Where Did Martial Arts Come From?

Where Did Martial Arts Come From

Today Xen-Do is bringing martial arts into the 21st century, however it is important to look back at where martial arts has come from. Although the earliest evidence of martial arts goes back millennia, the true roots are difficult to reconstruct. With humanity being an ever-aggressive race we can safely assume that hand to hand combat has been present since the dawn of intelligent life. Rather, it is the practice and rehearsal of technique that is when we first begin to see the foundations of martial arts.

It is almost impossible to give any exact dates, however there are many works of art that aid in our quest for answers. There are early depictions of wrestling techniques in a tomb of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt at Beni Hasan (c. 2000 BC) and pictorial representations of fist fighting in the Minoan civilization dating to the 2nd millennium BCE. Later, a hand-to-hand combat theory, including the integration of notions of “hard” and “soft” techniques, is expounded in the story of the Maiden of Yue in the Spring and Autumn Annals of Wu and Yue (5th century BCE). Then, in the 1st century, “Six Chapters of Hand Fighting”, were included in the Han Shu (history of the Former Han Dynasty) written by Ban Gu. This is when we first begin to see instructions and the formulations of techniques that would one day be fleshed out in so many varietn forms.

These are all, unfortunately, pieces, fragments of possible beginnings. Over time these fragments would come together, from all corners of the world, and iron out the key concepts and necessities in martial arts. Today, at Xen-Do, we teach what we believe are these key necessities, providing the best possible curriculum of martial arts.

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