A moment of self-indulgence.
One of the main principles I have always kept strong in my schools is that of believing we are a family, in the same way as Sifu means teacher/Father, Si-Gung meaning teachers, teacher/Grandfather, and that we are all Kung Fu brothers and sisters, all, part of one big family.
And it is this principle that has helped us through the toughest times as well as the happy times.
Over the last thirty years I have been blessed to be part of so many occasions with my students (AKA family), through such good times as birthdays, wedding, new-borns, work promotions and academic success etc., as well as the lowest of times such as redundancies, ill health and even burievements.
But through thick and thin I have always been there for my students, feeling sad when they are sad and happy when they are happy, but above all of this I carry an immense sense of pride for each and every one of you.
It is true that in my schools I teach by invitation only, by that I mean, all are invited to take our beginner course but not everyone is successful in continuing their training with me afterwards.
I am not looking for the best of the best, like a super-school, simply those students of good character and who wish to learn for the right reasons.
I’ve always been a little miffed by institutions such as RADA, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and the like, ‘Schools of excellence’ as they would refer to themselves as.
Well of course they are!
Because you’ve got to be a bloody genius to get in the damn place!
A school of worth to me is a place where they take someone who can be as thick as a church door but be turned into a genius.
Only taking a student because they show promise is a cop out to me, a good teacher should ‘make’ a student not just look for one with immediate promise and then go and stick their label on them.
The reason for this selectiveness is simple, we are inviting you to join our family, and as I have already mentioned, this is a very special thing to me.
I am priveledged to know that if I need to talk to my Sifu, that he would be there for me, that I could confide in him with anything and I trust him completely, something I am not sure if all students are aware of with their teachers.
Speaking for myself, I am not a superhero but a human being, and, on occasion I can get it wrong (not very often I must admit, as I am actually quite awesome 🙂 ).
So the point I want to make is that if you are feeling distant from your Sifu or ever feel you are not getting the attention you require (and this DOES NOT mean that you are being needy), then talk to your teacher about this, get in touch, see how things are going.
I’m okay by the way, this is not a cry for attention. LOL
I simply mean that sometimes it may be hard for the teacher to contact every student, certainly if they have a large school.
For instance, let’s say a teacher has 100 students, that would be a lot of phone numbers for that teacher to remember, whereas for the 100 students, they only need to remember 1 number.
If I ever appear to give more attention to one of my students at any time, it does not mean I feel any less to the others, so to all of my students I ask that you do remember, I am always here for you and I miss you all some much during this crazy time.
Not like you would miss a family, but because you are my family.
I am so proud of everything you have done and continue to do, for sharing your knowledge in the pursuit of helping others, keep up the good work!
Much love to you all and your families, stay safe and we will all be together again soon,