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Disciple Ceremonies[edit]

I am doing research on kungfu disciple ceremonies, but have not found any pages describing the traditional ceremony, the steps, and the purpose/meaning behind each one. If anyone can direct me to a website that can provide a detailed description of the ceremony, I'd greatly appreciate it. If they are really keen, they can transcribe it over to Wikipedia :) JJJ 20:41, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Becoming a Master[edit]

Hi everyone, how do I go about requesting a page to be written? I am looking for some insights on a concrete definition of a 'kungfu master', and how does one become a master. Has anyone come across such documents or can write about it? My curiousity arises from the frustration that anyone these days claim to be a 'master', but I believe only a fraction of those deserve to have that title. What are the qualifications and is there a governing body that certifies masters? JJJ 20:37, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

@Jjjchang: I realize your message is some years old, but I hope I can help. You've pointed out the crux of the issue, though. Some martial arts have governing bodies that may have standards for who is called "master," while others do not. Meanwhile, "kung fu" is itself an extremely broad term; in the English-speaking world, it typically means any Chinese martial art. But again, the problem becomes that anyone can call themselves "master so-and-so," and there's not necessarily any underlying qualifications or regulation there. So there is no formal or objective definition. this name is also in use 23:26, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Mandarin vs. Cantonese[edit]

I removed the following:

Google returns 18 thousand hits for the Mandarin spelling of shifu, but returns 124 thousand hits for the Cantonese spelling of sifu.

This information belongs here, on the talk page. ✏ Sverdrup 18:12, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I was just trying to imply sifu is overwhelming more common than shifu at least on the Internet. Kowloonese 18:21, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)
And thats simply because the English google has always favoured places who use the language more often, if that was not obvious by now. At least 1.25 million people on earth know what "shifu" is. How many would know what is Sifu? I would propose switching all these martial arts terms to their Mandarin equivalents.--Huaiwei 10:50, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There are probably much much more Chinese-speaking people identifying 點心 as Dian Xin rather than Dim Sum.. :-) — Instantnood 17:32, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
That its true. Perhaps we should rename that one as well, wont you agree? ;)--Huaiwei 29 June 2005 05:09 (UTC)
Be bold then. ;-) — Instantnood June 29, 2005 07:35 (UTC)
Haha. I love your sense of humour. --Huaiwei 29 June 2005 07:46 (UTC)
Well, I'd say Shifu is less popular in the English world, and that's no doubt. -- Jerry Crimson Mann 29 June 2005 11:54 (UTC)
It depends on what you want to do here. If this is a translation of a Chinese encyclopedia, then the spelling and contents should be based on how Chinese people write English in China. However, if this is an English encyclopedia, then the contents and spellings should be based on how people in the English speaking world use the term outside of China. The word "Sifu" is used widely in Chinatown, not "shifu"! How the word 師父 is used or pronounced in China is relevant ONLY in China, not in the US or in Britain or other English speaking worlds. The argument about Dim Sum is an good example. Dim Sum has already become a English word, it has its unique meaning and usage in English speaking countries. The word Dim Sum was derived from 點心, but it is no longer the same word. In the US, Dim Sum means Hong Kong Style 點心, not necessarily the wider definition of "dian xin". Trying to write about "Dian Xin" in an article titled Dim Sum is inappropriate at least in this edition of wikipedia. I grew up in Hong Kong and I am a Chinese American. My Chinese side understands what is in your mind, but my American side disagrees with what you try to do here. Perhaps no one can blame you when you have no idea which word is an English word derived from Chinese verses which word is just a transliteration of a Chinese word. The former has become part of English language with its own etymology and history and may or may not mean exactly the same thing as its origin. I propose that this article should be about what "Sifu" means in English speaking countries, not what 師父 or shifu means in China. Kowloonese June 30, 2005 00:32 (UTC)
I want to point out that the majority of Chinese immigrants in English speaking worlds were from Southern China. Mandarin speaking Chinese immigrants did not come out until China opens its emmigration doors in the late 1970s or 1980s. Since Hong Kong was a British colony, Hong Kong emmigrants had very strong Cantonese influence in the English usage on Chinese terminologies especially in all the British commonwealth countries such as Canada, Australia etc. The fact that there are more Mandarin speaking people in the world does not change the Cantonese influence that has already become part of the English language. It is not about which has more, it is about what got in first!!! Kowloonese June 30, 2005 00:49 (UTC)
1/18/08 (dont really know how to add to this page so im just editing this post...hope thats ok)
shifu, to the best of my knowledge most correlates to the word "master" in English not "teacher"; it is important to differentiate between the two. English word wise, all "teachers" teach, yet not all masters do. While you can call all teachers a master it would be incorrect to assume that all carpenters teach. There is not a duel relationship. Also I believe shifu has been used in china the same way "comrade" was by the USSR. **Remember when a word gets translated the translator cannot but impose their own beliefs gathered from their experience of the world. A translator that has only experienced the word "shifu" in relation to martial arts where masters of martial arts often do teach, can foreseeably come to the conclusion that it has the same literal meaning as that of the English word "teacher". A martial arts master is simply a master who teaches, hence the confusion.**
"Your American side"? This isn't the "American" Wikipedia. I can understand that Dianxin is any kind of snack in Chinese and that Dim Sun is something specific in English, but Shifu is not a dish. It's a foreign concept, which doesn't exist in English. Sifu doesn't have a different meaning in English. Customs change. Some years ago, there was hardly anyone referring to the capital as Beijing. Shifu is becoming more known due to Kung Fu Panda. There is an upcoming third movie. -- (talk) 18:37, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

