View Full Version : Kung Fu Etiquette - Starting class/training?
09-19-2000, 04:44 AM
Depending on the character of the school you study at, ettiquette for bowing in/out of class, training with fellow students and so forth really differs.
My father studied with some fellow retired members of the local chinese community at their homes, and ettiquette would start with tea.
Not having studied in a larger school before, I wonder if we could discuss the way classes are formally started and ended in different schools?
Also, what ettiquette do you use when pairing off with fellow students?
Thanks in advance!
09-19-2000, 04:50 AM
I generally greet teachers with a firm, friendly handshake and a sincere greeting. In my experience, the Chinese find this acceptable and appropriate. It's usually the goofy white guys in silk pajamas that want you to bow to them.
I also shake my sparring partners hand before and after going at it.
Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics
09-19-2000, 08:00 AM
Haha! I'm with you water dragon! What I'm looking for are any ceremonies for starting and finishing classes in various schools.
I'm assuming a majority of folks are practitioners of nankuen, and would like to compare similiarities if possible.
Once again, thanks for playing!
house of chang
09-19-2000, 08:22 AM
at my school we salute on and off the training floor as well as saluting in and out with fellow students. the salute starts with the right hand in a fist and the left hand closing over the right (this is started at waist level, hands in front), then you bring your hands up to your heart and extend them towards either the school symbol (coming on and off the floor) or towards the fellow student while simultaneously extending the right leg (similar appearance to a right medium cat stance with the legs) then the salute is completed by pulling your leg back, your hands back and back down to your sides. i attempted to explain this as simply as possible but it appears to not read well. sorry, i did my best. our salutes are meant to show respect for our training hall and respect for our fellow students. that's the extent of it; there's no bowing to any statues or to our instructor (we salute him at the beginning and end of each class).
house of chang
09-19-2000, 08:25 AM
oh yeah, and as for saluting fellow students, it's only done when we're either sparring together or working techniques together. O
09-19-2000, 01:47 PM
In general we bow/salute to our sifu when we enter and leave the school. We bow to all students. We bow to the alter when entering and leaving the school.
When class is about to start we all line up and bow to sifu then the alter.. Same thing at the end of class.
09-19-2000, 03:53 PM
We bow toward the alter upon enter and leaving the kwoon. We also bow to sifu. I usually make eye contact with him and say "hello, sir,", then bow. We also bow to each other in the class when we spar, or when someone has been working out with us, or has been training us. Also, when we spar, at the end of the match, we shake hands after we bow to each other.
09-19-2000, 04:10 PM
First, we slightly bow before we get on or off the training floor. Class is formally opened with a long bow in for the advanced class, and a short bow in for the begginers. The bow tells a story, and is a good reminder of what the art should be used for. We perform the same bow we began with in closing the class.
When greeting or leaving any instructor we salute and say "Os".
Wehn sparring, you are expected to both bow and shake hands with your opponent before and after a match. Our school generally gives the opponent a good hug too. (As much as to use their weight to stand as it is a gesture /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif )
When pairing off for technqique work we salute briskly to each other signaling we're ready.
If you pr!ck us, do we not bleed? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that the villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. MOV
09-19-2000, 06:12 PM
I recently (2 years ago) started up my own school for combat-oriented Tai Chi Chuan. One of our first problems was a lack of respect from our students during class. They were very good at calling us Sifu, and bowing to each other before sparring or hand-pushing, but when I would lecture the advanced students would start talking to each other. We disclipined them with push-ups and the like, but still had a lot of complaints from beginning students. I also had problems with them coming late and entering noisily en-masse.
My partner has 18 years of martial arts training from many many Japanese styles (me teaching him Taiji was the first Chinese style he had ever learned). Most of his Japanese training was very formal.
I learned Taiji through the University of Utah from a laid back instructor who didn't get into any ceremony at all. But we all gave him our undivided attention and respect, since we were already in an environment where it was expected.
We had never wanted to get into a whole lot of pomp and circumstance, but we couldn't afford to lose any beginning students or to kick out the advanced students, so something had to be done. I read on Wong Kiew Kit's website his guidelines for showing respect (which is what an opening and closing ceremony essentially represents). He stated that most kung fu instructors don't really care whether you respect them or your dog more. Why you should show respect is that it helps with your learning in the course by developing a disciplined mind.
I adapted these rigid guidelines for our school and spent a good hour one day going over them with all of my students, and haven't had much of a problem since. If you're interested, these guidelines are posted on my site: Dragon Studios (http://www.dragon-studios.net).
Our loose opening ceremony comes after our warm-ups (since I still have students who need to buy a watch). I am also a Hatha Yoga instructor, and we've adopted the Namaste (I honor the divine in you) greeting into our bows. Part of warm-ups includes the Yoga series, "Salutation to the Sun" which ends with a "Namaste" bow. Once this bow is given, class has officially begun and all students should be in a disciplined mind-set. At the end of class we all gather in a circle and "Namaste" bow-out as one.
Without going outside,
you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window,
you may see the ways of heaven.
The ****her you go, the less you know.
In my class, I keep it informal but there is a level of respect that is expected and non-negotiable. I have never had a problem with the class as a whole on this but with one or two select individuals it has been a problem. With them, the less respect and the more disruptive they are, the less attention from me they get. They also find that their classmates resent them quite a bit.
In my teacher's class, respect and decorum was expected. Martial etiquette was discussed but it was the senior student's job to make it happen. If there was a problem, the senior students got the talking to. Also, if there was a problem, my teacher would just frown and leave. This only happened once...since everyone knew our teacher would rather not show up at all than deal with a class that did not know how to behave.
This one time, the lesson that came out about etiquette stressed "You show me respect because you respect yourself. If you respect yourself, it is easy to respect others."
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