Not what you want?

Try searching again using:
1. Other similar-meaning words.
2. Fewer words or just one word.

功夫 in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a 功夫 calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "功夫" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "功夫" title below...

  1. Kung Fu / Gong Fu

  2. Kajukenbo Slogan

  3. Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou

  4. Laughing Dragon Kung Fu

  5. Shaolin Kung Fu

  6. Wing Chun Kung Fu

  7. Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu

  8. Drunken Monkey Kung Fu

  9. Wing Chun Fist Maxims


Kung Fu / Gong Fu

China gōng fu
HK gung fu
Japan kan fu / ku fu
Kung Fu / Gong Fu Vertical Wall Scroll

One of the most famous types of martial arts in the world - and not just because of Bruce Lee.

Some translate the meaning as "Accomplishment by Great Effort." I think this is partially true but directly translated it literally means "Merit/Achievement/Accomplishment Man." The word "fu" can sometimes mean "husband" or "porter" but in this case, it can only mean "man." However, few in China will think "man" when they hear the word "Gong Fu" spoken.

This term is also used for things other than martial arts. In fact, it's used to refer to a person with excellent skills in crafts that require a great deal of effort such as cooking, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy.

What a lot of people don't know is that the spelling of "Kung Fu" was actually taken from the old Wade Giles form of Romanization. Using this method, the sounds of the English "G" and "K" were both written as "K" and an apostrophe after the "K" told you it was supposed to sound like a "G." Nobody in the west knew this rule, so most people pronounce it with a "K-sound." And so Gong Fu will always be Kung Fu for most westerners.

Also, just to educate you a little more, the "O" in "Gong" has a sound like the English word "oh."

The popular Chinese dish "Kung Pao Chicken" suffers from the same problem. It should actually be "Gong Bao Chicken."

Historical note: Many will claim that Kung Fu was invented by the monks of the Shaolin monastery. This fact is argued in both directions by scholars of Chinese history. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the Shaolin Monks brought the original fame to Kung Fu many generations ago.


Japanese note: While most Japanese martial artists will recognize these characters, Katakana is more often used to approximate the pronunciation of "Kung Fu" with "カンフー." Some will argue as to whether this should be considered a Japanese word at all.


See Also:  Bruce Lee

Kajukenbo Slogan

Japan kenpo kunfu
Kajukenbo Slogan Vertical Wall Scroll

拳法功夫 is the Japanese slogan associated with Kajukenbo.

There is not a way to really write Kajukenbo in Japanese (as the "ka" for karate cannot be separated from the "kara" character it is supposed to represent - among a few other language issues). This slogan which reads, "fist law, kung fu" is often written on banners and patches for Kajukenbo clubs or dojos.

Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou

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

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."

Laughing Dragon Kung Fu

China xiào lóng gōng fu
Laughing Dragon Kung Fu Vertical Wall Scroll

笑龍功夫 is the title for a Martial Arts studio (custom-made at by request of the owner of the studio).

Shaolin Kung Fu

China shǎo lín gōng fu
Japan sho rin kan fu
Shaolin Kung Fu Vertical Wall Scroll

The Shaolin monks of China have been practicing the art of Kung Fu for thousands of years.

少林功夫 is the full title, "Shao Lin Kung Fu."

Wing Chun Kung Fu

China yǒng chūn gōng fu
HK wing cheun gung fu
Wing Chun Kung Fu Vertical Wall Scroll

The first two characters literally mean "Singing Spring" (as in springtime).

The last two are "Kung Fu."

Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu

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

This 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.

Drunken Monkey Kung Fu

China zuì hóu gōng fu
Drunken Monkey Kung Fu Vertical Wall Scroll

This is the title for Drunken Monkey Kung Fu (Gong Fu). The martial arts style inspired by the novel, "Journey to the West."


See Also:  Monkey Fist

Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 2)

Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 2) Vertical Wall Scroll

A customer asked me to split these Wing Chun maxims into two parts, so he could order a couplet. It thought this was a good idea, so it's been added here.

Chinese text of Part 2:
6 步步追形, 點點朝午
7 以形補手, 敗形不敗馬
8 腰馬一致, 心意合一
9 拳由心發, 動法無形
10 活人練活死功夫

Be sure to order both part 1 and part 2 together. They need to be a matched set. It will be incomplete as a single wall scroll. Also, each wall scroll is handmade, so if you order them separately, weeks or months apart, they will vary a little by length, shade of paper, etc.

Wing Chun Fist Maxims

Wing Chun Kuen Kuit
Wing Chun Fist Maxims Vertical Wall Scroll

This is the chant or poem of Wing Chun. I call it a "chant" because it was meant to be a somewhat rhythmic poem to help practitioners memorize many aspects of Wing Chun.

You will see this referred to as, "Wing Chun Kuem Kuit." This Cantonese romanization is popular in the west (and there is no official way to romanize Cantonese, so many variations exist). In Mandarin it would be, "Yong Chun Quan Jue." The last character (kuit or kyut from Cantonese, jue or chüeh from Mandarin) kind of means "secrets of the art." It's a short way to write 口訣, meaning "mnemonic chant" or "rhyme for remembering."

In the west (especially in the military), we often use acronyms to remember things. There's no initials to make acronyms in Chinese, so in ancient times, chants like this are used to remember vast amounts of information.

This is the Chinese text:
1 有手黐手,無手問手
2 來留區送, 甩手直沖
3 怕打終歸打, 貪打終被打
4 粘連迫攻, 絕不放鬆
5 來力瀉力, 借力出擊
6 步步追形, 點點朝午
7 以形補手, 敗形不敗馬
8 腰馬一致, 心意合一
9 拳由心發, 動法無形
10 活人練活死功夫

I will presume you already know the meaning of the 10 maxims, so I will skip that to keep this calligraphy entry from getting too large.

