Some of websites (such as kalaripayattu websites) claim that bodhidharma learned kalaripayattu or some form of martial art from india and then went to china? However, all of the history books that I’ve read state that Bodhidharma is more legend than fact…. most state the legend that he taught meditative exercises and not actual martial arts…. all the history books seem to state that his association with martial arts is legend… my history professor in Chinese history also states this and further states that most historians believe that his association with Chan/ Zen buddhism is legendalso. However, there are books written by kung fu masters that seem to disagree with them? What’s up with that?

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sandeep
sandeep
7 years ago

actually kalaripayattu was not invented in 11th or 12th centuary but nearly 10000years ago by PARUSHURAM . He invented the art to teach priests and monks of kerala temples to safe guard temples.Bodhidarma was killed by his followers in china by poisonning his food.There are many proofs of existence of Bodhidherma and his teachings of martial arts and hypnotism to chinese buddhist monks.

sureshgurukkal
sureshgurukkal
7 years ago

18 ADAVUKAL Relationship to Shaolin Although the art of Kalarippayattu is itself not well known outside of India, legend has it that around 525 AD the Indian Buddhist monk Bodhidharma traveled to China and the Shaolin Temple. Upon finding the monks weak and listless, Bodhidharama taught them the Eighteen Hands of Buddha, which later became known as the 18 Lohan Hands. This was a specialized set of exercises derived from the eighteen adavukal (adavu = technique) that form the basis of the Vadakkan, the northern style of Kalarippayattu, the introduction of which had a profound effect on the martial arts… Read more »

Abe
Abe
8 years ago

If Da mo is a myth then buddha is also a myth

shane_078
shane_078
8 years ago

mr.qball i think ur reference materials gives you only limited knowledge about the ancient history of central and south asian countries especially india and china….am hailing from kerala which is the birth place of kalaripayattu….you ppl have knowledge abt our lands history only from portugese invasion in 16th century AD…but by that time we had well dvlpd political and social situation here…and abt kalaripayattu we have folks as old as 2000 years..i wonder how that author had such limited knowledge abt dis martial art form…i swear if he had come atleast once to our land he could have easily understnd… Read more »

Jethroh
Jethroh
8 years ago

oh shiju jacob, you lack of evidence when you concluded. kalaripayattu is not just stick fight..it has all the animal styles and 18 adavus.. I guess more than that… please do not make an attempt if you know nothing about kalari.

This disagreement is because to establish the Chinese pride thats all. Even if there is a clear proof that shows kalari,bodhi and kung fu , chinese would not agree with it ..because of PATRIOTISM..

shibu jacob
9 years ago

In the absence of records its hard to say which predates which! Also,just because theres no written record doesnt mean that folklores are false.The westerner has always been the one interpreting everything for the world.When the shaolin monks themselves credit this so called fictitious bodhidharma,then there must be something to it. http://www.shaolincom.com/Shaolin_Chi_Mantis/Bodhidharma-S.html Anyway,whatever the truth,kung fu has advanced way ahead of kalaripayatu.In one to one combat,I dont see any kung fu expert getting beaten by any kalari payatu expert.In 2009 there was going to be an exhibiton fight between the two exponents,but I didnt hear/read anything about it. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/JasmineSimhalan-kalaripayatt-silambam.gif http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YONe5kU-tQ&feature=related… Read more »

QBall
QBall
10 years ago

Ok… this is long… I actually got a pretty bad grade during college for writing a paper about this and unfortunately using too many websites for information. There is a lot of misinformation on the web (I no longer trust anything i read unless it’s from an encyclopedia or reputable source online. Definitely not a martial arts website) There also is a lot of misinformation in books written by authors such as “Si Fu Bob” and “how I will teach you the secrets of Shaolin Kung fu”. Basically, your history professor is correct. If you read textbooks written by college… Read more »

Brian B
Brian B
10 years ago

Here is my take on the subject, following a lot of research (like yourself). Bodhidharma is Da Mo. Da Mo was an INDIAN MONK who traveled from India to China. His base existence is in life and philosophy and then the incorporation of Martial Arts. His connection to the Martial Arts is through the meeting/organization/creation of the famed Shaolin Temple. Belief from here by some is that yes, kalaripayattu, is the worlds oldest martial art form and that Da Mo was a practitioner. During his travels and quest for enlightenment he studied the ways that animals fought and defended themselves… Read more »

Ray H
Ray H
10 years ago

There is no real proof either way . If Bodhidharma did teach anything to the monks of shaolin , it was probably more meditative and possibly encompassed the 18 hands of lo han . I have studied the 18 hands of lo han and they seem more like excersises to be done before actual training . As for his association with kalaripayattu , it would seem feasible that he knew the art . If he did exist , which I think is true , he most likely came from the warrior class , and prior to becoming a zen buddihst… Read more »

yupchagee
yupchagee
10 years ago

Whether or not Bodhidharma was or wasn’t a historical figure or whether or not he brought Martial Arts from India to China, I don’t think that there is any doubt that Budhist missionaries from India brought Martial arts to China. Shaoilin Temple Boxing didn’t materialize from nothing. There undoubtedly has been a lot of cross culrural exchanges throught east & south Asia over the centuries. It is not uncommon for those of 1 culture to insist that their culture is free of foreign influences. It is also not true. This applies to Martial Arts as well. India, China, Korea, Okinawa… Read more »

madhusudan
madhusudan
10 years ago

you are right in that nobody knows about this kind of ancient history.

people like to associate something they do with famous people in history.

since nobody knows for sure, nobody can discount these claims for sure. so, we are left with deciding whether we want to believe or not.

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