Westerners who follow the Chinese martial arts, especially those who make a life out of them, are in big troubles with the inflation of the definition “master”. The problem: if you accept that any muscled poser who learned three moves on YouTube or has been photographed in front of a dim-sum calls himself “master”, then you have to find new categories and new hyperboles to define the true masters or even the not-so-bad ones.
Chinese kung fu is about sincerity and loyalty. It’s about passing on and sharing culture and correct information. Chinese kung fu is about brotherhood and mutual aid, regardless of the seniority and respective experience of those who practice it.
There’s never mystification or obfuscation in a traditional Chinese kung fu gymnasium, nor secrets accessible only to some restricted group of so-called “initiates.” And above all, there are no techniques that must be taught incorrectly, inaccurately or incompletely to students deemed “unworthy.”