Editorial: Grandmasters of Wing Chun?

Why must people call themselves a grandmaster? We have so many grandmasters now. Students who learn Wing Chun, set up their own school or club, and then call themselves grandmasters of Wing Chun should be ashamed. If these people are grandmasters, then who is Yip Man? Isn't he supposed to be the Grandmaster of Wing Chun? Even more than that, shouldn't the originator of Wing Chun be called the grandmaster of Wing Chun? Shouldn't it be enough for us to just to be satisfied to learn Wing Chun and call ourselves an instructor of Wing Chun, rather than grandmaster? If these instructors want respect, they should earn it, rather than by calling themselves grandmasters.

Does it really help with business nowadays to use the term, "Grandmaster?" Or does it confuse students more, because they wonder who the real masters are? If you are a good teacher, it will show, regardless of your claim that you are a master. So doesn't this overused term sound rather ridiculous? The misuse of the term grandmaster has created significant political problems within the In other arts, such as music, dance, drama or even boxing, teachers don't need to use extravagant titles. How many grandmasters can beat Benny the Jet or Mike Tyson? These people do not even call themselves masters, nor their coaches. I am sure people that love Wing Chun as an art are tired of those people that use Wing Chun wrongly and for their own selfish uses. They use Wing Chun as a tool to make themselves famous, rather than using Wing Chun for the good of mankind. People can still use the art of Wing Chun for business by decently teaching it as an instructor, like any other instructor in our school system.

We personally know better qualified teachers of the art of Wing Chun than these so called grandmasters. These qualified teachers, however, are humble enough just to call themselves teachers of the art.

-Yvette Wong

Note: July 1995
This editorial got us into some hot water with one grandmaster. We got yelled at for 20 minutes. Master Wang Kiu told me to send a a bouquet of roses to Yvette for the good editorial. Yvette was just trying to explain (her understanding of) traditional Chinese thinking.

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