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#237163 - 03/08/06 07:19 PM name your hands
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
I've taken multiple kung fu styles, and have friends that take similar styles, but at different schools.

What I've noticed is that some places manage to name every technique they have, while others don't. (ie, wing chun has tan sau, pak sau, bong sau, while some other kung fu style will simply say a shin block, or this movement in this form)

Does your style name everything? And is it less legitimate of the school if not every move is named? Or is that just something left out of the teaching?

#237164 - 03/09/06 12:01 AM Re: name your hands [Re: 18lohans]
pepto_bismol Offline
infinite kudos

Registered: 03/04/06
Posts: 480
well pak sau probably means something similar to slap block in chinese. But if I never learned the term pak sau, or forgot the term I would simply say "slap block"

Instaid of saying osotagari I have heard people say leg sweep.

Since most martial arts come from differant countries, it only makes cense that they would speak differant languages, right?

So whether you choose to pronounce the move in English, or in any other language the move is still the same.

And to answer your question we do call things by there chinese names

but I think it really doesn't make a differance.

It all depends on the instructor.

Edit: Just read your legit part,
No it doesn't make it any less "legit"
Martial Art's is mainly physical so I don't think speaking one language or speaking 9 languages makes the instructor any better or any worse

Edited by pepto_bismol (03/09/06 12:05 AM)
YAY pepto bismol! No... not... kryptonite

#237165 - 03/09/06 03:36 AM Re: name your hands [Re: pepto_bismol]
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
Thanks for your reply, and I do agree with you. While it seems cool to say terms in chinese, or whatever the art's native language is, they are probably just equivalent to saying it in english.

However, what about those more poetic kind of names, like in tai chi (White crane spreads wings, needle at the bottom of the sea)? Do most styles' poetic names get lost in translation?

#237166 - 03/09/06 08:05 AM Re: name your hands [Re: 18lohans]
Fisherman Offline

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Most moves/techniques have names to them otherwise how would we identify with them?
The language or the name itself does not dictate whether the move is good or bad, the person doing it does.


Do most styles' poetic names get lost in translation?

The true understanding of the meaning might not go as deep as it should, but that is only in part due to the language barrier. Bad representation of a form is usually due to the teachers lack of understanding.
Lets face it. Part of the allure of Taiji is the fancy names for its moves.
Chris Haynes

#237167 - 03/18/06 08:25 AM Re: name your hands [Re: Fisherman]
Subedei Offline

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
Well I speak english and live in an english speaking country, so I'm going to speak english most of the time.

Now several of my masters don't speak much english and speak a whole lot of Japanaese or Korean, so some of what I'm going to learn will be in Korean or Japanese.

Poetics? Pssh! If what most people see looking at a technique is "chicken wing" or "rabbit feet" then those are good names, they conjure the image of the technique in someones mind and associate very well. Most of the Korean and Japanese names tend to be very simple and descriptive in my experience, and sometimes downright silly yet none the less effective.

So I guess in conclusion it's best to teach in the native language of those you intend to teach whenever possible. Some of them will want to learn the native words which is great but really secondary to the purpose of giving techniques names: communication.

#237168 - 06/24/06 02:03 PM Re: name your hands [Re: Subedei]
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
Does anyone know what chi sao is in mandarin (or can type it in chinese, or know where I can see the chinese characters for it?)
"Now use head for something other than target!" Still never attacked by trees, 18lohans

#237169 - 06/24/06 02:13 PM Re: name your hands [Re: 18lohans]
IExcalibui2 Offline

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
lohan you could check out this site for chinese characters

This site offers mandarin, though I doubt there will be a problem even though WC is a southern art. Different dilects have a few different characters.

But back to the topic, I dont think naming the techniques are that significant. The names probably could have just came out of training or learning. The teacher may say "see how your hands stick to the other guys?" and then later on he just calls it chi sao so that he has to do less talking and everyone still understands.

The chinese can call a jab x,y, and z but in english its just called a jab. Either way its a jab right?
"you're going to work till you wish you were dead and then keep going.." -Sgt Slaughter

#237170 - 06/25/06 09:58 AM Re: name your hands [Re: IExcalibui2]
Fisherman Offline

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
It depends on what the intention is behind the jab. Names may be given to describe a concept or technique more indepth so that the practitioner may gain a better understanding of what they are training.
Chris Haynes

#237171 - 06/27/06 05:28 AM Re: name your hands [Re: Fisherman]
Tezza Offline

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 775
Loc: Kent, U.K.
Very True Fisherman
Train Hard Tez WT Central


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