The Way of the Brush & the Sword Sacred Fist Karate International Ken To Fude No Ryu Kenshu Kai Karate Solly Said's Solly Said's Karate,Kickboxing & Gym
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CHINA AND KOREA have both made vast contributions to the global body of martial arts.

The Great Wall Of China

CHINA the world's largest country by population, is widely regarded as the home of martial arts and is the birthplace of numerous diverse styles.Korea on the other hand, has given us Tae Kwon Do an Olympic sport since the 2000 Games, and the world's most popular martial art - one that is officially practised by approximately 50 million people in 120 countries worldwide.

MODERN CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS can trace their origins to a number of sources, including ancient military skills, the Buddhist martial arts that evolved out of the Shaolin temple, the Daoist martial arts that originate from the Wudang temple in Hubei province, and a number of other techniques used by bandits, militia, secret societies, invaders, and marauding pirates throughout China's turbulent history.


According to legend, the Indian monk Bodhidharma (known as "Da Mo" in China) traveled from southern India to China in the 6th century CE carrying sutras (collections of dialogs and discourses). He then settled in the Shaolin temple in Song Shan, and introduced martial exercises and Zen Buddhism to China. However, there is evidence to suggest that the practice of martial arts in the country dates back to well before that time.
A longer history

Although Bodhidharma may well have been one of the first to record martial-art techniques,he also introduced techniques such as meditation to existing fighting systems-experts believe that Chinese martial arts gradually developed from ancient hunting skills and from one tribe's need to defend itself from another. These fighting forms developed slowly over the years: punches and kicks were incorporated and, in time, so was the use of weapons.

The first evidence of martial-art practice in China comes in 2698 BCE during the reign of the Yellow Emperor, Huangdi, who developed the practice of jiao di ("horn-butting") among his soldiers. In the 5th century BCE - some 1,000 years before Bodhidharma's arrival in Song Shan - Confucius mentions martial arts in his texts; Daoist literature from the 4th century BCE contains principles applicable to martial arts; and there is evidence to suggest that physical exercises similar to taijiquan have been practiced in the region since at least 500 BCE. In contrast, the earliest textual evidence of Shaolin martial arts comes in 728 CE.

Shaolin Fighters

Jet Li in Fearless

Shaolin Temple

Putting soldiers to the test
The development of martial arts in China is indelibly linked to the military. The first military martial-arts tests were established in 702 CE. These challenged a soldier's physical strength, horsemanship, and skills with a lance, spear, and bow and arrow. Such a premium was placed on them that regular soldiers were categorized according to their ability and courage in hand-to-hand combat and weapons skills, particularly their swordsmanship.

Various military generals have added their expertise to China's martial-arts mix. Even Genghis Khan, the Mongol warrior whose armies had conquered much of South Asia- including all of China-by the 13th century, believed that Bkyukl Bökh was the best way to keep his troops ready for battle. Two styles of the art are still practiced today, one in Mongolia, the other in Inner Mongolia.


Boom in popularity
It was not until the Republican Period (1912-1949), a time when China was recovering from the fall of the Qing dynasty, the invasion by Japan, and the Chinese Civil War, that martial arts became more accessible to the general public. In a wave of national pride, the Chinese government classified all martial arts under the banner "guosho," meaning "national art." Martial artists were encouraged to teach, numerous training manuals were published, examinations in martial arts were created, and demonstration teams started to travel the world- the first martial-art demonstration in front of an international audience took place at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Forbidden City

Under Pressure
The founding of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949 and the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976 in particular saw dramatic changes in the Chinese martial-arts scene.The widespread practice of traditional martial arts was discouraged and some systems were altered to reflect Maoist doctrine.Many well known practitioners chose to escape the country.They went on to teach their systems in overseas Chinese communities, then to non-Chinese pupils, and so Chinese martial-art forms began to seep into communities throughout the world.But the PRC government were keen to make the most of one of the country's most iconic symbols.

In 1949, the term 'wushu' - a generic term for a number of martial arts, meaning 'martial skill' or 'martial art' - started to become popular in China.The Physical Culture and Sports Commission used the term to govern and standardize versions of the traditional arts and develop routines for use in competition.These routines consist of three main categories:Chang Quan,Taijiquan and Nan Quan.
Taijiquan comprises slow,fluid, and graceful movements, and is considered both a martial art and a health regime.
Nan Quan features short heavy-hitting styles, and is generally thought to have originated in southern China.
Chang Quan
uses acrobatic martial-art styles that originated in the north of China.


Nan Quan Chang Quan

Modern Chinese Arts
Today Chinese martial arts can be placed into different 'families'.Some styles mimic the movements of animals, while some take their names from their founders. Some arts are categorized according to wheter they are internal ("soft") or external ("hard"). Others are grouped according to geographical location: styles that developed north of River Yangtze, or "northern styles", which generally contain fast, powerful kicks with fluid and rapid movements, and those which developed south of the river,"southern" styles, where emphasis is placed on strong arm and hand techniques,stable stances,and fast footwork.

Philosophy,religion,traditional Chinese medicinal and herbal theories, as well as folk medicine, have all played a large role in the evolution of Chinese martial arts.China is the world's most populated country and its 1.3 billion people include some 55 ethnic minorities, an addition to the Han majority - have all brought their traditions, cultures, and beliefs into the tremondous mixing pot that is Chinese martial arts.

The Dragon

Korean Martial Arts
Martial arts enjoy enormous popularity in Korea.Nearly every street corner in Seoul has a "dojang", a martial training school, and Tae Kwon Do has been taught in the country's primary schools since the 1970's. Today, approximately 50 million people around the world practise this Olympic sport, making it the most popular martial art in the world.

Korea's long turbulent history has also played its part in the development of martial arts, as have numerous wars that have taken place on the peninsula, from early Chinese domination to the 20th-century occupation by Japan.

Korean martial arts have been shaped by religion and philosophy, most notably Buddhism and Confucianism. The Buddhist element gave the country its martial code during the Silla dynasty(57BCE-935CE) loyalty to one's king, obedience to one's parents, honourable conduct to one's friends,never to retreat in battle, and only kill for a good reason.

Tae Kwon Do

Haedong Gum Do - Master Youn Ja-Kung Kuk Sool Won

Origins of Korean Martial Arts
Because of its early isolationist policies, many of Korea's fighting cultures developed independently of any technological advances. Favouring the bow, Koreans did not develop sword or bladed weapon arts to the same degree as China and Japan. The wooden staff, or 'bo' also failed to find popularity in the country.

The earliest evidence of Korean martial arts dates back to the Koguryo dynasty,founded in 37BCE.Korean wrestling competitions, similar to Sumo were common occurences on national holidays in ancient Korea, and Ssireum the traditional form of Korean wrestling, is still popular today.Koreans are also known for their archery skills and have won many international and Olympic titles.



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