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Yijin Jing - Sinew-Changing Classic


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#1 ghostexorcist

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 12:12 AM

I have written the following in the hope that future martial artists will find it and learn the truth behind one of the most famous martial arts legends. I am not the originator of this material. It was gleaned from books and papers written by both Eastern and Western authors.

The Yijin Jing (易筋經, Sinew-Changing Classic, c. 1624) is a Ming era qigong manual comprised of a series of daoyin (guiding and pulling) exercises attributed to the 5th-6th century Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma (菩提达摩, a.k.a. Damo, 达摩). The common story passed around in martial arts circles is that the Indian monk retired to a cave near the Shaolin Monastery where he meditated for nine years. During this time, his concentration was so strong that either: 1) his image was burnt into the living rock or 2) his gaze burnt a hole in the rock. After his period of reflection was over, he saw the monks of Shaolin were too physically weak to handle the rigors of lengthy meditation, so he taught them the Sinew-Changing qigong and some martial arts he brought from his home of India. Thus, according to believers, Bodhidharma is the father of Shaolin Kungfu. (1) This is actually an altered version of a much older story that is given in two prefaces from the Yijin Jing.

The prefaces tell the following tale: Bodhidarma came to meditate in a cave for 9 years. After his death, the monks of Shaolin found an iron chest buried behind a brick wall. This chest contained two manuals written by the monk during his long seclusion, both of which were written in Sanskrit. The first manual, the Xisui Jing (洗髓经, Marrow-Washing Classic), was taken by his most senior disciple Huike (慧可) and disappeared. Since so few of the monks could read Sanskrit, they could not fully appreciate the great treasure that was the second manual, the Yijin Jing. Sometime later, a monk tracked down the famous Indian holy man Paramiti who was able to translate it in full. After 100 days of practice, the monk gained an immortal body capable of living 10,000 years. The manual later disappeared until it was passed on to the famous Tang general Li Jing (李靖) by the hero Qiuran ke (虬髯客, the Curly Bearded Stranger) during the 7th century. Centuries later, the manual was again passed onto the Song general Yue Fei (岳飞) by an unnamed Shaolin monk who taught him his military skills during the 12th century. Just before his execution, Yue was surprised to receive a recently written letter from the supposedly long dead monk who told him his life was endanger if he returned to the capital. This revelation caused him to pass the manual onto his junior general Niu Gao (牛皋). Feeling no one was "worthy of becoming a Buddha," Niu hid the manual. It was finally discovered during the 17th century by a Taoist from Mt. Tiantai with the pen name Zining (紫凝). The only problem is that none of this is historically correct.

The manual in general is full of numerous anachronisms and total fictions. I don't have time to go over all of them, so here are a few (and they are big):

* The Indian holy man Paramiti wasn't born yet during the time he is claimed to have translated the Yijin Jing from Sanskrit into Chinese. This means Li Jing, Yue Fei, Niu Gao, and Zining would not have been able to read it or reap the benefits of its practice.

* The hero Qiuran ke (虬髯客) is a popular fictional character from 10th century Chinese literature. The first preface (dated 628), in which he appears, is attributed to Li Jing. There is no way Li Jing would have even known about a popular fictional character from almost 300 years in the future. Also, a battle formation mentioned in the preface is a fictional element taken from Chinese literature that post dates Li's life by hundreds of years.

* In the second preface (dated 1142) attributed to Niu Gao, he refers to a posthumous temple name for Song Emperor Qinzhong (欽宗) which post dates the preface by some 20 years. (2)

* Yue Fei did not study under a mysterious Shaolin monk. He did study under two men with possible military backgrounds, but records do not allude to them having any affiliation with Shaolin. (3)

Here are some of the reasons why scholars think it is a forgery (beyond the reasons listed above):

* Literary and stelae evidence ranging from the 9th - 16th centuries show the Shaolin monks historically attributed their martial skills to the Bodhisattva Vajrapani, who, according to them, was an emanation of Guanyin.

