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13. Cuong Nhu
15. Be Like Water
靈活性 is a Chinese and Korean word that means flexibility or being open to change.
You consider others' ideas and feelings and don't insist on your own way. Flexibility gives you creative new ways to get things done. Flexibility helps you to keep changing for the better. 靈活性 could also be defined as having a “flexible nature.”
See Also: Cooperation
Alternate / Japanese version
Softness Overcomes Hardness
彈性 means resilience, flexibility, or elasticity in Chinese characters and old Korean Hanja.
伸縮 can mean, to lengthen and shorten; flexible; adjustable; retractable; extensible; expansion and contraction; elasticity; flexibility; elastic; stretchy.
伸縮 is often romanized from Korean as “Shin Chook,” which is associated with one of the 8 key concepts of Tang Soo Do.
Being tolerant is accepting differences. You don't expect others to think, look, speak or act just like you. You are free of prejudice, knowing that all people have feelings, needs, hopes, and dreams. Tolerance is also accepting things you wish were different with patience and flexibility.
寬容 can also be translated as magnanimity, generosity, or leniency.
Note: There is a tiny deviation in the first character when written in Japanese. If you choose our Japanese master calligrapher, the little dot on the lower right of the first character will be omitted. With or without the dot, this can be read in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.
See Also: Patience
This 柔 Kanji literally means flexible, pliable, gentle, or yielding.
柔 is also the first Kanji of the Japanese martial arts titles of Judo and Jujutsu (Jujitsu). In those cases, it's pronounced “ju” in Japanese. However, alone, the classic pronunciation is “yawara.” Some translate this Kanji (in the context of martial arts) as “The Heart of Judo.”
Please note that this just means pliable, gentle, and yielding in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. They do know what Judo and Jujitsu are but if this character is seen alone in China or Korea, people generally will not think of the martial arts context.
忍 contains the ideas of patience, equanimity, perseverance, forbearance, and endurance. Alone, this single character can be a bit ambiguous or flexible. It can also mean to endure, to bear, to put up with, or to conceal. If you want to simply decide what this character means to you within the general meaning but keep it a mystery to others, this is a good choice.
If you want to be more direct, you may want to choose one of our other selections that mean perseverance or patience (you will see this character within those larger words/phrases).
There is a secondary meaning in Japanese since this is the first character of the word ninja.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write it in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this Kanji form (yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in the Japanese Kanji form).
動態 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for a word that means “dynamic state.”
This word can also mean:
movement; motion; development; trend; dynamic (science); the state of being dynamic.
This word can be used to describe someone or an organization that keeps up with cutting-edge trends. Always flexible, always changing, always moving.
基督 is how to write “Christ” in Chinese characters, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
This is the word used in the Chinese Union Bible (the only readily-available translation of the Bible into Chinese that I know of - published about 100 years ago). For Chinese Christians, this is the most common way to refer to Jesus Christ.
This is also the way that “Christ” is written in Japanese. But since the Japanese language is very flexible about the sounds that can be assigned to various Kanji, these characters have been assigned a pronunciation that sounds a lot like “Christ” or actually closer to the original “Christos.” In Japanese (if you don't know how the Romaji shown above in the gray box works), it sounds like “key ree sue toe” using English words/sounds. Say those four words fast, and you'll get it.
It should be noted that only Japanese Christians will be familiar with this word.
This is best defined, read, and understood with the characters together, but if you take this word for Christ apart, the first character means “fundamentals” or “foundation.” The second character can mean “leader” or “boss.”
柔術 has been somewhat incorrectly spelled and pronounced “Jujitsu” for some time in the English-speaking world. The correct Japanese Romaji is Jujutsu or Juujutsu.
A little background on the word: By combining the Kanji pronounced “Ju” (which means flexible, pliable, gentle, yielding) with the Kanji pronounced “Jutsu” (which means art or technique), we get a meaning that can be translated as “flexible technique,” “gentle art” or “yielding technique.”
柔術 does make sense in Chinese as well, although pronounced “rou shu” in China.
The Jujutsu system has a history in Japan that started well before the 1600s. Some see this style as a variation of the “Empty Hand Method” (Karate-do). Even the samurai of old used some Jujutsu methods in defending themselves with their unarmed hands against weapons that could pierce their heavy armor.
