Note: Some of the terms have more than one variation. These terms and notes refer to how they are used at our school, Seattle Wushu Center. Other schools may have slightly different definitions and context uses. These are not in alphabetical order.
School and practice related terms (Kajukenbo-Kung Fu, Eskrima, Wushu, Taijiquan)
Kajukenbo: An acronym for KA (karate), JU (Judo & Jujitsu), KEN (Kenpo karate), and BO (Western boxing and Chinese boxing <kung fu>). This system was founded by Adriano Emperado, Joe Holck, Peter Choo, Frank Ordonez, and Clarence Chang.
Kajukenbo Original Method: The first and “original” method of Kajukenbo, founded between 1945 and 1947. Also know as the ‘original Kajukenbo hard style”.
Wun Hop Kuen Do: “Combined Fist Way”. One of the 4 branches of Kajukenbo, founded by Professor Al Dacascos. Our lineage at Seattle Wushu Center stems from the Faircloth Method of Chuan Fa-Wun Hop Kuen Do.
Chuan Fa: “Fist Way: One of the 4 branches of Kajukenbo, founded by Adriano Emperado, along with students Al Dacascos and Al Dela Cruz. Our lineage at Seattle Wushu Center stems from the Faircloth Method of Chuan Fa-Wun Hop Kuen Do.
Tum Pai: “Central Way”. One of the 4 branches of Kajukenbo, with emphases on Tai Chi and internal arts, founded by Professor Jon Loren. The style’s name was actually revived by Professor Loren, after the original system founded by Adriano Emperado, Al DeLaCruz and Al Dacascos, was absorbed into the Chuan Fa branch.
Eskrima, Kali, Arnis: 3 terms referring to the fighting arts of the Philippines.
Kwoon (Cantonese) or Guan (Mandarin): The school or training hall.
Kuen (Cantonese) or Taolu (Mandarin): Form, a prearranged set of movements.
Shaolin (Mandarin) or Siu-Lum (Cantonese): Referring to the Buddhist Temple attributed for the founding of Zen (Chan) and Kungfu in Henan Province, China. Literally, “young forest.”
Gung Fu or Kung Fu: Acquired skill, “Hard work”, “skill gained by time and effort”. This term is used to denote our Chinese influence through the Kajukenbo System.
Wushu: “martial art”, “Military art”, “War art”. The general term for (Chinese) martial arts.
Ginglai (Cantonese) or Jingli (Mandarin): Salute, to salute someone ("hold fist salute" as we do in our classes).
Sanda or San Shou: “Free hits” or “free hands”, Referring to sparring or self defense drills and practice.
Yin & Yang: Represented as a circle divided between a dark half and a light, the Taiji symbol represents two mutually complementary forces in nature: Yin, the force characterized as dark, cold, stillness, passiveness and potential; and Yang, the force characterized as light, warmth, action, aggressiveness and expression.
Tai Chi Chuan, or Taiji Quan/Taijiquan: “Grand ultimate fist”. A Chinese internal art form that is based in the principles of Yin and Yang. Taiji is characterized by wave-like motion, power releases that resemble shaking or shuddering, and long forms that are practiced with slow, relaxed movements.
Ti, Da, Shuai, Na (Mandarin), or Tet, Da, Sut, Na (Cantonese): Kick, strike, throw, Control…..the 4 main categories of fighting techniques.
Pangamot: Filipino arts empty hand fighting
Panantukan: Filipino “dirty boxing”
KowTow: Bow, to bow to someone. This term is usually used for very formal occasions. Rather than a standing salute, the Kowtow is a kneeling bow where the performer puts the forehead toward the floor, and the manner of Kowtow is based on whom you are saluting to (upper ranks, lower ranks, equal ranks).
Sifu (Cantonese) or Shifu (Mandarin): Teacher, or parent figure, usually of 3rd degree black belt and higher. However, the title is not automatically given at 3rd degree, it is a title that is bestowed by one’s Sifu. Proper way to use the title is to address teacher as “Sifu + their last name”, Not by their first name or by nicknames. (example: Sifu DeJesus or Sifu Long”). At our school, we allow “Sifu plus first name” (NO nicknames). Example: “Sifu Rusty” would not be allowed. “Sifu Restita” or “Sifu Kat” is allowed because it is their actual names.
Si-Hing: Big brother, usually of 1st and 2nd degree black belt rank. Lower ranked students would call these black belts by this title.
Si-Je: Big Sister, usually of 1st and 2nd degree black belt rank. Lower ranked students would call these black belts by this title.
Si-Dai: Little brother, Junior classmate, regardless of rank. Non-black belt ranks may refer to junior classmates by name only or by “Si-Dai Randy”, etc. This term is rarely used, however, and we usually just use first names.
Si-Mui: Little sister, junior classmate, regardless of rank. Non-black belt ranks may refer to junior classmates by name only or by “Si-Dai Linda”, etc. This term is rarely used, however, and we usually just use first names.
Si-Bak: Your teacher’s elder classmate from their own teacher’s class.
Professor: A title that usually refers to those with 8th degree black belt rank or higher.
Grandmaster: A title referring to those of 9th or 10th degree.
Sijo: The founder of a style or system.
Guro: “Teacher”, Filipino term used in the Filipino Martial Arts class.
Chinese and Japanese Weaponry:
Staff: Gun (pronounced “goon”)
Spear: Qiang (Pronounced “cheeahng”)
Broadsword: Dao (‘Daow”
Straight Sword: Jian (“jien”)
Japanese sword: Katana, or Daito
Iron Ruler or small fork: Sai or Tiě chǐ or Ti chek
Fan: “San”. Iron Fan or Bamboo fan
Bow (archery): Gong
Slingshot: Dangong or Dankung
Two part flail: Nunchaku or ehrjiegun (pronounced “arjaygoon”)
9 section Chain Whip: JiujieBian (pronounced ‘ju jeh bien”)
Rope Dart: Johyo or Sheng Biao
Hand flail: Tonfa or Shuang Guai
Sickle: Kama or Liandao
Filipino Stick: Olisi or Baston
Filipino Dagger/knife: Daga or Baraw
Filipino palm stick: Dulo-dulo
Filipino Sword: Espada
Machete: Barong, or Parang or Bolo
Dress cloth: Sarong or Sarung or Malong
Belt: Cinturon or Bakos.
Claw knife: Karambit