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For example, 'a tennis master'?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you are looking for adjectives to describe skill here's a few:

上手 [じょうず] ((generally speaking) good at ~)

巧妙 [こうみょう] (mysteriously skillful at~)

~の天才 [てんさい] (A genius in ~)

熟練した [じゅくれんした] - This one is my favourite, it has the meaning of practised to perfection.

Some examples:

私はテニスが上手です (I am good at tennis)

あのテニス選手は巧妙です (That tennis player is skillful)

テニスの天才 (A genius in tennnis)

テニスの熟練者 (An expert at tennis)

熟練したテニス選手 (An expert tennis player)

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From @Samurai Soul's question, I'd say the word he is looking for might be '選手【せんしゅ】' (I see it in your examples, but not in the list of words above them). –  Dave Aug 4 '11 at 17:03
    
Just curious if マスター itself is used anywhere outside of 完全マスター. –  jkerian Aug 4 '11 at 17:03
    
@Dave 選手 just means a player. It does not mean that it is a master. –  user458 Aug 4 '11 at 17:11
    
Oops. Sorry, as @sawa pointed out, 選手 on its own is not enough. I meant: qualifier + 選手 like 優れた選手 –  Dave Aug 4 '11 at 17:28
    
Regarding 上手: It can easily sound arrogant to use 上手 to describe yourself this way, which is why you'll hear 得意 more often. Of course 上手ではない and 上手になりたい are perfectly fine. –  Derek Schaab Aug 4 '11 at 17:39

At least for the taiko video game it is 達人 (たつじん) meaning "master / expert" not sure if this carries over to sports

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Krillin used 達人 to describe Jackie Chun as an expert fighter in Dragon Ball, for what that's worth –  sartak Aug 5 '11 at 19:58

I think for sports, the word プロ 'professional' is usually used to refer to a skilled player, even if that person is not actually a professional. For Japanese sports like judo or sumo, there are specific words that describe what level the player is at.

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+1 Oh, of course! I should have thought of that. I use プロ myself all the time in english and Japanese. Good one. –  Samurai Soul Aug 4 '11 at 21:23

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