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See also: Martial Arts Words and Phrases
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.
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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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|The Nature of Martial Arts||自然武道||shi zen bu do|
|zì rán wǔ dào|
zi4 ran2 wu3 dao4
zi ran wu dao
|tzu jan wu tao
|The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger||龍虎精神|
|ryu ko sei shin|
|lóng hǔ jīng shén|
long2 hu3 jing1 shen2
long hu jing shen
|lung hu ching shen
|Ken Zen Ichi Nyo||拳禪一如|
|ken zen ichi nyo|
|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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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.
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