The Emergence of Kung-Fu

*In 527 AD, the Indian monk Bodhidharma taught the philosophy of Buddhism in a Shaolin monastery located in Honan, China. Bodhidharma (Daruma) incorporated in his daily Zen routine hand-to-hand combat techniques inspired by animal fights which he then taught to his fellow monks. Legend has it that having found the monks in a pathetic state of health due to their ascetic lifestyle and lack of physical activity, he decided to retire for nine years and meditate alone in a cave. When he finally came out, he had written three books: A book about muscle and tendon transformation (Yi Chin Ching), another on washing marrow and a third book on mental strength.  From these works sprang the fundamental elements of kung Fu.

History of Jujutsu

Since the beginning of mankind, we have had to learn how to fight, not only to stay alive amidst unpredictable wilderness but also against other humans to defend property and ensure superiority so as to reign over our surroundings. Japan, a country which had been plagued by perpetual wars between clans and the protection of its territories, developed the art of fighting in a particularly effective way, notably in the skill of hand to hand combat. During feudal times, the military arts took on great importance. Among these arts, SUMO (or Sumai meaning combat) and JUJUTSU ranked the highest.

Common Origins
Universality in martial arts
Unity of differences

It is interesting to note that the word SHORINJI, found in the history of Japanese Budo and in several schools (SHORIN-RYU, SHORINJI-KEMPO…) is indeed the reading of the Chinese term  SHAOLIN.

In fact, some Chinese techniques had been introduced to Japan by Bodhidharma among other travelling monks. These techniques gave birth to the term SUMAI at TODE in KOGUSOKU, later known as AIKI-JITSU and KUMIUCHI; the art of empty hand fighting that had arisen out of the battlefields.

It is likely that *Japanese* martial arts stemmed from India, making its way through China with the travels of Bodhidharma among others, and then later materialized in Japan.

In addition, documents have shown that in both Greece and Egypt methods of combat resembling Japanese JUJITSU were practiced by armed men. Low relief carvings on several tombs have revealed such findings.*

*Largely inspired by the written documents of Roland Hernaez; 9th Dan, Japan.*

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