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The name Kung Fu in Chinese / Japanese...

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Personalize your custom “Kung Fu” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Kung Fu” title below...

See also: Martial Arts Words and Phrases


  1. Drunken Monkey Kung Fu

  2. Kung Fu / Gong Fu

  3. Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou

  4. Laughing Dragon Kung Fu

  5. San Soo Kung Fu

  6. Shaolin Kung Fu

  7. Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu

  8. Wing Chun Kung Fu

  9. Lau Gar Kung Fu

10. Kung Fu Panda


Drunken Monkey Kung Fu

 zuì hóu gōng fu
Drunken Monkey Kung Fu Scroll

醉猴功夫 is the title for Drunken Monkey Kung Fu (Gong Fu).

The martial arts style was inspired by the novel, “Journey to the West.”


See Also:  Monkey Fist

Kung Fu / Gong Fu

 gōng fu
 gung fu
 kan fu / ku fu
Kung Fu / Gong Fu Scroll

功夫 or Kung Fu is 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 lot of effort to master, 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

Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou

 gōng fu sǎn shǒu
 gung fu saan sau
Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou 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.” I guess 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

 xiào lóng gōng fu
Laughing Dragon Kung Fu Scroll

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

San Soo Kung Fu

 sǎn shǒu gōng fu
 saan sau gung fu
San Soo Kung Fu Scroll

散手功夫 is San Soo Kung Fu.

Sometimes you will see this in the order 功夫散手 (Kung Fu San Soo). Either version is OK.

It's like “Kung Fu of San Soo” vs. “San Soo Kung Fu” if you put it in English terms. San Soo is the adjective either way in Chinese.

Shaolin Kung Fu

 shǎo lín gōng fu
 sho rin kan fu
Shaolin Kung Fu 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.”

Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu

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

太極詠春功夫 is the title Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu.

Please note that it can be romanized in 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.

Wing Chun Kung Fu

 yǒng chūn gōng fu
 wing cheun gung fu
Wing Chun Kung Fu Scroll

詠春功夫 is Wing Chun Kung Fu.

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

The last two are “Kung Fu” (high skill).

Lau Gar Kung Fu

 liú jiā gōng fu
 lau gar gung fu
Lau Gar Kung Fu Scroll

劉家功夫 are the characters for the Lau Gar Kung Fu style of martial arts.

The romanization of “Lau Gar” comes from Cantonese. “Kung Fu” is the common romanization for English from the Mandarin “Gōng Fu” or Cantonese “Gung Fu” pronunciations.

Lau gar = Lau family.

Kung Fu Panda

 gōng fú xióng māo
Kung Fu Panda Scroll

This is the title Kung Fu Panda in Chinese.




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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
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
Kung Fu
Gong Fu
功夫kan fu / ku fu
kanfu / kufu
gōng fu / gong1 fu / gong fu / gongfukung fu / kungfu
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
San Soo Kung Fu散手功夫sǎn shǒu gōng fu
san3 shou3 gong1 fu
san shou gong fu
sanshougongfu
san shou kung fu
sanshoukungfu
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
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
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
Lau Gar Kung Fu劉家功夫
刘家功夫
liú jiā gōng fu
liu2 jia1 gong1 fu
liu jia gong fu
liujiagongfu
liu chia kung fu
liuchiakungfu
Kung Fu Panda功夫熊貓
功夫熊猫
gōng fú xióng māo
gong1 fu2 xiong2 mao1
gong fu xiong mao
gongfuxiongmao
kung fu hsiung mao
kungfuhsiungmao
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.


Dictionary

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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.

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Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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Some people may refer to this entry as Kung Fu Kanji, Kung Fu Characters, Kung Fu in Mandarin Chinese, Kung Fu Characters, Kung Fu in Chinese Writing, Kung Fu in Japanese Writing, Kung Fu in Asian Writing, Kung Fu Ideograms, Chinese Kung Fu symbols, Kung Fu Hieroglyphics, Kung Fu Glyphs, Kung Fu in Chinese Letters, Kung Fu Hanzi, Kung Fu in Japanese Kanji, Kung Fu Pictograms, Kung Fu in the Chinese Written-Language, or Kung Fu in the Japanese Written-Language.

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