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  • Family Terms in a Kungfu Family

    Hello Everybody!

    As you may have noticed, I've posted titles for addressing members withing a kungfu family. In this post, I hope to help those who are unfamilar to make some sense of it all. I'll be using an example of a simple family tree I've created to help explain.

    The example family tree is depicted in the image attached to this post. Here's an explaination of the family tree diagram:

    The different levels from top to bottom are the different generations. The top most level is the oldest generation and the lowest is the youngest generation. For example, let's say Gam Dai Bou is the 3rd generation of their school. Therefore, Michelle LaFluer would be 4th generation and Mohammed Lalji would be 6th generation.

    In each generation, the most senior is on the rightmost end and the most junior is on the leftmost side. In the generation containing Michelle, Artur, Marc, Jesusa, and Minh, Michelle is the most junior and Minh is the most senior.

    Beside each name in paranthesises is the gender of the person. The letter M refers to male and the letter F refers to female.

    In this example, let's focus on John Smith and what he would address everyone else on the tree. Please note I will be using Cantonese terms using romanisation methods that Sifu uses and the Yale system. The ones in paranthesises are the Yale romanised version.

    Gam Dai Bou is John's Sigung (Sigung) or Grandmaster.

    Marc McMillan is John's Sifu (Sifu) or Master.

    Minh Nguyen is John's Sipak (Sibaak) or Senior Uncle*.
    Jesusa Cortez is John's Sikuma (Siguma) or Senior Aunt*.
    Artur Rutter is John's Sisook (Sisuk) or Junior Uncle*.
    Michelle LaFluer is John's Sikujie (Siguje) or Junior Aunt*.

    * note: seniority is relative to John's Sifu.

    Kentaro Kobayashi is John's Siheng (Sihing) or Senior Brother.
    Svetlana Mironov is John's Sijie (Sije) or Senior Sister.
    Zhu MeiXiang is John's Simui (Simui) or Junior Sister.
    James Doherty is John's Sidai (Sidai) or Junior Brother.

    Sanjay Bal and Mohammed Lalji are John's Toudai (Toudai) or Students.

    Jane Meadowfield is John's Tousoonlui (Tousyunneui) or Female Grandstudent.
    Joseph Green is John's Tousoon (Tousyun) or Male Grandstudent.

    That's it! I hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
    Last edited by YunXiang; 16th October 2004, 03:17 AM.

  • #2
    Family Terms in a Kungfu Family

    Please can you tell me? Si Heng Michael Chow!

    What is the different between Si Heng, Si Dai, Si Jie, Si Mui and Tou Dai?

    I wonder because I have get private message from a student, telling me that I have use wrong title, that I should use Si Heng instead of Si Dai!

    Thanks
    Last edited by HugoDarien; 9th November 2006, 04:08 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello, Sidai Hugo,
      I know I am not Sihing Michael Chow, , but I try to answer your question.

      Those who learn from the same teacher become the students (Toudai) of the teacher, and it is said they join the Kung Fu Family of the teacher.

      Sihing = Senior Brother, he who studies from Sifu earlier, regardless of age.
      Sidai = Junior Brother, he who studies later,
      Sijie = Senior Sister
      Simui = Junior Sister
      Tou dai = student; for example you are Sifu Wong's Toudai.

      In general, it is the time of when one learns for the first time, regardless of age, to determine who is more senior or junior. There are exceptions, but the exceptions are very rare, so you do not have to worry about the exceptions.
      In case of those who are classmate, (join the Kung Fu Family at the same time), then the older one in age becomes the Senior.
      Brother Maxime is my classmate when learning from Sifu in April 2005, hence he is your Sihing, not your Sidai, as you learned from Sifu later, in 2006. (I noticed you address him as Sidai in another thread, that is perhaps the reason you received that PM).

      From your Sihing,
      Joko
      Last edited by joko; 9th November 2006, 06:35 PM.
      开心 好运气
      kai xin... .......hao yunqi... - Sifu's speech, April 2005
      open heart... good chi flow... good luck ...
      ------------------------------------------------------------
      Have we not opened up thy heart ...? (The Reading, 94:1)
      ------------------------------------------------------------
      Be joyful, ..and share your joy with others -(Anand Krishna)

      Comment


      • #4
        Family Terms in a Kungfu Family

        Originally posted by joko View Post

        Sihing = Senior Brother, he who studies from Sifu earlier, regardless of age.
        Sidai = Junior Brother, he who studies later,
        Sijie = Senior Sister
        Simui = Junior Sister
        Tou dai = student; for example you are Sifu Wong's Toudai.
        OOO Thank You so much Sihing Joko for your so good help, this - your help really clear some clouds that I had in my mind, about how to call people in this forum!

        Originally posted by joko View Post

        Brother Maxime is my classmate when learning from Sifu in April 2005, hence he is your Sihing, not your Sidai, as you learned from Sifu later, in 2006. (I noticed you address him as Sidai in another thread, that is perhaps the reason you received that PM).

        From your Sihing,
        Joko
        Yes it was why I get the PM, that was not from my Sihing Maxime! Before I believe that my Sihing were the teachers of the regional courses, but now that I know I said, to you Sihing Maxime PLEASE FORGIVE ME

        I hope that whit my questions I am not unrespectful!

