Chinese historians dispute India’s claim to being the cradle of Asian Martial Arts. T’o designed these exercises to relieve stress, tone the body and provide a means of self-defense.
They point to military manuals and documents dated from 206 B. Although the origin of Martial Arts is in question, few dispute the saying, “The foundation of all Martial Arts is Shaolin.” The Shaolin Temple is the spiritual and technical source of all modern Martial Arts.
Legend states that Zen Buddhist patriarch Ta Mo (“Da Mo, Bodhidharma” to the Chinese; “Daruma Daishi” to the Japanese), the prince of a small tribe in Southern India, arrived in China after a brutal trek over Tibet’s Himalaya Mountains.
Asian Martial Artists trace their roots back 5,000 years to India and the Greek Martial Arts of Pankration. crediting an Indian named Han Lo-Ming for creating Chi Hsuan Men, or ‘Unusual Style’.
The invading armies of Alexander the Great brought this brutal art of boxing and wrestling to India in the 4th century B. Historians also credit the Greeks for organizing the first professional boxing matches 1,000 years before the birth of Christ. This art used the defensive scissor techniques of the White Jade Fan to trap swords and spears, and pressure point strikes with the fan’s tip. They claim that Han emperors actively funded the study and refinements of Kung-Fu far beyond any fighting system known in India during this period. Hua T’o as the founder of the first martial style, and the first doctor to use anesthesia during surgery. D., he devised a series of exercises modeled on the deer, bear, bird, tiger and monkey long before the Shaolin Temple began instruction in the Martial Arts.
The Temple was originally constructed for religious training and meditation only.
Martial Arts training at the temple did not begin until the arrival of Ta Mo in 526 A. Ta Mo sought peace and converts to help him spread Charn Buddhism, (later known as Zen in Japan) throughout China.
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Shaolin Kempo has a long and rich heritage going back to the beginning of modern civilization.