Chinese phrases suitable for use by martial artists. These may not have the same meaning for Japanese, Korean, or other Asian cultures—and in fact may not have the same meaning in all Chinese regions or dialects. Use with caution!

Chinese Phrases for Martial Artists

  • 寶刀不老  băo dāo bù lăo – old but still vigorous in mind and body
  • 本覺  bĕn jué – (Buddhist) inner awakening
  • 補氣  bŭ qì – supplement the qi (vital energy)
  • 補身  bŭ shēn – nourish (one’s body)
  • 不為瓦全  bù wéi wă quán – better to die in glory than live in dishonor
  • 程門立雪  chéng mén lì xuĕ – honor the teacher and respect his teachings
  • 抽刀難入鞘  chōu dāo nán rù qiào – a sword drawn is difficult [to put back] into [its] sheath
  • 大勇若怯  dà yŏng ruò qiè – a brave man does not flaunt his power
  • 大丈夫  dà zhàng fu – a real man; a man of fortitude and courage
  • 德操  dé cāo – morality and conduct; virtuous behavior
  • 德化  dé huà – influence people by moral uprightness
  • 德化下民  dé huà xià mín – influence the populace by means of one’s virtuous character
  • 德配天地  dé pèi tiān dì – be a paragon of virtue
  • 斗南一人 dŏu nán yī rén – one who knows no equal under the sun
  • 獨步 dú bù – be unique, unrivaled, peerless
  • 獨步古今 dú bù gŭ jīn – have no equal in both ancient and modern times
  • 獨步天下 dú bù tiān xià – be unparalleled in the world
  • 飛蛇  fēi shé – flying dragon
  • 蓋代英雄 gài dài yīng xióng – greatest hero of the generation
  • 甲天下 jiă tiān xià – number one in the world; the finest under heaven
  • 見怪不怪  jiàn guài bù guài – face something fearful without fear
  • 矯若游龍 jiăo ruò yóu lóng – be as powerful as a dragon
  • 教師爺 jiào shī yé – great master (especially in the martial arts)
  • 勁力 jìn lì – strength, energy, martial power
  • 精益求精  jīng yì qiú jīng – expert already, to strive to become even better
  • 刻意求工  kè yì qiú gōng – I painstakingly seek perfection
  • 曠古絕今  kuàng gŭ jué jīn – unprecedented in the past or the present
  • 力敵萬夫  lì dí wàn fū – matchlessly brave/powerful; too powerful to be defeated
  • 力可拔山  lì kĕ bá shān – be so strong as to be able to lift a mountain
  • 驪龍  lí lóng – black dragon
  • 力求上進  lì qiú shàng jìn – strive vigorously to improve oneself
  • 利人利己  lì rén lì jĭ – benefit other people as well as oneself
  • 練把式  liàn bĭ shi – practice Chinese martial arts
  • 龍馬  lóng mă – old but strong; aged but vigorous [literally: dragon horse]
  • 秘奧 mì ào – profound mystery
  • 能忍則安 néng rĕn zé ān – he who can endure is at ease
  • 女俠  nŭ xiá – female knight errant
  • 千古卓絕  qiān gŭ zhuó jué – unmatched past or present
  • 強中之強  qiáng zhōng zhī qiáng – the strongest of the strong
  • 求無  qiú wù – search for the thing; seeking something [used in the art of Yiquan]
  • 十磨九難出好人  shí mó jiŭ nàn chū hăo rén – hardships produce outstanding persons
  • 世上無雙  shì shàng wú shuāng – having no equal on earth
  • 壽  shòu – longevity
  • 守身養心  shŏu shēn yăng xīn – take care of your body and to be quiet and not easy to anger
  • 熟能生巧  shú néng shēng qiăo – skill comes from practice
  • 淑心  shū xīn – pure heart
  • 太極  tài jí – the Supreme Ultimate (as used in Taijiquan)
  • 探幽  tàn yōu – to seek the mysterious
  • 武德  wŭ dé – martial virtue
  • 武功 / 武工  wŭ gōng – military accomplishments; martial art; acrobatic skill
  • 武術師  wŭ shù shī – martial arts master
  • 武藝  wŭ yì – skill in martial arts
  • 武藝超群  wŭ yì chāo qún – one’s military arts excel all
  • 武藝出眾  wŭ yì chū zhòng – one’s fighting skill is far above that of common men
  • 武英  wŭ yīng – martial arts hero
  • 嫻習武藝  xián xí wŭ yì – skilled in martial arts; skilled in boxing/fencing/etc.
  • 形醜心善  xíng chŏu xīn shàn – have a rough appearance but a good heart
  • 修己  xiū jĭ – self-cultivation
  • 休己  xiū jĭ – cultivate oneself
  • 修真養性  xiū zhēn yăng xìng – engage in self-cultivation
  • 養生  yăng shēng – keep in good health; nourish one’s vital principle
  • 養身  yăng shēn – take care of one’s health, nourish one’s personal vital principle
  • 養生之道  yăng shēng zhī dào – the way to keep in good health
  • 養心  yăng xīn – cultivate mental calm; mental cultivation
  • 以柔克剛  yĭ róu kè gāng – use softness to overcome hardness
  • 制服猛虎非英雄抑[朱?]脾氣真好漢  zhì fú mĕng hŭ fēi yīng xióng, yì zhu pí qì zhēn hăo hàn – the true hero is not one who can subdue a vicious tiger, but rather one who can restrain his own temper
  • 自勝者強  zì shèng zhĕ qiáng – he who overcomes himself is strong