The NOT-So-Complicated KUNG FU Family Tree | Kung Fu Genius Ep. 2


So many people are confused about
Kung Fu family terminology I think it’s time to set the record straight who’s your Dai Si-Hing! So today I’m gonna talk about Kung Fu family terms things like Si-Fu, Si-Hing, Si-Gung, and what those things mean so you can make sure you’re using
them correctly and if you’re new to the Kung Fu Genius channel please hit the
subscribe button and also don’t forget to turn on notifications. By the way the
response to my first video about “Grandmasters” was overwhelming. Thank you
so much I really appreciate it. However I do need to make an apology. Someone got a little salty about one of the frames that I used. The frame with Steven Seagal
was supposed to say “Come on Gene LeBell” But I accidentally wrote “Come ONE Gene
LeBell” Sorry! I just started learning video editing last week which you guys can probably tell from watching my video. So I apologize! Anyway… so the dude who
got really salty about that there’s my apology! OK so now let’s get into Kung Fu family terms. First thing I gotta say is all of the terms are contextual. They’re based on your relationship to the people in your
Kung Fu family. There is no such “rank” as “Si-Gung” there’s no such “rank” as “Si-Jo” and “Dai Si-Hing” is not a thing [STOP IT] I’ll talk about that in a moment. so there’s a lot to go over so I’m gonna take and sip my Cuban espresso and we’re gonna do this real fast… so Kung Fu family terms begin with the
Si-Fu The Si-Fu is the hub of the school. All familial relationships are based on your relationship to your Si-Fu. Now before we get into the other
terms I need to address the fact that they’re actually two Chinese terms for
“Sifu” and even some Chinese people get these confused occasionally. So in order
to make it a little more straightforward in English we write one without a dash
and one with a dash and I’ll explain that. When we look at them side by side
you’ll notice that the first character is the same however the second character
in both of those terms is different they’re pronounced identically the same
which adds to the confusion. When we look at the first version that second
character “fu” means something like “expert” or “coach”, and when we look at the
one with the dash the second character means “paternal” or “father” so we use the
version without a dash as a title for any expert in a blue-collar trade like
blacksmithing, a chef, taxi driver and yes of course martial arts. The second one
with the dash we use for YOUR personal mentor in
martial arts or blue-collar trade YOUR Si-Fu in your school goes by this term.
When we use the version for expert we’re using it as an honorific for a Sifu of
another style or perhaps someone outside of your immediate Kung Fu family and to
use that term correctly you should always use their surname. For example
“Sifu Smith” if that person happens to be surnamed Smith. If they’re Chinese, you
should put their surname before the title as in “Leung Sifu”. But for your own
personal mentor you would just use “Si-Fu” and not use their surname. These
rules keep it kind of simple the one with the dash is for your own personal
mentor however when you’re using the title to respect somebody of another
style or another lineage you will add their name to it. So back to your
immediate Kung Fu family – you are the “tou-dai” of your “Si-Fu”. “Tou-dai” means
direct disciple, but your Si-Fu would most likely not call you this they would
call you by your name or come up with some cheeky nickname. Now you would
address any male seniors under your same Si-Fu in your school as “Si-Hing” and
seniority in a Kung Fu school has nothing to do with biological age it
just has to do with when you go to school. So this means even if someone
started one day before you and quit one week later and you go on to do Wing Chun
for another twenty years, that quitter is still your “Si-Hing”. Obviously there’s a
lot of room for abuse in this system and I must also be noted that “Si-Hing” does
not mean “assistant instructor” it literally just means someone who started
before you. Thinking that “Si-Hing” means something like assistant instructor is a
common mistake among Western Chinese martial art practitioners. More likely
than not, the assistant instructors in your school are your Si-Hings, but not
all of your Si-Hings are assistant instructors. So, just like you have male
seniors who started before you, you also have female seniors who started before
you as well and they are your “Si-Je”, and you may have male students who started after
