Eating Bitter There is a Chinese maxim: "Eat Bitter or "Eating Bitterness", known as Chi Ku. It is a Chinese phrase for enduring hardship. Or as Occidentals would say: "Grin and Bear It." Other references are: “Keep on Truckin”, “Hang In There”, “Stick It Out”, “Suck It Up”, etc., all to mean to endure something unpleasant in good humor. Or to continue despite difficulties in a general phrase of encouragement meaning to stay focused. In relation to, quoted by; “If you're going through hell, keep going.”-Winston Churchill. / “We acquire the strength we have overcome.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson. / “I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”-Jewish Proverb. / “There is no success without hardship.”-Sophocles. Eating bitter seems to be an aged-old saying, like a parent to a child, upon having the child do something without complaint. It has the meaning of working hard and tolerate some agony in order to acquire what it is one is hoping to achieve. However, one should examine “eating bitter” beyond the psychological perspicacity. Almost a manner to which one can exclaim; “Practice makes Perfect”, “Eating Bitter”, in a martial art sense, is taken to mean practicing very hard, enduring both the mental and physical hardships. Of which are required in Chinese martial arts, to excel. This is evident from the anxiety of practicing, which is the struggle to endure mental challenges. And the actual pain of training applications, the physical such as discomfort and injury. In all, to endure the aspirations, as well as certain desolations of martial art training. In martial arts, this would seem appropriate of the mannerism and exchange between teacher and student. But in recent society, what is the extent of the commitment from either, the teacher or the student? In other words, unlike the very distant past, when it was exclaimed “teacher say, student do”, seem to implicate that a student should do as he was told without questioning. The literal translation is, in fact, "eat bitter" or "eat bitterness". It comes from the fact that life, or anything, is about good and bad, ups and downs, sweet or bitter., etc. When something is the opposite of positive, in this sense, it is a hardship. Without hardship, i.e., bitterness, there can be no sweetness. But, in some instances, there is a continued state of hardship, per poverty, or a on going illness or disease, oppression, etc. there may never be an “icing on the cake”, or the reward from such state, in relation to martial art gains. Therefore, "eating bitterness" could also allude to suffering hardship, going through a bad time, having terrible misfortune, etc. For example: Homeless Bob has had misfortune for most of his life, he has eaten bitterness." Therefore an example behind something not gained from hardship. A better translation would be "to be able to- endure hardship". Eating Bitter/Chi Ku: To break down the expression, Chi Ku, (Cheh Qwea), would be; * Chi: (pronounced as Cheh/Chui ) *(1) to whip with bamboo strips - *(2) salted fermented beans - *(3) keep in order / stern / to order / direct - *(4) extravagant / wasteful / exaggerating - *(5) surname Chi / name of an ancient city - *(6) hornless dragon - *(7) to scold / shout at / to hoot at - *(8) step with left foot - *(9) imperial orders - *(10) flame / blaze - *(11) laugh at / jeer / scoff at / sneer at - *(12) unstring a bow / slacken / relax / loosen - *(13) spoon - *(14) wing - *(15) tooth - *(16) pond / lake / body of water - *(17) shame / disgrace - *(18) run fast / speed / spread / gallop - *(18) to blame / to reprove / to reprimand / to expel / to oust - *(19) to hold / to grasp / to support / to maintain / to persevere / to manage / to run (i.e. administer) / to control - *(20) *a Chinese foot / one-third of a meter / a ruler / a tape-measure / a musical note on the traditional Chinese scale / one of the three accupoints for measuring pulse in Chinese medicine *(21) to eat / to have one's meal / to eradicate / to destroy / to absorb / to suffer / to exhaust. Chi, used in this context, is totally different that Chi (Chee) to mean internal force. * Ku: (pronounced as Kwoo, Kwea) *(1) to cut open / rip up / scoop out - *(2) broken utensil - *(3) blight - *(4) to cry / to weep – *(5) harsh/rough - *(6) ruthless / strong - *(7) one of the five legendary emperors - *(8) cave / hole - *(9) skeleton - *(10) dried up - *(11) warehouse / storehouse - *(12) trousers/pants - *(13) to suffer losses / to come to grief / to lose out / to get the worst of it / to be at a disadvantage / unfortunately - *(14) to toil - *(15) to bear / hardships - *(15) bitter / hardship / pain / to suffer / painstaking In conclusion, Chinese dialect could take on dofferent meanings.