Kenyon Martin’s Chinese Tattoos – Blog

Kenyon Martin’s Chinese Tattoos

Kenyon Martin, the former NBA player, is known for his iconic Chinese tattoos. While tattoos hold deep personal meanings, Martin’s choice to ink himself with Chinese characters sparked curiosity among fans worldwide. In this blog post, we delve into the stories behind Martin’s Chinese tattoos and explore the significance they hold for him.

The Journey Towards Chinese Culture

Before understanding the significance of Kenyon Martin’s Chinese tattoos, it’s important to learn about his connection to Chinese culture. Martin’s interest in Chinese history and art traces back to his childhood. Growing up, he was influenced by the teachings of his martial artist grandfather, who emphasized the importance of embracing diverse cultures.

First Chinese Tattoo: 真人 (Zhēnrén)

The originality of Kenyon Martin’s tattoo choices can be seen in his first Chinese character tattoo, 真人 (Zhēnrén). This tattoo translates to “Real Person” or “Genuine Individual.” For Martin, this represents staying true to oneself and never losing sight of his authenticity despite external influences.

Second Chinese Tattoo: 和平 (Hépíng)

Martin embraced the essence of peace and harmony through his second Chinese character tattoo, 和平 (Hépíng). The tattoo symbolizes his desire for unity and tranquility. In his professional career, Martin aimed to foster a peaceful environment both on and off the basketball court.

Third Chinese Tattoo: 勇 (Yǒng)

The third Chinese character tattoo on Kenyon Martin’s body is 勇 (Yǒng), meaning “Courage” or “Bravery.” This serves as a reminder for Martin to face challenges fearlessly and to always give his all. It reflects his determination to overcome obstacles both in the game and in life.

The Controversy and Misinterpretation

As with any visible tattoos, Martin’s Chinese tattoos faced misinterpretation and controversy. Various rumors circulated about the translations and their cultural accuracy. However, it is essential to approach these discussions with cultural sensitivity and avoid cultural appropriation, remembering that understanding the context and intent behind a tattoo is crucial.

Respecting Tattoos and Their Meanings

Kenyon Martin’s Chinese tattoos are a celebration of his personal journey and cultural appreciation. It is crucial to respect tattoos and their meanings, irrespective of cultural backgrounds. Tattoos provide individuals with an opportunity to express themselves and should be seen as a form of art that tells unique personal stories.

Tattoos as Powerful Symbols

Tattoos have always been powerful symbols of identity and self-expression. Beyond any controversy, Kenyon Martin’s Chinese tattoos represent his admiration for Chinese culture, his beliefs, and the principles that drive him both in and out of the basketball arena.


Kenyon Martin’s Chinese tattoos serve as a testament to the impact of Chinese culture on his life. Through his tattoos, he brings together his own personal journey and appreciation for Chinese art, philosophy, and history. It is important for us to remember that tattoos are deeply personal and hold different meanings for each individual. Let us embrace the diversity of art and culture, and respect the stories that tattoos tell.