We have many options to create artwork with Martial Arts characters on a wall scroll or portrait.
See our special page full of Martial Arts related words and phrases.
We also have specific pages for Karate, Aikido, Kung Fu, and Jujitsu.
If you need a different style of martial arts, just enter it in the calligraphy search box in the upper left of this page.
3. Martial Arts
13. Bruce Lee
17. Shotokan Aikido
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.
武道 is the very common Japanese way to say "Martial Arts."
武道 is used mostly in Japanese dojos but is also understood in Chinese and Korean.
Some will use this title to mean chivalry (the conduct of a knight) or military art. The way this word is understood would depend on the context in which it is used.
The first character means "force" or "warlike" or "essence of a warrior."
The second character means "method," "path," and "the way." It is the same character used to describe/mean the philosophy of Taoism / Daoism.
Some will also translate this as, "The Way of the Warrior," especially in the context of Korean martial arts.
武藝 is a Korean Hanja title that means, "martial arts" or "military skill."
武藝 is also a word in Chinese but used more often in the context of Korean martial arts.
From Korean, this is romanized as either "mu ye" or "moo ye." If you want to order this in modern Korean Hangul, just click the Hangul in the pronunciation box next to the Korean flag above.
武芸者 is the Japanese Kanji title for "Martial Arts Master." It suggests that you have reached at least the level of black belt, and are probably to the level where you are ready to become an instructor.
Please consider carefully where you stand before ordering this phrase on a wall scroll. If you are not a master, this will make you look a bit foolish.
If you want to get this as a gift for your master at the dojo. Try to discreetly make sure this term is used in your school. Different schools and styles of Japanese martial arts use different terms. You may notice in the Romaji and the characters, this has the same characters as "geisha" which means "person skilled in arts" (what a geisha girl really is). The title here has the character for "martial," "warrior," and/or "military" in front of it. Therefore the literal translation is "martial art person."
These Kanji are valid Chinese characters and Korean Hanja but this title does not really make sense in Chinese and not often used in Korean, though a Chinese or Korean would be able to guess the meaning by looking at the first and last characters.
This can be translated as "martial arts skills," "warrior skills," or "military skills" depending on usage.
In both Japanese and Chinese, rather than meaning martial arts, this speaks more to the skills that you posses in regards to martial arts. This phrase also has a light suggestion of "having an itch to show off these skills."
道場 is the Japanese term for a room or hall in which martial arts are taught. 道場 is often spelled "dojo" which has become a word in the English lexicon. However, the true Romaji is "doujou" or "dōjō."
Please note: The Chinese definition of these characters is quite different. In Chinese, this is a place where Buddhist or Taoist mass is held. It could also be the place where spiritual or psychic events are performed.
This refers to the virtue, morality, and ethics that any practitioner of martial arts should posses.
This can be used in both Chinese and Japanese in lieu of English terms such as "soldierly virtue," "good conduct" (military), "warrior ethics," and being honorable in regards to any fight or competition.
合気道 is the modern Japanese way to write Aikido.
Aikido is often referred to as the defensive martial art.
While Aikido was born in Japan, it has become a somewhat famous form of defensive tactics taught to soldiers and Marines, as well as some law enforcement officers in the West.
Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."
Please note that while the original 合氣道 characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.
Note: It is somewhat accepted that this is the origin of Hapkido in Korea. And other than a modern simplification to the middle Kanji of this 3-Kanji word, it is written the same in Korean Hanja.
See Also: Hapkido
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). 李小龍 is a common family name that also means "plum."
His given name "Xiao-Long" literally means "little dragon." 李小龍 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).
The literal meaning of these characters is "empty hand method" or "empty hand way."
Credit is given that karate started in China but migrated and became refined, and vastly popular in Japan.
Karate is a martial art that uses no blades of weapons other than the "natural weapons" that God gave to humans (fists and feet). The last character somehow became optional but the meaning of that character is "method" or "the way" as in Taoism / Daoism.
The first two characters mean "karate" - technically they express "empty hand."
The last two express "fist law" which is Romanized from Japanese as "Kenpo" or "Kempo."
That "empty hand" translation can be understood better when you grasp the idea that karate is a martial art without weapons (other than the weapons organic to your body, such as your foot, hand, fist, etc). When you practice karate, you do so with empty hands (no weapons).
Note: There is also an antiquated way to write karate. It has the same pronunciation but a different first character which means "Tang" as in the Tang Dynasty. Some dojos use that form - let us know if you need that alternate form, and we'll add it for you.
