India's Martial Arts

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Cobra, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Cobra

    Cobra Guest

    As most people know, India is the starter of all asian martial arts (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Taiwan, ect.) All martial arts from these countries originate from India. It started when Buddhist monks had no weopons to fight with and started making unarmed ways of fighting.

    But I have never seen any martial arts from India. Have they been erased or taught in secret? I am thinking that the first martial arts would be the most ultimate ones.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Here is the oldest one It goes by several names:

    Musti Yudha: (India) "Mukki Boxing." This brutal form of bare hand fighting devoid of leg techniques existed for some three hundred and fifty years in the Benares (India) prior to being officially banned. It then went underground in its practice. It is alleged to have experienced a revival from the most unlikely of benefactors, the British Police Chief. Multiple opponent bouts were often held although this has given way to the more common individual bout. Few rules exist and one may target any point on the body save the genitals. Deaths within these contests are reputed to be numerous. Mukki Boxers are known for their extreme emphasis on hand conditioning, and a well trained boxer can shatter a coconut with a blow.

    And Here is more that I found:
    The Vajramushti Martial Arts



    The first written records that describe a system of Martial Arts (as we have defined them) come from India in the 3rd Century
    AD, where the first mention of a barehanded fighting art is made in the well-known Buddhist scripture, Lotus Sutra. The art described was called Vajramushti - a form of barehanded pugilism practiced by the Indian warrior caste called the Kshatrya, who can best be compared to the Japanese Samurai. Like the Samurai, the ranks of the Kshatrya were made of the upper strata of society. It is likely that the Martial Arts were included in the training of the accomplished person, especially one born into the aristocratic classes.


    One significant difference between the Kshatrya warriors of India and the Samurai of Japan is that women were commonly found as equals within the Kshatrya caste.

    It is currently taught within the Zen sect of the Buddhist religion that the Vajramushti Master that instructed Bodhidharma (28th East Indian Patriarch of the Buddhist Faith) in the Martial Arts was a woman. Unfortunately no written records exist that confirm or deny her as his teacher. These teachings are based solely on word of mouth teaching, so unfortunately there will most likely never be irrefutable evidence to substantiate this.

    One written work describing Vajramushti training written in the 4th Century AD states that students strengthened their hands by immersing their hands in milk, (an object of religious veneration in India) then repeatedly struck a marble slab with their knuckles. Many contemporary Martial Arts systems emphasize the training of the hands, and use of medicinal type treatments as aids in the strengthening process.

    Conditioning of the hands is a long term training exercise, taking years to achieve significant results. This long-term training and the close connection to religion (which give it a moral precept) identify Vajramushti as the first, and oldest, verifiable form of legitimate Martial Art.



    Evidence seems to indicate that Vajramushti was the very first karate-like art.

    The Kshatriya, or warrior caste commonly practised it. Vajramushti is translated

    as "one whose clenched fist is a weapon".



    Initially, the first country to develop its own unique systemized form of combat was India. The art of Vajramushti was practiced by the Indian warrior caste known as Kshatriya. This art dates as far back as 1000 BC. Vajramushti translates to "the clenched fist as a weapon" demonstrating that this early art was clearly striking based. There is no written record of this art’s existence the only physical historical evidence are statues of temple guardians in combat poses and paintings and drawings found portraying men striking each other. All other information on the art is purely anecdotal.
    While the Indians were practicing their art of striking a heavily grappling based art was beginning to arise from the Greeks. The art of Pankration became one of the most popular athletic events following its introduction at the 33rd Olympic games in 648 BC. The Olympics were athletic tournaments, in which Greece’s greatest athletes performed for the entertainment of the gods. The word Pankration is derived from the Greek words pan and kratos, which translate to "all powers". The art mixed both striking and grappling in no rule contests. Common techniques included joint manipulation, various boxing strikes, wrestling pins, and strangulation (chokes). Pankration bouts would be held without time limits or weight restrictions and would continue until one combatant surrendered, fell unconscious, or died. Many of the holds, throws and striking techniques used in Pankration are displayed on the pottery, statues, and drawings of the times. The Greeks also had another art known as the Pyrrhic Dance. This was a dance done both armed and unarmed that simulated combat, similar to modern katas.
    The Greek system and Indian system continued to develop independently of one another until Alexander The Great invaded India in 326 BC. During the Greek’s occupation of the region they introduced Pankration and the Pyrrhic Dance to the Indians. The Indians then took elements of those arts and combined it with their preexisting art of Vajramushti.
    In 500 AD Bodhi Dharma began spreading Buddhism throughout India. The religion was very well received however; thieves constantly attacked the monks while they traveled the countryside. The monks did not carry weapons as it was against their religious beliefs. Therefore Bodhi Dharma began teaching the monks Vajramushti so that they could defend themselves. The monks embraced the art and trained intensely, this training fostered the growth of the art further and more techniques were developed.
    In 520 Bodhi Dharma traveled to China and introduced Buddhism at the Shaolin Temple. Along with his religious teachings he also brought his knowledge of combat. Practice of the combat art continued long after Bodhi Dharma’s death, eventually evolving into numerous forms of fighting (or "Wushu") including Chinese boxing, Kung Fu and Ch'uan Fa.


