The Origin of Karate

The Origin of Karate

The Origin of Karate

The Hieroglyphic scrolls from Egyptian tombs contain the oldest known records concerning combat techniques, dating back to 4000 B.C, which describe training fights similar to that of modern boxing.

In Ancient Greece, wrestling and boxing were very popular too, and just like today, they were events in the Olympics.
The wrestlers would get so involved that they would disregard the rules, which later led to the decision to remove all the rules.

One competitor by the name of Arhachion was strangled between the legs of his opponent who gave up the match because Arhachion was tearing off his toenails. Arhachion was awarded the victor’s chaplet even though he was dead.

Yoga and its breathing discipline from India influenced all combat systems of the Orient, including karate. Zen Buddhism is another important contribution to karate by India.

Gautama Siddartha (the Buddha), a man of love and peace, was a great martial artist and legend has it that he was never defeated. The monks that followed the Buddha’s way of life were wanderers and had to defend themselves from wild beasts and against villagers of different religions, which they would encounter on their journeys.

In the 5th Century the patriarch Bhodhidarma travelled to China in order to teach. He spent a brief and unsuccessful period in the court of Emperor Wu of Liang, from where he moved on to the Shorin-ji temple. He found the monks in poor physical condition. He then incorporated his own knowledge of Yoga breathing discipline with indigenous Chinese kempo and found the Shorin-ji system.