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The Origins and Development of Martial Arts

Throughout the world numerous styles of hand and fighting have been developed, each of which reflects the needs of the time and the varying historical and cultural background of the country where it originated.

In China open hand fighting is called Kung Fu or Daeji-Chon; in India Selambam; in France Savate; in Japan, Judo, Karate or Ai Kido or Jujitsu; in Russia Samba; In Malaysia Bosilat; in Thailand Kick Boxing; and in Korea it is known as Tae Kyon, Soo-Bak-Gi, and Taekwon-Do.

Some of these forms of self-defence are no doubt as old as mankind itself. It would be virtually impossible to trace hand and foot fighting to any single beginning.

Everything which was either discovered or invented in India was cleverly denied authenticity and downplayed by those who came to rule India, the Arabs and the British.

Sanskrit, the oldest language in the World, originated from India. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans. Charaka, the father of medicine consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. Today Ayurveda is fast regaining its rightful place in our civilization.

Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted complicated surgeries like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, fractures, urinary stones and even plastic surgery and brain surgery. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India. Over 125 surgical equipment were used. Deep knowledge of anatomy, physiology, etiology, embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics and immunity is also found in many texts.

Adoption of Indian knowledge seems to parallel the adoption of Kalaripayatu - the Indian martial arts which was taken to China by Indian Buddhist monks and traders and which later developed into Shaolin Temple Boxing.

Influence of India’s Vedic culture, Buddhism on Indian Martial Arts


Martial Arts originated in India but later became prominent in China. The Indian origin of Martial Arts is verified by the fact that some of Kung Fu’s fighting position terminologies – still used by some masters today – are original 5,000 year old Sanskrit names.

Buddhism originated in India around 3,500 years ago. Shortly after the original Buddhists from India took Vedic culture to China, the Chinese Taoist tradition integrated this science into their culture

India’s 5,000-year-old Ayurveda medicine cures diseases by treating the body’s life-force centre known as prana, and the more recent Chinese medicine similarly corrects health problems by treating the ‘chi’, the body’s life-force centre.

Feng Shui, one of the ways to correct a disturbed chi in the house is to regularly chant nine times the mantra: Om Ma Knee Pad Me Olm. Reciting a mantra preceded by the syllable ‘om’, which invokes transcendence, comes from nowhere else but the Vedas.

In Chinese and Indian medicines we find similar parallels.

The Art of Meditation and Yoga originated from India

The World's first University was established in Takshila, India, in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.

India is a peninsula from south Asia with a very generous nature and an exuberant fauna. This country is full of legends, and one of these tell us that a prince in 5000 BC was dedicated to the study of animal behavior, analyzing their defense systems and interpreting their movements. From these studies derived different techniques that could be used by man, but their development costed the human sacrifice of many slaves, to discover and localize vital points of the human being and to experiment the efficiency of their combat methods. According to the books of the "Vedas", the first inhabitants of India were the MELANIOS, these were a set of four books that were wrote in Sanskrit, and where "Veda" means knowledge. it was wrote in the 10th century BC.

India's KASTRIYA class (that could be compared with the Japanese samurais or with the knights from Europe), contributed in a very important way to the cultural development of India. This class, like all warriors practiced a combat method, that in this case was called VAJMAMUS, that means "closed fist is hard". The investigations say that this art had a great similarity with karate and it even had different styles, these were: ASORA, NARA, YUDA and DANIRAPATA.

The practitioners wetted their hands with milk and then striked fragments of marble with their fists, this act of wetting the hands with milk was a way of purification, because milk was considered sacred.

The first documented testimonies that prove the existence of fighting systems are in a text written in a Buddhist language with an Indian origin called "The Sutra of Loto". It’s author is anonymous and in Japanese it is known as HOKKE-KYO. This document speaks of another fighting art called "NATA" that means virile character, possibly practiced by a class before the KASTRIYAS, the TCATRIAS. All of the studies done over this art have lead to the same conclusion, that their techniques are very similar to karate and Chuanfa. It is also known that the monks from Tibet about 500 AD practiced a fighting art called NONANORAKU and one of these monks should have taught it to BODHIDARMA who developed. It is also thought that BODHIDARMA wrote the ICHIN.