In the interests of anonymity, all real names have been substituted with nicknames. The following is a list of the nicknames, and a short description of the particular person the nickname represents. I cannot take credit for the creation and assignment of all these names. Regardless, these names can be but is not necessarily descriptive or meaningful. Some are derogatory. Some are flattering. Some are simply for my own personal amusement. Which basically means pay no attention to the nickname itself.

  • Performance Kung Fu School (PKFS) – This school’s primary concentration is on looking good. Forms are the major component of the school’s offerings, though there are numerous dills and exercises as well. However, do not be fooled by the glitter. The kung fu taught is practical, efficient, and deadly. Power is in the form. While the school once was spacious with students practicing numbering in the tens at once, time has since diminished it to only a small group of recent students and an even smaller group of dedicated older students. In addition to kung fu, the school teaches lion dancing, and is constantly invited to put on shows. Because of this, many older students who no longer have the time to train regularly return to assist and partake in the lion dances. The lion dance style is the more traditional, Fut San lion dance. Follows is a list of the people associated with the school:
    • Sifu – Sifu is the father figure of the school. He pays the rent for the space and teaches the students. I am among his many students. Mild mannered, laid back, and generally unimposing, he has sometimes been compared to Superman. Having taught six batches of students over some thirty-odd years, Sifu has seen his share of almost everything a sifu with his own school can see. Which is to say, don’t mess with him.
    • Musician – In addition to being a master of kung fu, Musician is, obviously, a master of music. In particular, he is known for his lion dance drumming, though he is also a master of many other traditional Chinese instruments. His technique is flawless, and his beats are musical. He actively teaches his flower drumming, and drums for the most important parts of a lion dance when present.
    • Fighter – A master of numerous styles, Fighter makes an appearance to gossip with Musician and Sifu. In the past, he actively taught PKFS students select forms from among the various styles he has mastered. However, he has since retired from teaching and is content to watch and comment upon the comings and goings in the school.
    • Eyebrows – Eyebrows is a guest of the school, who has also taught on occasion. However, he mainly gossips when present at the school, adding a kung fu-related comment or two on the occasion. Ever friendly, he knows and has seen much more of the black path in Hong Kong than he lets on.
    • Lettuce – Lettuce is Sifu’s junior brother in training, and father to Pekingese, Pug, and Poodle. Though he once contributed on a regular basis in the past, he does not come often anymore, and appears only to watch and perhaps join in the gossip.
    • Penguin – Penguin is one of Fighter’s student, and in a sense, a senior brother in training to Sifu. He shows off his fighting ability and comments without reservation. Penguin is a master of his art in his own right, but he prefers gambling over teaching.
    • Senior – Sifu’s son. Though he is considered the best performer among the current batch of students, his heart is unfortunately elsewhere. He partakes in his father’s performances primarily out of obligation, though he secretly is glad to be able to display his unquestionable performance skills.
    • Stingray – Steve Irwin’s killer. Also one of Fighter’s students and a mean lion head.
    • Pug – Somewhat ironically, she is the youngest of Lettuce’s daughters, since she has trained for the longest and is the best among her sisters. She is also the only one besides Senior from the third batch who still trains regularly. For this reason, she is afforded special status at the school, though if asked, her denial would be vehement. She is responsible for Poodle’s current presence at the school.
    • Doc – One of the few among the fourth batch of Sifu’s students who continues to train regularly, Doc is also a medical doctor. He often brings his two young children Moe and Curly to train with him.
    • Outlaw – An amazing lion dancer and fair drummer, he no longer trains regularly. He does participate in the most important performances, and sometimes even makes an appearance in lesser ones.
    • Smiley – The defacto drummer for serious performances and one of Sifu’s oldest students. He also no longer trains regularly, and also participates in various lion dances. He is an amazing performer as well. Very friendly and occasionally helpful. Considered at the level of master by many later students.