* The exercises described in the manual are Taoist in nature and go against the Buddhist concept of impermanence because one is said to gain an immortal body capable of living 10,000 years. It is important to note that the Chinese have a habit of attributing newer works to famous sages. For example, there are verified Taoist works that attribute various other qigong exercises to Bodhidharma, some as far back as the 12th century. Keeping this in mind, it is no surprise that the 17th century Taoist priest Zining is considered to be the originator of the forgery because his name appears on all of the oldest editions of it. One edition is dated 1624, so scholars believe this is when it was originally published during the Ming Dynasty. (4)

* Scholars have analyzed pre-20th century records going back 250 years and there are some that mention martial arts and Bodhidhdarma, but never connect the two. (5)

* The idea of Bodhidharma physically teaching the monks boxing didn't come about until the publishing a popular satirical novel The Travels of Lao Ts'an in newspaper serials from 1904-1907. (6)

Many martial artists have tried in vein to prove Bodhidharma was actually the author of the manual. One very important thing that many people fail to understand is that records from the 5th - 6th centuries do not place him in the Monastery, only locales around it. It is not until the 8th century that he is said to have set foot in Shaolin. Although most scholars tend to agree he was a historical person, a lot of them debate over his position as the patriarch of Zen. (7) If he was not actually in Shaolin during the 6th century, he could not have planted the seed of Zen there. Some scholars even believe they just adopted the monk as their official mascot (for lack of a better term). Therefore, he could not have taught the monks martial arts (even if he knew it) if he never actually visited Shaolin during his stay in China.

Sources

(1) Wong, Kiew Kit. The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu: The Secrets of Kung Fu for Self-Defense Health and Enlightenment. Tuttle martial arts. Boston, Mass: Tuttle, 2002, pp. 13 and 19. Much of the history presented in this work is based on legend.

(2) Shahar, Meir. The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2008. A full length English translation can be found here. I am not giving any page numbers because a person needs to read the entire book to fully understand the interplay between legend and historical fact regarding Shaolin.

(3) Kaplan, Edward Harold. Yueh Fei and the Founding of the Southern Sung. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Iowa, 1970, pp. 10-11

(4) See note # 2.

(5) Stan Henning and Tom Green, "Folklore in the Martial Arts" in Green, Thomas A. Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2001, p. 129

(6) Stan Henning, "Ignorance, Legend, and Taijiquan," Journal of the Chen Style Taijiquan Research Association Of Hawaii, Vol. 2, No. 3, Autumn/Winter 1994, pp. 1-7, p. 4

(7) See note # 2.

Edited by ghostexorcist, 15 February 2011 - 10:01 PM.


#2 Howard Fu

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 06:15 AM

I heard a version of the story says that Yijin first occured in Qing and was originally a Taoist manual of Ming.
http://www.tianya.cn...7/1/40120.shtml

I think it was at least heavily influenced by Taoist Chi practice and came to current form no earlier than Ming dynasty.
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#3 ghostexorcist

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 11:58 PM

I heard a version of the story says that Yijin first occured in Qing and was originally a Taoist manual of Ming.
http://www.tianya.cn...7/1/40120.shtml

I think it was at least heavily influenced by Taoist Chi practice and came to current form no earlier than Ming dynasty.

Yes, per the information listed above, your statement is correct. The Chinese-American scholar William Hu did an exhaustive four-part study on the subject and published it in four different issues of Black Belt Magazine during the 1960's. According to his findings, the document was originally a forgery created by (if I remember correctly) a 19th century provincial governor interested in qigong. But I think the main problem with Hu's study is that he only had access to a few copies of the Yijin Jing. There are numerous different versions of it, all of which are only physically traceable to the Qing. However, the oldest reprints point to Zining Daoren as the author in 1624.

All of Hu's works can be found on google books.