Other related terms[edit]

Are there terms for younger sister or older sister? In Korean wuxia or Korean translations of wuxia, the words samae and sajeo are sometimes used. Kjoonlee 06:25, 2004 Dec 6 (UTC)

Yes there are. — Instantnood June 29, 2005 07:35 (UTC)
Well, what are they?
Sijia and simui for older and younger sister, respectively. Siku for an aunt. Siku nai nai for an aunt a further generation up. Simo is the sifu's wife. Sichut is anyone a generation lower than oneself. --Fire Star 00:20, 27 December 2005 (UTC)


Just curious, was the language in this article always this awkward? I fixed some of it, I wonder why it wasn't fixed earlier. -- Natalinasmpf 17:26, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I wrote the bulk of the original article in awkward English because English is not my native language. I am glad that you copyedited out all the awkward parts. That is the beauty of wikipedia, I provided the contents and you rewrote it in better form. Thanks for the collaboration. Kowloonese June 30, 2005 00:57 (UTC)


I suppose it's the the same characters for that meaning. It's 師傅... :-) — Instantnood 18:06, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

Actually are 師父 and 師傅 different? For Kung Fu or other martial arts it's always the former. For the slang usage it's usually the latter. — Instantnood 18:41, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
I see both 師傅 and 師父 are referring to "master (worker)" in my dictionary. Additionally, the word one would also refer to a monk or nun. -- Jerry Crimson Mann 18:49, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC).
Are 師父 and 師傅 having the same meaning? They usually serve different meanings don't they? — Instantnood June 29, 2005 07:35 (UTC)
According to Wiktionary and do not have the same meaning. 傅 does not mean father. — Instantnood June 29, 2005 15:16 (UTC)
Well, Chinese characters cannot be examined individually in this case. In fact, 師父 is the corruption of 師傅, probably influenced by the word Simo (Sifu's wife). The latter one should be more appropriate in a sense. -- Jerry Crimson Mann 05:43, June 30, 2005 (UTC)
Logical.. but in current usage the two are serving different meanings, aren't they? Nobody would call a taxi driver 師父.. or no 徒弟 would call her/his kung fu master 師傳. — Instantnood June 30, 2005 09:12 (UTC)
I agree. Half of the broader sense of 師傅 is actually off topic here. The other half which means the same as 師父 is okay. Actually 傅 means teacher.
According ancient literature, 師 and 傅 were different rank of officials in charge of educating the crown prince in some Chinese dynasty. Modern usage of 師傅 more are for the "skilled master" sense than the "teacher" sense. On the other hand, 師父 is only used in the teacher sense. Kowloonese June 30, 2005 20:21 (UTC)
What I recognised is like in contemporary usage the meanings of 師父 and 師傅 only overlap partially. — Instantnood July 6, 2005 08:22 (UTC)
I am a native Chinese and quite new here. But here's what I know about these two phrases in morden Mandarin: you never call you teacher in school 师父 or 师傅, but simply 老师. Even in pre-PRC times, as far as my literature readings show, one would not call his teacher in school 师父 or 师傅; they would use again 老师 or a more contemporarily popular 先生. What i came across in ancient writen Chinese is that they addressed their teacher of education as mainly 师. I think I'm making things complicated. My apology and I will put it as follows: 1. 师父 refers to those who teaches you other things than literary education. He may be a craftsman, a monk (like how Monkey King addresses Xuanzang), or a man from any walks of life. 2. 师傅 may not necessarily refers to a teacher. In fact, many Chinese like me distinguish 师父 and 师傅 quite sharply. I would only use 师傅 when I address some craftsmen or drivers who possess a certain kind of skill and live on it. 3.I am almost 100% sure your teacher in school would get annoyed if you wrote a letter, addressing him/her 师父 or 师傅, though the former can be comparatively less annoying. There's a strong tradition among Chinese intellectuals that they be distinguished from those who labour to live. Not a good one though. Chrisliu (talk) 18:57, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing this out. Please feel free to amend the article to reflect the specifics of northern usage. If you know of a good Mandarin dictionary or grammar that mentions this, listing it (or them) as a reference would be very helpful. --Bradeos Graphon Βραδέως Γράφων (talk) 18:23, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Gweipo, Gweimui and Gweijai are all included in the Gweilo artcle. I don't think it's necessary to open new articles for Sigung, Sibak, Sisok, Sihing and Sidai — it's just superfluous. -- Jerry Crimson Mann 30 June 2005 05:43 (UTC)