    • Hung – Also a student of OKFS, kung fu is his passion. Ever-friendly, he always seeks to test his skill against others and learn from them in the process. His father Ying was among Sifu’s first students. He is primarily a head, though he can act as a tail for the puzzles that require stacking. He drums and plays the cymbals, but he is strongest as a lion head. Hung has a choreographed dance routine with Ching.
    • Ching – A painter as well as a martial artist. She is among the best lion heads. Unlike Hung, she is well rounded in all aspects of the lion dance.
    • Poodle – Second of Lettuce’s daughters, she is the smarter, gentler, prettier among her sisters. She began training because of Pug’s involvement at PKFS, but she has since developed her own interest in kung fu. She falls in between the fifth and sixth batch of sifu’s students. She started with others in the sixth, but her knowledge is closer to the fifth’s.
    • Sloth – Musician’s grandson, like Senior, he trains out of obligation. He has no desire to practice and forgets his forms easily.
    • Asia Minor – A student of the sixth batch, often seen with Europe Minor in the past. He continues to regularly train and participate in lion dances.
    • Europe Minor – A student of the sixth batch, often seen with Asia Minor in the past. He has not trained since going to and returning from Europe.
    • Junior – Another student of the sixth batch, he does not train or perform very often, and usually appears at the end of a lion dance for the following meal. As a medical student at the top of his class, he has many bad habits, arrogance and condescension being examples. He is shady, and craftily follows Senior’s footsteps.
    • Mermaid – Mermaid is proficient martial artist in other styles as well, and spends much of her free time keeping up with her other schools. She comes only five or six times a year, but her presence livens up the school significantly. Senior had taken a personal interest in her development. She is also of the sixth batch.
    • Horse – Also proficient in other martial arts, she is something like Mermaid’s rival. Senior doesn’t mind.
    • The Stranger – She is strange.
    • Moe – Doc’s elder son. He takes his training very seriously, but enjoys roughhousing more.
    • Curly – Doc’s younger son. He prefers running around and playing to training.
    • Chemp – A boy about the same age as Moe who occasionally comes to train. He is very diligent.
    • Señorita – Sifu’s daughter. Shy and unassuming, she comes only occasionally.
    • Groucho – Señorita’s friend. She is among the best lion tails, capable of following even the most feisty heads. Unfortunately, she doesn’t come nearly often enough to learn other parts of the dance.
    • Simo – Sifu’s wife. She often helps out during lion dances, usually assisting in the logistics of the event rather than the performance. She does not know kung fu.
    • Goose – One of Sifu’s first students. He appears occasionally for lion dances. He once brought forms back from Hong Kong to teach at the school.
    • Ying – Hung’s father and one of sifu’s first students.
    • Leech – One of sifu’s first students, Leech has his own school where he also teaches TKD. He does not partake in any performances, but he appears once every so often in hopes of learning something new. He is not very well liked, and is among the many shady characters the school has attracted over its thirty years of history.
    • Abbrv – Like Leech, he is another of the shady characters in the school, and slightly crazy to boot. He does not participate in lion dances, but occasionally will show up for the food afterwards.
    • Tutor – A new student who runs her own tutoring center. She was Ching’s boss for a little while when Ching taught kung fu at the center. Now she learns under Sifu.
    • Shorty – A new student, not particularly aggressive, but trains for the fun of it. Introduced Sparky to the school.
    • Sparky – A new student, quick to anger and turn on others.
  • Small Kung Fu School (SKFS) – Strength and power are the main foci of this school’s offerings. SKFS teaches many methods of training power. Most methods are partner drills, though some are to be practiced alone. Forms and even techniques are introduced only after sufficient strength develops, though many of the drills contains techniques. Because the drills are often boring and always painful, SKFS is unattractive to most people, or quickly becomes unattractive. However, those who stick with the training quickly develops great power. For a variety of reasons, the school is already low-key. Its unattractive curricula means very few students. But those students are all forces of nature.
