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Strange characters in Jeet Kun Do logo


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Embarrassingly enough, I can't read the characters in the logo. I have no idea what the first character is, nor can I type it - the closest I can find is 叺, which isn't really the right character, since the one in the logo has a 人, not a 入. The fifth character on the right side looks like 贯, but isn't quite the same. A search for "无眼为贯眼" yielded no results.

I can't figure out what the third character on the left from the bottom is - I tried inputting it with wubihua, and got nothing. The sentence reads "无?为有洁".

At any rate, I have no idea how you'd get "Using no way as way" & "Having no limitation as limitation" out of those two lines, as claimed by the JKD Wikipedia article. I'd have expected to see at least one 道 character.

Is this a case of somebody who doesn't know Chinese sloppily copying hanzi, or some weird non-standard Cantonese characters? Was the JKD logo actually made by Bruce Lee, or by his Western followers? In particular, I think it's weird that whoever made the logo wrote 無 differently both times, as if they were copying the characters by rote off of a bad xerox copy or something. Is this a story for Hanzi Smatter?

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It's pronounced yi second tone, just like 以 and is an alternate form of 以. It can also be pronounced shen.

It's not in standard fonts, so can't be shown here, but Wenlin has it, as does this handy Taiwan site:

How could someone who "couldn't read a lick of Chinese" find an obscure variant that's not in most dictionaries?

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So why would that same person write 法 in two different ways in the same sentence? Are those even variants of 法? Why would somebody write 有 in two different ways? Since when are you allowed to write 洁in place of 法?

I'm now guessing that whoever copied the sentence must have found it somewhere where it was written with the nonstandard character. It doesn't make my conjecture any less valid.

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In Chinese calligraphy, it's not considered good to write the same character in the same way in the one piece calligraphy. Therefore, a calligrapher will often create variants of a character to counter this. The style of this calligraphy looks to be 隶书 which I don't personally like. I have seen many examples of what is said to be excellent examples of 隶书, however I didn't think they looked really all that much better than what is seen in that logo.

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Really?!!? You learn something new every day! I've never before seen any calligraphy where the guy writes the same character using a made-up variant each time, but then again, I never know what the calligraphy is supposed to be saying, so I guess I wouldn't notice.

So why did he write that weird 叺 character the same way twice then?

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That was the one thing I was wondering, especially as all the other repeated characters have variations. Also, it's not so much "made-up" as it is based on certain accepted ways of varying a character. I don't really know much about it myself, but I had a calligrapher friend tell me about it once.

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以無法為有法 以無限為有限

Edit: I have no idea why it's written like that...

1. 以无法为有法



法 here means rules in movements according to each sect of martial arts武术门派招式章法. According to these rules, you can find some clues to predict your opponent’s upcoming movements.

Bruce Lee once said that he didn’t belong to any kind of sect in martial arts, so his Jeet Kune Do which seem has no rules, gives you no clue to predict his reaction.

以无法为有法: Take no rules as my rules, so that you can’t predict my reaction on you.

2. 以无限为有限



无限here means all kinds of sects in martial arts.

以无限为有限: Take all sects of marital arts as an unlimited source for me to choose, but each time I will just pick up the most effective way (limited) to react, according to my opponent’s movements.


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