        1. Now I wonder, if it doesn't matter which of these dialects, one should use in this forum?

        Cantonese
        Cantonese (Yale)
        Mandorin(Pinyin)

        2. And I wonder too! If which of these 3 ways, are the best or the most respectful to use in this wonderful forum? Or maybe it doesn't matter?

        Sihing or Si hing or Si Hing
        Sidai or Si dai or Si Dai
        Sijie or Si jie or Si Jie
        Simui or Si mui or Si Mui
        Toudai or Tou dai or Tou Dai

        3. My last question is why here:

        http://wongkiewkit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2896

        I can read titles whit numbers to example:

        si1 hing 1 and si1 dai6

        Just wonder!

        Have every body have a nice day!

        Your Brother:

        Hugo
        Last edited by HugoDarien; 11th November 2006, 12:36 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello, Mike. I"ve always appreciated coming back here to look up the titles and terms, especially for the Shaolin Wahnam members in Japan (who are culturally very concerned about respect and proper address etc.). Thanks for your excellent work in this thread.

          I do have one question which has come up recently:
          is there a special term for "cousin"?

          There is one participant in my recent Japan courses who is a male student of one of my sidai's. In this case, what would my student call him?

          If you know the answer to this, I would appreciate learning more about this.

          Thank you.

          Best,

          Emiko
          Emiko Hsuen
          www.shaolinwahnam.jp
          www.shaolinwahnam.ca

          INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
          Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
          4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
          Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
          Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
          Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
          Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
          To apply, send email to: secretary@shaolin.org

          Comment


          • #6
            I, too, had a question about family titles.

            I learned directly from Sifu at a regional course. So, I call him Sifu. That makes Anthony my Sihing. But what do I call Anthony's students to be respectful? If it is broken up like a family tree, then I would be their uncle. However, they are all senior to me in ability. Is there a term for Senior Niece/Nephew? Or would I call them Sihing/Sijie?

            Thanks.

            -Matt

            Comment


            • #7
              Hello, Emiko. Thank you for your kind response. I am glad to hear that you and your students have benefited from my work.

              Regarding the "cousin" (i.e. classmates of the same generation with different teachers), they would address each other like "siblings" (i.e. use either siheng, sijie, sidai, or simui). Please note that the seniority of the teacher is not a factor in determining the seniority between cousins. The rules for "kungfu siblings" apply for "kungfu cousins".

              As a reminder for everyone, here are the general rules in determining seniority:
              • Whoever has first learned from the teacher/school system is most senior.
              • If it is uncertain who had learned first or they learned at the same time, then the student with the higher attainment is senior.
              • If seniority cannot be determined by who has learned first and attainment level, then seniority is determined by birth age. The older student would be more senior.

              I hope that helps.

              Best wishes,
              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                Greetings, Matt.

                Technically speaking, they would still call you si-sook (i.e. junior kungfu uncle). Even if your nieces and nephews are more advanced, they would still call you "si-sook".

                The term for "kungfu nephew" and "kungfu niece" is "si-jat" and "si-jat-lui" respectively.

                Best regards,
                Mike

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you, Mike.

                  That was most illuminating. I will pass this on to my students in Japan.

                  Best wishes,

                  Emiko
                  Emiko Hsuen
                  www.shaolinwahnam.jp
                  www.shaolinwahnam.ca

                  INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
                  Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
                  4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
                  Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
                  Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
                  Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
                  Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
                  To apply, send email to: secretary@shaolin.org

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you, Sifu Michael. I've been wondering about this, too.
                    Chris Didyk
                    Shaolin Wahnam USA


                    Thank You.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Michael Sipak,

                      Many thanks - you answered my question days before I asked it.


                      Best wishes,
                      George / Юра
                      Shaolin Wahnam England

                      gate gate pāragate pārasaṁgate bodhi svāhā

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        'Quick question'

                        Hello!

                        Please would someone help a Scotsman pronounce the term for 'Senior Aunt'?

                        Many Thanks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jamie Si Pak ( not sure if this is right, feel free to correct me)

                          shi gu ma in pynin is shi1 gu1 ma1

                          the 1 stands for the first tone, witch is a high tone that stays high

                          have a look at this:
                          http://www.newconceptmandarin.com/su...tro_Pinyin.asp

                          in fact its quite hard to wright down the correct pronounciacion in a few words.

                          smile from the heart
                          Kingmonkey
                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          He who knows much about others may be learned, but he who understands himself is more intelligent. He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Many Thanks!

                            I'll practice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally post by Kingmonkey
                              Jamie Si Pak ( not sure if this is right, feel free to correct me)
                              Si Pak means elder uncle. Darryl, Jamie's Sifu would be called like that. So, strictly said as we are talking about the family tree Jamie can't be your Uncle.

                              As I am your Sifu, Jamie would be your honoured Siheng I think.
                              "From formless to form, from form to formless"

                              26.08.17-28.08.17: Qi Gong Festival with 6 courses in Bern:
                              Qiflow-Triple Stretch Method-12 Sinewmetamorphisis-Bone Marrow Cleansing-Zen Mind in Qi Gong

                              Website: www.enerqi.ch

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