Falk’s Dictionary of Chinese Martial Arts

dictionary PDF cover

This Chinese-English Dictionary is massive, with countless words and phrases used by the internal and external martial arts of China to describe training, techniques, theory, forms, sparring, methods, wrestling and qinna. And words that always pop up when you are reading about martial arts, like TCM terms, anatomical terms, historical and literary names, dynasties – the list is endless. Most martial techniques and names cannot be found in a regular dictionary – and if the characters are there, they have a different meaning from that used in the martial arts. With three indices, ordered by the pinyin transliteration, radical index, and stroke order index, and a fair bit of cross referencing, you should be able to find what you need. It is a fun book just to flip through and look around. I like to look something up then scan up and down that entry to find things that might be related.

Hard Cover 8.25 x 10.75”, heavy-weight cream paper, large characters, 408 pages. ISBN978-0-9879028-6-3 

Deluxe Soft Cover 7.44 x 9.68”, heavy-weight white paper, large characters, 480 pages. ISBN 978-0-9879028-5-6 

Compact Soft Cover 6.14 x 9.21”, 60# white paper, smaller characters, 552 pages. ISBN 978-1-989468-06-7  (It was orginally a cheap alternative because it was on thinner paper, but the printer changed its setup, and the size is only availble with the thicker paper. I am charging the same retail price for now, though it costs me a lot more.)

PDF edition 8.5 x 11”, large characters, formatted for printers, 364 pages ISBN 978-0-9879028-7-0 

Click here for an excerpt.

Click here for corrections and new entries. (new addenda Jan 2nd 2022)

There is no E-reader edition, since that setup cannot manage the intricacies of the pinyin and Chinese character entry.

This is way, way more comprehesive than the old 2012 dictionary, the free online dictionary, and the free word list downloads. It is the work of years and years – I started with little blue notebooks at the Beijing Physical Culture Institute. It is not just an update, it is a whole new approach to the dictionary.

There are 1446 indexed characters, which is actually 1937 indexed characters when you count traditional, simplified, and variations. Lots more words and phrases that go along with the look-up-able characters. I started to count the total number of entries, but gave up in the Bs. Doing the page numbers in the indices of four different editions just about did my head in, that is a lot of characters. I do not envision doing another edition, just posting an addenda every once in a while is enough.

Comments from readers

"Andrea is an old and close friend who has been trained in China under the best masters and she has graduated from one of the best universities for Chinese Wushu. She speaks Chinese like a native Chinese. A dictionary of Chinese Martial Arts compiled by her would be one of the best and authoritative resources for both sides of the world. Those who are confused by the Chinese will find explanations in clear and correct English. On the other hand, whose who teach without the level of mastery in English can consult the dictionary and learn the English terms. Thank you Andrea for such a great contribution! Jack Yan, Markham ON.

Im very excited that Andrea Falks comprehensive dictionary of Chinese martial arts is finally available! Andrea, a master martial arts teacher and also a professional translator, has worked for years to perfect this exceptional work. It doesnt simply translate terms, it provides clear, accurate and insightful background and context. I consider this to be a must-have for anyone who does Chinese martial arts. Michael Blackburn, Vancouver, BC.

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