Martial Art Style Translations

D

Drunken Master

Guest
There are loads of martial arts out their and I was just wondering what some of the name actually meant.

For example I believe Karate literally means 'empty hand'.

What do the following translate to;

Kung Fu
Tang Soo Do
Wu Shu

And if anyone knows any others that would be cool.
 

Turner

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
268
Reaction score
0
Location
Martinsville, Virginia
Karate also means "Hand of China"

I am fairly sure that Tang Soo Do means "The way of China Hand" referring to the Tang dynasty.

Now, I've heard but can't be certain, that Kung-Fu just means "Skill" or "Ability"
 

bdparsons

Black Belt
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
522
Reaction score
14
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
Hap-ki-do

Hap-- "to bring together": "to blend"; "to coordinate"
Ki-- "Power"; "Force"
Do-- "Way"; "Art"; "Path"

Hapkido-- "The Art of Coordinated Power"


Ken-po

Ken-- "Fist"
Po-- "Law"

Kenpo--"Law of the Fist"

Respects,
Bill
:asian:
 

Dronak

Black Belt
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
Messages
646
Reaction score
16
Location
College Park, MD, USA
A book I have says "Kung Fu literally means energy (Kung) and time (Fu). . . . [A]ny skill, talent, or technique that requires patiences (energy and time) is called Kung Fu". It says Wu Su which means martial technique is the more appropriate Chinese term for martial arts. I think I've also heard Kung Fu translated more figuratively as "hard work". Same idea though -- through time and effort you gain skill at something.
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
28
Location
Florida
The translation of karate today is "empty hand". It once was "China hand", which was also pronounced 'karate', but written with the kanji for 'China' instead of 'empty'.

Kenpo/Kempo is the direct Japanese translation of Chuan fa, which translates into English as 'fist law' or 'fist way'.

Wushu means martial art.

Tang soo do, also already translated here, is "The Way of the Tang Hand", Tang referring to China.

Wing Chun kuen has different translations, depending on which subsystem is being studied. The two most common translations are 'Always Spring boxing' or 'Praise Spring boxing'.

I believe both Hung Gar and Choy Lay Fut refer to the names of families, but I could be mistaken about those.

Cthulhu
 
OP
D

Despairbear

Guest
Aikido

Ai = Harmony
Ki = Energy
Do = The way


one possible translation: The way of harmonious energy.



Despair Bear
 
OP
S

Shinzu

Guest
shotokan =

"shoto" gichen funakoshi's pen name for writing poetry.

"kan" the house of.

thus the "house of shoto"
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
28
Location
Florida
Sooner or later, someone would have to do it...

Jeet = intercept
Kune = fist
Do = Way

Jeet Kune Do = 'way of the intercepting fist'

On a similar note...

Jun Fan gung fu is simply the 'gung fu taught/practiced by Jun Fan', Jun Fan being Bruce Lee's Cantonese given name.

Cthulhu
 
OP
S

shihantae

Guest
Wing Chun is the name of the Student for which the system is named. The literal meaning is "Beautiful Spring time".

Wu Shu mean "war arts" it is the correct name for chinese martial arts.

Tae Su Jutsu Tae(pronounced Tay is Korean for foot or Kick, it is also the correct pronuciation) SU(the Chinese for Hand), JUTSU(The Japanese spelling for "art"). JITSU is the americanized apelling.

Peace
Tae
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
28
Location
Florida
Originally posted by shihantae

Wing Chun is the name of the Student for which the system is named. The literal meaning is "Beautiful Spring time".

Wu Shu mean "war arts" it is the correct name for chinese martial arts.

Tae Su Jutsu Tae(pronounced Tay is Korean for foot or Kick, it is also the correct pronuciation) SU(the Chinese for Hand), JUTSU(The Japanese spelling for "art"). JITSU is the americanized apelling.

Peace
Tae

Actually, the translation of Wing Chun depends on which subsystem of Wing Chun one is referring to. For a good explanation, read Complete Wing Chun by Robert Chu, Rene Ritchie, & Y. Wu.

The term 'jutsu' is generally translated as art. However, the term 'jitsu' isn't necessarily always a corrupted Western spelling. From what I understand, 'jitsu' means truth in Japanese. However, if the person describes their art as 'such-and-such art' and they are using the 'jitsu' spelling and pronuciation, you can safely assume that they're just using the corrupted spelling.