Some think 练拳者必记 is the title but that just says, "Training fist people should remember:." Therefore, I've not included that in the calligraphy. However, you can put a note in the special instructions if you want it added.

Note: On a traditional calligraphy wall scroll, the characters will be written in vertical columns, starting from the right, and proceeding left.


Note: This is an except and variation from a huge 口訣. These 10 maxims are used extensively in Wing Chun training, and you'll find them all over the internet. Just know there is a much longer version out there, along with several variations and excepts like this one. If you know of, or want a different version, just contact me, and I will add it for you.


Not the results for 功夫 that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your 功夫 search...

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

功夫

see styles
Mandarin gōng fū / gong1 fu1
Taiwan kung fu
Japanese kanfuu;kunfuu / kanfu;kunfu / カンフー;クンフー
Wing Chun Fist Maxims Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese skill; art; kung fu; labor; effort
Japanese (kana only) {MA} kung fu (chi: go'ngfu); (male given name) Norio; (personal name) Kouo; (male given name) Katsuo; (given name) Isao
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

下功夫

see styles
Mandarin xià gōng fu / xia4 gong1 fu5
Taiwan hsia kung fu
Chinese see 下工夫[xia4 gong1 fu5]

做功夫

see styles
Mandarin zuò gōng fu / zuo4 gong1 fu5
Taiwan tso kung fu
Chinese to practice (work skills)

功夫球

see styles
Mandarin gōng fu qiú / gong1 fu5 qiu2
Taiwan kung fu ch`iu / kung fu chiu
Chinese see 鐵球|铁球[tie3 qiu2]

功夫茶

see styles
Mandarin gōng fu chá / gong1 fu5 cha2
Taiwan kung fu ch`a / kung fu cha
Chinese very concentrated type of tea drunk in Chaozhou, Fujian and Taiwan

抓功夫

see styles
Mandarin zhuā gōng fu / zhua1 gong1 fu5
Taiwan chua kung fu
Chinese to maximize one's time; to catch some time out; to find enough time; (also 抓工夫)

工夫(P);功夫

see styles
Japanese kufuu / kufu / くふう Japanese (noun/participle) (1) scheme; device; scheming; devising; figuring out; coming up with; solving ingeniously; (2) dedication to spiritual improvement (esp. through Zen meditation)

只要功夫深,鐵杵磨成針


只要功夫深,铁杵磨成针

see styles
Mandarin zhǐ yào gōng fu shēn , tiě chǔ mó chéng zhēn / zhi3 yao4 gong1 fu5 shen1 , tie3 chu3 mo2 cheng2 zhen1
Taiwan chih yao kung fu shen , t`ieh ch`u mo ch`eng chen / chih yao kung fu shen , tieh chu mo cheng chen
Chinese If you work at it hard enough, you can grind an iron bar into a needle.; cf idiom 磨杵成針|磨杵成针, to grind an iron bar down to a fine needle (idiom); fig. to persevere in a difficult task; to study diligently

Search for 功夫 in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Kung Fu
Gong Fu
功夫kan fu / ku fu
kanfu / kufu
gōng fu / gong1 fu / gong fu / gongfukung fu / kungfu
Kajukenbo Slogan拳法功夫kenpo kunfu
kenpokunfu
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
Laughing Dragon Kung Fu笑龍功夫
笑龙功夫
xiào lóng gōng fu
xiao4 long2 gong1 fu
xiao long gong fu
xiaolonggongfu
hsiao lung kung fu
hsiaolungkungfu
Shaolin Kung Fu少林功夫sho rin kan fu
shorinkanfu
shǎo lín gōng fu
shao3 lin2 gong1 fu
shao lin gong fu
shaolingongfu
shao lin kung fu
shaolinkungfu
Wing Chun Kung Fu詠春功夫
咏春功夫
yǒng chūn gōng fu
yong3 chun1 gong1 fu
yong chun gong fu
yongchungongfu
yung ch`un kung fu
yungchunkungfu
yung chun kung fu
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
Drunken Monkey Kung Fu醉猴功夫 / 醉猴功伕
醉猴功夫
zuì hóu gōng fu
zui4 hou2 gong1 fu
zui hou gong fu
zuihougongfu
tsui hou kung fu
tsuihoukungfu
Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 2)步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫
步步追形点点朝午以形补手败形不败马腰马一致心意合一拳由心发动法无形活人练活死功夫
Wing Chun Fist Maxims有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫
有手黐手无手问手来留区送甩手直冲怕打终归打贪打终被打粘连迫攻绝不放松来力泻力借力出击步步追形点点朝午以形补手败形不败马腰马一致心意合一拳由心发动法无形活人练活死功夫
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.



Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Achieve Inner Peace
Archangel
Bible
Black
Bond
Bushido
Butterfly
Commitment
Dance
Dragon and Phoenix
Endure
Enso
Faith
Family
Forgiveness
Fortune
Guardian
Holy Ghost
Humility
Inner Beauty
Knowledge
Lone Wolf
Long Life
Loyalty
Luck and Fortune
Martial Arts
Mixed Martial Arts
Never Give Up
Overcome
Phoenix and Dragon
Power
Prince
Protector
Rabbit
Safety and Well Being of Family
Siddhartha
Snake
Tae Kwon Do
Wealth
Wellness
Winter
Wood
Yellow

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.