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The name The Nature of Martial Arts in Chinese / Japanese...

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See also: Martial Arts Words and Phrases

The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger

 lóng hǔ jīng shén
 ryu ko sei shin
The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger 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 last 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 “Ryukoseishin” in many Japanese martial arts.

Ken Zen Ichi Nyo

 ken zen ichi nyo
Ken Zen Ichi Nyo Scroll

拳禪一如 is a Japanese phrase that 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 meditation 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 meditation 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.

The Nature of Martial Arts

 zì rán wǔ dào
 shi zen bu do
The Nature of Martial Arts Scroll

自然武道 is a means the Nature of Martial Arts.

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

The last two characters are often translated as martial arts.




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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 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
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
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.


Dictionary

Lookup The Nature of Martial Arts in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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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