    there existed in India, perhaps as long ago as 1000 B.C.E. an unarmed fighting method called Vajramushti. Statues of temple guardians dating to 100 B.C.E. are posed in martial arts postures assumed to be taken from Vajramushti. This would indicate at least some connection between the fighting arts and the religious establishment in India at that time. In about 520 C.E. a Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma, or Daruma Taishi, traveled to China where he taught Chan (or Zen) Buddhism to the monks at the Shaolin Temple in Henan province. The monks were not physically capable of withstanding the ascetic practices of his teaching, so he began to teach them exercises based on a fighting system. As a boy , Bodhidharma was a member of India's Kshatriya, or warrior, caste. As such, he had been taught Vajramushti, and it is likely that this was the basis of the techniques he taught. The Shaolin monks eventually gained the reputation of being the most formidable fighters in all of China.

    Vajramushti, which was practiced by the Kshatriya warrior class (of which Bodhidharma was a member), used mainly punching and fist techniques. Some believe that Bodhidharma brought this style to the Shaolin monks of China.



    Some evidence in the form of statues suggests that a system of unarmed fighting, with hand & foot techniques, was in existence prior to 1,000 BC, known as Vajramushti. This was practiced by a warrior caste, The Kshatriya, who ruled India before Buddhism. Bodhidharma was a member of this caste & a practitioner of Vajramushti.



    The story of kenpo, according to legend, begins in the sixth century with the Indian warrior and missionary Bodhidharma. Born to a family of the Kshatriya warrior cast, he would have been trained in the fighting art known as Vajramushti, meaning Diamond Fist.

    He traveled from India to China sometime between 500AD and 600AD, with the intention of spreading his religion to the Chinese. Having reached China and found the Buddhists there to have become materialistic, he traveled to the Shaolin monastery, where he remained for nine years, spending his time in meditation.

    After this time, he decided to teach the monks there his unique method of meditation, known as Chan (pronounced Zen in Japanese), but he found them to be in a poor state of health, and they did not have the endurance required for this type of training. Because of this, he created a series of exercises derived from the Vajramushti known as Shih Pa Lo Han Sho, meaning the 18 hands of the enlightened man.

    Because the temple was at the mercy of bandits at this time, Bodhidharma showed the monks how to use these movements in combat. This new art was referred to using a combination of Dharma (meaning "truth of Buddhism") and Mushti (meaning "fist"). In Chinese, Dharma is Ho and Mushti is Chuan. Thus, the art was called Chuanfa, the law of the fist, which is pronounced 'kempo' in Japanese.




    There are statues and vases originating in India, dated back to the 1st Century BC, depicting certain fighting techniques with bare hands. Legend has it that a barehanded fighting art known as Vajramushti was practiced in India around 1000 BC. Folklore has it that around 520 AD, an Indian monk, Bodhidharma (Daruma Taishi in Japanese), taught the Vajramushti fighting system to the monks at Shaolin (In China). It is said that these monks became known as the most formidable fighters in China. Although other fighting systems existed in China at the time, this system was supposedly the basis of the well-known Shaolin Chuan-Fa system.



