No one knows what ancient boxing looked like, so unless you have proof that it influenced modern boxing, you cannot simply assume it affected it. Modern boxing originated with British bare knuckle pugilism about 3-4 hundred years ago and you need to provide the evidence that the street thugs who found this fighting had access to documents on fighting from Greco-Roman times; that somehow the art of boxing and wrestling survived the onslaught of the dark age and passed on to modern Britain. All of this I find extremely dubious; this is a history forum, not a martial arts forum, where blind assumptions of origination without scholarly scrutiny is accepted without question.
Since this is a history forum, we are only interested in historical evidence, not martial arts legends which have no concrete basis whatsoever. You might want to get use to that. First off, I was talking about Chinese wrestling, and no, Chi does not date before the Tang dynasty as I already pointed out. The earliest evidence of any Chi associated with martial arts dates no earlier than the Ming. Shaolin monks does not practice martial arts until the late Yuan, no evidence before the Yuan suggests otherwise. Boddhidharma knowing martial arts is nothing more than a legend that dates to the early 19th century based on the baseless association of the Yijing Jin with him. This has already been done before in the past, and you've even posted in that thread; please read the whole thread carefully before replying, don't make it repetitive:
You are in fact now misreading what I wrote. I did not say and do not believe that Bodhidharma taught the monks martial arts. In fact I said "it stands to reason that his contact was when the Shaolin monks incorporated Chi into their martial arts". Reread that...focus on the word incorporated. He brought the concept of Chi to China, and that is what I was saying. So for you to come out and talk about legends of him knowing martial arts is immaterial since that is not what I said.
That is the information that I learned from my Kung Fu master, but there is evidence that the concept of chi was in China even before Bodhidharma shows up in the "Record of the Buddhist Monasteries". The "Huangdi Neijing" predates Bodhidharma by at least 500 yrs and it discusses the idea of Chi as it applies to medicine, so obviously there is alot that we have not discussed as possibilities. There is no reason for me to look up more information because this isn't a question of the history of chi but of the differences between martial arts.
And btw, my personal belief about chi and martial arts, is more of a mind over matter concept than spirit. Your mind is powerful, and knowing how to use it is how some people can withstand severe cold and heat. Your mind also keeps you from striking an object with enough force to break your bones. The difference between hitting much harder and breaking bones, is how some martial artists can break huge blocks of ice. Keep in mind that this is my personal explanation of chi and I don't expect anyone to accept it as proven fact.
As for boxing...I don't want to type very much more so I will just say that yes we know what ancient boxing looked like because we have ancient Sumerian carvings and Egyptian reliefs showing it. I simply don't care enough to present anything more about it at this time.
As for the best martial art...I will say again that it depends on a lot of things, but the easiest ones to learn will probably serve you best.