中国武术（又名功夫，武术，武术）的学生对这个词非常熟悉“Sifu”. Sometimes also written as Shifu or even Shihfu from the Mandarin pronunciation of the term, 四福 is taken to mean “teacher” or “master”。在美国功夫学校中，该术语通常被用作等级，特别是在采用现代彩色窗扇系统的系统中。
But what is a 四福, really? Well, it all comes down to a combination of 拼写ing and Confucian familial relationships.
用中文，有两种方法“spell” the term 四福, and while each is pronounced the same way, they mean something slightly different. I use the term “spell”非常宽松，因为中文是用一系列图解字符而不是字母来写的。通过研究单词（甚至字符的各个部分）中各个字符的含义，我们可以深入了解所传达内容的细微差别。
例如，“sifu” is composed, in both cases, of two characters. The first is Shi (師), which can be translated as a skilled person, a specialist, one who knows. It is the second character that makes all the difference. In general usage, and even in most cases of student 老师 relations, the second character is a form of Fu (傅) which denotes a person with a higher level of knowledge (perhaps). So when you walk into a random kung fu school and address the 老师 as 四福, you are simply acknowledging their level of attainment and skill. The same term may be used to help flatter a waiter into providing better service; by addressing him as 四福, you show respect for his effort and appreciation for his ability to deliver your food as ordered; he has good kung fu as a waiter. In fact, this form of “sifu”是一个简单的敬意。
但是，当老师把你当作他的门徒，而你接受他作为你的个人主人（不是他的技能水平的主人，而是他对你的训练乃至生活的控制的主人），这是非常认真的，亲密的关系。实际上，它是如此凄美，以至于第二个字符变成了父（Fu），这意味着“father”. This character can further be broken down into its components to show enforcement of rules by using a stick (there is a saying in kung fu that when the 四福 is strict the student is strong).
Why the change to something so familial? When you are asked to become a disciple of your 老师, you are being asked to join his family. You become as his own child. In fact, some traditional schools will have disciples change their surnames to that of the 四福. When we speak of a 主 in a kung fu school, we are speaking of our 四福, our 老师-father, the head of the household, not merely a person of a particular rank. In the Confucian roots of this relationship, the 父亲’s role was as the emperor of the home, its protector, and the one to whom all others in the house paid homage. This respect worked both ways, and as a 四福 to a disciple there is a tremendous responsibility to ensure the education and well being of that student.
So, next time you enter your kwoon, think of what your 四福 means to you. There are centuries of knowledge waiting for someone who will sacrifice his own identity to become the 父亲’s child.