Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Development of Martial Arts in India

Anciently there were five combat methods without weapons that contributed to the creation of karate, these five methods were:

Egyptians combat methods
Olympic fighting sports
Romans fighting methods
Japanese Sumo
Indian combat methods

Even though these methods didn’t have any apparent relation between each other, everyone of them contributed with very important elements to the development of karate. These were countries that had important relations like China and India and particularly from India, came the most ancient historical references of combat methods without weapons.

India is a peninsula from south Asia with a very generous nature and an exuberant fauna. This country is full of legends, and one of these tell us that a prince in 5000 BC was dedicated to the study of animal behavior, analyzing their defense systems and interpreting their movements. From these studies derived different techniques that could be used by man, but their development costed the human sacrifice of many slaves, to discover and localize vital points of the human being and to experiment the efficiency of their combat methods. According to the books of the "Vedas", the first inhabitants of India were the MELANIOS, these were a set of four books that were wrote in Sanskrit, and where "Veda" means knowledge. it was wrote in the 10th century BC.

Between the 12th and 10th century BC, India was invaded by the aryans called "the lords of steel and horses". Once the aryans established themselves in India, they designed a society organized by levels, where the priests and the warriors had a royal and therefore divine origin. In this society, every class came from a certain part of God:

BRAHAMANES - Priests – Mouth of God
KASTRIYAS - Warriors – Arms of God.
VAlSAS - Farmers, merchants – stomach of God
SUDRAS - Workers - Feet of God
PARIAS - Impure class

All of these classes were regulated by the MANU law, written in the 5th century BC. By this law the BRAHAMANES (priests) were in the highest level of society and were the only ones allowed to read the Veda text.

The Vedism was the religion of the era, being the sacred texts the RIG-VEDA, these texts were also written in sanskrit and this religion was based on the practice of sacrifices and the duplicity between the masculine and feminine elements. Their gods by excellence were Indra, that supported by the secondary gods represented the five elements (fire, earth, water, wind and ether.

India was the divided in 16 states, in constant struggles, that made difficult people’s movement from one place to another. This made the Brahamanes prepare themselves to resolve any hazardous situation, caused by delinquents or by wild animals when they preached their doctrines through all India.

Their techniques consisted in strikes, locks and dodges that could have been a result of a fighting art called KARINAPAITO, that means KARARI (battle field) and PAITO, method whose techniques have the purpose to use the strength of your opponent to stumble him. It is similar to Judo. But this warrior class, the KASTRIYA (that could be compared with the Japanese samurais or with the knights from Europe), contributed in a very important way to the cultural development of India.

This class, like all warriors practiced a combat method, that in this case was called VAJMAMUS, that means "closed fist is hard". The investigations say that this art had a great similarity with karate and it even had different styles, these were:





The practitioners wetted their hands with milk and then striked fragments of marble with their fists, this act of wetting the hands with milk was a way of purification, because milk was considered sacred.

The first documented testimonies that prove the existence of fighting systems are in a text written in a Buddhist language with an Indian origin called "The Sutra of Loto". It’s author is anonymous and in Japanese it is known as HOKKE-KYO. This document speaks of another fighting art called "NATA" that means virile character, possibly practiced by a class before the KASTRIYAS, the TCATRIAS. All of the studies done over this art have lead to the same conclusion, that their techniques are very similar to karate and Chuanfa. It is also known that the monks from Tibet about 500 AD practiced a fighting art called NONANORAKU and one of these monks should have taught it to BODHIDARMA who developed. It is also thought that BODHIDARMA wrote the ICHIN.


Post a Comment

<< Home