Authors: Chi Lei, Marian
On April 28th 2018, three students of Wujiquan, Connie from the Philippines, Fernanda from Brasil and Hanxue from Malaysia attended a rare discipleship ceremony in Dalian, where they were accepted by as the 8th generation successors of Wujiquan by the 7th generation successor of Wujiquan, Master Yu Qingdi.
We would like to congratulate master Yu to his new daughters and son, also congrats to the three disciples, you have all become a part of ancient tradition that will live through you and will bepassed down to next generations.
This is also a good opportunity to introduce the meaning of the traditional discipleship ceremony. Usually in traditional Chinese martial arts we recognize 2 groups of students: regular students and disciples or indoor students. What is the difference between these two groups?
Regular students are students who attend classes, pay the study fee and usually the practice for them is more of a hobby, or one of many activities they enjoy, which is perfectly fine. Regular students can have access to most of the health and longevity practices and a great part of self defense practice, but not all of it, including higher levels of internal work. What they have access to is perfectly enough to preserve good health and gain longevity.
Though they are not recognized as lineage successors and can not represent the lineage of Wujiquan.
Indoor disciples usually start as regular students. After some time they might discover that the practice becomes more than a hobby for them. It has evolved into a new lifestyle and they would like to study the deeper aspects of the art. In this case they might ask their teacher to accept them to become his indoor disciple. If the teacher agrees, based mostly on the students moral character and not on his or her talent or skills, then there is a discipleship ceremony, during which the student and the teacher become family.
Each school of martial arts has its own ceremony. In Wujiquan, the student bows to Heaven and Earth, to ancestors, and then to the teacher. The student gives the teacher a written request that he or she wants to become an indoor disciple and agrees to abide the moral rules of the school, and also agrees to develop and spread Wujiquan.
The teacher then gives the student the written acceptance letter. After that, teacher and student exchange so called gifts from heart, which could be a big or small present to remember the occasion and express mutual feeling. The student is also required to give teacher certain sum of money. After that all the teaching is free for the student.
After one has become an indoor disciple, he or she has access to the whole system and can represent it as a lineage successor. Presently there are about 300 Wujiquan indoor disciples in China. Some of them are students of our Grandmaster Mr. Wu Zhenshi and some of them are disciples of his disciples.
Outside of China there are five disciples from Slovakia, one from Czech, one from USA, one from the Philippines, one from Brasil and one from Malaysia. No other country so far. This is due to the fact that Wujiquan was until recently kept only in the family of our Grandmaster. Only after he retired, he started to accept indoor disciples outside his family. The main reason he made the system public was to ensure that Wujiquan would not disappear as did many styles of Chinese martial arts before. We are very grateful that Master Wu was so wise and so courageous to adjust the tradition and made it possible for us to learn and practice Wujiquan. We are also grateful to our Master, 7th generation successor of Wujiquan Mr. Yu Qingdi who is closed door disciple of Grandmaster Wu Zhenshi.
Stay tuned for the next post!
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