When the Grand Master of a martial art dies without leaving a direct “heir” to the style — be it a wife, a son, a daughter, or another instructor — the resulting infighting can destroy the art, among other things.
So this last weekend, in a surprise pre-emptive strike, White Lotus Grand Master Douglas Wong officially handed over the White Lotus art to Sifu Carrie. She was already a master and head instructor, but now she’s officially Grand Master Carrie Ogawa-Wong. I wish I could have been there to see her face, but being in class tonight and hearing the words spoken aloud was enough.
Sifu Carrie has been one of my heroes from the day I met her, and my respect for her has grown with each passing class and each passing year. She has been my instructor in kung fu, weapons, and tai chi, and I have never had a better teacher. It is an honor to study with such an incredible martial artist and such a warm, wonderful human being.