The Paperback Sifu is the guy that has some skill, usually a bored intermediate level student who thinks he knows everything he needs to know about the martial art he’s studying and decides he’s ready to perfect an entirely different martial arts style by picture book. Once he can mimic the pictures and knows the names of the movements by heart (in traditional Chinese/Japanese), he decides it’s time to share with the world his martial wisdom and teach it to others.
Often times, charisma and splits win him a large and eager audience. The only thing higher than his tenth degree black belt in martial arts (all) is his eleventh degree black belt in marketing. His influence grows and so does his garage training, which also grows and becomes a school, which then becomes a chain of schools. He has a video about every martial arts style on YouTube, because he’s an expert in every martial arts style.
It saddens me to see the paperback Sifu influence so many. It’s a shame he wastes his talent and hunger for learning and confines himself to books and videos rather than true legitimate instruction. It’s worse that he limits his students abilities as they can only reach the depth in training that’s only 100pgs deep.
I am not blaming the books, they are meant to be reference guides for serious students and great resources for interested readers, but by no means should a man that read a book consider himself a trained expert in that style.