I was asked a while ago to look into the etymology of the Karate-Do self-defence technique of 'Gedan Barai' - once by a British student (who had attended an advanced Japanese language course as he is a Solicitor) - and again by a Japanese student who was passing through the UK and had visited a few Dojos - saying some 'sounds' of the names of the techniques being used did not seem correct:
My view is that this transmission of culture is a) ongoing (and therefore a continuous process), and b) is a two-way street which must involve forgiveness and understanding. We must all help one another until our mutual understanding is correct. What is interesting is how philosophically different the 'Lower Block' is treated within Karate-Do compared to the 'Middle' and 'Upper' Blocks (which are explained merely as mechanical devices and not associated with the 'Conception Vessel' they pass through)! It is as if the 'Lower Block' is from a very old martial ritual! Finally, I was once told that the 'Lower Block' is not just a 'parry' or 'check' of an incoming attack - but is also a simultaneous 'Hammer-Strike' to the opponent's groin-area. Interesting food for thought.
All the Goju Ryu Kata names are written in the Chinese language. Although today, this is often related in the 'Simplified' script - older Okinawan texts record these names as being written in the 'Traditional' script. This does not alter, change or otherwise disrupt the concept being conveyed - at least not when in the hands of a competent translator!
5) 四向战 (Okinawan Pronunciation 'Shoichin' - Chinese Pronunciation 'Sixiangzhan')
a) 四 (si4) = 4, four and IV
b) 向 (xiang4) = direction, face, advance and approach
The upper particle '宀' (mian4) represents a roof on a house (which possesses four enclosing sides). The lower (central) particle is '口' (kou3) which stands for an 'open' mouth. In the context of 向 (xiang4) it is said that an individual with authority is shouting so that everyone residing in the four-corners of the house can hear! Perhaps there is an element of 'protecting' or 'expanding' the conscious awareness (and 'will-power') into the 'four-corners'.
c) 战 [戰] (zhan4) = battle, war, conflict and attack (cause 'fear' in the enemy)
The left-hand particle is '單' (dan1) which denotes a net designed to catch and hold animals securely. The two boxes at the top symbolise weights - whilst the middle section is the net. At the base can be seen the rope that controls the entire mechanism. The right-hand particle is '戈' (ge1) - an ancient shafted weapon containing a stylised axe-head - similar to (but distinct from) the Western halberd or pole-axe, etc. The ideogram 战 [戰] (zhan4) suggests that through careful training, planning and deployment - a military engagement can be successfully implemented - in the four directions!
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.