It seems anyone today can start their own style and become a Grandmaster, and books and DVDs are all over the place from Master soandso and Master what'shisname.

Just what does Master and Grandmaster mean?

The best answer that I have found is this: one who teaches martial arts to beginners, is a teacher (various countries have their own word for "teacher"); one who teaches teachers is a Master, and one who teaches Masters is a Grandmaster.

I really like the idea of a Master being one who teaches teachers. It's one thing to know an art; it's another thing to know how to pass that art on to others.

Now Grandmaster is a bit trickier, the traditional usage is that the Grandmaster is the most senior person in his style, he carries all the knowledge of his style and the reasonability to see that the style is passed on in the most accurate manner. Traditionally there was only one Grandmaster of a particular style but these days it seems that anyone who creates their own style after studying a year of this and a year of that can call themselves Grandmaster, after all who knows more about the style they created then the Bubba that just created it? (Insert sarcasm here).

How do you find the true Grandmasters? Well of course go to those people whom others call Grandmaster and ask him if he is indeed the Grandmaster of his style; if he says, "No, I am just a teacher", then you have found a Grandmaster! For Grandmasters all know that there is still a lot for them to learn.