Cthulhu
 
OP
S

shihantae

Guest
Thanks,
However, I recieved my translation for Wing chun from my Chinese teacher. guess he should know, and the Japanese came fro the Japanese teacher who was also a Translator here in the metro area. Not including the time I spent in both countries.

I take my languages seriously, and all the chinese instructors I know, and the history of the Style give the same translation. beseides which my first system was Wing chun. I think they should know better than wither one of us. ;)

Peace,
Tae
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
28
Location
Florida
If your system of Wing Chun was of the Yip Man lineage, then yes, the translation is "Beautiful Spring Time". If it's from another system of Wing Chun, say Yuen Kay San, or Gu Lao, then it may translate as something else. If you are unfamiliar with these systems of Wing Chun, then I highly recommend the book I previously mentioned. The histories of the various styles have many differences as well as similarities. If all of your Chinese instructors are from the Yip Man lineage, then yes, of course the knowledge you got from them will be consistent as to the translation and history of the system. 'Yip Man' Wing Chun (and its derivatives) is by far the most well known system of Wing Chun, but it is by no means the only system of Wing Chun.

As for the term 'jitsu', I have obtained this information from a Japanese dictionary, other martial artists, and my Japanese mother. I will concede that more often than not, the use of the 'jitsu' term in the West is a corruption of the term 'jutsu'. However, the word 'jitsu' does exist, and I know of at least one system that uses it (Shorinjin-ryu
Saito Ninjitsu).

Cthulhu
 

Klondike93

Master Black Belt
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Messages
1,355
Reaction score
2
Location
Thornton, Colorado
Originally posted by Cthulhu



For a good explanation, read Complete Wing Chun by Robert Chu, Rene Ritchie, & Y. Wu.

Cthulhu

Is the book biased at all, does it claim affiliation with anyone current master of Wing Chun?



:asian:
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
28
Location
Florida
I don't find the book to be biased at all...it covers the same stuff for the majority of the systems mentioned: history, technique, theory, etc. There isn't any affiliation for the book as a whole, though the individual writers are obviously linked to their respective Wing Chun lineages. For example, I believe Robert Chu has trained in Yip Man, Yuen Kay San, and Gu Lao Wing Chun.

It's not a particularly long book, just covering the basics of the majority of the systems (Yip Man, Yuen Kay San, Gu Lao, Pan Nam, to name a few), but it explains enough to accent the major differences and similarities. It also does a sort of compare-and-contrast with the different systems, theorizing as to how and why the differences and similarities exist.

I first ran across the book in my public library system (!). I liked it so much, I bought my own copy at my local martial arts supply store.

I recommend the book to anyone interested in Wing Chun or the martial arts in general.

Cthulhu
 
OP
S

shihantae

Guest
My teacher was not a Yip man Man. He was from what is now Bejing originally, and came from Hong Kong. He was also so as I said..What ever you want to call it.


But I think that the Japanese teachers and chinese teachers know their langue better. of course then you must take into account whether or not you want to continue to try and prove a point. To my it isn't worth it. I have been to more than Yip man Schools...

:)

However, since you insist you are correct..go for it. I will stick to people who know the language better then we do.

Peace,
Tae
 

Cthulhu

Senior Master
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 1, 2001
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
28
Location
Florida
Feh. English is my native language, but I couldn't tell you what a gerund was if my life depended on it.

Doesn't prove or disprove anything. If you don't feel like looking up the word 'jitsu' in a Japanese dictionary, that's your problem. The word exists whether you believe so or not.

If you don't want to read the book to further your knowledge of the Chinese martial arts (in particular, Wing Chun), then it's your loss, not mine.

Cthulhu

==================================================

The mind, like a parachute, works best when open
 
OP
S

shihantae

Guest
I have a number of Chinese history books that cover the different Wing Chun systems, but they all said the same thing.

Gee, what difference does it make? It's like people who think all TKD is WTF when it isn't. No matter what the Assoc..the TKD has the same roots.;)

So it is with different styles. Check the history of the originator, the nun who founded it in the 1800's. Also, look into a book Called the "history of Chinese arts." I will find the other one tommorrow.

There are three execellent books on the Japanese arts.
"Classical Bu-jutsu"
"Classical Ken-jutsu"
"Modern Budo"

These are excellent history books.

Peace,
tae
 

Latest Discussions

Top