As numerous martial arts historians have pointed out, Shaolin's veneration of Bodhidharma as the progenitor of their arts may have caused practitioners of internal arts to create a mythos of their own. 17th century practitioners combined the obscure historical Taoist priest Zhang Sanfeng (c. 1380, whose name was spelled different than today’s standard) with the Taoist deity Xuan Wu (Dark Warrior) to create a mascot adept in martial arts. As Meir Shahar comments:

…the Zhang Sanfeng genealogy matched the Bodhidharma ancestry in a perfectly harmonious structure. On the one hand was the “External” school associated with Buddhism and attributed to an Indian patriarch who supposedly meditated on the sacred Mt. Song; on the other hand was an “internal” school affiliated with Daoism and ascribed to an immortal who reputedly secluded himself on the holy Mt. Wudang. This flawless symmetry of directions (external and internal), religions (Buddhism and Daoism), and sacred peaks (Song and Wudang) was joined, on the geographical axis, by a correlation of north and south. Because Mt. Song was the more northern of the two peaks, the “External “School was named the “Northern,” whereas its “Internal” rival came to be known as the “Southern.” Like Chan Buddhism a thousand years earlier, the martial arts were gradually imagined in terms of a “Northern School” and a “Southern School.” (p. 179)

I read this sometime ago, but a recent dispute on Wikipedia over Zhang's historicity has reignited my interested in the subject. I looked up Shahar's source and found that my school carries the book. It has a 50 page research paper on the historical Zhang Sanfeng. I intend to read it when I get the chance.

Edited by ghostexorcist, 10 November 2010 - 05:28 PM.


#4 John2010

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 02:53 AM

Wow, a story about Yijin Jing. How I wish I can read the book.

#5 Freddy1

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 10:05 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong.
(from commentaries I have read befor on youtube)

Historians Tang Hao, Xu Zhen and Matsuda Ryuchi discredit he very book that claims he did "Yi Jin Jing" as well.

The preface of the 1800s version of the yi jin jing. its full of historical inaccuracies. for example, it was Li Jing's foreword that says shaolin kung fu came from bodhidharama. it also refers to the 10th year of the Taihe period of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei.

The Taihe reign wasnt even under Emperor Xiaoming but Xiaowen. Also, in its 10th year, 487CE, shaolin was not even built yet .

#6 ghostexorcist

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 03:50 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong.
(from commentaries I have read befor on youtube)

Historians Tang Hao, Xu Zhen and Matsuda Ryuchi discredit the very book that claims he did "Yi Jin Jing" as well.

The preface of the 1800s version of the yi jin jing. its full of historical inaccuracies. for example, it was Li Jing's foreword that says shaolin kung fu came from bodhidharama. it also refers to the 10th year of the Taihe period of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei.

The Taihe reign wasnt even under Emperor Xiaoming but Xiaowen. Also, in its 10th year, 487CE, shaolin was not even built yet .

The Yijin Jing is the "very book" you speak of, so you are correct.

A lot of people do not realize that it is also the reason why General Yue Fei is thought to be the creator of several styles of martial arts. There are no earlier connections between the general and kung fu before this. His official and family biographies do not mention him training in unarmed martial arts or even creating his own style. Nor do his own writings (which many historians believe were written by others) allude to such skill. Ming General Qi Jiguang’s military martial arts training manual Essentials of the Hand Combat Classic (1562) mentions “Eagle Claw Wang’s grappling technique” (Shahar, Shaolin Monastery, p. 116). Eagle Claw is commonly attributed to Yue. Since there is no historical connection between Yue and this style, it is safe to assume Wang or an earlier teacher created Eagle Claw. When confronted with such information, believers in the legend state Wang was given the moniker because he was good at the style and not necessarily because he created it. I can attest to nicknaming in martial arts circles, but these people cannot come up with earlier sources mentioning both Yue and the style. That is because there aren’t any. By far, the earliest source attributing martial arts to the general that I know of is his 17th century folklore novel The Story of Yue Fei (1684) (one has to remember the Yijin Jing is a qigong manual that doesn’t mention a single punch or kick). The novel connects him to Yue Family Boxing. There are no doubt oral legends or even documents that predate the novel (it was common knowledge enough for the author to add it into the narrative), but none of them will predate the Yijin Jing (1624). As Meir Shahar points out, Yue's mention in the second preface "spurred a wave of allusions to the patriotice hero in later military literature. By the eighteenth century, Yue Fei had been credited with the inventions of Xingyi Quan, and by the nineteenth century the ‘Eight Section Brocade’ [qigong] and weapon techniques were attributed to him as well” (Shahar, The Shaolin Monastery, p. 168). Therefore, a person can easily see a domino effect where people hopped on the “copy cat” train and later attributed their styles to Yue to give them more patriotic and historical weight.