    Vajramushti
    An ancient form of fighting from India, also called Mallavidya, 'science of combat'. Probably developed during the 10th century by a Brahmin caste in the west of India. It was mainly religiously inspired. The combatants wore a knuckle-duster on one hand. Blows were only permitted to the face or chest. Being just a form of boxing and not an art of combat, contestants often died from their injuries. This savage type of fighting is no longer popular today, but ritual contests are still held anually in Gujurat. Some of the techniques influenced the art of Kalaripayat.


    The Aryans took the spiritual techniques of Indian religion and combined them with the Pancratium event of Olympic sport and called this new synthesis Vajramushti which means Thunderbolt Fist.

    Culture spreads along waterways, and the few hundred miles between India's Ganges delta and China's port city of Canton is filled with great rivers... the Irrawaddy, the Rouge, the Mekong, the Si Jiang. South China Daoists learned Vajramushti and then improved it by choreographing its movements and giving them fluid grace and by adding the powerful techniques of breath control which Chinese pearl divers had developed. They called the new version Tai Ji Quan which means Great Ultimate Fist. In its pure martial arts form it was called Gong Fu, the masterful art.

    News of the new improved Chinese version traveled up and down the rivers' information highway. Centuries later in 325 B.C., when Alexander the Great in another Aryan incursion invaded India, he was stunned by the daunting abilities of even second-rate Vajramushti practitioners. (Even today India's martial arts' masters are second to none.)

    So even Chinese martial arts are actuallyfrom India and, some scholars say, originally from Greece since thevajramushti (Indian boxing) was introduced by Alexander the Great's Greeksoldiers when they tried to invade India.

    If Kanteerava popularised the malla yuddha form, others patronised the Jatti Kalaga or the Vajramushti Kalaga. In this particular form, the fighters had their heads tonsured and fought with medal knuckles in their hands. A mark made on the rival's head signified victory. The tradition is still very much alive, and the Maharaja still witnesses the fight before appearing for the annual world-famous Dasara procession on Vijayadasami Day. The only difference is that now the spectators are members of the royal family and their invitees.

    As a member of the Kshatriya or warrior caste, Bodhidharma was exposed to all existing forms of weapon less fighting forms in India from boyhood but a bare handed art which is little known today called vajramushti appears to have been the main bare handed influence.
    There is some discrepancy here as to whether it was Bodhidharma personally or one of his students that introduced a series of movements to aid the mental and physical well being of the monks who were in such a poor condition but it is Bodhidharma that is credited with the implementation of the "18 hands of the Lo Han" or "Shih Pa Lo Han Sho" to strengthen their bodies and minds sufficiently for them to be able to study the intense requirements of Buddhism.


    11. In your travels you have visited India - I know that yu had a chance meeting there with a Warrior of a unique time - Could you share that story?
    I was in Delhi one time, doing some training with some Indian wrestlers. Also, I was doing some research in the state reference library there, on ancient Indian combative systems. I came across a book on Vajramushti, an old Indian method of wrestling in which the fighters wore knuckle dusters tied to their right hands. A sort of no-rules, 'vale-tudo' style of fighting but with brass knuckles. Pretty extreme!
    Anyways, I obtained a copy of this book and decided to go to the state of Gujarat to track down any of the authors descendents. The authors were two brothers (the Jesthimullas) and had written the book more than fifty years ago. Without going into detail, I'll tell you that I through an extraordinary set of circumstances and an unlikely chain of events, I found one of these old guys. He took me into his house, was thrilled that I had an interest in this ancient art; and so took me to an old temple where he produced a large key and unlocked an old padlock that had had kept anyone from entering the Vajramushti training room for more than a two decades. His young nephews came a little later (both in their sixties) and I was treated to a display and a training session that still moves me when I think about it. It is a bitter-sweet memory, for they have no doubt passed on by now and all remnants of that amazing art are more than likely lost to the world. There you go; that's the short a tidy version of that story. A nice memory.



    There is Also a Martial art nemd Kalaripayatu that is from India and is still practiced.
     