You are suggesting that they be merged into one page?--Huaiwei 30 June 2005 08:53 (UTC)
Very likely... =.= -- Jerry Crimson Mann 1 July 2005 14:13 (UTC)
I created these separate pages expecting someone will fill in more contents to make each worth its own article. I feel that these martial arts school relationships can have much more meaningful contents than just Gweilo, Gweipo, Gweimui and Gweijai. Your examples are just variations of the same name given to foreign according to their gender, age etc. However, Sifu, Sigong etc. can be very complex and when you merge them all into one article, it may be very easy to mix up. For example, Sibak and sisok ("school uncles") are genderless, e.g. "school sisters" of your "school father" are called "school uncles", not "school aunts". However, Sihing and Sidai (school brothers) is named different from Simoi (school sisters). I have no objection if you can merge them neatly without mixing up the family structure. Kowloonese July 1, 2005 22:22 (UTC)
I think they should all be merged either here, or to a Chinese martial arts school article. (talk) 12:01, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
These have been merged here. (talk) 13:49, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
These have now been unmerged. You can not just merge articles as you see fit, they have to be proposed with a merge tag, etc. And you circumvented the proposed deletion process by doing that, which clearly stated they had until the 4th. Likewise, the tags called for deletion, expansion, or soft redirects to the Wiktionary entries. That material is totally out of place here. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 18:15, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Do you know how PROD works? PROD says that if you can fix by merging, go ahead and do it. Which I did. See the discussion above here, where it says that this article may be appropriate place to merge them. (talk) 08:52, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
The discussion was from 2005, and no consensus was demonstrated for merging as per Kowloonese's last statement on the matter. Its completely out of place to throw all those terms in this article, it would be more appropriate in a general article on Chinese terminology. Either way, once it was moved to Wiktionary, the proper course is a soft link redirect to the wiktionary page. I'm quite familiar with how things work here, I've been editing here since June of 2005. And watch the attitude, lest the conversation start to violate WP:Civil. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 15:44, 2 January 2009 (UTC)


can someone writeup wiktionary entries for these terms? (talk) 13:54, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

If you bothered to actually read the tags at the top of the pages before you did your merges, they already were copied to Wiktionary. The process calls for a soft redirect to those pages, not to here. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 18:27, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
If you bothered to check I had them transferred (I {{dict}}ed them) to Wiktionary. AT WIKTIONARY, transwikied articles need to be fixed into proper wiktionary ENTRIES. Aside from that, there are terms on this article which weren't transwikied. (talk) 08:53, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Watch the sarcasm, it violates WP:Civil. And I see you're using multiple ip's, I would advise registering for an account, as it makes it easier for the regulars to know they're addressing a single person. When the pages were moved to Wiktionary, the process then became:
  • Expand it beyond a dictionary article and remove this notice.
  • Tag it for deletion.
  • Replace it by a soft redirect.
Not merge it to this article against consensus. If you had wanted to merge the articles, the correct action would have been to post merge tags first on all the articles and direct people to the old discussion here. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I think at this point the soft redirect to Wiktionary pages are the proper way to go. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 15:52, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

In Popular Culture[edit]

Would the fact that Shifu was the name of a featured character in some Stargate episodes (wiki entry as reference) warrant a popular culture mention? --MikeZ (talk) 12:41, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


The article states: Sifu (Cantonese Chinese) or shifu (Mandarin Chinese) (or shih-fu) is the identical pronunciation of two Chinese terms… "Sifu" and "shifu" aren't "identical" pronunciations, one's pronounced "sifu" and the other's pronounced "shifu". In fact the word "or" says that they're different. So are they "identical" (both sifu or both shifu) or not? (talk) 00:09, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

According to Google translate, they are shīfu and shīfù so in combination there is no ambiguity either. The article could do with pinyin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Female variant[edit]

The article lacks a mentioning of the femail variant (Si Mu); maybe a link to a different article, or at least a small paragraph explaining this. The master's wife should be distinguished from the a female master. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alfe (talkcontribs) 08:42, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

No, females are also Shifu. You just coined a word mixing Mandarin and Cantonese, very wrong. -- (talk) 18:13, 9 June 2015 (UTC)


The Vietnamese article Sư phụ is the equivalent... atư phụ...

We'll leave this to someone else to add under See also, if desired...

(We're a Vietnamese family... we read the article!)

Best from deep rural northern Thailand,

Ken & Thu Huong & Carlton Phuong Minh


KenThuHuong (talk) 14:16, 26 November 2017 (UTC)