Edited by ghostexorcist, 11 February 2011 - 12:03 AM.


#7 Abelard

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 03:42 AM

The Indian holy man Paramiti wasn't born yet during the time he is claimed to have translated the Yijin Jing from Sanskrit into Chinese. This means Li Jing, Yue Fei, Niu Gao, and Zining would not have been able to read it or reap the benefits of its practice. :thumbup:
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#8 ghostexorcist

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:00 AM

I've had many drawn out debates regarding the authenticity of the Yijin Jing on Wikipedia. You can see the longest and most recent one here. I have decided to post the tail end of the discussion here to explain how the monks of Shaolin probably came to accept the Bodhidharma legend themselves. This has never been covered by martial historians before. It's nothing groundbreaking or anything, but it is important to understanding the history of Shaolin. What follows is the most recent comment left by a person from an anonymous I.P. address:

From all of the above, two things really stick out for me personally in favor of the bodhidharma theory, the hundred and eight points for starters that correspond in both styles. forget a hundred and eight, if the indians and the chinese just picking one point on the body the chances of them corresponding would be incredibly low. (1 multiplied by (area of pressure point/total body surface area). When it comes to hundred and eight such points on the body it's so unlikely that compared to it, your chances of winning the state lottery are almost guaranteed, second the monks opinion of the history of the monastery themselves, if that purple coagulating man(what kinda name is that anyway?) really made up false assertions, would they have noticed it the moment he introduced it? why would they accept a completely new and revolutionary theory of the origin of their monastery introduced by a stranger unless they had some reason to believe in it themselves? this is like suggesting that if I walked into a chinese classroom tomorrow and told everyone that they're actually russians everyone would accept my chinese=russian theory without question. IMHO I think it's rather unlikely. my 2 cents.

The 108 points he mentioned (based on a comment from an earlier person) refers to the pressure points used in both Indian and Chinese martial arts. Based on a bastardization of the original Yijin Jing myth, many martial artists believe Bodhidharma was a master of Kalarippayatyu, and that he introduced their form of pressure point attacks to China. This is my reply:

Your first question about the corresponding 108 points has been answered above. But in review, the reason they correspond is because there is only one human body, with the same joints, veins, organs, and weak spots. If we were talking about two different life forms the chances of them corresponding would be like winning the lottery, but we aren't. On top of this, both cultures have their own sophisticated schools of traditional medicine. So it stands to reason that both had the time and capacity to independently stumble upon these weakspots since they were working off of the same specimen: the human body. It's possible both schools shared techniques, but the idea of one stealing all 108 points from the other is absolutely ridiculous. Scribal evidence points to the Chinese having acupuncture as early as the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BCE). Bodhidharma didn't arrive in China until the 5th or 6th century CE (depending on the source), and Chinese records don't place him at Shaolin until the 8th century (which is another blow to the legend). How could he possibly have influenced traditional Chinese medicine and indigenous martial arts if the techniques he supposedly introduced had already been present in China for hundreds of years?

Your second question is easy to answer. As mentioned above, the Yijin Jing is the source that attributes Shaolin qigong to Bodhidharma. Stan Henning has shown the Buddhist saint wasn’t connected to Shaolin boxing until the publishing of a popular satirical novel in a Chinese newspaper from 1907-1910. The author of the novel confused the strength-bestowing qigong exercises of the Yijin Jing with Shaolin boxing. From this point on, the legend appeared in one form or another in martial arts manuals. I doubt the monks immediately accepted the claim, especially since it developed outside of the monastery and contradicted the in-house legend about Vajrapani. It is important to note the Vajrapani myth is not very old, only first appearing on a Shaolin stele in 1517. The transition between in-house origin myths was relatively short, only a few decades, but it was by no means instantaneous like your scenario suggests. There are several reasons for this.

