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Nature of Martial Arts in Chinese / Japanese...

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See also: Martial Arts Words and Phrases


The Nature of Martial Arts

China zì rán wǔ dào
Japan shi zen bu do
The Nature of Martial Arts Vertical Wall Scroll

The first two characters create a word that means nature, natural, or spontaneous.

The last two characters are often translated as martial arts.

The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger

China lóng hǔ jīng shén
Japan 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.

Ken Zen Ichi Nyo

Japan 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.

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Dictionary

Lookup Nature of Martial Arts in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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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
The Nature of Martial Arts自然武道shi zen bu do
shizenbudo
zì rán wǔ dào
zi4 ran2 wu3 dao4
zi ran wu dao
ziranwudao
tzu jan wu tao
tzujanwutao
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
Ken Zen Ichi Nyo拳禪一如
拳禅一如
ken zen ichi nyo
kenzenichinyo
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 professional Chinese Calligrapher

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

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