All Martial Arts are Descended From Shaolin

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Thesemindz, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    Again, I'm at work and I'm talking martial arts with some coworkers, and one of them says,

    "You know all martial arts come from Shaolin. They were doing it first, and then the monks spread it across the world."

    Of course, this guy trained Shaolin Kung Fu, and he's just parroting what his instructor told him. It isn't his fault, but it's still annoying.

    Now, we all know that this statement holds some truth, for some martial arts. But the simple statement that "all martial arts come from Shaolin" simply isn't completely true.

    But I'm not looking for a fight, so I just nodded my head and changed the subject.

    After all, we all know all martial arts really came from aliens.


    -Rob
     
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  2. Hand Sword

    Hand Sword Grandmaster

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    Wise decision. It's just not worth it. [​IMG]
     
  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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  4. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Martial arts had been around a long time before the Shaolin Temple.

    You were wise though not to have argued with him! [​IMG]
     
  5. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    From what you have posted this co-worker sounds like the Class A moron.
     
  6. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    No -- all the martial arts were stolen from Sinanju! Get it right or Chiun will correct your misunderstanding (and your miserable posture!)

    Seriously -- there's no way there can be one single source for the martial arts. There's a good argument for some flow and travel in the information and systemization from Egypt, India and the Middle East to the Far East (China, and Japan) to the West... but there were Western martial arts, too, with no prior ties to the Far East.
     
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  7. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    It's hard enough to get the history straight for the past half-century, let along thousands of years ago! Oral tradition just doesn't cut it—it takes almost no time at all for things to get garbled beyond recognition. All those stories about Bodhidharma, for example, and the Shaolin Temple...check out the article by Stan Henning in Classical Fighting Arts 12 (#35), 'The imaginary world of Buddhism and East Asian martial arts', pp. 37–41. As he points out, and documents in excruciating detail, 'the myth surrounding Boddhidharma and Shaolin martial arts first appeared... between 1904 and 1907', in a popular novel by Liu Tieyun called Travels of Laocan. It has no historical basis whatever, and actually shows up in Japan no earlier than the 1920s, as Henning notes, 'in time to be pressed, along with Zen Buddhism, into the service of the rising tide of nationalism and militarism during the 1930s'. In other words, the documentary record in support of the origins of anything in the Shaolin Temple are nil. Yet uncritical swallowers of pious baloney like this—probably some of whom believe that Sherlock Holmes and Carmen Sandiego are real people—retail such stories as though they actually knew what they were talking about. Look at how difficult it is for people in the KMAs to get reliable information about exactly who was teaching/practicing precisely what even sixty years ago in Korea... and now extrapolate back a couple of millenia, and it's clear exactly how much ******** is going to accumulate along the way.

    The thing is, I really believe people would rather subscribe to all this phoney-heroic legendary nonsense than try to critically examine what relatively few reliable facts we have about the TMAs, ancient or recent. It's not just that everyone loves a good story, it's that a lot of people would prefer a good story to a historically well-supported account of the facts, if we could get our hands on one. :idunno:
     
  8. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    As was suggested before by Formosa Neijia tell him to read the book

    The Spring and Autumn of Chinese Martial Arts by Kang Gewu.

    And not all Chinese martial arts come from Shaolin so how could all martial arts come from Shaolin so what's that tell you
     
  9. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    You did a smart thing. It is never wise to match wits with anyone who is unarmed.
     
  10. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    It is true though, the Shaolin monks even time traveled back and taught martial arts to the Greek, Egyptians and other cultures. I'm pretty sure Kwai Chang Kane even jumped through time a few times.
     
  11. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    i've run into a similar thing with pankration guys every now & then. almost every style has a mythology by now, you were right not to argue about his.

    jf
     
  12. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Pankration was introduced to the Olympics after boxing and wrestling, not sure how they would spin that one...
     
  13. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Its just ethnocentricity spread by decendents of the Shaolin variety. When you get just a little objective, Its like saying Noah searched the individual underground caves of California to get each possible variety of insects and Arachnids specific to that cave to put on the Ark. Its a Pipe dream at best.
    Sean
     
  14. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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  15. hkfuie

    hkfuie Purple Belt

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    No, XS, I thik alot of people would like a really good story if it says their martial art is the original, superior martial art!

    :roflmao::roflmao:
     
  16. hkfuie

    hkfuie Purple Belt

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    OOOPPSS!! I mean, Exile!
     
  17. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Well...at least we both have an 'x' in our screen names :D
     
  18. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    simple; you just never introduce the facts to a mythology. easy as pie.

    jf
     
  19. David Weatherly

    David Weatherly Black Belt

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    Agreed, no one can define a single starting point for all arts. You saved yourself a lot of hassle by walking away.
     
  20. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    I saw a you tube video with Steve Mohammed insisting all martial arts were STOLEN from Africa, (IIRC he said "The Black Man")by the Chinese.
    Here is the thing, words mean things, Martial:(from Dictionary.com)–adjective 1. inclined or disposed to war; warlike: The ancient Romans were a martial people. 2. of, suitable for, or associated with war or the armed forces: martial music. 3. characteristic of or befitting a warrior: a martial stride.123
     

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