First and foremost, monks can’t have children after taking the tonsure, so the monastery must get staff from amongst the common folk the satirical novel and martial manuals mentioning the legend circulated. This means those coming to the monastery would be more likely to accept the legend than those already in the monastery. Second, because the monastery has a rotation of new people, the “collective memory” of the sanga tends to differ from generation to generation. For example, the monks made a statue of Vajrapani during the 17th century. One hundred years later, the monks of the new generation believed that Vajrapani himself had made it. Third, Shaolin chose the wrong side in a dispute between Warlords, which led to the monastery being burnt in 1928 and the dispersal of the sanga. This left Shaolin a former shadow of itself. Fourth, the Shaolin cult of Vajrapani received a huge blow when the aforementioned statue perished in the fire. The cult was not rejuvenated until almost sixty years later when the monks rebuilt the shrine to him in 1984. By the time the monastery was rebuilt and a newer sanga was formed, the Vajrapani legend had all but been forgotten. The younger and more prevalent myth about Bodhidharma won out in the end thanks largely to its proliferation amongst the common folk outside the monastery. My five dollars.


One thing I forgot to mention is that Bodhidharma is revered as the progenitor of Chan Buddhism in Shaolin and around the world. Of course the monks would be willing to accept the legend since they are children of his religious lineage.

#9 Freddy1

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:35 PM

The 108 points he mentioned (based on a comment from an earlier person) refers to the pressure points used in both Indian and Chinese martial arts. ....

I would add that pressure points can be found on one's own body simply by probing certain areas (you can do that to your entire body if you take the time ). They are usually at certain "land marks" of the body. Such as cavities or tender muscle & nerve areas where upon pressing are painful (Often areas where the muscles meet the bone joints etc.)
You will find that they correspond to recognized accupunture points.

Edited by Freddy1, 14 February 2011 - 09:43 PM.


#10 ghostexorcist

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 08:20 PM

I would add that pressure points can be found on one's own body simply by probing certain areas (you can do that to your entire body if you take the time ). They are usually at certain "land marks" of the body. Such as cavities or tender muscle & nerve areas where upon pressing are painful (Often areas where the muscles meet the bone joints etc.)
You will find that they correspond to recognized accupunture points.

You make a good point. The "funny bone" (actually the Ulnar nerve) is a good example of this.

One of my favorite illustrations of ancient Chinese pressure point knowledge comes from the third chapter of the Taoist philosophical work the Zhuangzi (庄子c. 300 BCE):

Cook Ting was cutting up an ox for Lord Wenhui. At every touch of his hand, every heave of his shoulder, every move of his feet, every thrust of his knee-- zip! zoop! He slithered the knife along with a zing, and all was in perfect rhythm, as though he were performing the dance of the Mulberry Grove or keeping time to the Jingshou music.

"Ah, this is marvelous!" said Lord Wen-hui. "Imagine skill reaching such heights!"

Cook Ting laid down his knife and replied, "What I care about is the way, which goes beyond skill. When I first began cutting up oxen, all I could see was the ox itself. After three years I no longer saw the whole ox. And now I go at it by spirit and don't look with my eyes. Perception and understanding have come to a stop and spirit moves where it wants. I go along with the natural makeup, strike in the big hollows, guide the knife through the big openings, and follow things as they are. So I never touch the smallest ligament or tendon, much less a main joint."

"A good cook changes his knife once a year, because he cuts. A mediocre cook changes his knife once a month, because he hacks. I've had this knife of mine for nineteen years and I've cut up thousands of oxen with it, and yet the blade is as good as though it had just come from the grindstone. There are spaces between the joints, and the blade of the knife has really no thickness. If you insert what has no thickness into such spaces, then there's plenty of room, more than enough for the blade to play about it. That's why after nineteen years the blade of my knife is still as good as when it first came from the grindstone (De Bary, William Theodore, Irene Bloom, Wing-tsit Chan, Joseph Adler, and Richard John Lufrano. Sources of Chinese Tradition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999, pp. 103-104).


