Sifu is a Chinese term meaning "teacher" with the additional connotation of father. It is a term of great respect and is commonly used to address one's martial arts instructor. In old China martial arts were often taught within the family. Many Americans are familiar with the equivalent Japanese term, sensei.
Sifu, in our kung fu system (see Mo Duk Pai), is pronounced "see-foo", though I have heard some people say "shur-foo", which is the Mandarin pronunciation. The title is awarded to a second degree black belt by his or her teacher.
My sifus are Sifu Chris Hosman and Sifu Patty O'Linger (who, by the way, are married). The wife of a sifu may be properly addressed as sima (see-mah).
Visit the Mo Duk Pai web site.
Close this window