  3. Eldritch Knight

    Eldritch Knight Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Kalaripayatu is still practiced is India, though is in decline. It is known for its large number and variety of techniques (kinda like CMA) and the suppleness and flexibility of its practicioners. Its mainly practiced in Southern India, especially in the state of its origin, Kerala.
     
  4. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

    • Advisor
    • Founding Member
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Messages:
    15,753
    Likes Received:
    426
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Michigan

    As most people do not know, where did martial arts originate from?

    Hmmm let me think about this.

    Tigirs & Euphrates / Nile / (* The Yellow River in China *)

    As not everyone knows, this is where humans started civilizations. All about the same time. They faught with each other. Hence I make the statement that Martial Arts has been around a lot longer and not from India.


    Some people :idunno:
     
  5. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    "As not everyone knows, this is where humans started civilizations. All about the same time. They faught with each other. Hence I make the statement that Martial Arts has been around a lot longer and not from India."
    I understand what you are saying here, but when people say that the martial arts originated in either Greece or India ( and I think a good case can be made for Greece) they are talking about tracing the MAs to the earliest known source of direct lineage. For instance: Alexander the Great conquered India in the 4th century B.C. and brought with him Pankrais/Pankration ( a Greek MA utilizing punching, kicking and grappling. Much resembling the MMAs seen in PRIDE, UFC etc. etc.) From there we can find that India practiced Kalaripayatu and Vajramukti/Vajramushti/Musti Yuhdda etc. and that this was taught to the nobility primarily and the military (who got a less religiously based and less complex version). Then we can see that Bohdidharma/ Da Mo etc. went to China and brought these techniques to the Shaolin etc. etc. Now, that is certainly not to say that there were no MAs existing before the Greek civilization. (We have references to wrestling contests etc.) but that when one tries to trace the modern MA lineage, it ends in either India or Greece (some argue that India had it's own MAs before Alexander and that Pankrais was mixed with Vajramukti -a boxing art- to make Kalaripayatu which has kicks and grappling also.) History only goes back so far, and these are the earliest references to the MAs that can be directly traced.
     
  6. Sapper6

    Sapper6 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    The land of misery
    i agree w/ Rich. also, there were not many Buddhists living in India around that time. although Bohidharma (SP) was of Indian orgin, he attained enlightenment while on voyage in China. he then learned of the monk problem in Northern China. the monks in China had the problems of defending themselves against the invasion on the Mongols, that & weapons being banned by Chinese imperor (SP). empty hand fighting originated in China. at least that's what 99.9% of articles written on MA state.
     
  7. OULobo

    OULobo Senior Master

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    2,139
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I would say that many martial arts can trace their origin to India, but most fighting systems can be traced to man aggressive tendancies period. I would venture to say that many tribal systems began and evolved from two men smacking each other around over something like territory, property or women. The methods changed to become more efficient with possible influence from other tribes, but the basis and heart is still local.

    As for arts in India today, I would have to say that the various dynasties that have ruled have tryed to erase and then replace the ones before, making them harder and harder to find. I have heard of Mukki and of some Sikh arts and of some neiboring country's arts, but that is about all I got.
     
  8. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    The Indian Martial arts began with the Hindu, not the Buddhists. Though, by the time that Alexander arrived, Buddhism was there. Besides, the MAs that can be traced to India/Greece are the forms of Kung Fu and Karate that had their origins in the Shaolin Temple. Where other indiginous arts came from would have to be researched. But the link from Sholin to India is pretty well attested to.
     
  9. Cobra

    Cobra Guest

    Yah, and the Greeks started the Europeon Martial Arts. Wrestling for example, is over 5,000 years old and is probably one of the most oldest forms of combat written. some sources say the modern version of boxing came from Greece too.
     
