We have many options to create artwork with Kung Fu characters on a wall scroll or portrait...
...We could also help you create an Kung Fu Asian Tattoo.
Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Kung Fu / Gong Fu
2. Martial Arts / Wu Shu
3. Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou
4. Drunken Monkey Kung Fu
5. Laughing Dragon Kung Fu
| 6. Shaolin Kung Fu|
7. Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu
8. Wing Chun Kung Fu
9. Bruce Lee
10. Hung Gar
One of the most famous types of martial arts in the world - and not just because of Bruce Lee.
Some translate the meaning as "Accomplishment by Great Effort." I think this is partially true but directly translated it literally means "Merit/Achievement/Accomplishment Man." The word "fu" can sometimes mean "husband" or "porter" but in this case, it can only mean "man." However, few in China will think "man" when they hear the word "Gong Fu" spoken.
This term is also used for things other than martial arts. In fact, it's used to refer to a person with excellent skills in crafts that require a great deal of effort such as cooking, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy.
What a lot of people don't know is that the spelling of "Kung Fu" was actually taken from the old Wade Giles form of Romanization. Using this method, the sounds of the English "G" and "K" were both written as "K" and an apostrophe after the "K" told you it was supposed to sound like a "G." Nobody in the west knew this rule, so most people pronounce it with a "K-sound." And so Gong Fu will always be Kung Fu for most westerners.
Also, just to educate you a little more, the "O" in "Gong" has a sound like the English word "oh."
The popular Chinese dish "Kung Pao Chicken" suffers from the same problem. It should actually be "Gong Bao Chicken."
Historical note: Many will claim that Kung Fu was invented by the monks of the Shaolin monastery. This fact is argued in both directions by scholars of Chinese history. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the Shaolin Monks brought the original fame to Kung Fu many generations ago.
Japanese note: While most Japanese martial artists will recognize these characters, Katakana is more often used to approximate the pronunciation of "Kung Fu" with "カンフー." Some will argue as to whether this should be considered a Japanese word at all.
See Also: Bruce Lee
武術 is the very Chinese way to express "Martial Arts." Some even use this word to directly describe Kung Fu. But this is a label that fits all disciplines from Karate to Kung Fu to Taekwondo.
Note: This also means Martial Arts with the same appearance in old Korean Hanja characters and is pronounced "musul" or "musur" in Korean.
While this is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean, this also means "martial arts" in Japanese.
功夫散手 is a martial arts title.
Oddly, there are multiple ways two spell/romanize this in English but in Chinese, it's written exactly the same.
Technically, the Mandarin romanizes as "gong fu san shou," for which you'll sometimes see it written "kung fu san shou" (k'ung is an old romanization for a word that sounds like gong with a vowel sound like "oh").
There is another martial arts style that spells this "Kung Fu San Soo." My guess is, this was supposed to approximate Cantonese pronunciation for which the scholarly romanization is generally agreed to be "gung fu saan sau."
This is the title for Drunken Monkey Kung Fu (Gong Fu). The martial arts style inspired by the novel, "Journey to the West."
See Also: Monkey Fist
笑龍功夫 is the title for a Martial Arts studio (custom-made at by request of the owner of the studio).
Many people have no idea that Bruce Lee had a "real" Chinese name. In mainland China and Hong Kong he is known as "Li Xiao-Long." He kept his family name pronunciation (Li = Lee). This is a common family name that also means "plum."
His given name "Xiao-Long" literally means "little dragon." This is why you often see the character for dragon associated with Bruce Lee on various posters etc.
For a pronunciation lesson, the "X" in Romanized Chinese is pronounced like a "sh" sound but with your tongue at the bottom of your mouth. The vowel sound in "Long" is like the English "oh," not like the "ah" sound in the English word "long."
If you are a big Bruce Lee fan, you should know this information, and you should have this wall scroll hanging in your room or martial arts studio.
Note: Japanese use these same exact Chinese characters / Kanji to write Bruce Lee's real name (with different pronunciation - which is a bit like how the name "Bruce Lee" sounds in English).
See Also: Marital Arts
洪家 is the martial arts title Hung Ga or Hung Gar.
The first character means flood, big, immense, or great but it can also be the surname, Hong or Hung.
The last character means family or home.
This can also be read as "The Hung Family" or "The Hung Household." This title is mostly associated as a style of Kung Fu.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|功夫||kan fu / ku fu|
kanfu / kufu
|gōng fu / gong1 fu / gong fu / gongfu||kung fu / kungfu|
|bujutsu||wǔ shù / wu3 shu4 / wu shu / wushu|
|Kung Fu San Soo|
|功夫散手||gōng fu sǎn shǒu|
gong1 fu san3 shou3
gong fu san shou
|kung fu san shou
|Drunken Monkey Kung Fu||醉猴功夫 / 醉猴功伕|
|zuì hóu gōng fu|
zui4 hou2 gong1 fu
zui hou gong fu
|tsui hou kung fu
|Laughing Dragon Kung Fu||笑龍功夫|
|xiào lóng gōng fu|
xiao4 long2 gong1 fu
xiao long gong fu
|hsiao lung kung fu
|Shaolin Kung Fu||少林功夫||sho rin kan fu|
|shǎo lín gōng fu|
shao3 lin2 gong1 fu
shao lin gong fu
|shao lin kung fu
|Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu||太極詠春功夫|
|tài jí yǒng chūn gōng fu|
tai4 ji2 yong3 chun1 gong1 fu
tai ji yong chun gong fu
|t`ai chi yung ch`un kung fu
tai chi yung chun kung fu
|Wing Chun Kung Fu||詠春功夫|
|yǒng chūn gōng fu|
yong3 chun1 gong1 fu
yong chun gong fu
|yung ch`un kung fu
yung chun kung fu
|bu ruu su ri|
bu ru su ri
|lǐ xiǎo lóng|
li3 xiao3 long2
li xiao long
|li hsiao lung
|Hung Gar||洪家||hóng jiā / hong2 jia1 / hong jia / hongjia||hung chia / hungchia|
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.