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This Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean word can also be defined as "moral principles", morality, ethics, ethical, morals, or virtue.
The first character is the same that is associated with Daoism / Taoism. 道德 is also used to express morality, virtue, or simply morals.
There is a slight deviation in the Japanese Kanji form. If you want the modern Japanese version, please click on the special Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note that the traditional Chinese form is still readable and understood by Japanese people.
貞烈 is the Japanese Kanji for, "Extreme Faithfulness".
The first Kanji means "firm adherence to one's principles", chastity (of a woman), chaste, etc.
The second Kanji means ardent, intense, fierce, stern, upright, to give one's life for a noble cause, exploits, achievements, virtuous, and in some contexts, heroic.
Now you get the idea why this refers to someone who is extremely faithful (to a cause, themselves, their religious beliefs, or their philosophy.
軍紀 means military discipline or military principles.
If maintaining your military discipline is important to you personally, or important to your military unit, this is the wall scroll to have up behind your desk. In fact, it's the kind of thing I expect to see behind the desk of a First Sergeant or maybe a hardcore NCO.
Note: In some rare context, it could be extended to mean "morale" but "discipline" is much closer to the commonly-held definition.
Note: This term is not well-known outside of the military services in Asia (not used by the common person).
See Also: Self-Discipline
The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.
It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:
1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.
2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.
3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.
4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.
5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.
CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu’s writings would understand.
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.
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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|
道德 / 道徳
|dou toku / doutoku / do toku / dotoku||dào dé / dao4 de2 / dao de / daode||tao te / taote|
|Extreme Faithfulness||貞烈||tei retsu / teiretsu|
|gun ki / gunki||jūn jì / jun1 ji4 / jun ji / junji||chün chi / chünchi|
|Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis||道天地將法|
|dou ten chi shou hou|
do ten chi sho ho
|dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ|
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
|tao t`ien ti chiang fa
tao tien ti chiang fa
|拳法||kenpou / kenpo||quán fǎ / quan2 fa3 / quan fa / quanfa||ch`üan fa / chüanfa / chüan fa|
|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.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your first principles search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
lean on one side
(See 永字八法) first principle of the Eight Principles of Yong; tiny dash or speck; (surname) Soba
lean to one side
hashi(p); haji; hana
はし(P); はじ; はな
end; extremity; item; port; to hold something level with both hands; to carry; regular
(1) end (e.g. of street); tip; point; edge; margin; (2) beginning; start; first; (3) odds and ends; scrap; odd bit; least; (female given name) Mizuki
Beginning, coming forth, elementary principles; a point either beginning or end; straight, proper; starting point
| wǔ fǎ
pañcadharma. The five laws or categories, of which four groups are as follows: I. 相名五法 The five categories of form and name: (1) 相 appearances, or phenomena; (2) 名 their names; (3) 分別 sometimes called 妄想 ordinary mental discrimination of them— (1) and (2) are objective, (3) subjective; (4) 正智 corrective wisdom, which corrects the deficiencies and errors of the last: (5) 如如 the 眞如 Bhutatathata or absolute wisdom, reached through the 如理智 understanding of the law of the absolute, or ultimate truth. II. 事理五法 The five categories into which things and their principles are divided: (1) 心法 mind; (2) 心所法 mental conditions or activities; (3) 色法 the actual states or categories as conceived; (4) 不相應法 hypothetic categories, 唯識 has twenty-four, the Abhidharma fourteen; (5) 無爲法 the state of rest, or the inactive principle pervading all things; the first four are the 事 and the last the 理. III. 理智五法 cf. 五智; the five categories of essential wisdom: (1) 眞如 the absolute; (2) 大圓鏡智 wisdom as the great perfect mirror reflecting all things; (3) 平等性智 wisdom of the equal Buddha nature of all beings; (4) 妙觀察智 wisdom of mystic insight into all things and removal of ignorance and doubt; (5) 成所作智 wisdom perfect in action and bringing blessing to self and others. IV. 提婆五法 The five obnoxious rules of Devadatta: not to take milk in any form, nor meat, nor salt; to wear unshaped garments, and to live apart. Another set is: to wear cast-off rags, beg food, have only one set meal a day, dwell in the open, and abstain from all kinds of flesh, milk, etc; five kinds of dharmas
| yuán jiào
The complete, perfect, or comprehensive doctrine; the school or sect of Mahāyāna which represents it. The term has had three references. The first was by 光統 Guangtong of the Later Wei, sixth century, who defined three schools, 漸 gradual, 頓 immediate, and 圓 inclusive or complete. The Tiantai called its fourth section the inclusive, complete, or perfect teaching 圓, the other three being 三藏 Hīnayāna, 通 Mahāyāna-cum-Hīnayāna, 別 Mahāyāna. The Huayan so called its fifth section, i.e. 小乘; 大乘始; 大乘終; 頓 and 圓. It is the Tiantai version that is in general acceptance, defined as a perfect whole and as complete in its parts; for the whole is the absolute and its parts are therefore the absolute; the two may be called noumenon and phenomenon, or 空 and 假 (or 俗), but in reality they are one, i.e. the 中 medial condition. To conceive these three as a whole is the Tiantai inclusive or 'perfect' doctrine. The Huayan 'perfect' doctrine also taught that unity and differentiation, or absolute and relative, were one, a similar doctrine to that of the identity of contraries. In Tiantai teaching the harmony is due to its underlying unity; its completeness to the permeation of this unity in all phenomena; these two are united in the medial 中 principle; to comprehend these three principles at one and the same time is the complete, all-containing, or 'perfect' doctrine of Tiantai. There are other definitions of the all-inclusive doctrine, e.g. the eight complete things, complete in teaching, principles, knowledge, etc. 圓教四門 v. 四門; complete teaching
| qǐ xìn lùn
qi3 xin4 lun4
ch`i hsin lun
chi hsin lun
Śraddhotpada Śāstra; it is one of the earliest remaining Mahāyāna texts and is attributed to Aśvaghoṣa; cf. 馬鳴; two tr. have been made, one by Paramārtha in A. D. 554, another by Śikṣānanda, circa 700; the first text is more generally accepted, as Chih-i, the founder of Tiantai, was Paramārtha's amanuensis, and 法藏 Fazang (643-712) made the standard commentary on it, the 起信論義記, though he had assisted Śikṣānanda in his translation. It gives the fundamental principles of Mahāyāna, and was tr. into English by Teitaro Suzuki (1900), also by T. Richard. There are several commentaries and treatises on it; Awakening of Faith
| wǔ zhǒng wéi shì
wu3 zhong3 wei2 shi4
wu chung wei shih
The five kinds of weishi, or idealistic representation in the sutras and śāstras as summed up by Cien 慈恩 of the 法相宗 Dharmalakṣana school: (1) 境唯識 wisdom or insight in objective conditions; (2) 教唯識 in interpretation; (3) 理唯識 in principles; (4) 行唯識 in meditation and practice; (5) 果唯識 in the fruits or results of Buddhahood. The first four are objective, the fifth subject; five kinds of consciousness-only
| mín zú zhǔ yì
min2 zu2 zhu3 yi4
min tsu chu i
nationalism; national self-determination; principle of nationalism, the first of Dr Sun Yat-sen's 孫中山|孙中山 Three Principles of the People 三民主義|三民主义 (at the time, meaning parity between China and the great powers); racism
| zhōng dào dì yī yì
zhong1 dao4 di4 yi1 yi4
chung tao ti i i
chūdō daiichi gi
The 'mean' is the first and chief of all principles, nothing is outside it; middle way as the highest truth
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