    • Sigung – Sigung is the master of the school. Usually soft spoken and reserved, he sits and keeps a watchful eye over his students and grandstudents. He does not comment often, but his comments are always informative. On a rare occasion, he will even participate in the partner drills, especially to emphasize a point. In his mid-seventies, Sigung is among his master’s first students, and continus to train over the half-century since he began.
    • Tramp – One of Sigung’s older students, he quickly stopped training because he thought it too hard. He only resumed training recently because he was able to defeat a so-called “instructor” of another school with what little he had picked up. A poor student, he is always trying to pick fights outside of the school to make up for his deficiency within the school. Though a medical doctor by profession, he is nevertheless malcontent with his status in society.
    • Hulk – Sigung’s best student, who has pretty much learned the everything Sigung knows. His sons Dai and Sai are the eldest of SKFS’s new generation of students.
    • Dai – Elder son of Hulk. Trains very hard and is probably the best in SKFS. Not as knowledgable or experienced as his father, but probably better at what he knows in some ways.
    • Sai – Younger son of Hulk. Also trains very hard, to catch up to his older brother. Very competitive when it comes to training, but quite easy going otherwise.
  • Open Kung Fu School (OKFS) – OKFS is not so much a school at it is a friendly congregation of masters discussing their various styles and lineages. It is a school of applications, of real fighting and sparring, only without the violence and the injuries that usually follow. Masters often touch with each other, and always touch with students. Students are as numerous as varied, and usually enter with an existing base and main style. Some masters even bring students of their style to participate. Other schools might view such as an act of challenge, but because OKFS is not a school, it is seen by masters and students alike as an opportunity to learn from more people and possibly even teach a little to other masters and students. Regardless of level of skill or reputation, all students and masters alike are crazy–some in the crazy good sense, and others in the mentally unstable sense.
  • COG – The oldest and most frequent master to participate. Always has fun, and is always grinning.
  • CFG – Master who learned the the style taught at PKFS among other things. Very good fighter and able to demonstrate and clearly explain high level fighting concepts.
  • CCG – A master who practiced his chi gung incorrectly, and turned nutty. Despite his age, he is physically very strong and limber, and extremely perceptive. While he does not often teach, he occasionally offers his unique insight to the amusement and benefit of all.
  • CNG – Master who is thin, but powerful. Does not speak the prevalent language, but no less capable than the other masters. His wife enjoys occasionally recording the sessions, but her subject is not always a willing one.
  • CSG – Master who occasionally appears to gossip with the other masters.
  • CHG – Master who was at a lower level than the other masters. Because of his unique position, he was able to bridge the teaching gap between the masters at high levels and the beginning students.
  • CWG – Master who does not participate, but appears to gossip with the other masters.
  • CBG – A master whom recently discovered OKFS. Rarely participates, occasionally teaches, but often just gossips as well.
  • CMG – Both master and student, he considers himself a student, but is truly a master in his own right. Very strong, very knowledgable about esoteric and oft-forgotten fighting skills.
  • CDG – Student of CFG, and former student of PKFS.
  • CPG – Student of various schools and teachers, also good friends with many of the other masters and students in OKFS. Hangs out most often with CDG and CMG. Currently learning under CSG.
  • CGG – Student of OKFS, particularly COG. But he learns from all of the masters there. Began with nothing, and has shown the most improvement over the years.
  • CTG – Sometimes confused with CGG, also much improved over the years. However, when he gets excited, he goes back to his old ways.
  • CAG – Physically strong, with a very stable base. However, he often relies too much on his brute strength, and thus is unable to improve significantly.
  • CIG – Master who brings his students out whenever he appears. Very strong, but does not come out very often, a few times a year at most.
  • CEG – Student and master, good friends with CIG. A master in his own right, but seeks to get even stronger through his time at OKFS. His injuries have hindered this process, but not entirely.

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