A New Grand Master is Born
“Hard work, over time, to accomplish skill”. This is the definition of kung fu, and for thousands of years, countless people have dedicated their hard work and precious time to the development of their own martial skill. But with this monumental army of dedicated followers, only a select few have ever achieved the status of “Master”. To be a master means to “acquire complete knowledge or skill in an accomplishment, technique or art”. To achieve the status of “Kung Fu Master” means, one has not only acquired the complete knowledge of the fighting system, but is able to transmit that knowledge to future generations. For a small hand full of talented people achieving this status is the pinnacle of the martial training world.
There are however, an elite few who have managed to transcend this seemingly insurmountable mountain top to reach a higher level. A brotherhood so rare, there are few people in the world ever to have even met one of them. A title whispered in hushed tones, usually in stories of a time long gone, in a land far away. “GrandMaster” is a title signifying just as much a wealth of knowledge as it is an ocean of respect. It is bestowed upon the rare individual so influential that not only have they successfully trained a student well enough for them to achieve the “Master Level”, but were so motivating and influential, that that student in turn created a school of their own.
On Thursday August 23, 2012 the brotherhood of Golden Harmony Kung Fu gathered to celebrate the promotion of our beloved master, Sifu Rupert Harvey to the exclusive title of “GrandMaster” or “Sigong”. Although he will always be “Sifu” to us, his faithful students, it will be Sigong Harveyʼs name that will forever be written in the history books of the Shaolin Temple as one of the worldʼs few Northern Shaolin Tai Chi Mantis GrandMasters.
Students, friends, and family came from far and wide to celebrate this rare and honored occasion. As only fitting for this evening toasting one of the highest level of mastery in the martial arts, distinguished masters from many disciplines were either in attendance to pay their respects or sent video messages of congratulations. Sifu Ian Chow, Sifu Garry Bowman, Sifu Vincent Pratchett, Sifu Dylan Kirk, Sifu Stephane Boutine, Sifu Simon Chong, Sifu Daisy Lee, Sifu Kevin Tenn, Sifu Stephen Chong and SiGong Rob Moses, all expressed their deepest admiration for Sigong Harveyʼs accomplishment. Of course the man who made this night possible and Sifuʼs highest ranking student, Sifu Gordon Wicks was also in attendance.
Sifu has humbly told us many times, “I am only standing on the shoulders of the great masters that came before me”. As Sigong Rupert Harvey continues to teach the next generation of martial artists, it is all of us who hope to distill the droplets of wisdom bestowed on us while humbly standing on our own Great Masterʼs shoulders.
Tai Chi Mantis student