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Defense in Chinese / Japanese...

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China zì wèi
Japan ji ei
Self-Defense Vertical Wall Scroll

自衛 means self-defense in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Defense / Defend

China fáng
Japan bou
Defense / Defend Vertical Wall Scroll

This single Chinese character, and Korean Hanja means to protect, to defend, to guard against, to prevent, to ward off, or to counter.

防 means the same thing in Japanese, though seldom seen alone as a single Kanji. When written alone, it could be the Japanese surname Fusegi.

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa

China quán fǎ
Japan kenpou
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Vertical 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.


military strategy
China fēng lín huǒ shān
Japan fuu rin ka zan
Furinkazan Vertical Wall Scroll

風林火山 is the battle strategy and proverb of Japanese feudal lord Takeda Shingen (1521-1573 A.D.).

This came from the Art of War by Chinese strategist and tactician Sun Tzu (Sunzi).

You can think of this as a sort of abbreviation to remind officers and troops how to conduct battle.

風林火山 is literally a word list: Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain.

The more expanded meaning is supposed to be...

"Swift as the wind, quiet as the forest, fierce as fire, and immovable as a mountain"

"As fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and immovable as the mountain"

"Move as swift as the wind, stay as silent as a forest, attack as fierce as fire, undefeatable defense like a mountain"

"Move swiftly like the wind, stay silent like the forest, attack fiercely like fire, take tactical position on the mountain"

See Also:  Art of War

Not the results for defense that you were looking for?

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


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
Mandarin quán fǎ / quan2 fa3
Taiwan ch`üan fa / chüan fa
Japanese kenpou / kenpo / けんぽう
Furinkazan Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese boxing; fighting technique
Japanese Chinese art of self-defence (defense)



see styles
Mandarin wǔ shù / wu3 shu4
Taiwan wu shu
Japanese bujutsu / ぶじゅつ
Furinkazan Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese military skill or technique (in former times); all kinds of martial art sports (some claiming spiritual development); self-defense; tradition of choreographed fights from opera and film (recent usage); also called kungfu 功夫; CL:種|种[zhong3]
Japanese (1) {MA} martial arts; military arts; (2) (See 武術太極拳) wushu; modern sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts



see styles
Mandarin zì wèi / zi4 wei4
Taiwan tzu wei
Japanese jiei / jie / じえい
Furinkazan Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese self-defense
Japanese (n,vs,adj-no) self-defense; self-defence

see styles
Mandarin pù // bǎo / pu4 // bao3
Taiwan p`u // pao / pu // pao
Chinese variant of 鋪|铺[pu4]; used in place names; an earthwork; castle; position of defense; stronghold; used in place names, often as phonetic bao for "burg" or "bad"

see styles
Mandarin léi / lei2
Taiwan lei
Chinese logs rolled down in defense of city


see styles
Mandarin fēn hóng / fen1 hong2
Taiwan fen hung
Chinese to separate flood; flood defense


see styles
Japanese uke / うけ Japanese (n,n-suf) (1) popularity; favour; favor; reception; (2) defense; defence; reputation; (3) agreement; (4) receiver of technique (e.g. in martial arts); (5) (kana only) (colloquialism) submissive partner of a homosexual relationship


see styles
Japanese katame / かため Japanese (1) hardening; fortifying; (2) pledge; vow; (3) defense; defence; guarding


see styles
Japanese kokusen / こくせん Japanese (noun - becomes adjective with の) (See 私選・1) selection by the state (esp. of a defense lawyer); appointment; assignment


see styles
Japanese kokubou / kokubo / こくぼう Japanese national defence; national defense



see styles
Mandarin guó fáng / guo2 fang2
Taiwan kuo fang
Chinese national defense
Japanese See: 国防


see styles
Mandarin chéng fáng / cheng2 fang2
Taiwan ch`eng fang / cheng fang
Chinese city defense



see styles
Mandarin jiān shǒu / jian1 shou3
Taiwan chien shou
Japanese kenshu / けんしゅ
Chinese to hold fast to; to stick to
Japanese (noun/participle) strong defense; strong defence


see styles
Japanese mamori / まもり Japanese (1) babysitting; babysitter; (2) protecting; keeping; keeper; (1) protection; defense; defence; (2) providence; (3) (abbreviation) amulet; charm; talisman



see styles
Mandarin shǒu bèi / shou3 bei4
Taiwan shou pei
Japanese shubi / しゅび
Chinese to garrison; to stand guard; on garrison duty
Japanese (n,vs,adj-no) (See 攻撃・1) defense; defence


see styles
Japanese mamorigatana / まもりがたな Japanese (irregular okurigana usage) sword for self-defense; sword for self-defence


see styles
Japanese shusen / しゅせん Japanese war of defense; war of defence; defensive fight; defensive warfare



see styles
Mandarin shǒu dí / shou3 di2
Taiwan shou ti
Chinese enemy defense; enemy garrison


see styles
Mandarin bù fáng / bu4 fang2
Taiwan pu fang
Chinese to lay out a defense


see styles
Japanese suwariwaza / すわりわざ Japanese {MA} Aikido seated defence (defense)


see styles
Japanese benso / べんそ Japanese (noun/participle) excuse; plea; defense; defence


see styles
Japanese benkai / べんかい Japanese (n,vs,adj-no) justification; rationalization; pretext; explanation; exculpation; defence; defense; excuse; apology


see styles
Japanese bengo / べんご Japanese (noun/participle) defense; defence; pleading; advocacy


see styles
Japanese ushirowaza / うしろわざ Japanese {MA} Aikido rear defence (defense)


see styles
Japanese uke / うけ Japanese (n,n-suf) (1) popularity; favour; favor; reception; (2) defense; defence; reputation; (3) agreement; (4) receiver of technique (e.g. in martial arts); (5) (kana only) (colloquialism) submissive partner of a homosexual relationship



see styles
Mandarin kàng zāi / kang4 zai1
Taiwan k`ang tsai / kang tsai
Chinese defense against natural disasters



see styles
Mandarin kàng biàn / kang4 bian4
Taiwan k`ang pien / kang pien
Chinese to counter accusations; to protest; to remonstrate; to retort; to plead; to demur; a plea (of not guilty); a defense (against an allegation); to enter a plea to a charge (in a law court)


see styles
Japanese fusegi / ふせぎ Japanese defense; defence; protecting; preventing


see styles
Japanese sesshu / せっしゅ Japanese {sports} poor defense; poor defence


see styles
Japanese kyoshu / きょしゅ Japanese defense; defence

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Lookup Defense 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
ji ei / jieizì wèi / zi4 wei4 / zi wei / ziweitzu wei / tzuwei
bou / bofáng / fang2 / fang
Quan Fa
Chuan Fa
拳法kenpou / kenpoquán fǎ / quan2 fa3 / quan fa / quanfach`üan fa / chüanfa / chüan fa
fuu rin ka zan
fu rin ka zan
fēng lín huǒ shān
feng1 lin2 huo3 shan1
feng lin huo shan
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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Some people may refer to this entry as Defense Kanji, Defense Characters, Defense in Mandarin Chinese, Defense Characters, Defense in Chinese Writing, Defense in Japanese Writing, Defense in Asian Writing, Defense Ideograms, Chinese Defense symbols, Defense Hieroglyphics, Defense Glyphs, Defense in Chinese Letters, Defense Hanzi, Defense in Japanese Kanji, Defense Pictograms, Defense in the Chinese Written-Language, or Defense in the Japanese Written-Language.

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