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| 1. Martial Arts / Wu Shu
2. Bojutsu / Bojitsu
3. Jujitsu / Jujutsu
4. Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial
5. Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa
| 6. Guan Yu|
7. Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism
8. Zhang Fei
9. Liu Bei
This 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.
This is the title Bōjutsu (though some use the romanization Bojitsu). A martial art centered around the use of a "bō" or staff as a weapon.
This title is a combination of the Japanese word "bō" (which means staff, stick, club, rod, pole, or cudgel) with the Japanese word "jutsu" (which means art, or technique).
While this word can be pronounced in Chinese (bang shu), it's not a common term in China. Please consider this title to be "Japanese only".
This word has been somewhat incorrectly spelled and pronounced "Jujitsu" for some time in the English-speaking world. The correct Japanese Romaji is Jujutsu or Juujutsu.
A little background on the word: By combining the Kanji pronounced "Ju" (which means flexible, pliable, gentle, yielding) with the Kanji pronounced "Jutsu" (which means art, or technique), we get a meaning that can be translated as "flexible technique", "gentle art" or "yielding technique".
This word does make sense in Chinese as well, although pronounced, "rou shu" in China.
The Jujutsu system has a history in Japan that started well-before the 1600's. Some see this style as a variation of the "Empty Hand Method" (Karate-do). Even the samurai of old used some Jujutsu methods in defending themselves with their unarmed hands against weapons that could pierce their heavy armor.
There are convoluted relationships between various schools and systems of martial arts, but it's generally accepted that Jujutsu led to the development of Judo and a few other variations.
This character is the essence or spirit of a warrior. This character is part of the word "wu shu" which is sometimes translated as "martial arts" or "kung fu".
In more modern speech and other context, this can mean military, martial, warlike, fierce, and perhaps violent, but usually as a prefix for a longer word or phrase.
This form of martial arts can be translated in several ways. Some will call it "fist principles" or "the way of the fist", or even "law of the fist". The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle or Buddhist teaching.
Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term "Kempo Karate" which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.
These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled "kenpo" or "Kempo" ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be "kenpou" if you precisely follow the rules).
The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master compared to pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).
Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:
1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that "Okinawa Kenpo" or "Ryukyu Hon Kenpo" is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. There is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.
2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced "quan fa" (sometimes Romanized as "chuan fa" because the Chinese-pinyin "q" actually sounds like an English "ch" sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as "the law of the fist".
3. In my Japanese dictionary, it oddly defines Kenpo as "Chinese art of self-defense". I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word, but just something you should know.
This is the name Guan Yu, Army General for the Kingdom of Shu. He is also known as Guan Gong (like saying Duke Guan or Sir Guan)
He was immortalized in the novel, "Romance of the Three Kingdoms".
He was a fearsome fighter, also famous for his virtue and loyalty. He is worshipped by some modern-day soldiers and has the title "Warrior Saint" in China. Some believe he offers safety and protection for military servicemen.
Guan Yu lived until 219 A.D.
This is the title of Japanese "Pure Land Buddhism". This form is also romanized/known as "Jodo Shu" (jōdo shū).
Also known as Amidism for the fact that this is a branch of Mahayana (Mahāyāna) Buddhism which focuses on Amitabha (Amitābha) Buddha. This form of Buddhism, along with Chinese characters, came to Japan via China in the 5th century according to most historians.
See Also... Shin Buddhism
This is the name of General Zhang Fei, of the Shu Kingdom. He was blood-brother of Liu Bei in the semi-historical novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Zhang Fei is famous for his heroic and fearsome fighting and his love of wine.
In Japanese, this can be the name Chouhi.
This is the name of Liu Bei (161-223AD), warlord at the end of the Han dynasty and founder of the Han kingdom of Shu.
In Japanese, this can be the name Ryuubi or Ryūbi. Most Japanese will be be familiar with the Chinese historical figure, Lui Bei.
The scroll that I am holding in this picture is a "medium size"
4-character wall scroll.
As you can see, it is a great size to hang on your wall.
(We also offer custom wall scrolls in larger sizes)
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.
If your search is not successful, just post your request on our forum, and we'll be happy to do research or translation for any reasonable request.
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The following table is only helpful for those studying Chinese (or Japanese), and perhaps helps search engines to find this page when someone enters Romanized Chinese or Japanese
|Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Martial Arts / Wu Shu||武术|
|Bojutsu / Bojitsu||棒术|
|Jujitsu / Jujutsu||柔术|
|Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial||武|
|Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa||拳法|
|Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism||浄土宗|
|jou do shuu|
jo do shuu
|jìng tǔ zōng|
jing tu zong
ching t`u tsung
|jing4 tu3 zong1|
ching tu tsung
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