Martial arts is any of the traditional forms of Asian self-defense or combat that utilize physical skill and coordination without weapons. These practices include Karate, Judo, Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
At Lehigh Valley Martial Arts, whether you are training in Kung Fu or Karate, you are all part of the same system. The name of that system is, 'Chih Chun Tao' which translates to 'The Way of the Wise Falcon' or 'The Way of the Truthful Falcon'. This is why our uniforms contain the image of the falcon in the center of the Yin Yang.
Karate means 'empty hand'. This symbolizes protecting oneself without weapons.
Kung Fu means 'hard work'. This particular word is not reserved for martial arts alone. It can be applied to those who are showing diligence and effort. It was not until the 20th century with the advent of Bruce Lee, David Carradine, and Kung Fu Theater that the word became popularized as a way to describe the martial practice itself.
Judo means The Gentle Way.
Tai Chi means Grand Ultimate.
Shigung/Shihan means 'teacher of teachers'. In Chinese Kung Fu training the title 'Shigung' and in Japanese arts 'Shihan' is used to describe the person entrusted with the job of instructing the instructors.
Shifu is the title for a Kung Fu teacher. Shifu means 'teacher'.
Sensei means 'born before' and is the name given to a Karate teacher. These teachers come before their students in knowledge and experience.
Joshu is the title of the assistant instructors in Karate.
Laoshi is the title of a Kung Fu instructor at the level before they become Shifu.
Deshi is the title of a Karate instructor at the level before they become Sensei.
Guan is the training area or mat room in a Kung Fu school. Its literal translation means 'hall'.
Dojo means 'place to study The Way'. In Japanese, 'do' means 'way' and 'jo' means 'place'. 'The Way' is a universal phrase referring to the philosophy of martial arts.
Sun Toi is the focal point in a Kung Fu school. This area in the school houses the ideals and philosophy of the school. In a Karate school, the same area is called the 'Kamidana'. These areas will often have representations of the elements, symbols of the school, as well as the life-giving elements of water, rice and wine.
Moon Hao (in Kung Fu) and Shoman (in Karate) is the area of the school with pictures of your school lineage. Here is where you will find pictures of your teachers, their teachers, and their teachers' teachers all the way back to the origins of the system.