The master and teacher of the school is respectfully called "Sifu" (師父). Sifu literally translates as "Teacher-Father" in English.

          Sifu is regarded as a parent as he/she initiated the student into the school. Similarly to how a parent allows us to live as humans in this world, the sifu allows us to cultivate in the art. Thus, it is important to honour the Sifu like a parent for such an opportunity.

          It is important to note that the title of Sifu is considered gender-neutral. In other words, males and females would adopt the title of Sifu.

          To properly address one's own Sifu, one would directly address the teacher as "Sifu" without his/her name. If one would include the Sifu's name, it would be a sign of distancing oneself from him and could be considered quite disrespectful. For instance, my sifu is Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit. I would address him as "Sifu". It would not be appropriate for me to call him "Sifu Wong".

          There may be rare cases in which using the name would be appropriate. For example, if I were in the presense of two of my teachers, Sifu Wong and Sifu Ng, I would use their names to avoid confusion.

          Expressing oneself respectfully to the Sifu is beneficial to the student. It allows the student to best learn from the Sifu, conduct oneself in honourable and noble manner, and expressing respect and gratitude for the opportunity to learn and develop. Amongst many traditional schools, if the student cannot address his/her own sifu properly, he/she is not fit to learn.

          If there are any questions regarding this manner, please feel free to ask.


          • #80
            Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family

            Please find a quick update for the diagram of our Family names, based on Sigung's post from Dec 1, 2016. I will do a complete update changing the way the diagram looks when I have a bit more time.
            Please note that the naming for female family members of the generation of your Sifu and above changes, the names for your generation and bellow stay the same as we used before. Sigung asked me to mention that...

            "It was out of respect, rather than otherwise, that Hoong Hei Koon and his generation addressed Ng Mui as "sipak", and not as "siguma".
            Even now, to me, "sipak" sounds more respectful than "siguma". "Siguma" was the wife of one's sipak, whereas "sipak" was his or her sifu's elder kungfu sister in the same lineage."
            Adressing Shaolin Wahnam Family Members

            Sigung's post from December 1, 2016:

            I made a mistake regarding addressing family members, and of course it is not late to correct it. Chee Seen's students, like Hoong Hei Koon and Lok Ah Choy, addressed Ng Mui, who was Chee Seen's sijia (elder kungfu sister) as sipak (elder kungfu uncle) and not as siguma (elder sister of father).

            Hence, you should address the senior female kungfu sister of your sifu (kungfu teacher) as sipak, and the junior female kungfu sister of your sifu as sisook, and not as siguma and sigujie as we have been doing. For example, the students of Leo (Sifu Leonard Lackinger) would address Joan (Sifu Joan Browne) as sipak. Joan's students would, of course, address Joan as sifu.
            We are proud (in a good way) that we are one of the very few kungfu and chi kung schools today that keep this tradition, which, amongst other benefits, contributes to our effectiveness in learning and in everyday life. It is rude to call your sifu by name, whether talking to him or her personally, or talking to other people. Your sifu, who has brought you good health and happiness, is always addressed, with a sense of pride and gratitude, as "Sifu" when talking to him or her, and as "my Sifu" when talking to others.
            Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
            1st December 2016
            Enjoy some Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong!

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