The St. Louis kwoon (school) has cultivated some young people to the rank of black sash. Let me introduce our black sashes to you through the descriptions listed below. The two titles given below, Shifu 師父 and Laoshi 老師, are teacher titles. Shifu, the Mandarin pronunciation of the popular Cantonese term Sifu, has the meaning of father teacher in kung fu kwoons. Shifu denotes more of a relationship between student and teacher rather than just come to class and pay your dues. Laoshi is the everyday term used for teachers of all types. We use this general term for our first level instructors. The Shifu title is usually awarded to teachers who run their own kwoons and who have achieved the rank of 2nd degree black sash.