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Martial Spirit in Chinese / Japanese...

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See also: Martial Arts Words and Phrases

  1. Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial

  2. Aikido

  3. Morality of Mind

  4. The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger

  5. Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

  6. Fighting Spirit

  7. Indomitable Spirit

  8. Lingering Mind

  9. Mind of the Beginner

10. Bushin / Bujin

11. Yoshinkan

12. Ken Zen Ichi Nyo

13. Shingitai / Shin Gi Tai

14. Immovable Mind

15. Korean CKD Virtues

16. Hapkido

Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial

bu
Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial Vertical Wall Scroll

武 is the essence or spirit of a warrior. 武 is part of the word "wu shu" which is sometimes translated as "martial arts" or "kung fu."

In more modern speech and other context, this can mean military, martial, warlike, fierce, and perhaps violent but usually as a prefix for a longer word or phrase.

Aikido

hé qì dào
ai ki dou
Aikido Vertical Wall Scroll

合気道 is the modern Japanese way to write Aikido.

Aikido is often referred to as the defensive martial art.

While Aikido was born in Japan, it has become a somewhat famous form of defensive tactics taught to soldiers and Marines, as well as some law enforcement officers in the West.

Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."


Please note that while the original 合氣道 characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.

Note: It is somewhat accepted that this is the origin of Hapkido in Korea. And other than a modern simplification to the middle Kanji of this 3-Kanji word, it is written the same in Korean Hanja.


See Also:  Martial Arts | Hapkido

Morality of Mind

xīn dé
Morality of Mind Vertical Wall Scroll

The idea of "morality of mind" goes along with "wu de" (martial morality or virtues of the warrior).

Here, the first character is a representation of your heart or mind.
The second character refers to morality or virtue.

This can also be translated as "morality of heart," "virtue of heart," or "virtue of the mind."

Note that since ancient times in Asia, the idea of your mind (the place where your soul resides, and your thought originate from) has been associated with the heart. Just as in western culture where we say "it comes from the heart," or "heartfelt emotions," there is a belief that your heart and mind are one and the same (medical science now begs to differ).


See Also:  Morality of Deed | Martial Morality

The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger

lóng hǔ jīng shén
ryu ko sei shin
The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger Vertical Wall Scroll

龍虎精神 means the spirit of the dragon and tiger. It speaks to the vitality and vigor that is the nature of these two creatures.

Beyond "spirit," the second two characters can also mean mind, soul, or heart. Therefore, you can also say this means "Heart of the Dragon and Tiger," etc.

龍虎精神 is often titled as "Ryukoseishin" in many Japanese martial arts.

Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

A Japanese martial arts title/concept
xǐ xīn
sen shin
Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude Vertical Wall Scroll

The first Kanji alone means to wash, to bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.

The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

Together, these two Kanji create a word that is defined as "purified spirit" or "enlightened attitude" within the context of Japanese martial arts.

洗心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context it's often defined this way: A spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.

This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.

洗心 does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.


先心 There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.

Fighting Spirit

tou ki
Fighting Spirit Vertical Wall Scroll

闘気 is an alternate Japanese title for "fighting spirit."

This one is more like "fighting energy." The second character is "ki" the same "ki" in Aikido. This "ki" is the spiritual energy that all martial arts practitioners must master and focus.

Indomitable Spirit

Korean Only
bǎi shé bù qū
Indomitable Spirit Vertical Wall Scroll

This Korean proverb means "indomitable spirit," at least, that is the way it is commonly translated in martial arts circles (Taekwondo, Hapkido, etc.).

The literal translation is "[one] hundred [times] broken [still] don't succumb."
Or more naturally translated, "Even if attacked/beaten one hundred times, still be undaunted/indomitable."

Notes:
Some will say this is one long word rather than a proverb.
百折不屈 is also a proverb/word in Chinese though rarely used in modern times.

Lingering Mind

Zanshin
cán xīn
zan shin
Lingering Mind Vertical Wall Scroll

First off, this should only be used in context of Japanese martial arts. In Chinese, it's a rather sad title (like a broken heart). In Chinese, the first character alone means destroyed, spoiled, ruined, injured, cruel, oppressive, savage, incomplete, disabled. However, in Japanese, it's remainder, leftover, balance, or lingering.
The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence in both languages.

殘心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The spirit of zanshin is the state of the remaining or lingering spirit. It is often described as a sustained and heightened state of awareness and mental follow-through. However, true zanshin is a state of focus or concentration before, during, and after the execution of a technique, where a link or connection between uke and nage is preserved. Zanshin is the state of mind that allows us to stay spiritually connected, not only to a single attacker but to multiple attackers and even an entire context; a space, a time, an event.


