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五祖拳 is a martial arts concept (or school) known as Five Ancestors' Fist.
The first character means five.
The second means ancestor, forefather, or grandparents.
The third means fist.
The ancestors referred to by this title and whose attributes contribute to this style are as follows:
1. Grace of the White Crane.
2. Agility of the Monkey.
3. Precision and skill of Emperor Taizu (great mythical ancestor).
4. Power of Luohan (Buddhist arhat).
5. Breath of Damo (founder of Buddhism, or the first Buddha).
This can be translated literally as "Southern School Praying Mantis" or "Southern Style Praying Mantis".
Despite its name, the Southern Praying Mantis style of Chinese martial arts is unrelated to the Northern Praying Mantis style. Southern Praying Mantis is instead related most closely to fellow Hakka styles such as Dragon and more distantly to the Fujian family of styles that includes Fujian White Crane, Five Ancestors, and Wing Chun.
This style of martial arts focuses more on fighting skills rather than aesthetics.
Of course, you already knew that if you were looking for this term.
Note: This title can be pronounced and does have meaning in Korean but only to Koreans familiar with Chinese martial arts.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Five Ancestors Fist||五祖拳||wǔ zǔ quán|
wu3 zu3 quan2
wu zu quan
|wu tsu ch`üan
wu tsu chüan
|Southern Praying Mantis||南派螳螂||nán pài táng láng|
nan2 pai4 tang2 lang2
nan pai tang lang
|nan p`ai t`ang lang
nan pai tang lang
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your five ancestors search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| wǔ zǔ quán
wu3 zu3 quan2
wu tsu ch`üan
wu tsu chüan
Wuzuquan - "Five Ancestors" - Martial Art
sou / so
school; sect; purpose; model; ancestor; clan; to take as one's model (in academic or artistic work); classifier for batches, items, cases (medical or legal), reservoirs
(1) (obscure) origin; source; (2) (obscure) virtuous ancestor; (given name) Motoi
Ancestors, ancestral; clan; class, category. kind; school, sect; siddhānta, summary, main doctrine, syllogism, proposition, conclusion, realization. Sects are of two kinds: (1) those founded on principles having historic continuity, as the twenty sects of the Hīnayāna, the thirteen sects of China, and the fourteen sects of Japan: (2) those arising from an individual interpretation of the general teaching of Buddhism, as the sub-sects founded by Yongming 永明 (d. 975), 法相宗, 法性宗, 破相宗, or those based on a peculiar interpretation of one of the recognized sects, as the Jōdo-shinshū 淨土眞宗 found by Shinran-shōnin. There are also divisions of five, six, and ten, which have reference to specific doctrinal differences. Cf. 宗派; a tenet
| rì zhǒng
Sūrya-vaṃśa, one of the five surnames of Śākyamuni, sun-seed or lineage, his first ancestors having been produced by the sun from. 'two stalks of sugar-cane'; v. Ikṣvāku.
| fó wǔ xìng
fo2 wu3 xing4
fo wu hsing
The five surnames of Buddha before he became enlightened: 瞿曇 Gautama, a branch of the Śākya clan; 甘蔗Ikṣvāku, one of Buddha's ancestors; 日種 Sūryavaṁśa, of the sun race; 舍夷 ? Śāka; 釋迦 Śākya, the name of Buddha's clan. This last is generally used in China; the Buddha's five surnames
| dà sān mò duō
da4 san1 mo4 duo1
ta san mo to
Mahāsaṃmata. The first of the five kings of the Vivarta kalpa (成劫五王 ), one of the ancestors of the Śākya clan.
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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.
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