Origin of the Martial Arts - Wulf
There have been many examples of people of European origin creating their own form of martial arts (sometimes making up a “historical" background as well) simply because the martial arts we know of today are oriental in origin, and thus “alien” to our culture. This shows a lack of knowledge of the true origins of the martial arts.
Most scholars will trace the origins of the martial arts back to China, and to the Shaolin Temple in particular. From here it seems to have spread to Korea and Japan. These are the most famous of the centres of the oriental martial arts, each developing into their own brand of the original – Kung Fu (China), Tai Kwon Do (Korea) and Karate (Japan). Yet the origin of these martial arts seems to have been from India, from which a Buddhist Monk – Boddhi-Dharma * (“Enlightened Law”) - travelled to the Shaolin Temple and there taught the monks Chan (Zen) Buddhism, from which developed the Martial Arts.
In China, Korea and Japan this Boddi-Dharma was known as the “Blue-eyed Barbarian” or the “Red-Bearded Barbarian”, both names showing him to be non-oriental. These terms were commonly used to describe foreign Buddhist monks, a fact born out by the Bezeklik murals (7th – 10th century CE) of Western China.
Boddhi-Dharma was born Bodhitāra (461-534CE), the third son of the southern Indian King “Incense Arrival”, who was himself a member of the Ksatriya (warrior-caste). He was converted to Buddhism by his mentor, the 27th patriarch of Buddhism, Prajnātāra. He travelled to China to preach Buddhism.
The Koreans have a poem which shows clearly his non-oriental origins –
“From India, a true son of Buddha
His bodily existence as free as the white clouds
I entrust these words to the mountains and the waters
You must open your barbarian blue eyes and look.”
There is one very strange legend that depicts Boddhi-Dharma as coming to China by sea, rather than by land as is the usual version. In this he arrives in a swan-boat. This is depicted in a mural known as “The Temple of the Pagoda of the Sixth Patriarch’s Hair”. He landed in Canton, from whence he travelled to the Shaolin Temple. Indeed, the foundation of the Shaolin Temple was credited to a non-Chinese monk named Buddhabhadra (Ba-Tuo) in 496CE.
At the Shaolin Temple Boddhi-Dharma noticed that the monks lacked vigour and physical prowess so he introduced to them the arts of Chi Kung – stretching and breathing exercises. From these developed a new form of martial arts.
Boddhi-Dharma also introduced Zen Buddhism to the Shaolin Temple, there known as Chan Buddhism. This developed from Dhyāna (India), Chan (China), Zen (Japan), Sŏn (Korea). Boddhi-Dharma was known as Daruma in Japan, and Zen Buddhism became the foundation of the Japanese code of Bushido (Way of the Warrior). The birthplace of Boddhi-Dharma, southern India, housed the great Buddhist Empire of the Pallava, a people some associate with the Iranians since a form of Middle Persian is Pahlavi, and this was the surname of the last Shah. This area of India is also the home of a form of Martial Arts known as kalarippayattu. This must be the subject for further research, since it is something that cropped up through a You-Tube piece shown to me by Troy Southgate. In this piece, it seems, a Russian KGB Officer came across an ancient Sanskrit document in Berlin in 1945. This document was stamped by the National Socialists and turned out (when translated) to refer to a 5000 year-old martial arts originating in India. This martial arts was then developed in Russia and is today used to train some members of the Russian Special Forces.
What we need to understand is that the Bhudda was an Aryan, i.e. he had Northern European features. He was the “Sage of the Sakyas” (Sakyamuni), an Aryan tribe. He taught the Eight Aryan Virtues and his whole teachings were centred round the ancient Aryan Tradition.
What is also not known, and has been cleverly suppressed, is that 200 bodies of Northern European descent were found in an area of China known as the Tarim Basin. One of the bodies had tartan clothing, suggesting a North-West European (not necessarily Scottish!). The Chinese were quick to suppress these finds, since they clearly disproved the ongoing idea that the Chinese had no contact with Europeans at that time. Indeed, the area seems to have been occupied by a white people known as the Tocharians.