  10. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,610
    Likes Received:
    843
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Spokane Valley WA
    Absolutly! Most if not all arts are specificly designed to not be as ultimate a Prana Bindu. We have to sign our names in blood once we reach a certain rank and if we dare become as ultimate, they send a nun to lop our heads off with a well placed chop. Your form should have arrived by now. Please sign it. :asian:
    Sean (www.iemat.com)
     
  11. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,610
    Likes Received:
    843
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Spokane Valley WA
    I have always scoffed at the Daruma story myself. To hear it told armies of the past just bumbed into eachothers weapons until enlightened by a couple of Monks from China via India. From what I understand Cane used a hammering blow to fell Abel.
    Sean (www.iemat.com)
     
  12. Cobra

    Cobra Guest

    Just fighting doesn't make it a martial art. It has to be organized like other martial arts. The first organised martial arts does come from India or Greece.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

    • Advisor
    • Founding Member
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Messages:
    15,753
    Likes Received:
    426
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Michigan

    Sir Thank You for the reply.

    First, you qualified it with Modern Martial Arts Lineage.

    What about Native American Indians who migrated to the north american continent before these linages.

    What about the use of weapons on glyphs on Egyption runes? Does this not make the comment that the Nile also had its' own arts?

    To make the comment that it is Obvious, makes it sound like anyone who disagrees is wrong and is stupid for doing so.

    Therefore I stepped up to be called stupid by the original poster, only you sir replied in an intelligent manner and expressed yourself well. I disagree with the assumption and how they were expressed. Thank You. It is ok to disagree. It is not ok to make these blindly sweeping statements that in my mind is insulting.

    :asian:
     
  14. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

    • Advisor
    • Founding Member
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Messages:
    15,753
    Likes Received:
    426
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Michigan
    I as not going to go the religious way, yet I agree that Cain and Able were a source for the Jews and Christians to reference.
    :asian:
     
  15. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,610
    Likes Received:
    843
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Spokane Valley WA
    No, they would be the first of record. You have entire continents unrecognized. Australia, Africa, and the Americas. Don't let some "story", which is actualy the history passed down to you by Chinese Opera, dictate a global reality. Sure they have a firm grasp on their history, but I'm quite certain that the Bushman or the Incan warriors developed organized methods of fighting. Martial arts are not rocket science.
    Sean
     
  16. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,610
    Likes Received:
    843
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Spokane Valley WA
    I don't mean to get all religeous on you (believe me), I just wanted to point out the possible flaw in the logic that states there were no martial arts before Dahruma.
    Sean (www.iemat.com)
     
  17. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

    • Advisor
    • Founding Member
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Messages:
    15,753
    Likes Received:
    426
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Michigan
    Then please define MArtial Art:

    Ans since I am asking it was either not obvious, or I am really out of the loop.

    I define a Martial Art, as any way a person can teach another person tactics and techniques that improve their survival in combat.


    Your Turn
    :asian:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

    • Advisor
    • Founding Member
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Messages:
    15,753
    Likes Received:
    426
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Michigan

    True the Cain and Able story was written down and was a verbal history, just like the Chinese Opera was a verbal history or story before it was written down.

    So, which verbal history is correct? Which is older?

    Obviously, this was not so obvious to beign with. :rolleyes: :idunno:
     
  19. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,610
    Likes Received:
    843
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Spokane Valley WA
    Lets not forget the Celts or the ancient Egyptians. You would think that if they could figure out how to build pyramids and henges they could teach a group of people how to fight. Funny these histories aren't mentioned in the chinese opera; however, why should they be? THEY WEREN'T CHINESE!
    There is only about 40,000 years or so that written record does not account for. You would think somebody studied and mastered motion. I'll wager that Carnival is older than Dahruma; their acrobatics could be put to some use besides entertainment. Don't ya think.
    Sean
     
  20. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,378
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Your points are all well taken. There is clearly evidence of organized war-like fighting systems that are older than the Greek games or India's records. Much like the bow and arrow (not to mention the spear, sword and club), various martial arts emerged in various parts of the world independent of each other. The term, if I remember my 1st year college history class well enough, is called "poly-genesis". However, most of the currently studied and practiced martial arts (Kung Fu, kenpo, karate etc.) that people are into have their origins in either Greece or India. Although the records that exist are anecdotal and legendary, they are still the best evidence that we have for where these particular arts came from. That the Da Mo claims may be exaggerated, and the arts may well have slowly bled into China as the Indian Buddhists migrated there over the generations, I will not argue about.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

kalari exercise martial arts forum

,

lee martial arts of india hd katha photo

,

vajra mushti martial forum

,

vajramushti martial art forum