Did You Know Martial Arts Originated In India, Not China?

From Kung Fu to Karate to MMA(Mixed Martial Arts) China has managed to master all as even the school kids are taught the self-defence mechanisms.

This is the craze of Martial Arts over there but do you know that we, yes you read that right we the Indians are the ones who gave birth to this library of fighting skills so-called Martial Arts?

Throughout this article, you will explore the unknown facts about Martial Arts and how it originated in India and was then took up by China and how it evolved from being merely a fighting art to a world-famed sport.


The evolution of the martial arts has been described by historians in the context of countless historical battles.

During the Warring States period, warfare grew bloodier and common men were expected to have skill in personal attack.

The predominant telling of the diffusion of the martial arts from India to China involves a 5th-century prince turned into a monk named Bodhidharma who is said to have travelled from India to Shaolin, sharing his own style and thus creating Shaolinquan.

Indian martial arts spread to China via the transmission of Buddhism and thus influenced Shaolin Kungfu. Around the 3rd century BC, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali taught how to meditate single-mindedly on points located inside one’s body, the 108 pressure points in Chinese martial arts are based on it, which was later used in kungfu.

These elements of yoga, as well as various mudra finger movements in ‘The Nataraja dance pose’, were taught in Yogyakarta Buddhism. Later incorporated into various martial arts mainly Kung Fu and Karate.

Indian martial arts also lightly influenced the various forms of Indochinese kickboxing and Muay Thai from Thailand.

‘Gatka’, the Sikhs of Punjab used it for the stick and sword fighting was implemented in Chinese Martial Art ‘Ninjustu’.

‘Kalari’, this is the flying martial art which was practised by tribals of Karnataka included grappling, throwing and many flying kicks prominently used in games like ‘Wushu’ and ‘Judo’.

Before this, martial arts were known only in general sense. As kungfu became institutionalized and Judo succeeded in making a place in Olympics, China is credited for all. Pretty similar to ‘tree is grown by someone and the fruit is eaten by someone else’!

Now you know how martial arts began!

Rishabh Kumar
Rishabh Kumar

A soon to be tech graduate who has a knack of writing and a sack full of dreams.

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