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San Soo San Shou in Chinese / Japanese...

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Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou

China gōng fu sǎn shǒu
HK gung fu saan sau
Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou

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."

San Soo / San Shou

China sàn shǒu
HK saan sau
San Soo / San Shou

散手 is a martial arts title sometimes spelled in English as "San Soo" or "San Shou."

Mandarin version romanizes as "San Shou." Mandarin Chinese is the most common dialect in China (literally 99% of Chinese people speak standard Mandarin along with their local dialect).

There is another martial arts style that spells this "San Soo." My guess is, this was supposed to approximate Cantonese pronunciation for which the scholarly romanization is generally agreed to be "Saan Sau." However, only about 5% of Chinese people in China can speak the Cantonese dialect. A lot of theories exist as to why Cantonese is more common outside of China than inside.

Search for San Soo San Shou in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersVarious forms of Romanized Chinese
Kung Fu San Soo
San Shou
功夫散手gōng fu sǎn shǒu
gong1 fu san3 shou3
gong fu san shou
gongfusanshou
kung fu san shou
kungfusanshou
San Soo
San Shou
散手sàn shǒu / san4 shou3 / san shou / sanshou

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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.

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