What is a Shifu?
The Chinese term Shifu (Sifu) means “Master Teacher”. It refers to a serious practitioner of the martial arts that has demonstrated both a high level of expertise in application and proficiency in instruction.
A Shifu, however, is more than someone who trains, instructs, or oversees the in-depth training of an art. They are master guides who are passing on not just the techniques and forms of the art, but more importantly, the traditions and philosophy of the art as a way of life.
How To Find The Right Shifu?
The very first step in finding a teacher is to recognize that all teachers are there to assist to the best of their ability in getting you headed toward your defined goals. You can only benefit from teachers who manifest the skills or attributes you seek. If you are going to learn from a teacher, they need to exhibit from within themselves the characteristics you are seeking for yourself.
Teachers can help you find what you desire but only you can master what you find.
As you search for the right Shifu it is important to recognize that in learning these ancient arts there is a difference between knowledge and knowing. Where knowledge is information that is gathered from the outside, knowing is understanding the growth that comes from within the self.
“A great teacher awakens in the student what is inherently there. That’s why it is called the wisdom that has no teacher. It comes from within. At best a teacher is a facilitator of knowing rather than a conveyor of knowledge. Zen Master John Daido Loori
Who is Shifu Adrian?
Shifu Adrian continues on a more than 30-year journey of intensive study and coaching of multiple internal and external martial arts systems. He draws on his knowing to develop a practical, comprehensive system of programs that enable students of all ages, fitness and skill levels to increase their core energy, enhance their skills, and attain vibrant health and fitness.
Shifu Adrian has been fortunate to have trained with some of the great masters in the lineage of Tai Chi, Secret Yang, Chi Kung, Hsing-I, Bando Monk, Zhan Zhuang, Kung Fu and Shorinji Kempo.
His mastery of these ancient arts has enabled him to become a teacher/coach that embraces the meaning of “Mind, Body, and Spirit.” He comprehends that the mind from a disciplined, and meditative state drives all the experiences of energy, vitality, and relaxation for the practicing student; that the body is the vehicle and must be maintained in a state of health and strength; that this combination leads the student to a re-connection with their spiritual nature.
As a coach, Shifu Adrian helps the student understand that to attain the defined health benefits, levels of mastery, and feelings of meditative relaxation of these arts requires time and commitment. These systems may be referred to as gentle and relaxed but that does not mean easy. It takes time, repetition and guided expertise to adequately learn the movements to gain the required efficiency that leads to obtaining the health and martial benefits.
Shifu Adrian’s unique methods of teaching focus on the principles of the arts rather than just the forms. This aids new students in overcoming the common feelings of frustration with remembering the movements and instills a clear recognition of their progress.
His extensive knowledge of the disciplines, principles, and application of these arts allow for specific training of internal techniques that most benefit the individual student’s needs and desires.
The internal martial arts journey is never about a victory over opponents…It is all about the victory over self. Much can be said about the health and martial benefits of internal systems but for Shifu Adrian, the real value in these ancient systems is what the teacher can assist the student in learning about themselves. That it’s all about the student’s journey within themselves; and that his role as a teacher/coach is to encourage the best expression in each student as he assists them on that journey.
“One who understands others had knowledge;
one who understands himself has wisdom.
Mastering others requires force;
mastering the self needs strength.”
A Word From Shifu Adrian
There are those that feel the study of meditation used in Eastern Internal Systems has a religious affiliation. Although meditation has no religious connections, there are some teachers that will incorporate religion into their teaching. We specifically choose to teach in a non-religious manner making no effort to change anyone’s belief system. Our only goal is to stimulate the students’ overall mental health, awareness, consciousness, and spirit. This program is solely about making you the individual feel good about your training, health, and wellness.