If these martial arts did originate with the Aryans in India then they have today returned to their origins by being reintroduced to the peoples of Europe. Looking carefully at the various oriental martial arts we find that each oriental nation adapted them to suit their own unique tradition. The basic moves are the same, yet each nation changed them to suit their own purpose and temperament. This could also be the case for the English, who could thus adapt them to their own temperament, and to their own unique culture. In such a case there would be no need to create a “runic martial arts” based upon tenuous links to runic positions.
The method that is being studied and experimented upon – the Ar-Kan Rune-Lag – is partly based upon runic posture, but adapted to stretching and breathing exercises (like Chi Kung) rather than the positions being “forced” into strikes etc. Experiments have been done using some Chi Kung forms that correspond to runic positions.
I have to agree that using foreign martial arts, with foreign language and foreign personages giving their names to forms etc. is certainly not what we need if we are to revive our own English Tradition and Culture. What is needed is a new English Martial Arts, based upon what we know of both European and Oriental forms, which is then adapted to suit our own English needs. Names of legendary English Heroes could be used for forms etc. It is also necessary to cut out all forms of arts that are not suited to use in our modern era, and which would only be seen as “traditional” rather than practical. What does not work for us, and what cannot be used in everyday life, should be discarded, and only the useful adapted to suit our own unique form of Warrior Arts.
In this regard the English Quarterstaff would hardly be of use for self-defense in our era, since it would be far too long to carry on the streets. A “walking-staff” the size of the individual would certainly be a practical weapon for self-defense. High kicks were developed in Korea as a means of attacking a horseman; they would thus not be practical in all situations. (Indeed, high kicks are usually merely a technique for “sports” rather than practical fighting.) The “twist” on the Karate punch is a very late technique that replaced the far more powerful straight-fist (upright) punch.
Many oriental techniques were based upon watching birds and animals fight, just as boxing probably developed here in England from watching hares fighting. But here in England it would certainly have not been just the hare that was studied, and many different animal forms would have been known, and now lost to us.
There is no doubt that we shall be accused of using “non-English” traditions when we develop our own unique form of martial arts, but this is to be expected in our modern “Computer Era” when the majority of those doing the accusing will do so via their “armchair activism” of the PC. We shall, as we have done with past accusations, ignore them and get on with the task in hand, working in our native woodlands creating a new and virile Warrior Arts that will serve us when the English Awakening comes.
Ours will not be “traditional” since it cannot be based upon any known English Tradition, but what was known has been lost to us. What we seek to do is to return to our Heathen Roots by creating a new form of Warrior Arts that will not only serve us in our self-defense, but also as a teaching aid in reviving our own unique English Culture and English Tradition.
The Sutton Hoo Mask was a Cultic Mask that seems to have been associated with the Cult of Woden (see The Elder Gods by Stephen Pollington). This mask holds secrets of the Önd-Breathing technique used to awaken the Fire-Serpent, a technique known in India as the Kundalini. This shows a remarkable similarity between the ancient Warrior Arts in England and the Indian Kundalini Tradition. This shows that our Woden-Born Ancestors were well aware of the Internal Martial Arts as well as the External Martial Arts.
I have mentioned before how it is usual to associate the invention of acupuncture with China some 2000 years ago. However, Otzi the Ice-Man, found in the alps between Austria and Italy, has been shown to have had tattoo-marks that correspond to known acupuncture points. Otzi is dated back 5,500 years! If these European people knew of acupuncture points – used for healing – then they must have known of the pressure-points used for hurting and killing, for they are one and the same system. It would be interesting to know what our English Ancestors knew of this, but we will never know until archeologists start to look at this from a far different view.
* Usually written Boddhidharma or Bodhidharma, but I have used the two words to show their meaning.
I would like to thank Offa Whitesun for sending me further details of the Chinese Legends concerning Boddhi-Dharma.