The Original Chinese Martial Arts
These early systems were used to improve the fighting skills of soldiers who tended to be in the army for life. Those that lived long enough, however, could eventually retire to a monastery where they continued to use their training techniques to stay fit and healthy. Around 600 BCE, Confucius stated that the martial arts should be encouraged in everyday life and his contemporary Lao Tzu devised a philosophical system called Taoism. The teachings of these two were handed down through the ages and became entwined with the martial arts of China and later neighbouring countries. While this can be seen as the forerunner to Chinese martial arts, for many, modern day kung fu began when an Indian monk is known as Bodhidharma (or Ta Mo in Chinese) arrived at the Shaolin Temple around 527 CE.From what evidence has survived, we know that Emperor Huang Ti used a basic fighting system called Chiou Ti (or Go-Ti) which dates back to around 2,674 BCE. This evolved into Shuai Chiao, which is similar to Judo and utilizes fast throws and joint locks along with elbow and knee strikes.