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INDIAN MARTIAL ARTS--- MOTHER OF ALL MARTIAL ARTS According to both Indian and Chinese historical sources, in the 4th Century AD a Buddhist monk named Bodhi Dharma took Kalarapayattu to China and from there the systems of kung-fu and karate eventually emerged. Chinese martial arts are said to have originated from Kalaripayattu when Bodhidharma took the art to China. Some contest this claim. " Although there's a lot of publicity on how the martial arts went from India to China, Indian & Chinese Martial Arts have no comparison in these techniques. People also confuse the starting point of martial arts with the Shaolin Temple. Martial arts have been there for over 2,000 years. There's no doubt still that China, India and Korea are the oldest places to do martial arts." While it is impossible to pinpoint the precise origins of martial arts, one system from Kerala claims to be the ' mother of all martial arts ' Kalaripayattu . Legend has it that around the Parasurama brought it to earth from heaven. Kalaripayattu , Thang Ta & Sarit Sarak is the oldest existing martial art form, dating back more than 2000 years and said to be the forerunner of popularly known Chinese martial arts, as the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma took this knowledge from India to China. These spectacular martial arts, characterized by high jumps, kicks and swordsmanship. Practitioners are also trained in the use of weapons like staff, spear, dagger, sword, mace and shield after six years. Originally, these ancient Indian Martial Arts was a place of learning for subjects such as ayurvedic medicine, yoga, philosophy, astrology, architecture and geometry in addition to combat arts . The discipline is said to systematize the flow of energy (prana) in the body, mold character, increase self-confidence and help cure and control ailments. Indian martial Arts styles demonstrations include physical exercises and mock duels, armed and unarmed and are a traditional psycho-physiological discipline emanating unique mytho-historical heritage as well as a scientific system of physical culture training. These art, as seen today, observe elaborate rituals and rules which are strictly followed by the participates. INDIA'S HISTORIC MARTIAL SCIENCE Indian martial science identifies two kinds of warfare - the dharmayuddha and the kutayuddha . Dharmayuddha is war carried on the principles of dharma, meaning here the Ksatradharma or the law of Kings and Warriors. In other words, it was a just and honest war, which had the approval of society. On the other hand, kuttayuddha was dishonest war. It was a crafty fight carried on in secret. The Hindu martial science of warfare values both niti and saurya i.e. ethical principles and bravery. It was therefore realized that the waging of war without regard to moral standards degraded the institution into mere animal ferocity. An emperor hoping for of dharma vijaya should conform to the code of ethics enjoined upon warriors. The principles regulating the two kinds of warfare are elaborately described in the Dharmasutras and Dharmasastras , the epics ( Ramayana and Mahabharata ), the Arthasastra treatises of Kautalya, Kamandaka, and Sukra . Hindu India possessed the classical fourfold force of chariots, elephants, horsemen, and infantry, collectively known as the Caturangabala. Students also know that the old game of chess also goes by the name of Caturanga. From the references to this game in the Rig Veda and the Atharva Veda and in the Buddhists and Jaina books, it must have been very popular in ancient India. The Persian term Chatrang and the Arabic Shatrang are forms of the Sanskrit Caturanga.
Kalaripayattu, Thang Ta & Sarit Sarak
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