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Bruce

China bù lǔ sī
Bruce Vertical Wall Scroll

布魯斯 is the transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Bruce

Bruce

Japan buruusu
Bruce Vertical Wall Scroll

ブルース is the name Bruce written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese).


Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Jeet Kune Do

China jié quán dào
HK jeet kune do
Japan sekken dou
Jeet Kune Do Vertical Wall Scroll

In Cantonese, this is Jeet Kune Do. Often it is explained as the "Way of the Intercepting Fist." 截拳道 is a martial art style founded by Bruce Lee.

The first character means to cut-off or sever.
The second character is fist.
The last character means way or method.


See Also:  Bruce Lee

Kung Fu / Gong Fu

China gōng fu
HK gung fu
Japan kan fu / ku fu
Kung Fu / Gong Fu Vertical Wall Scroll

One of the most famous types of martial arts in the world - and not just because of Bruce Lee.

Some translate the meaning as "Accomplishment by Great Effort." I think this is partially true but directly translated it literally means "Merit/Achievement/Accomplishment Man." The word "fu" can sometimes mean "husband" or "porter" but in this case, it can only mean "man." However, few in China will think "man" when they hear the word "Gong Fu" spoken.

This term is also used for things other than martial arts. In fact, it's used to refer to a person with excellent skills in crafts that require a great deal of effort such as cooking, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy.

What a lot of people don't know is that the spelling of "Kung Fu" was actually taken from the old Wade Giles form of Romanization. Using this method, the sounds of the English "G" and "K" were both written as "K" and an apostrophe after the "K" told you it was supposed to sound like a "G." Nobody in the west knew this rule, so most people pronounce it with a "K-sound." And so Gong Fu will always be Kung Fu for most westerners.

Also, just to educate you a little more, the "O" in "Gong" has a sound like the English word "oh."

The popular Chinese dish "Kung Pao Chicken" suffers from the same problem. It should actually be "Gong Bao Chicken."

Historical note: Many will claim that Kung Fu was invented by the monks of the Shaolin monastery. This fact is argued in both directions by scholars of Chinese history. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the Shaolin Monks brought the original fame to Kung Fu many generations ago.


Japanese note: While most Japanese martial artists will recognize these characters, Katakana is more often used to approximate the pronunciation of "Kung Fu" with "カンフー." Some will argue as to whether this should be considered a Japanese word at all.


See Also:  Bruce Lee

Little Dragon

China xiǎo lóng
Little Dragon Vertical Wall Scroll

This literally means "little dragon" or "young dragon." 小龍 is often used as a given name in Chinese. In fact, Bruce Lee's real given name is "Little Dragon."


See Also:  Bruce Lee


The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Bruce布魯斯
布鲁斯
bù lǔ sī
bu4 lu3 si1
bu lu si
bulusi
pu lu ssu
pulussu
Bruceブルースburuusu / burusu
Jeet Kune Do截拳道sekken dou / sekkendou / seken do / sekendojié quán dào
jie2 quan2 dao4
jie quan dao
jiequandao
chieh ch`üan tao
chiehchüantao
chieh chüan tao
Kung Fu
Gong Fu
功夫kan fu / ku fu
kanfu / kufu
gōng fu / gong1 fu / gong fu / gongfukung fu / kungfu
Little Dragon小龍
小龙
xiǎo lóng
xiao3 long2
xiao long
xiaolong
hsiao lung
hsiaolung
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.