Martial artists of dynastic China used this as an example in various training manuals. For instance, the 18th century Xuangji's Acupressure Points states:

The book [Zhuangzi] says: “strike in the big hollows, guide the knife through the big openings.” Why does it say so? Because when Cook Ding cut up oxen “he no longer saw the whole ox” I say it is the same with hand combat. Why? Because I am looking for my opponent’s soft points, acupuncture points, and those forbidden to strike and I engrave them in my mind’s eye. For this reason, the moment I lift my hand, I am able to target my opponent’s empty points, and strike at his acupuncture points, “no longer seeing the whole person” (Shahar, Shaolin Monastery, p. 118)


Edited by ghostexorcist, 15 February 2011 - 08:20 PM.


#11 William O'Chee

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:46 PM

Ghostexorcist, this is one of the best pieces to appear on the CHF in the last three years. Respect.

Could you perhaps agree to have it published in the HLJ?

Edited by William O'Chee, 15 February 2011 - 09:47 PM.


#12 ghostexorcist

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:55 PM

Ghostexorcist, this is one of the best pieces to appear on the CHF in the last three years. Respect.

Could you perhaps agree to have it published in the HLJ?

Thank you. Feel free to add it if you like. I must admit that it is just a cursory study, though. There is a lot more to it. I think it also pales in comparison with the work of members who are no longer active. I might be able to lengthen it a little bit with the material I posted above about how the monks probably came to accept the legend. I have sources for all of it.

If it is to be added, a member of the editing staff should look it over because my punctuation is atrocious.

Edited by ghostexorcist, 15 February 2011 - 10:52 PM.


#13 Freddy1

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 05:00 PM

I found this post by a member 'Borjigin Ayurbarwada' (post# 7) that is relevent to the topic.


http://www.chinahist...origin-of-sumo/


.....

As for Indian martial arts influencing Chinese ones, the claim rests on two things. The first is that Boddhidharma influenced Shaolin martial arts, the second was that shaolin martial arts was the origin of Chinese martial arts. Both of these claims has already been debunked by Chinese martial arts historians to death. For the first, it should be noted that the attribution of Boddhidharma to shaolin kungfu dates no earlier than the 19th century. We cannot find any evidence, textual or pictorial which suggest otherwise. Shaolin kungfu during the Ming never mentioned anything about Boddhidharma. As regard to the second point, I must say that it is one of the greatest myths in martial art history. The claim that shaolin martial arts was the origin of all martial arts seem to be an invention of the Qing dynasty when shaolin became prevalent. However, there are no evidence whatsoever that the Shaolin monks practiced martial arts until the late Yuan dynasty at the earliest. The only "evidence" which supporters for an earlier shaolin martial arts history in the Sui dynasty could provide comes from an early shaolin stele mentioning a bandit attack on the temple with the monks resisting, the bandits succeeded in burning the temple and many monks died." 僧徒拒之...贼遂火塔院,院中众宇焉同灭“. Its natural for monks to resist against bandit attacks, and the fact that the bandits succeeded in burning the temple and the monks there shows that Shaolin monks didn't train in any martial arts at the time. In fact we cannot find a single passage on shaolin monks training in martial arts from Tang dynasty sources. Even the term "warrior monk" 武僧 only appeared during the Ming dynasty. So the whole claim that Indian monks came to the shaolin temple, taught martial arts and spread to the rest of China is even more groundless.

Some people also point to similar postures between Chinese martial arts and Yoga. However, it should be pointed out that the combination of Qigong practices, which might have been influenced by Yoga, with martial arts only began during the Ming dynasty, prior to the Ming, Qi gong, spiritual exercises, and martial arts are wholely separate things. So once again, early Chinese martial art has virtually nothing to do with India, not even the evidence for an influence could be found.


