the "root of asian martial arts"

Discuss shaolin longfist, white crane or other styles. Theory, practice and applications. Please stay on topic.

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the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby pilotfish » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:35 pm

The promotional materials says that Shaolin Long Fist Basic Training 1&2 is good "especially for those interested in tracing back the root of asian martial arts".

What does this mean? All other forms (karate, taekwando, hapkido, etc.) are later in time and derive from it?
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Re: the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby yeniseri » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:11 pm

There is an historical link that elements of Shaolin (at one point or another) being the creator of most systems today, at least in mainland China. Even pre Shaolin synthesis counts as part of the root. Okinawan martial systems were the base for Japanese karate (Tang influence) which spread to Korea (originally Japanese karate) then the originator of Hapkido, as a young servant of Sokaku Takeda (Daitoryu), and Ueshiba, student of Takeda, in his development of aikido.

Hisotrically, many of the founders of Korea TKD studied Japanese karate and as a result re-introduced a curriculum to bring back Korea martial systems
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Re: the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby Josh Young » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:19 am

Kain Doshi is an interesting figure said to have been a Taoist monk who went to Japan about 1000 years ago and heavily influenced the warrior monk tradition there. It is curious that some depictions of him illustrate him as wielding a Vajra...

the influence of white crane styles from China upon Okinawan martial arts is noteworthy
the topic of martial art history is full of fascinating material

I think that the shaolin material is potentially insightful insofar as it heralds back to a time before the codification of numerous martial arts that it is either ancestral to or correlative with the ancestral form of those arts. Because of it's place in relation to the timeline of martial arts development it is bound to be able to be of use in analysis of martial art systems.

it has two seemingly opposite features, the first is that it is highly conserved in that it maintains elements that are archaic and thus relative to ancestral traditions of modern martial arts. the second is that it is well developed, despite conservation it is also able to benefit from prolonged revision and development .
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Re: the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby Dvivid » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:52 pm

Shaolin Long Fist was compiled or formalized at the nanjing guoshu institute to preserve the art. In a way, you can think of Long Fist as one of the original mixed martial arts, as it incorporates the most effective techniques from many styles and masters.

Shaolin arts themselves are a mixture of many styles of course, and they have the unofficial title as the root of all Asian arts because historically China was considered the central country which exported a great deal of culture in general.
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Re: the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby pilotfish » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:42 am

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

I like the wording "one of the original...", since that denotes the age of the tradition as well as the uncertainty of the details. The age and conservative nature of the tradition helps avoid discarding good ideas too easily and suggests that the ideas as we have them now are well vetted over time by many minds. Surely the long history of Chinese culture is fallible, being human, but it is as significant an event as early Christianity or modern western culture in general. For anyone interested, see this college course on the subject.
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Re: the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby Hubert » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:09 am

History is always written from the perspective of who is writing it. Always be careful of that and keep an open mind. There is no way you could ever have enough evidence to come to a conclusion for your question. My guess is that humans had martial techniques before civilization was formed. If you study pre-history there are many instances on record of primates using sticks or rocks as weapons and protection.
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Re: the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby pilotfish » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:00 am

For anyone reading this thread, I recently found these two articles in the Articles section of this site.

History of Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu

History of Chinese Martial Arts
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Re: the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby Dvivid » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:17 am

of course, all tribes of humans developed some self defense locally.

China is called the "root" of asian martial arts, because it was the first country in the area to develop a highly sophisticated society and martial arts styles, complete with detailed theory. Historically, China was called "central country" by all the surrounding nations, for that reason.

Watch this free video of Dr yang explaining martial arts history:
http://ymaa.com/netcasts/episode4

And in this one, he explains the terminology
http://ymaa.com/netcasts/episode1
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Re: the "root of asian martial arts"

Postby pilotfish » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:55 pm

Thanks. Really like the detailed background context.
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