you and these would be your “Si-Dai” just as you have female students who
started after you and they would be your “Si-Mui”. By the way, some Hungarian
Wing Tsun people made up a term called “Si-Mei” for some kind of senior female or
something this is a total made-up term don’t use it. So, just like many things
Chinese, there are hierarchies within hierarchies: the first male student of
your Si-Fu you would address them as “Dai Si-Hing”. Now before we go further, I have
to address this thing as well. Dai Si-Hing is not some “Super Si-Hing Title” which
means like super assistant instructor. As I explained before, Si-Hing doesn’t even
mean assistant instructor. However a lot of people think that Dai Si-Hing means
something like “head assistant instructor”. Dai Si-Hing literally just
means you are the first student in your Si-Fu’s school, and that’s what people in
that school only would call you. The entire world is not obligated to call
you Dai Si-Hing, so therefore don’t use “Dai Si-Hing” on your Facebook page as your
profile name. As a matter of fact, calling yourself “Dai Si-Hing” as a title is even
more arrogant than calling yourself “Sifu” when you’re not a Sifu, because it
implies somehow you are the most senior Kung Fu brother of everyone EVERYWHERE. So, just like you have a Dai Si-Hing, there would be a second male student who
joined your Si-Fu’s school which you would call “Yee Si-Hing”, and then the third one
would be the “Saam Si-Hing” and so on and so forth. And you also have this on the
female side with Dai Si-Je, “Yee Si-Je”, and “Saam Si-Je” however this is
quickly becoming a lot less common. Many modern Kung Fu schools have lots
of students so it’s hard to count them all by number. This was a lot more common
in the old days when a Si-Fu would just adopt a handful of disciples. But if
a Si-Fu has been teaching for twenty or thirty years, the very first couple
students may not even still be actively participating. Therefore this practice of numbering “Si-Hings” is a bit archaic. So just like, you
of course you Si-Fu also has a Si-Fu, and that person you would call “Si-Gung”. To
your Si-Gung you are the “Tou-Suen” And of course your Si-Gung has a Si-Fu as
well, to which you would address as “Si-Jo”, however, some schools prefer the term
“Si-Taai-Gung” and this is just a matter of preference between the various schools.
In many Wing Chun lineages, you usually use the term “Si-Jo”. Of course you Si-Fu
may be married as well and even if his wife does not do any martial arts, you
would address her as “Si-Mo”. And if your Si-Fu happens to be female, and she has
a husband that does not do martial arts, well you would address him as… well
people are not a hundred percent sure about this but an acceptable term would
be “Si-Jeung”. Your Si-Gung may also be married, and you would address his wife
as “Si-Taai”. Si-Taai normally knows all the gossip. Your Si-Jo may be married as well, and in Mandarin they would call her “Si-Naai”,
however, this is a total insult in Cantonese, better you call her “Si-Taai-Po” So, just like you have seniors and
juniors, your Si-Fu also has seniors and juniors as well. Any senior Kung Fu
brother or sister to your Sifu you would address as “Si-Baak”, and any junior Kung Fu
brother or sister to your Si-Fu you would address as “Si-Sok”, and this is
regardless of whether they’re male or female these “Kung Fu Uncle” terms are the
same regardless of gender. And we can go one generation higher to your Si-Gung.
You would address your Si-Gung’s seniors as “Si-Baak-Gung”, and you would address your
Si-Gung’s juniors as “Si-Sok-Gung”. And we can go one generation higher than that.
You would address your Si-Jo’s seniors as “Si-Baak-Jo” and you would address you
Si-Jo’s juniors as “Si-Sok-Jo”. Now the founder of a martial arts style is
normally called “Jo-Si”. And if you take the two characters for Jo-Si and you
reverse the order, you coincidentally get Si-Jo, or the Si-Fu of your Si-Gung and that’s
your useless Kung Fu trivia of the day. And that is the not so complicated Kung Fu family tree. By the way, if you check out my shirt, this is from 36 Styles, they have the best apparel for Kung Fu movie fans. This shirt here is “Dik Lung”,
classic Shaw Brothers legend, most of you guys know him as “Ti Lung”. He was actually
Wing Chun guy in real life. Go ahead and check out 36 Styles – they have tons of
designs for tons of movies, totally awesome and I’ll see you guys next time!

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