少林寺拳法 is a specific type of martial arts in Japan that claims origins in the Kung Fu practiced in the original Shaolin Monastery of China.
The first three characters mean "Shaolin Monastery" and you might notice the Japanese is pronounced in a very similar way. 少林寺拳法 is because many words were "borrowed" from the original Chinese when Japan did not have a written language and simply absorbed Chinese characters into their language around the 5th century. When a Japanese word did not exist, the Chinese pronunciation was often absorbed as well as the written form.
The last two characters mean "fist law" or "method of the fist." It has long been argued as to whether the Japanese for these characters should be Romanized as "kempo" or "kenpo." The official method should be "kenpou" but it's common to drop the "u" that comes after the "o."
I imagine if you are looking for this title, you already know what it means, so the above is simply extra information that a student of Shorinji Kempo might want to know.
This is the title for Shotokan Aikido in Japanese.
Note: Chinese and Korean pronunciations of these characters are included above, however, this title would only be understood in Chinese or Korean by someone who practices or is familiar with Shotokan Aikido. Please consider this title to be "Japanese only."
See Also: Hapkido
団結空手道 is the title for Danketsu Karate-Do, a dojo located in Stroudsburg, PA.
団結 (danketsu) means union, unity, or combination.
空手道 (karate-do) means "empty hand way".
If you need you martial arts school/dojo/academy added to my database, just give me the info (actual Chinese/Japanese text if you have it).
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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|
|bujutsu||wǔ shù / wu3 shu4 / wu shu / wushu|
|武道||bu dou / budou / bu do / budo||wǔ dào / wu3 dao4 / wu dao / wudao||wu tao / wutao|
|wǔ yì / wu3 yi4 / wu yi / wuyi||wu i / wui|
|Martial Arts Master||武芸者||bugeisha||wǔ yún zhě|
wu3 yun2 zhe3
wu yun zhe
|wu yün che
|Martial Arts Skills||武技||bugi||wǔ jì / wu3 ji4 / wu ji / wuji||wu chi / wuchi|
Martial Arts Studio
|dou jou / doujou / do jo / dojo||dào cháng|
Martial Arts Ethics
|武德||butoku||wǔ dé / wu3 de2 / wu de / wude||wu te / wute|
|Mixed Martial Arts|
|散打||sàn dǎ / san4 da3 / san da / sanda||san ta / santa|
|Mixed Martial Arts||綜合格鬥|
|zōng hé gé dòu|
zong1 he2 ge2 dou4
zong he ge dou
|tsung ho ko tou
|Mixed Martial Arts||総合格闘技||sougoukakutougi|
|The Nature of Martial Arts||自然武道||shi zen bu do|
|zì rán wǔ dào|
zi4 ran2 wu3 dao4
zi ran wu dao
|tzu jan wu tao
|Shaolin Martial Arts||少林武功||shǎo lín wǔ gōng|
shao3 lin2 wu3 gong1
shao lin wu gong
|shao lin wu kung
|ai ki dou / aikidou / ai ki do / aikido||hé qì dào|
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
|ho ch`i tao
ho chi tao
|bu ruu su ri|
bu ru su ri
|lǐ xiǎo lóng|
li3 xiao3 long2
li xiao long
|li hsiao lung
|Karate-Do||空手道||kara te dou|
kara te do
|kōng shǒu dào|
kong1 shou3 dao4
kong shou dao
|k`ung shou tao
kung shou tao
Law of the Fist Empty Hand
|空手拳法||kara te ken pou|
kara te ken po
|kōng shǒu quán fǎ|
kong1 shou3 quan2 fa3
kong shou quan fa
|k`ung shou ch`üan fa
kung shou chüan fa
|shào lín sì quán fǎ|
shao4 lin2 si4 quan2 fa3
shao lin si quan fa
|shao lin ssu ch`üan fa
shao lin ssu chüan fa
|Shotokan Aikido||鬆濤館合氣道 (Old Japanese/Chinese)|
松涛館合気道 (Modern Japanese)
|shou tou kan ai ki dou|
sho to kan ai ki do
|sōng tāo guǎn hé qì dào|
song1 tao1 guan3 he2 qi4 dao4
song tao guan he qi dao
|sung t`ao kuan ho ch`i tao
sung tao kuan ho chi tao
|Danketsu Karate-Do||団結空手道||dan ketsu kara te dou|
dan ketsu kara te do
|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.