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Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Exercise
2. Training / Drill
3. Practice / Train / Drill
4. Tai Chi Ball
| 6. Moderation|
7. Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan
8. Iron Palm
9. Qi Gong / Chi Kung
10. Work Unselfishly for the Common Good
鍛煉 / 鍛鍊 means exercise in much the same way we use the word exercise in English. This can be exercising your body at the gym, or exercising your mind in studies. Most of the time, this refers to physical exercise.
This can also be translated as to temper, to toughen, to train, to drill, to forge, or simply discipline.
If training or drill is important to you (especially for military drill and training), this might be just the thing for a drill master to hang behind his/her desk.
This term is universal in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. It can also mean practice or exercise, depending on context.
This Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word is the simplest way to say practice, train, drill, exercise, or to describe the effort taken to perfect one's skill.
鍛練 / 鍛錬 is the Japanese Kanji and Korean Hanja word that is used for discipline. This has a meaning like "forging or creating something from lots of training and practice." My Japanese dictionary translates this as, "tempering, forging, hardening, disciplining, training."
鍛練 / 鍛錬 is for Japanese and Korean only. In Chinese, these characters might be translated as (physical) "exercise."
The modern form of the second Japanese Kanji looks like the first image to the right. There's also an alternate modern form after that, and finally, an alternate traditional form. Because calligraphy is an art, the calligrapher could choose any of these possible forms. Let us know if you have a preference.
Moderation is creating a healthy balance in your life between work and play, rest and exercise. You don't overdo or get swept away by the things you like. You use your self-discipline to take charge of your life and your time.
This word can also be translated as sobriety, self-restraint, or temperance.
This is often used as part of the Seven Heavenly Virtues to represent sobriety and/or temperance.
太極拳 is the famous Taoist meditation and martial art exercise. The direct translation of these characters would be something like "grand ultimate fist" but that does not quite hit the mark for what this title really means.
An early-morning walk through any city in China near a park or open area will yield a view of Chinese people practicing this ancient technique.
The typical scene is an old man of no less than 80 years on this earth, with a wispy white beard and perhaps a sword in one hand. He makes slow moves that are impossibly smooth. He is steady-footed, and always in balance. For him, time is meaningless and proper form and technique is far more important than speed.
For the younger generation, faster moves may look impressive and seem smooth to the casual observer. But far more discipline and mental strength is needed to create perfectly smooth moves in virtual slow motion.
Note: There are two ways to Romanize these Chinese characters as seen in the title above. The pronunciation and actual characters are the same in Chinese. If you really used English sounds/words to pronounce this, it would be something like "tie jee chew-on" (just make the "chew-on" as one flowing syllable).
These two characters mean "iron palm," the martial arts technique taught by Brian Gray and others.
This term can mean different things to different people. The consensus is that rather than a type or style of martial arts, this is a technique for refining hand position and strengthening of hands to strike blows for with maximum force and effect.
The regime may include herbal treatments and special exercises to fortify the hands.
In more extreme versions, the carpals and metacarpal bones in the hand are systematically broken, so that when they heal, they will become stronger.
Japanese note: This does make sense in Japanese (though the version shown above is the ancient form of the first Kanji) this is far from a commonly-known term.
Qigong is the title of a technique that is somewhere between a medical practice, meditation, and in some cases a religion. The definition is blurred depending on which school of Qigong you are following. In some cases, it is even incorporated with martial arts.
Some people (even Chinese people) mix this title with Tai Chi (Tai Qi) exercises.
Lately in China, people will claim to practice Tai Chi rather than Qigong because the Qigong title was recently used as a cover for an illegal pseudo-religious movement in China with the initials F.G. or F.D. (I can not write those names here for fear of our website being banned in China).
You can learn those names and more here: Further info about Qigong
If you are wondering about why I wrote "Qi Gong" and "Chi Kung" as the title of this calligraphy entry, I should teach you a little about the various ways in which Chinese can be Romanized. One form writes this as "Chi Kung" or "Chikung" (Taiwan). In the mainland and elsewhere, it is Romanized as "Qi Gong" or "Qigong." The actual pronunciation is the same in Taiwan, mainland, and Singapore Mandarin. Neither Romanization is exactly like English. If you want to know how to say this with English rules, it would be something like "Chee Gong" (but the "gong" has a vowel sound like the "O" in "go").
Romanization is a really confusing topic and has caused many Chinese words to be mispronounced in the west. One example is "Kung Pao Chicken" which should actually be more like "Gong Bao" with the "O" sounding like "oh" for both characters. Neither system of Romanization in Taiwan or the Mainland is perfect in my opinion and lead to many misunderstandings.
This can also mean: "Place Strict Standards on Oneself in Public Service."
This Chinese proverb is often used to express how one should act as a government official. Most of us wish our public officials would hold themselves to higher standards. I wish I could send this scroll, along with the meaning to every member of Congress, and the President (or if I was from the UK, all the members of Parliament, and the PM)
The story behind this ancient Chinese idiom:
A man named Cai Zun was born in China a little over 2000 years ago. In 24 AD, he joined an uprising led by Liu Xiu who later became the emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty.
Later, the new emperor put Cai Zun in charge of the military court. Cai Zun exercised his power in strict accordance with military law, regardless of the offender's rank or background. He even ordered the execution of one of the emperor's close servants after the servant committed a serious crime.
Cai Zun led a simple life but put great demands on himself to do all things in an honorable way. The emperor rewarded him for his honest character and honorable nature by promoting him to the rank of General and granting him the title of Marquis.
Whenever Cai Zun would receive an award, he would give credit to his men and share the reward with them.
Cai Zun was always praised by historians who found many examples of his selfless acts that served the public interest.
Sometime, long ago in history, people began to refer to Cai Zun as "ke ji feng gong."
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Exercise||鍛煉 / 鍛鍊|
|kunren||xùn liàn / xun4 lian4 / xun lian / xunlian||hsün lien / hsünlien|
|ren||liàn / lian4 / lian||lien|
|Tai Chi Ball||太極球|
|tai kyoku kyuu|
tai kyoku kyu
|tài jí qiú
tai4 ji2 qiu2
tai ji qiu
|t`ai chi ch`iu
tai chi chiu
|Discipline||鍛練 / 鍛錬|
|tan ren / tanren||duàn liàn
|sessei / sesei||jié zhì / jie2 zhi4 / jie zhi / jiezhi||chieh chih / chiehchih|
|Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Ji Quan
|tai kyoku ken|
|tài jí quán
tai4 ji2 quan2
tai ji quan
|t`ai chi ch`üan
tai chi chüan
|kikou / kiko||qì gōng / qi4 gong1 / qi gong / qigong||ch`i kung / chikung / chi kung|
|Work Unselfishly for the Common Good||克己奉公||kè jǐ fèng gōng
ke4 ji3 feng4 gong1
ke ji feng gong
|k`o chi feng kung
ko chi feng kung
|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.
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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.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
Some people may refer to this entry as Exercise Kanji, Exercise Characters, Exercise in Mandarin Chinese, Exercise Characters, Exercise in Chinese Writing, Exercise in Japanese Writing, Exercise in Asian Writing, Exercise Ideograms, Chinese Exercise symbols, Exercise Hieroglyphics, Exercise Glyphs, Exercise in Chinese Letters, Exercise Hanzi, Exercise in Japanese Kanji, Exercise Pictograms, Exercise in the Chinese Written-Language, or Exercise in the Japanese Written-Language.