Youth Student’s Corner
by Sifu Michael Prudencio-Brunello
Welcome back everyone! With the leaves falling and the weather getting colder, we head towards another fall, and another school year. In Kung Fu, this means classes will be back inside. After doing classes outside and on Zoom for so long, I wanted to remind everyone about our Kung-Fu etiquette: the rules we must follow to show respect and have a good class. Here they are!
Tip 1: Before Class
When waiting before class, remember to be respectful to your fellow students learning Kung Fu! It can be exciting to talk with your classmates but remember to wait quietly and away from the main entrance. Better yet, use those extra minutes to practice corrections from a past class, work on your strength requirements, or start stretching so you’re ready once class begins!
Tip 2: Bowing In and Out of the Kwoon
Each time we enter or exit the kwoon, we do a short bow. This is to show respect for the space that we are using to train. If you forget, that’s okay! We can all be forgetful at times. When this happens, or if an instructor reminds you, just go back to the entrance and bow.
Tip 3: Talking to Instructors
All the instructors have worked hard to learn Kung Fu, and now we want to help you on your journey! As such, we show respect whenever we talk to them or hear instructions. For black sashes, this is “Yes Sifu!”. For our brown sashes, we use Sihing or Sije, depending on if they are male or female. For all other instructors, we address them as Sir or Ma’am. Showing this respect lets the instructor know you are focused, listening, and ready to learn Kung Fu!
Tip 4: Paying Attention
When listening to the instructor, stay in your best closed stance! This means eyes forward, hands chambered back, feet together, and standing tall. When instructors see a strong closed stance, they know you are focused one hundred percent on Kung Fu.
Tip 5: Following Instructions
There are two different types of instructions in Kung Fu. The first one is when you are asked to do something – going into a stance, starting a form, or any other instruction to do Kung Fu. Make sure to get into position quickly and wait for the next instruction! The second type is when you are asked to move somewhere. For these, you say yes to the instructor (like “Yes Sifu!”), then move as fast as you can.
Tip 6: Working with Partners
When we work with partners, we always bow beforehand as a sign of respect. This tells the other person that you are going to work together to practice Kung Fu, using the teamwork and collaboration skills of the dragon!
The respect we have as Kung Fu students should extend beyond the kwoon, and into other areas of our lives. Make sure you know the rules of your school, of your home, and of other places so that you can always be respectful and show good etiquette.