About Us

Indian Martial Arts History

"It is in the poetic histories - the RAMAYANA and the MAHABHARATA, that we find the earliest reference to Indian arms. ".
Note :
Bodhidharma and Zen Buddhism. Attaining strength and power was also of interest to Bodhidharma (c. A.D. 5th-6th century), an Indian monk who is said to be the originator of the Shaolin boxing tradition and the father of the martial arts. Believed to have been a member of the warriors/rulers caste of India, Bodhidharma brought with him a brand of Buddhism known as Zen, which advocated mental control and meditation as means to enlightenment.
Taoism (with its emphasis on blending with the course of nature), religious Taoism (with its emphasis on using breath control and meditation to tap into and control chi), and Bodhidharma's Zen Buddhism (with its emphasis on mental control, meditation, and physical discipline) serve as the philosophical/ religious foundation for the various martial arts.

Ancient India - Sports & Games

Games like, Chess, Snakes and Ladders, Playing Cards, Polo, the martial arts of Judo and Karate had originated in India and it was from here that these games were transmitted to foreign countries, where they were further developed. 

Kalaripayat from Kerala was transmitted to China by a sage named Boddhidharma in the 5th century The Chinese called him Po-ti-tama He taught this art in a temple This temple is today known as the Shaolin temple Thus Judo, Karate, Kung Fu and other similar marshal arts which are today identified with the far-east actually originated from India. 

At times the changes made in the original nature of the Indian sport-forms were so many and so fundamental that the game lost all similarity with its original form in India. 

Ancient India claims to have been the origin of Judo and Karate. 

Something similar to Karate was called Kalaripayate.

This art from seems to have traveled from India to the countries of the far-east along with the Buddhist religion. Buddhists monks who traveled barefoot and unarmed to spread the gospel of Buddha seem to have accepted this art with alterations suitable to the philosophy of nonviolence. Such a technique of defense would have been necessary for them as they traveled individually or in small groups in foreign lands during which they were exposed to dangers from bandits and fanatics from other religions. Buddhist monks seem to have tempered the originally violent character of this art. The violent and exterminative nature of Kalaripayate is evient from the daggers and knives that are used. Unlike Kalaripayate, Judo and Karate do not allow the use of lethal weapons. 

The aim of a Karate practitioner is mainly to disarm and disable his opponent without mortally wounding him. This can be looked upon as a reflection of the Buddhist attitude towards life. Further both Judo and Karate are deeply interwoven with meditation unlike other martial arts like boxing, wrestling, fencing, etc. The concentration aspect in Judo and Karate perhaps stems from this. Both Judo and Karate are sought to be kept as arts to be used for just purposes for protection of the weak, etc., 

The oath that every student of these disciplines has to take is evidence of this. A teacher of Judo or Karate traditionally commands deep respect of students and a lesson always starts with a bow of the students to the teacher. The teacher here is not looked upon only as a coach as in western martial arts like boxing and fencing. This relationship between a teacher and student in Judo and Karate could have its roots in the Guru-Shishya tradition of India. 
Thus it is quite possible that these martial art forms originated in southern India and were transmitted to China, Korea and Japan by Buddhist monks. But it has to be conceded that they were neglected in India where like Buddhism they atrophied and today the world considers them to be a legacy bequeathed by the countries of the far-east.

Hindu Military Science

Hindu military science recognizes two kinds of warfare - the dharmayuddha and the kutayuddha. Dharmayuddha is war carried on the principles of dharma, meaning here the Ksatradharma or the law of Kings and Warriors. In other words, it was a just and righteous war which had the approval of society. On the other hand, kuttayuddha was unrighteous war. It was a crafty fight carried on in secret. The Hindu science of warfare values both niti and saurya i.e. ethical principles and valor. It was therefore realized that the waging of war without regard to moral standards degraded the institution into mere animal ferocity. A monarch desirous of dharma vijaya should conform to the code of ethics enjoined upon warriors. The principles regulating the two kinds of warfare are elaborately described in the Dharmasutras and Dharmasastras, the epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata), the Arthasastra treatises of Kautalya, Kamandaka, and Sukra. Hindu India possessed the classical fourfold force of chariots, elephants, horsemen, and infantry, collectively known as the Caturangabala. Students also know that the old game of chess also goes by the name of Caturanga. From the references to this game in the Rig Veda and the Atharva Veda and in the Buddhists and Jaina books, it must have been very popular in ancient India. The Persian term Chatrang and the Arabic Shatrang are forms of the Sanskrit Caturanga.