Jan 13

Where did other forms of martial arts originate from?

Ok, as a practitioner of Chinese martial arts, the stories that I hear all the time is that all martial arts originated from Shaolin. Of course this is a popular story because of the media. And karate and other Asian martial arts find their origins from Chinese martial arts. But what about Bagua styles? Did they originate from Wu-Tang?

In China we can assume that there was some type of martial art training in the time of Confucius 551 BC – 479 BC, He can be quoted to say: "To lead an uninstructed people to war, is to throw them away" — Analects book 13 chapter 30

500 BC Sun Tzu, Author of the "Art of War" In the first chapter "Initial Estimations" he compares the enemy’s forces with his own, … Whose forces are stronger? Whose officers and troops are better trained?…

In preparing men for war, from these passages, we could assume that the army required some type of Martial Arts training before going into battle.
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I think you are correct that the Baat Gua, and possibly some form of Tai Chi, being Taoist influenced forms of martial art, may be the oldest Martial arts styles in China.

4
comments

4 comments!!!

  1. crackity jones says:

    Well, the earliest mention of Shaolin monks fighting historically dates from around 700 CE, and the monastery itself was founded in the 5th century CE. But evidence of martial arts in China exists from 4000 years ago. Ergo, Shaolin cannot be the origin of all Chinese arts. In fact, many stories claim Bodhidharma brought martial arts to Shaolin from India, and while the story itself is of course basically myth there is probably some element of truth in the idea of an Indian origin or influence on Chinese MA, as part of the same cultural influence that brought Buddhism to the country. Also, Shaolin is a Buddhist monastery, whereas arts like Taijiquan are Daoist in origin, and hence clearly not from Shaolin. Actually, if martial arts in China have existed for c. 4000 years, they actually predate Buddhism altogether.

    Looking beyond China, while it’s true Chinese arts have influenced many styles beyond their homeland, it also seems that many of the Southeast Asian styles (muay Thai/Boran, Kali, Pencak Silat) developed independently – at least as far as can be ascertained historically. I’m not clear on how much influence Chinese arts had on the various schools of jujutsu but I’m assuming there was some. Chinese wrestling I believe also influenced Sumo, as well as other wrestling styles of central Asia.

    Of course, various fighting styles evolved in other parts of the world as well independently of China, for instance Greek wrestling and boxing. In fact, I have even heard speculation (without much in the way of non-circumstantial evidence it must be said) that martial arts were introduced to India by Alexander the Great’s armies bringing pankration and pygmachia with them into the east. Has it anything to it? I don’t know, but it’s a good story.
    References :

  2. Reaper says:

    The only record I can find of Chinese martial arts is that it’s about 4000 years old and I’m 100% sure that it’s not the mother of all martial arts. According to my research, that story originated from China and there’s actual written record that martial arts in India is older and that both religion and Chinese martial arts came from India(not all of them for religion). Also, Boxing which originated in Egypt is much older. This story that I’ve mentioned earlier about the story coming from China isn’t something I would trust though. Especially after seeing Chinese government entered young kids while hiding their actual age during the Olympics. There’s even stories like Karate came from Chinese martial arts but actually, Okinawa already had their own original martial arts called Ryu-kyuan style along with Jujitsu and Judo in different areas of Japan. Okinawa, while doing some trading some goods over seas with China also taught "each other" arts of their own and people in Okinawa mixed Chinese Kempo with Ryu-kyuan and called it Karate(which was spelled "Chinese hand" back then). As it mixed techniques from Muay Thai and other styles they’ve kept challenging to test their skills, it eventually was called Karate(empty hand/air hand). Chinese martial arts nowadays is one of the arts that was mixed into Karate along with other arts.

    PS: Muay Boran and other martial arts in Thailand also not completely directly, but from martial arts in India. Wrestling and Boxing is one of the oldest form of art that I know of but doesn’t mean it’s the best. I could seriously care less about how old any art is though. It’s all a matter of whether I can use it or not in tournaments and for defense out in the streets.
    References :

  3. pugpaws2 says:

    Before the Shaolin martial arts were around there were martial arts in India. Supposedly the India arts influenced those in Shaolin in the early days. Basically I believe that martial arts have been around since shortly after man existed on the earth. The bible talks of Davids mighty men. They were a group of trained fighting men. One of which killed 300 men himself in a battle using a spear. If those guys were not considered to be martial artists, then I don’t know what you would call them.

    In any case the need for fighting arts has existed as long as men have been on the earth. It stands to reason that some forms of martial arts were developing even in these early times. They may not have been very sophisticated, but everything starts of simple.
    References :
    Martial arts training and research since 1967.
    Teaching martial arts since 1973.

  4. Darren J says:

    In China we can assume that there was some type of martial art training in the time of Confucius 551 BC – 479 BC, He can be quoted to say: "To lead an uninstructed people to war, is to throw them away" — Analects book 13 chapter 30

    500 BC Sun Tzu, Author of the "Art of War" In the first chapter "Initial Estimations" he compares the enemy’s forces with his own, … Whose forces are stronger? Whose officers and troops are better trained?…

    In preparing men for war, from these passages, we could assume that the army required some type of Martial Arts training before going into battle.
    ___
    I think you are correct that the Baat Gua, and possibly some form of Tai Chi, being Taoist influenced forms of martial art, may be the oldest Martial arts styles in China.
    References :

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