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10. Okinawan Kobudo
12. Okinawa Kenpo
一心流空手道 is the full title for Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do.
The literal meaning is “one heart method empty hand way.”
There are other ways to translate this, but if you are looking for this title, you already know that.
This would make a great wall scroll for your dojo or private studio if you study this form of Japanese (technically from Okinawa) Karate.
Because this is a specifically-Japanese title, I strongly recommend that you select our Japanese Master Calligrapher to create this artwork.
拳法 is a form of martial arts that can be translated in several ways.
Some will call it “fist principles,” “the way of the fist,” or even “law of the fist.” The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle, or Buddhist teaching.
Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term “Kempo Karate,” which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.
These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled “kenpo” or “Kempo” ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be “kenpou” if you precisely follow the rules).
The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master than pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo to achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).
Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:
1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that “Okinawa Kenpo” or “Ryukyu Hon Kenpo” is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. It is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.
2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced “quan fa” (sometimes Romanized as “chuan fa” because the Chinese-pinyin “q” actually sounds like an English “ch” sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as “the law of the fist.”
3. My Japanese dictionary oddly defines Kenpo as the “Chinese art of self-defense.” I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word but just something you should know.
砕破 is the title “Saifa” written in Japanese Kanji. This literally means “smash and tear.” Like most styles of martial arts, Saifa has origins in China. It was Higashionna that brought Saifa to Okinawa.
Saifa is generally associated with Gōjū-ryū as a title for a kata.
Notes: While Saifa is often written as 砕破, it can also be written 碎破 (just a variation on the first Kanji). Sometimes written in Japanese Katakana as サイハ.
Shaolin Temple Style
少林流 is the Japanese martial arts title “Shorin-ryu.”
Though the first part of the title comes from the Shaolin (small forest) monks of China.
In Japan, this refers to the Okinawa School of Karate.
Note that often in Japanese, the first Kanji of this title was changed to the version shown to the right. If you prefer this version, please click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.
Taidō (The Way of the Body) is a style of Karate practiced in Japan and popular worldwide.
Taidō or 躰道 traces a lineage from Genseiryū (玄制流), which came from Shuri-te (首里手), one of the original martial arts schools of ancient Okinawa.
The first character 躰 is a variant of the original Chinese character 體. In modern Japan, they tend to use 体, a more simple character form. 体 is also the modern Simplified Chinese form of 體.
The 躰 character is correct for this 躰道 martial arts title. But it can be confusing with so many variants out there, not to mention other homophonic Japanese words that also romanize as Taidō or Taidou.
To have a bit more fun with this 躰 character, it has a 身 radical on the left, which sets it apart. The meaning doubles up on the “body” as 身 (shin) is a character that also means body in Japanese and Chinese. On the right is 本, which often means root, stem, origin, source, or fundamental (but can also mean “book” in some contexts). This has deviated from the original 體 which was 骨 (bone) + 豊 (vessel). Hence, the body was your “bone vessel” in ancient Asia.
The meaning of 躰, as well as 體 and 体, is usually translated as the body. When related to the physical body, it can also refer to the torso, trunk, build, physique, or the constitution of a person. As an extension of this, it can also refer to someone's health (good body = good health).
However, depending on the context, it can encompass other meanings such as form, style, system, experience, aspect, corpus, corporeal, substance, or essentials.
The second character, 道, is recognized and well-known as the “Way” and is the same “do” as in Karate-do or Aikido.
なんくるない or nankurunai is an Okinawan word, written in Japanese that means “Don't worry, be happy.”
沖縄/Okinawa and/or the 琉球/Ryūkyū Islands have a more laid-back “island style” approach to life. So the nankurunai idea is a perfect match for that lifestyle.
Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Hiragana, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
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...
|Romaji (Romanized Japanese)
|Various forms of Romanized Chinese
|Isshin Ryu Karate Do
|i sshin ryuu kara te dou
i shin ryu kara te do
|kenpou / kenpo
|quán fǎ / quan2 fa3 / quan fa / quanfa
|ch`üan fa / chüanfa / chüan fa
|沖縄 / 沖繩
沖縄 / 冲绳
|ryuukyuu / ryukyu
|liú qiú / liu2 qiu2 / liu qiu / liuqiu
|liu ch`iu / liuchiu / liu chiu
|sai fa / saifa
|Shorin Ji Ryu
|shou rin ji ryuu
sho rin ji ryu
|shou rin ryuu
sho rin ryu
|tai dou / taidou / tai do
|oki nawa kara te
|chōng shéng kōng shǒu
chong1 sheng2 kong1 shou3
chong sheng kong shou
|ch`ung sheng k`ung shou
chung sheng kung shou
|oki nawa ko bu dou
oki nawa ko bu do
|Don't Worry, Be Happy
|nan ku ru nai
|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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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.
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