残In modern Japan (and Simplified Chinese), they use a different version of the first character, as seen to the right. Click on this character to the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version of lingering mind / zanshin.

Mind of the Beginner

Shoshin
chū xīn
sho shin
Mind of the Beginner Vertical Wall Scroll

初心 is often translated in Japanese as "beginner's mind" or "beginner's spirit."

In Chinese, the dictionary definition is "one's original intention."

The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.

The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

初心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The state of shoshin is that of a beginners mind. It is a state of awareness the remains always fully conscious, aware, and prepared to see things for the first time. The attitude of shoshin is essential to continued learning.

Bushin / Bujin

God of Military Arts
bu shin
Bushin / Bujin Vertical Wall Scroll

武神 is the title for Bushin, or "God of Military Arts." This can also be translated as "Martial Spirit."

This title is often associated with Bujinkan, a school/style of martial arts. In that context, this can be pronounced Bujin.

In some cases, pronounced/romanized as Bukami, especially when used as a surname in Japan.

Yoshinkan

you shin kan
Yoshinkan Vertical Wall Scroll

養神館 is the Japanese title, Yōshinkan.

Yoshinkan literally means "Hall of Spirit Cultivation."

Yoshinkan Aikido is a martial arts style developed after World War II in the Yoshinkan Dojo.

Ken Zen Ichi Nyo

ken zen ichi nyo
Ken Zen Ichi Nyo Vertical Wall Scroll

This Japanese phrase is often translated as "train both body and spirit."

Here's the breakdown of the words in this phrase:
拳 means fist.
禅 is zen, which means meditation.
一如 is a word that means "to be just like," "oneness," "true nature," or "true character."

So to get to the translation of "train both body and spirit," you must understand that "fist" is representing "body" and the idea of mediation is representing "mind."

I have to say, this is not how I would translate this. To me, it's really about training with your mind and remembering that mediation is a huge part of training, not just your fist. As the Shaolin Buddhist monks show us, meditation is just as important as physical training in martial arts.

Shingitai / Shin Gi Tai

xīn jì tǐ
shin gi tai
Shingitai / Shin Gi Tai Vertical Wall Scroll

心技体 is the Japanese title "shin gi tai" or "shingitai."

This can refer to the three elements of Sumo wrestlers or martial artists, "heart-technique-physique."

Here is what each character represents:

心 (shin) mind, heart and spirit.

技 (gi) skill, knowledge and experience.

体 (ti) body and physical effort.

心技体 have the same meanings in Chinese, though this title is used much more often in Japanese.

Immovable Mind

fudoshin
fu dou shin
Immovable Mind Vertical Wall Scroll

不動心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet.

Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: An unshakable mind and an immovable spirit is the state of fudoshin. It is courage and stability displayed both mentally and physically. Rather than indicating rigidity and inflexibility, fudoshin describes a condition that is not easily upset by internal thoughts or external forces. It is capable of receiving a strong attack while retaining composure and balance. It receives and yields lightly, grounds to the earth, and reflects aggression back to the source.

Other translations of this title include imperturbability, steadfastness, keeping a cool head in an emergency, or keeping one's calm (during a fight).

The first two Kanji alone mean immobility, firmness, fixed, steadfastness, motionless, idle.

The last Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

Together, these three Kanji create a title that is defined as "immovable mind" within the context of Japanese martial arts. However, in Chinese it would mean "motionless heart" and in Korean Hanja, "wafting heart" or "floating heart."

Korean CKD Virtues

qiān xùn zhèng zhí wēn róu rěn nài kè jǐ bù qū
Korean CKD Virtues Vertical Wall Scroll

These are the virtues used by Choi Kwang Do Martial Arts.

EnglishHanjaHangulPronunciation
1. Humility (Humble / Modesty)謙遜겸손gyeom son
2. Honesty (Integrity)正直정직jeong jig
3. Gentleness溫柔온유on yu
4. Perseverance (To Endure)忍耐인내in nae
5. Self-Control (Self-Restraint)克己극기geug gi
6. Unbreakable Spirit (Unyielding / Unbending)不屈불굴bur gur

The characters shown here are the ancient Korean Hanja form of writing. If you wish for a Korean Hangul form of these tenets, we can arrange that with our Master Calligrapher Xing An-Ping (click on the Hangul next to the South Korean flag above to order this in Hangul).

Hapkido

Korean Martial Art of re-directing force
hé qì dào
ai ki do
Hapkido Vertical Wall Scroll

Hapkido or 合氣道 is a mostly-defensive martial art of Korea.

