Thread: Vantage points
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:12 PM   #162
Location: NYC
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 92
Re: Vantage points

From Wikipedia, ( I am sure this is not the only source of this material). Not really hard to find, and even though even though Wikipedia offers differing accounts of who did what , where and when,
The technologies when "felt" in person, then read about , sound strikingly similar. Was everyone nailing this stuff 100%? Hell no, exactly why there were standouts along the way to point the way.


The evolution of the martial arts has been described by historians in the context of countless historical battles. Building on the work of Laughlin (1956, 1961), Rudgley (2000) argues that the martial arts of the Chinese, Japanese and Aleut peoples, Mongolian wrestling all have "roots in the prehistoric era and to a common Mongoloid ancestral people who inhabited north-eastern Asia.".[1][2][3] Todd & Webb (2005) claims that "when Alexander the Great expanded his empire to stretch as far as India, he may have sown the seeds of modern Asian martial arts.".[4]

Further information: Indian martial arts

The Nataraja dance pose.
Around the 3rd century BC, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali taught how to meditate single-mindedly on points located inside one's body, which was later used in martial arts, while various mudra finger movements were taught in Yogacara Buddhism. These elements of yoga, as well as finger movements in the nata dances, were later incorporated into various martial arts.[5][6][7]
Indian martial arts were an important influence in the development of a number of modern Asian martial arts, particularly within the Indian cultural sphere (countries outside India influenced by Indian culture and religion) of Southeast Asia. Examples include Indo-Malay silat,[8] Burmese banshay, naban and bando,[9] Filipino escrima and kali,[10] Thai krabi krabong[11] and Cambodian bokator. Indian martial arts also lightly influenced[clarification needed] the various forms of Indochinese kickboxing, namely Muay Thai from Thailand, Muay Lao from Laos, Tomoi from Malaysia, Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from Myanmar.[11]

Main article: Chinese martial arts
Chinese boxing can be reliably traced back to the Chou Dynasty (1122-255 BCE).[12] During the Spring and Autumn Period, the literature mentions displays of archery, fencing and wrestling by nobles. Warfare between rival states was conducted according to Confucian chivalry (deference to rank, attacking in turn, food sent to hungry enemies). During the Warring States Period, warfare grew bloodier and common men were expected to have skill in personal attack (chi-chi).[12]
Shaolin monastery records state that two of its very first monks, Huiguang and Sengchou, were expert in the martial arts years before the arrival of Bodhidharma.[13] The martial arts Shuāi Jiāo and Sun Bin Quan predate the establishment of the Shaolin Monastery by centuries.[14]
Indian martial arts may have spread to China via the transmission of Buddhism in the early 5th or 6th centuries of the common era and thus influenced Shaolinquan. Elements from Indian philosophy, like the Nāga, Rakshasa, and the fierce Yaksha were syncretized into protectors of Dharma; these mythical figures from the Dharmic religions figure prominently in Shaolin boxing, Chang boxing and staff fighting.[15] The religious figures from Dharmic religions also figure in the movement and fighting techniques of Chinese martial arts.[16] Various styles of kung fu are known to contain movements that are identical to the Mudra hand positions used in Hinduism and Buddhism, both of which derived from India.[17] Similarly, the 108 pressure points in Chinese martial arts are believed by some to be based on the marmam points of Indian varmakalai.[18][19]
The predominant telling of the diffusion of the martial arts from India to China involves a 5th-century prince-turned-monk named Bodhidharma who is said to have traveled to Shaolin, sharing his chuan style and thus creating Shaolinquan.[20] According to Wong Kiew Kit, the Monk's creation of Shaolin arts "...marked a watershed in the history of kungfu, because it led to a change of course, as kungfu became institutionalized. Before this, martial arts were known only in general sense."[21]

Main gate of the Shaolin temple in Henan.
The association of Bodhidharma with martial arts is attributed to Bodhidharma's own Yi Jin Jing, though its authorship has been disputed by several modern historians such as Tang Hao,[22] Xu Zhen and Matsuda Ryuchi.[23] The oldest known available copy of the Yi Jin Jing was published in 1827[23] and the composition of the text itself has been dated to 1624. According to Matsuda, none of the contemporary texts written about the Shaolin martial arts before the 19th century, such as Cheng Zongyou's Exposition of the Original Shaolin Staff Method or Zhang Kongzhao's Boxing Classic: Essential Boxing Methods, mention Bodhidharma or credit him with the creation of the Shaolin martial arts. The association of Bodhidharma with the martial arts only became widespread after the 1904--1907 serialization of the novel The Travels of Lao Ts'an in Illustrated Fiction Magazine.[24]
The discovery of arms caches in the monasteries of Chang'an during government raids in 446 AD suggests that Chinese monks practiced martial arts prior to the establishment of the Shaolin Monastery in 497.[25] Moreover, Chinese monasteries, not unlike those of Europe, in many ways were effectively large landed estates, that is, sources of considerable wealth which required protection that had to be supplied by the monasteries' own manpower.[25]

A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your effort. That which is on the day of laughter is also now.
Ramana Maharishi
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