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Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by Snark, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. Snark

    Snark Green Belt

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    The Sifu, his son and the students

    A Sifu taught and his students studied with him every day. The Sifu also had a son, who whilst still a small child, had learnt a small portion of his father’s kung fu but there, the son’s learning along with his interest stopped.

    The Sifu died and his son, after the many people attended his father’s funeral and paid reverence claimed the mantle of his father’s school.

    The son had a vision and confidence and dictated a new curriculum, consisting of his own remembered knowledge. In order to secure his position, the son requested all the students respect him as if he were his father. Those students who agreed with the son’s vision were rewarded with titles, honours and gifts by the son.

    However, some of the old students still followed the teaching of their deceased Sifu and tried to continue the old way of doing things.

    This angered the son and whilst smiling and telling all of his benevolence, he did everything in his power to make these students leave the school and stop their activity.

    The son thinks he is doing the right thing by keeping his father's school running, the students think they are doing the right thing by following their sifu's ways... and both blame the other for any fracture.
     
  2. now disabled

    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    I know nothing of wing chun but was this a recent thing or something that happened a while ago?
     
  3. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think this story has played out in more arts than WC.
     
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  4. Marnetmar

    Marnetmar Black Belt

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    Jesus traditional martial artists are pretentious.
     
  5. Snark

    Snark Green Belt

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    Good sir,
    I challenge you to handbags at dawn.
     
  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    This story has played out so many times in so many arts and individual schools.

    Then there’s the publicly and formally appointed heir when there’s no son to pass it along to, and several disagree with the decision or contest the validity of the heir’s claim.

    Then there’s no formally appointed heir and people claim they were appointed in a private conversation with the deceased founder or subsequent successor.

    Then there’s an uncontested and rightful heir that slowly starts making changes that people don’t agree with and people start leaving over time.

    Uechi Ryu
    Goju Ryu
    Kyokushin

    All immediately come to mind without hesitation. And they’re easily the tip of the iceberg.

    Once the head honcho dies, the only thing that anyone can absolutely count on is some people won’t be happy for one reason or another and will eventually split. I’d bet my life savings on there’s never been a regime change without at least one person leaving.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  7. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    For me this is an easy one. Follow the training, not the bloodline.
     
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  8. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Black Belt

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    What's good about this sort of thing is that in a style like Wing Chun, we have a lot of choices regarding how and with whom to train. What's bad is that people want to argue their legitimacy over everyone else's and just won't let it go.

    Let it go!
     
  9. Snark

    Snark Green Belt

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    It's kinda sad this sort of thing happens at all, but I guess it's just people.
     
  10. Snark

    Snark Green Belt

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    When should you let it go?
     
  11. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Black Belt

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    I'm not sure that I understand your question. Care to clarify?
     
  12. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    Well now would seem to be a good time, the school no longer meets your exspectations, leave and find some where that does !!!! Much as you would if your favourite restraunt started selling bad food,
     
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  13. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    This.

    Ultimately, what are you loyal to, and what are your goals?

    If you are loyal to the style or the old Sifu, honor them by continuing what you have been taught.

    If you are loyal to yourself, your abilities, and your continued improvement as a martial arts athlete/practitioner, then maybe it might be time to explore other options.
     
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  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I’ve not had this kind of experience.
     
  15. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Yes, but that works both ways. I really like my teacher. He’s not perfect and I don’t worship the ground he walks on, but his teaching ability is beyond my usual expectations.

    My teacher isn’t getting any younger. Let’s say he gets sick and can no longer run the dojo. He’s got to appoint a successor. His successor will be different; good different, bad different, or neutral different. It’s impossible for his successor to not be different. When that day comes, some people will leave. They may not agree with the direction the new instruction is heading, they may not agree with dojo policy changes, or they may feel resentment that they weren’t the one chosen.

    There are several people who my teacher could turn the dojo over to today. I’d give every one of them a legitimate chance, but there are a few people who I wouldn’t foresee being a student under for long. One or two of them are great MAists and very good at teaching people individually, but they’re not good at running an entire class. One or two are great at teaching the kids, but not the adults. Others may shift the emphasis of training. If one of these people took over and it went the way I anticipate it, I’d leave. It wouldn’t be a bitter separation on my part; I’d just politely tell them it no longer fits with what I’m after.

    The head of my organization isn’t getting any younger either. He named his son as his successor several years ago. When the time comes for him to completely relinquish control, I’m sure there’ll be some people leaving. It’s just the nature of the beast.

    Things change, and people change. Not all splits are one-sided stubbornness nor full of animosity.
     
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