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See also: Martial Arts Words and Phrases
3. Martial Arts
道場 is the Japanese term for a room or hall in which martial arts are taught.
道場 is often spelled “dojo” which has become a word in the English lexicon. However, the true Romaji is doujou or dōjō.
Please note: The Chinese definition of these characters is quite different. In Chinese, this is a place where Buddhist or Taoist mass is held. It could also be a place where spiritual or psychic events are performed.
This refers to the virtue, morality, and ethics that any practitioner of martial arts should possess.
This can be used in both Chinese and Japanese in place of English terms such as “soldierly virtue,” “good conduct” (military), “warrior ethics,” and being honorable regarding any fight or competition.
In Japanese, there is a slight variation in the last character, making it 武徳 instead of 武德 in Japan. And yes, just one little horizontal stroke is omitted. If you need the Japanese version, please choose a Japanese calligrapher, or drop me a note so that I make sure you get the characters you intend.
武藝 is a Korean Hanja title that means “martial arts” or “military skill.”
武藝 is also a word in Chinese but used more often in the context of Korean martial arts.
From Korean, this is romanized as either “mu ye” or “moo ye.” If you want to order this in modern Korean Hangul, just click the Hangul characters in the pronunciation box next to the Korean flag above.
武芸者 is the Japanese Kanji title for “Martial Arts Master.” It suggests that you have reached at least the level of black belt and are probably to the level where you are ready to become an instructor.
Please consider carefully where you stand before ordering this phrase on a wall scroll. If you are not a master, this will make you look a bit foolish.
If you want to get this as a gift for your master at the dojo. Try to discreetly make sure this term is used in your school. Different schools and styles of Japanese martial arts use different terms. You may notice in the Romaji that the last two characters romanize as “geisha” which means “person skilled in arts” (what a geisha girl really is). The title here has the character for “martial,” “warrior,” and/or “military” in front of it. Therefore the literal translation is “martial art person.”
These Kanji are valid Chinese characters and Korean Hanja, but this title does not really make sense in Chinese and is not often used in Korean, though a Chinese or Korean would be able to guess the meaning by looking at the first and last characters.
武技 can be translated as “martial arts skills,” “warrior skills,” or “military skills,” depending on usage.
In both Japanese and Chinese, rather than meaning martial arts, this speaks more to the skills that you possess in regard to martial arts. This phrase also has a light suggestion of “having the itch to show off these skills.”
武術 is Wushu or Wu Shu, the very Chinese way to express “Martial Arts.”
Some even use this word to describe Kung Fu directly. But this is a label that fits all disciplines from Karate to Kung Fu to Taekwondo.
Note: This also means Martial Arts with the same appearance as old Korean Hanja characters and is pronounced “musul” or “musur” in Korean.
While this is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean, this also means “martial arts” in Japanese, where the popularity of this term is growing (romanized as Bujutsu or Bujitsu) in Japanese martial arts circles.
Way of the Warrior
武道 is the very common Japanese way to say “Martial Arts.”
武道 is used mostly in Japanese dojos but is also understood in Chinese and Korean.
Some will use this title to mean chivalry (the conduct of a knight) or military art. The way this word is understood would depend on the context in which it is used.
The first character means “force,” “warlike,” or “essence of a warrior.”
The second character means “method,” “path,” and “the way.” It is the same character used to describe/mean the philosophy of Taoism / Daoism.
Some will also translate this as “The Way of the Warrior”; especially in the context of Korean martial arts.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Romaji (Romanized Japanese)
|Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Martial Arts Studio
|dou jou / doujou / do jo
Martial Arts Ethics
|bu to ku / butoku
|wǔ dé / wu3 de2 / wu de / wude
|wu te / wute
|wǔ yì / wu3 yi4 / wu yi / wuyi
|wu i / wui
|Martial Arts Master
|wǔ yún zhě
wu3 yun2 zhe3
wu yun zhe
|wu yün che
|Martial Arts Skills
|wǔ jì / wu3 ji4 / wu ji / wuji
|wu chi / wuchi
|wǔ shù / wu3 shu4 / wu shu / wushu
|bu dou / budou / bu do
|wǔ dào / wu3 dao4 / wu dao / wudao
|wu tao / wutao
|Mixed Martial Arts
|sàn dǎ / san4 da3 / san da / sanda
|san ta / santa
|Mixed Martial Arts
|zōng hé gé dòu
zong1 he2 ge2 dou4
zong he ge dou
|tsung ho ko tou
|Mixed Martial Arts
|The Nature of Martial Arts
|shi zen bu do
|zì rán wǔ dào
zi4 ran2 wu3 dao4
zi ran wu dao
|tzu jan wu tao
|Shaolin Martial Arts
|shǎo lín wǔ gōng
shao3 lin2 wu3 gong1
shao lin wu gong
|shao lin wu kung
|Spirit Of The Dragon Martial Arts
|lóng zhī hún wǔ shù
long2 zhi1 hun2 wu3 shu4
long zhi hun wu shu
|lung chih hun wu shu
|guó shù / guo2 shu4 / guo shu / guoshu
|kuo shu / kuoshu
|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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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
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.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
Some people may refer to this entry as Martial Arts Kanji, Martial Arts Characters, Martial Arts in Mandarin Chinese, Martial Arts Characters, Martial Arts in Chinese Writing, Martial Arts in Japanese Writing, Martial Arts in Asian Writing, Martial Arts Ideograms, Chinese Martial Arts symbols, Martial Arts Hieroglyphics, Martial Arts Glyphs, Martial Arts in Chinese Letters, Martial Arts Hanzi, Martial Arts in Japanese Kanji, Martial Arts Pictograms, Martial Arts in the Chinese Written-Language, or Martial Arts in the Japanese Written-Language.
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