Business-News No. 2
The origins of Martial Arts
Martial Arts all over the world owe their origins to manís most basic instinctÖ.
Survival!!!! Unfortunate as it may be, man has always been a relatively warlike creature. Whole cultures and countries have collided in war many times.
The lowest common denominator in war and individual fights were the individual combatants. Over time the techniques of successful warriors were emulated by their peers and eventually collected into the popular fighting systems that we see today. Every nation has had a native fighting system at one time or another yet it is the Oriental martial arts that have survived for thousands of years and remain popular today.
The origins of Shaolin Kung Fu
Most Oriental martial arts have descended from Shaolin Kung Fu. The Shaolin Buddhist order was introduced to the martial arts when a Buddhist monk by the name of Bodhidharma introduced the monks to Indian martial arts techniques
Prior to giving up his inheritances as a member of Indian royalty, Bodhidharma had trained extensively in Indian martial arts techniques. Upon being exposed to the Buddhist doctrines preached by Prajnatara, Bodhidharma gave up all his inheritances and studied intensively under Prajnatara.
After much training, Bodhidharma was dispatched to China to update the Buddhist theology known to the chinese. Bodhidharma introduced a new school of Buddhism that was to become known as Cíhan in China - Zen in Japan. He is known primarily as the father of Zen Buddhism. Lesser known is the fact that he is also the father of Shaolin Kung Fu!
Upon arriving at the Shaolin Temple, Bodhidharma was shocked and disgusted to find that the monks were physically emaciated to the point that they were unable to meditate for even short periods of time without falling asleep! Noting that their physical condition was limiting the monks in their development as Buddhists, Bodhidharma introduced a series of exercises and martial arts training that he had learned as a youth in India. He hoped that through physical training the monkís stamina for spiritual development would improve along with their physical condition.
So successful was his approach that each generation of Buddhist monks would improve upon the exercises and martial arts and then pass on an even more effective art. This process repeated itself over several generations of monks for a period of over 1,500 years. The exercise regime and martial art has come to be known as Shaolin Kung Fu!
The Origins of Hung Gar Kung Fu
Hung Gar Kung Fu s origins began with the overthrow of the Ming Dynasty by a powerful border tribe known as the Manchurians. These foreign invaders imposed the Ching Dynasty upon the Chinese population. Oppression gave rise to much anti-Ching sentiment. Many underground societies sought to restore the Ming Dynasty. Rebels hid within the Shaolin temples of Northern and Southern China.
The Northern temple was destroyed by government troops around 1674 and many of its monks escaped to the south and were absorbed by the Southern Shaolin temple. One of these monks was Gee Sin who later became the Abbot of the Southern Shaolin temple. Gee Sin was said to be a master of the Tiger system.
Around 1768, the Southern Shaolin temple was also destroyed by government troops because it was accused of harbouring anti-Ching rebels. All but 5 of the Shaolin Masters were killed during the destruction of the temple. The remaining 5 scattered about the Southern Chinese countryside.
Abbot Gee Sin took refuge on the Southern Chinese Opera boats and taught his style to other anti-Ching rebels who also took refuge there. He reunited with his best student at the Shaolin Temple, Hung Hei Goon and made some alterations to the style he had taught previously at the Shaolin Temple. This was done to make the system easier to master and more effective so that Ming rebels could learn the style faster and then use it against the Ching.
Hung Hei Goon mastered the Tiger style of Gee Sin and later combined that style with the Crane style that he learned from his wife. After harmonizing and perfecting the combination of styles, Hung Hei Goon openly taught the style as Hung Gar Kung Fu circa 1805.