On the last note, the claim for Greek origin of wrestling seem to neglect primary Chinese documents on Chinese wrestling. The earliest mentioning of Chinese wrestling dates before any mention of Indian martial arts, and are just as early as Greek Pankration. The Chinese word for early wrestling was Jiao li角力 and for striking was Bo ji 搏击。For example, Zuo Zhuan states; "晋侯梦与楚子搏” "the duke of Jin fought with the marquis of Chu in hand combat." This dates to the year 632, and hand to hand combat was already widespread in China, so the earliest Chinese wrestling is at least as early as Greek wrestling which also dates to the 7th century BC. The Li Ji, a book written in the 5th century BC also mentioned; "天子乃命将帅讲武,习射御,角力" "The son of heaven ordered his generals to study martial affairs, archery, and wrestling." Xunzi goes even more into detail on fighting philosophy; “trick the opponent with hand movements to startle him, then strike."


Edited by Freddy1, 17 April 2011 - 05:05 PM.


#14 Freddy1

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 04:09 PM

Additional references from independent researchers:

INSIDE KUNG FU July 1990
"Behind The Truth! The Bodhidharma Myth Dispelled!"

BLACK BELT September 2001
"History of Shaolin Kung Fu: part 1"

BLACK BELT October 2001
"History of Shaolin Kung Fu: part 2"


Shaolinsi wushu baike quanshu, an encyclopedia of Shaolin written by a Shaolin monk
http://forum.kungfum...ead.php?t=20750


--
GeneChing (editor of "Kung Fu" magazine. Who went to China. She researched if there was any connection to India martial arts and Shaolin.)
Bodhidharma(damo)
http://forum.kungfum...ead.php?t=38368
page 1 post#9

Uncle Remus and the Romulans

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I concur with your viewpoint, DRleungjan. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.

There is actually very little record of Bodhidharma beyond some passing references in the literature. There are some sutras attributed to Bodhidharma, two translations in English in fact (Red Pine's The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma and Jeffrey L. Broughton's The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen). However the validity of these sutras as actually being from Bodhidharma is questionable. Some feel that it is reconstructed history, which was a favorite pastime for ancient Chinese writers. Clearly, Zen/Chan really begins at the Sixth Patriarch Huineng and many of the Bodhidharma skeptics believe that his position was established simply to tie Huineng back to Buddha. Nevertheless, I actually spent a night up at Bodhidharma's cave, reading Red Pine's translation and practicing, back in '95. That was a very spiritual night for me, one that I will carry for the rest of my life, despite any such revelations about historic inaccuracies.

Where the Bodhidharma legend gets rather interesting is at Shaolin itself. Historically, he isn't venerated there as the founder of Shaolin martial arts until the 17th century (and that's from a Taoist source, no less). Prior to the Bodhidharma, Shaolin martial arts were attributed to Vajrapani, a Buddhist guardian.

IN '97, I went to India to seek out the Kalaripayattu/Vajramukti/Bodhidharma connection. It wasn't fruitful and I'm very skeptical of these claims.




You can also read his book Shaolin Trips
by Gene Ching
https://www.tigercla...-1-pr-8451.html

Edited by Freddy1, 04 June 2011 - 03:28 PM.


#15 ghostexorcist

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 05:42 AM

Additional references from independent researchers:

[...]

GeneChing (editor of "Kung Fu" magazine. Who went to China. She researched if there was any connection to India martial arts and Shaolin.)
Bodhidharma(damo)
http://forum.kungfum...ead.php?t=38368

[...]

You can also read her book Shaolin Trips
by Gene Ching
https://www.tigercla...-1-pr-8451.html

Thanks for adding more sources. I've seen most of those.

Gene is actually a guy. Think of a Chinese villian from a kungfu movie. That is what Gene looks like (see below). I've been a member of the Kungfu Magazine Forum for many years. Shaolin Trips includes all of his research articles up until the publishing of the book.

Posted Image

Edited by ghostexorcist, 04 June 2011 - 06:06 AM.





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