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Look up Tai Chi Quan Fa in our Japanese Kanji & Chinese Character Dictionary

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If you want a special phrase, word, title, or proverb, feel free to contact me, and I will translate your custom calligraphy idea for you.

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Tai Chi Chuan Dao...
  2. Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan
  3. Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa
  4. Tai Chi / Tai Ji
  5. Five Elements Tai Chi Fist
  6. Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu
  7. Tai Chi Ball
  8. Ba Ji Quan
  9. Qi Gong / Chi Kung
10. Sticky Hands / Chi Sau


Tai Chi Chuan Dao
Tai Ji Quan Dao

China tài jí quán dào
Tai Chi Chuan Dao / Tai Ji Quan Dao Wall Scroll

太極拳道 is the common Tai Chi Chuan title with "Dao" (the Way) added to the end.

If you're not sure, I suggest the shorter titles such as "Tai Chi Chuan," or just "Tai Chi."

Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan

China tài jí quán
Japan tai kyoku ken
Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan Wall Scroll

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).

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa

China quán fǎ
Japan kenpou
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Wall Scroll

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.

Tai Chi / Tai Ji

China tài jí
Japan taikyoku
Tai Chi / Tai Ji Wall Scroll

太極 is the shortened title for Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Ji Quan that as sometimes used in Western countries. Basically just removing the last character which means fist. I don't recommend this two-character selection because it's not really a word without the third character in Japanese and Chinese.

Five Elements Tai Chi Fist

China wǔ xíng tài jí quán
Japan go gyou tai kyoku ken
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Wall Scroll

五行太極拳 is a certain school or style of Tai Chi (Taiji). The characters literally mean "Five Elements Tai Chi Fist."

Notes:
In Taiwan, it would be Romanized as "Wu Hsing Tai Chi Chuan" - see the standard Mandarin method above in the gray box (used in mainland China and the official Romanization used by the Library of Congress).

The last three characters are sometimes translated as "Grand Ultimate Fist," so the whole thing can be "Five Elements Grand Ultimate Fist" if you wish.

I have not confirmed the use of this title in Korean but if it is used, it's probably only by martial arts enthusiasts. The pronunciation is correct as shown above for Korean.

Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu

China tài jí yǒng chūn gōng fu
Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu Wall Scroll

太極詠春功夫 is the title Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu. Please note that it can be romanized a variety of ways such as:
Tai Chi Ving Tsun Kung Fu
Tai Qi Yong Chun Gong Fu
Taai Gik Wing Ceon Gung Fu

Be sure this is the right title for what you are looking for before you order.

Tai Chi Ball

China tài jí qiú
Japan tai kyoku kyuu
Tai Chi Ball Wall Scroll

太極球 is the title "Tai Chi Ball."

This may refer to any number of variations of exercise balls, some with yin-yang themes, others strictly for taichi/taiji or qigong exercises.

Ba Ji Quan

China bā jí quán
Japan hakkyo ku ken
Ba Ji Quan Wall Scroll

八極拳 is "Ba Ji Quan" or "Eight Extremes Fist."

Some also translate this as "Eight Extremities Fist," though I don't feel that's accurate.

八極拳 (Bājíquán) is a Chinese martial art that features explosive, short-range power and is famous for its elbow strikes. It originated in the Hebei Province in Northern China but spread to Taiwan and other places.

The full title is 開門八極拳 (Kāimén Bājíquán), which means Open-Door Bajiquan.

You may also see this romanized as "BaJiQuan," "Pa Chi Ch`üan," or "Pa Chi Chuan."

In Japan, this is known as, "Hakkyokuken."

Qi Gong / Chi Kung

China qì gōng
Japan kikou
Qi Gong / Chi Kung Wall Scroll

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.

Sticky Hands / Chi Sau

China chī shǒu
Sticky Hands / Chi Sau Wall Scroll

The first character means "wood glue" or can be understood as "sticky" or "sticking."
The second character means "hand" (or "hands").

This term can be romanized as "Chi Sau," "Chi Sao," or from Mandarin, "Chi Shou."

黐手 is a concept that comes from the Wing Chun (AKA: Ving Tsun, Wing Tsun, or Yong Chun) style of martial arts. If you are looking for this term, chances are, you already know the meaning within the context of Wing Chun.




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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Tai Chi Chuan Dao
Tai Ji Quan Dao
太極拳道
太极拳道
tài jí quán dào
tai4 ji2 quan2 dao4
tai ji quan dao
taijiquandao
t`ai chi ch`üan tao
taichichüantao
tai chi chüan tao
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Ji Quan
太極拳
太极拳
tai kyoku ken
taikyokuken
tài jí quán
tai4 ji2 quan2
tai ji quan
taijiquan
t`ai chi ch`üan
taichichüan
tai chi chüan
Kenpo
Kempo
Quan Fa
Chuan Fa
拳法kenpou / kenpoquán fǎ / quan2 fa3 / quan fa / quanfa ch`üan fa / chüanfa / chüan fa
Tai Chi
Tai Ji
太極
太极
taikyokutài jí / tai4 ji2 / tai ji / taiji t`ai chi / taichi / tai chi
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist 五行太極拳
五行太极拳
go gyou tai kyoku ken
gogyoutaikyokuken
go gyo tai kyoku ken
gogyotaikyokuken
wǔ xíng tài jí quán
wu3 xing2 tai4 ji2 quan2
wu xing tai ji quan
wuxingtaijiquan
wu hsing t`ai chi ch`üan
wuhsingtaichichüan
wu hsing tai chi chüan
Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu 太極詠春功夫
太极咏春功夫
tài jí yǒng chūn gōng fu
tai4 ji2 yong3 chun1 gong1 fu
tai ji yong chun gong fu
taijiyongchungongfu
t`ai chi yung ch`un kung fu
taichiyungchunkungfu
tai chi yung chun kung fu
Tai Chi Ball 太極球
太极球
tai kyoku kyuu
taikyokukyuu
tai kyoku kyu
taikyokukyu
tài jí qiú
tai4 ji2 qiu2
tai ji qiu
taijiqiu
t`ai chi ch`iu
taichichiu
tai chi chiu
Ba Ji Quan 八極拳
八极拳
hakkyo ku ken
hakkyokuken
hakyo ku ken
hakyokuken
bā jí quán
ba1 ji2 quan2
ba ji quan
bajiquan
pa chi ch`üan
pachichüan
pa chi chüan
Qi Gong
Chi Kung
氣功
气功
kikou / kikoqì gōng / qi4 gong1 / qi gong / qigong ch`i kung / chikung / chi kung
Sticky Hands
Chi Sau
黐手chī shǒu / chi1 shou3 / chi shou / chishou ch`ih shou / chihshou / chih shou
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.


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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Tai Chi Quan Fa Kanji, Tai Chi Quan Fa Characters, Tai Chi Quan Fa in Mandarin Chinese, Tai Chi Quan Fa Characters, Tai Chi Quan Fa in Chinese Writing, Tai Chi Quan Fa in Japanese Writing, Tai Chi Quan Fa in Asian Writing, Tai Chi Quan Fa Ideograms, Chinese Tai Chi Quan Fa symbols, Tai Chi Quan Fa Hieroglyphics, Tai Chi Quan Fa Glyphs, Tai Chi Quan Fa in Chinese Letters, Tai Chi Quan Fa Hanzi, Tai Chi Quan Fa in Japanese Kanji, Tai Chi Quan Fa Pictograms, Tai Chi Quan Fa in the Chinese Written-Language, or Tai Chi Quan Fa in the Japanese Written-Language.