There are convoluted relationships between various schools and systems of martial arts, but it's generally accepted that Jujutsu led to the development of Judo and a few other variations.
剛柔 is a term that means hardness and softness or hard and soft.
剛柔 is also the Chinese character origin of the martial arts style known as Cương Nhu.
Cương Nhu or Cuong Nhu was founded by Grandmaster Ngo Dong in 1965 in Hue, Vietnam, and brought to the U.S. in 1971.
剛 means hard, firm, strong, and just.
柔 means soft, flexible, supple, yielding, softness, and/or gentleness.
Until it was romanized in the mid-17th century by Portuguese missionaries with later influence by French missionaries, Vietnamese was exclusively written in Chinese characters. With some research, you can still figure out the original way to write most Vietnamese words and titles in Chinese characters. That is what I did here to figure out that Cuong Nhu would have been 剛柔 if established in ancient Vietnam.
Same characters are used in Japanese for various Goju schools of Okinawan martial arts, though not the same lineage as the Vietnamese style described above.
像水一樣 is a short quote from a much longer statement by Bruce Lee.
He summarized how people should be flexible to all circumstances, attacks, or situations. In the end, he exclaims, “Be like water, my friend.” 像水一樣 is the “Be like water” part alone since that seems to be what most people want.
沖縄剛柔館 is the martial arts style Okinawan Gojukan or Okinawan Goju-Kan.
The meaning is “Okinawa hardness [and] softness hall.”
沖縄 = Okinawa.
剛 = Hard, firm, or strong.
柔 = Soft, softness, flexible, supple, yielding, gentleness, or pliant.
館 = Hall, building, school room, or an alternate word for a dojo.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|líng huó xìng|
ling2 huo2 xing4
ling huo xing
|ling huo hsing
|junansei||róu ruǎn xìng|
rou2 ruan3 xing4
rou ruan xing
|jou juan hsing
|Flexibility Overcomes Strength||以柔克剛|
|yǐ róu kè gāng|
yi3 rou2 ke4 gang1
yi rou ke gang
|i jou k`o kang
i jou ko kang
|弾力性||dan ryoku sei|
|tán xìng / tan2 xing4 / tan xing / tanxing||t`an hsing / tanhsing / tan hsing|
|Tension and Relaxation||伸縮|
|shin shuku / shinshuku||shēn suō / shen1 suo1 / shen suo / shensuo||shen so / shenso|
|kanyou / kanyo||kuān róng|
|Heart of Judo||柔||yawara||róu / rou2 / rou||jou|
|忍||nin||rěn / ren3 / ren||jen|
|dou tai / doutai / do tai||dòng tài / dong4 tai4 / dong tai / dongtai||tung t`ai / tungtai / tung tai|
|Christ||基督||kirisuto||jī dū / ji1 du1 / ji du / jidu||chi tu / chitu|
|Judo||柔道||juu dou / juudou / ju do||róu dào / rou2 dao4 / rou dao / roudao||jou tao / joutao|
|juu jutsu / juujutsu / ju jutsu||róu shù / rou2 shu4 / rou shu / roushu||jou shu / joushu|
|kanyaku||jiǎn yuē / jian3 yue1 / jian yue / jianyue||chien yüeh / chienyüeh|
|Cuong Nhu||剛柔||gou juu / goujuu / go ju||gāng róu / gang1 rou2 / gang rou / gangrou||kang jou / kangjou|
|gou juu kan|
go ju kan
|Be Like Water||像水一樣||xiàng shuǐ yí yàng|
xiang4 shui3 yi2 yang4
xiang shui yi yang
|hsiang shui i yang
|okinawa gou juu kan|
okinawa go ju kan
|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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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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Some people may refer to this entry as Flexibility Kanji, Flexibility Characters, Flexibility in Mandarin Chinese, Flexibility Characters, Flexibility in Chinese Writing, Flexibility in Japanese Writing, Flexibility in Asian Writing, Flexibility Ideograms, Chinese Flexibility symbols, Flexibility Hieroglyphics, Flexibility Glyphs, Flexibility in Chinese Letters, Flexibility Hanzi, Flexibility in Japanese Kanji, Flexibility Pictograms, Flexibility in the Chinese Written-Language, or Flexibility in the Japanese Written-Language.
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