Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A deviation to Kalarippayattu - The mother of all martial arts


Kalarippayattu - the art of war in session
An early legend in martial arts tells the tale of a South Indian Pallava prince turned monk named Bodhidharma (also called Daruma), believed to have lived around 550 A.D. The martial virtues of discipline, humility, restraint and respect are attributed to this philosophy.

The Shaolin Monastery was built by the Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty in AD 477. Buddhabhadra (called Batuo in Mandarin), an Indian dhyana master becomes the first abbot of the Shaolin temple.

A shaolin monk in practice
KALARIPPAYATTU is considered the origin of all martial art forms across asia. From Shaolin Kung Fu, to Japanese Ninjitsu to Korean Taekwondo. All of them have been derived from this ancient Indian art. Given a chance to learn this art was one thing i just couldnt let go.

So, to hell with my fitness regime for the moment. Right now I'm on a crash course in the mother of all martial arts. And i must say its killing me with exhaustion - JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT :)

Will keep you posted on the proceedings :)

1 comment:

  1. The idea that Kalarippayattu is the origin of all martial arts is a myth.

    Maybe Bodhidharma started the physical conditioning of the Shaolin monks but Shaolinquan, also known as Shaolin Kung Fu in the US, developed by an infusion of Chinese martial arts techniques.

    Chinese martial arts existed long before the current era.

    Contancts between China and India also existed long before the current era. Many of these early cantacts probably weren't peaceful (I bet on that).

    In other words as Kalarippayattu and Indian martial arts in general (Kalarippayattu isn't the only Indian martial art, there are many unarmed martia arts in India) influenced Chinese martial arts, so did Chinese martial arts influenced Indian martial arts and Kalarippayattu.

    Taekwondo is a martial art based on indigenous Korean Martial Arts (Taekkyeon especially) and Chinese Martial arts directly or indirectly through Karate.

    Ninjutsu's origins aren't that clear. Some styles claimed to be of Chinese origins, other styles might be indigenous but some Indian influences are present. The Indian influences are mainly weapons based on Indian weapons since shinobi would use any tool to get the job done.

    I think that teh Muay styles of SE Asia might be more influenced by Kararippayattu.

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