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5. Wing Chun
詠春拳 is the title for the "Wing Chun" school of martial arts but with the addition of the character for "fist" on the end. So this is "Wing Chun Fist" or literally "Singing Spring Fist".
There are lots of alternate Cantonese romanizations for this such as "Wing Chun Kuen", "Wing Tsun Cheun", "Eng Chun Pai", and "Wing Ceon Kyun". The characters are the same, just the lack of a standard Cantonese romanization means that people make up their own based on what they think it sounds like.
This is the chant or poem of Wing Chun. I call it a "chant" because it was meant to be a somewhat rhythmic poem to help practitioners memorize many aspects of Wing Chun.
You will see this referred to as, "Wing Chun Kuem Kuit". This Cantonese romanization is popular in the west (and there is no official way to romanize Cantonese, so many variations exist). In Mandarin it would be, "Yong Chun Quan Jue". The last character (kuit or kyut from Cantonese, jue or chüeh from Mandarin) kind of means "secrets of the art". It's a short way to write 口訣, meaning "mnemonic chant" or "rhyme for remembering".
In the west (especially in the military), we often use acronyms to remember things. There's no initials to make acronyms in Chinese, so in ancient times, chants like this are used to remember vast amounts of information.
I will presume you already know the meaning of the 10 maxims, so I will skip that to keep this calligraphy entry from getting too large.
Some think 练拳者必记 is the title but that just says, "Training fist people should remember:". Therefore, I've not included that in the calligraphy. However, you can put a note in the special instructions if you want it added.
Note: On a traditional calligraphy wall scroll, the characters will be written in vertical columns, starting from the right, and proceeding left.
Note: This is an except and variation from a huge 口訣. These 10 maxims are used extensively in Wing Chun training, and you’ll find them all over the internet. Just know there is a much longer version out there, along with several variations and excepts like this one. If you know of, or want a different version, just contact me, and I will add it for you.
A customer asked me to split these Wing Chun maxims into two parts, so he could order a couplet. It thought this was a good idea, so it's been added here.
A couplet is a set of two wall scrolls that start and finish one phrase or idea. Often, couplets are hung with the first wall scroll on the right side, and the second on the left side of a doorway or entrance. The order in Chinese is right-to-left, so that's why the first wall scroll goes on the right as you face the door.
Of course, couplets can also be hung together on a wall. Often they can be hung to flank an alter, or table with incense, or even flanking a larger central wall scroll. See an example here from the home of Confucius
Be sure to order both part 1 and 2 together. One without the other is like Eve without Adam.
This martial arts technique has an oral history (versus a written one) so very little can be said for sure about its origins.
Wing Chun (or Wing Cheun) is a Chinese martial art that emphasizes short combat strokes.
The characters literally mean "Singing Spring" (as in springtime).
If you are wondering, the spelling and pronunciation of this martial arts style in English comes from the Cantonese pronunciation of these characters. The second character sounds similar in both Mandarin and Cantonese but the first is quite different.
Note: This title can be pronounced in Japanese but only a Japanese practitioner of Wing Chun would recognize or understand this title. It is not considered to be a Japanese word or martial art at all.
A customer asked me to split these Wing Chun maxims into two parts, so he could order a couplet.
It thought this was a good idea, so it's been added here.
Be sure to order both part 1 and part 2 together. They need to be a matched set. It will be incomplete as a single wall scroll. Also, each wall scroll is handmade, so if you order them separately, weeks or months apart, they will vary a little by length, shade of paper, etc.
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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|
|Wing Chun Kung Fu||詠春功夫|
|yǒng chūn gōng fu|
yong3 chun1 gong1 fu
yong chun gong fu
|yung ch`un kung fu
yung chun kung fu
|Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu||太極詠春功夫|
|tài jí yǒng chūn gōng fu|
tai4 ji2 yong3 chun1 gong1 fu
tai ji yong chun gong fu
|t`ai chi yung ch`un kung fu
tai chi yung chun kung fu
|Wing Chun Fist||詠春拳|
|yǒng chūn quán|
yong3 chun1 quan2
yong chun quan
|yung ch`un ch`üan
yung chun chüan
|Wing Chun Fist Maxims||有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫|
|Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 1)||有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊|
|ei haru / eiharu||yǒng chūn|
|Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 2)||步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫|
|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.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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