Hapkido has some connection to Aikido of Japan. In fact, they are written with the same characters in both languages. However, it should be noted that the Korean Hanja characters shown here are the traditional Chinese form - but in modern Japan, the middle character was slightly simplified.
Note: You can consider this to be the older Japanese written form of Aikido. Titles on older books and signs about Aikido use this form.

The connection between Japanese Aikido and Korean Hapkido is a bit muddled in history. The issue is probably due to the difficult relationship between the two countries around the time of WWII. Many Koreans became virtual slaves for the Japanese during that period. After WWII, many things in Korea were disassociated from having any Japanese origin. The relationship has greatly mellowed out now.

Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."
One way to translate this into English is "Harmonizing Energy Method." This makes since, as Hapkido has more to do with redirecting energy, rather that fighting with strength against strength.

More Hapkido info

More notes:
1. Sometimes Hapkido is Romanized as "hap ki do," "hapki-do" "hab gi do" or "hapgido."

2. Korean Hanja characters are actually Chinese characters that usually hold the same meaning in both languages. There was a time when these characters were the standard and only written form of Korean. The development of modern Korean Hangul characters is a somewhat recent event in the greater scope of history. There was a time when Chinese characters were the written form of many languages in places known in modern times as North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and a significant portion of Malaysia. Even today, more people in the world can read Chinese characters than English.

3. While these Korean Hanja characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.




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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
Warrior Essence
Warrior Spirit
Martial
buwǔ / wu3 / wu
Aikido合氣道
合気道
ai ki dou / aikidou / ai ki do / aikidohé qì dào
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
heqidao
ho ch`i tao
hochitao
ho chi tao
Morality of Mind心德xīn dé / xin1 de2 / xin de / xindehsin te / hsinte
The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger龍虎精神
龙虎精神
ryu ko sei shin
ryukoseishin
lóng hǔ jīng shén
long2 hu3 jing1 shen2
long hu jing shen
longhujingshen
lung hu ching shen
lunghuchingshen
Purified Spirit
Enlightened Attitude
洗心
先心
sen shin / senshinxǐ xīn / xi3 xin1 / xi xin / xixinhsi hsin / hsihsin
Fighting Spirit闘氣
闘気气
tou ki / touki / to ki / toki
Indomitable Spirit百折不屈bǎi shé bù qū
bai3 she2 bu4 qu1
bai she bu qu
baishebuqu
pai she pu ch`ü
paishepuchü
pai she pu chü
Lingering Mind殘心
残心
zan shin / zanshincán xīn / can2 xin1 / can xin / canxints`an hsin / tsanhsin / tsan hsin
Mind of the Beginner初心sho shin / shoshinchū xīn / chu1 xin1 / chu xin / chuxinch`u hsin / chuhsin / chu hsin
Bushin
Bujin
武神bu shin / bushin
Yoshinkan養神館you shin kan
youshinkan
yo shin kan
yoshinkan
Ken Zen Ichi Nyo拳禪一如
拳禅一如
ken zen ichi nyo
kenzenichinyo
Shingitai
Shin Gi Tai
心技体shin gi tai
shingitai
xīn jì tǐ
xin1 ji4 ti3
xin ji ti
xinjiti
hsin chi t`i
hsinchiti
hsin chi ti
Immovable Mind不動心fu dou shin
fudoushin
fu do shin
fudoshin
Korean CKD Virtues謙遜正直溫柔忍耐克己不屈
谦逊正直温柔忍耐克己不屈
qiān xùn zhèng zhí wēn róu rěn nài kè jǐ bù qū
qian1 xun4 zheng4 zhi2 wen1 rou2 ren3 nai4 ke4 ji3 bu4 qu1
qian xun zheng zhi wen rou ren nai ke ji bu qu
ch`ien hsün cheng chih wen jou jen nai k`o chi pu ch`ü
chien hsün cheng chih wen jou jen nai ko chi pu chü
Hapkido合氣道
合气道
ai ki do / aikidohé qì dào
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
heqidao
ho ch`i tao
hochitao
ho chi tao
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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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.

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.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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.

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

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 Martial Spirit Kanji, Martial Spirit Characters, Martial Spirit in Mandarin Chinese, Martial Spirit Characters, Martial Spirit in Chinese Writing, Martial Spirit in Japanese Writing, Martial Spirit in Asian Writing, Martial Spirit Ideograms, Chinese Martial Spirit symbols, Martial Spirit Hieroglyphics, Martial Spirit Glyphs, Martial Spirit in Chinese Letters, Martial Spirit Hanzi, Martial Spirit in Japanese Kanji, Martial Spirit Pictograms, Martial Spirit in the Chinese Written-Language, or Martial Spirit in the Japanese Written-Language.

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