No matter what you study, it’s always helpful to familiarize yourself with the vocabulary of the subject sooner than later. The same goes for Wushu. If you’re determined to learn about Wushu (techniques, history, etc.), it helps to learn about Chinese Culture and Language. If you want to learn Chinese pronunciation, it helps to learn Pinyin (Chinese Phonetics) first.
As for Wushu related vocabulary, here’s a good starting point:
|Form / Set||Tàolù||套路||Refers to the forms / sets of movements we practice|
|Basics||Jīběngōng||基本功||Refers to the basic movements one must continuously practice to perfect the techniques.|
|School||Xuéxiào||学校||This is the literal meaning of school. you can also use this when talking about an elementary school or any other type of educational institution.|
|School / Clan||Ménpài||门派||This refers to the type of school and the style they practice. A few examples of well-know clans are Shaolin, Wudang, Emei (Bak Mei) and Cai Li Fo (Choi Lee Fat)|
|Gym / Dojo||Wǔ guǎn||武馆|
|Chinese people||Zhōngguó rén||中国人|
|Chinese culture||Zhōngguó wénhuà||中国文化|
|Northern Styles||Běi quán / Cháng quán||北拳 / 长拳|
|Southern Styles||Nán quán||南拳|
In Chinese culture, the way you address someone can be complicated and depends on what your relation with them is, their age, their position within a lineage, the level of respect you want to express and many other variables.
Each school copes differently with these terms and etiquettes and we encourage everyone to respect and adapt to the culture and etiquette of their own school or environment.
At our school, we prefer a bit of a modern approach. We have students from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds, so acceptance, inclusiveness and mutual respect are important here. Therefore, you can just call the teacher Laoshi (老师), which means exactly that: teacher. It’s a respectful yet friendly way to address this person, without establishing a complex hierarchy with which you implicate a certain degree of respect or skill. We’re all people and we’re all here to help one another.
I won’t bother you with the full extent of this subject (you may do your own research), but here are a few useful terms to learn when you first start your martial journey:
|Master||Shīfù||师傅 、 师父||师傅 is a general term that expresses respect towards someone who practices a certain profession. You can use it with anyone (from a car mechanic to a cook or a Wushu teacher), to show that they’re a respected specialist. It’s never good to call yourself a Shifu though.
师父 Is used to refer to your ‘personal master’, someone who has accepted you as their disciple. The pronunciation is the same as the above term, but the character 父 means father and this term is therefore used to describe your master as a sort of father-figure.
|Your master’s master or father||Shīyé||师爷|
|Your master’s wife||Shīmǔ||师母|
|Your older Kung Fu brother||Shīxiōng||师兄||“Older” doesn’t refer to age here, but rather how long someone has trained with this Shifu. Your Shixiong can therefore be younger than you.|
|Your younger Kung Fu brother||Shīdì||师弟|
|Your older Kung Fu sister||Shījiě||师姐|
|Your younger Kung Fu sister||Shīmèi||师妹|
|Disciple||Túdì / Dìzǐ||徒弟 / 弟子|
Body Parts & Techniques:
|Fist||Quán||拳||Da Quan (打拳) = Hitting with the first or fighting, Bao Quan (抱拳) = making/holding a first|
|Palm||Zhǎng||掌||Tui Zhang (推掌) = Puching with the palm, Chuan Zhang (穿掌) = Piercing with the Palm|
|Elbow||Zhǒu||肘||Ding Zhou (顶肘) = Elbow strike|
|Punch / hit||Dǎ||打|
|Horse Stance||Mǎ bù||马步|
|Bow Stance||Gōng bù||弓步|
|Crouching Stance||Pū bù||仆步|
|Empty Stance||Xū bù||虚步|