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According to Wikipedia's Martial Arts Timeline the oldest martial art identified is Ancient Egyptian. There are murals in the Beni Hasan tomb depicting wrestling that date back to 20th Century BCE. If you want the very first martial art, that's probably going to be "pointy stick". That Wikipedia link is pretty good. It shows approximate dates of ...


4

The "purpose"? To hurt people, relatively quickly. It's not terribly close to anything you list in terms of stylistic similarities, but it depends a lot on which version of Silat you're discussing. E.g., Maphalindo silat (Guro Dan) is different from a "purer" strain. My silat training has been mostly empty-hands, but as with kali, most techniques work ...


4

I am not someone who has studied the style, so I cannot give insider information, but my understanding is that Silat as a single martial arts style is about as informative as referring to Kung Fu or Swordfighting as a style. The name actually incorporates a wide variety of styles that only share a few common aspects and otherwise differ greatly. That said, ...


4

I believe the story you are referring to in Zen In The Martial Arts is the chapter, "Confident Seeing" on page 109. The instructor was Sam Brodsky and he was doing a demonstration for his students in which he intended to break 9 one inch slabs of concrete with one punch of his fist. While only breaking 7 slabs he had pulverized many of the small bones in ...


4

Heracles is a good start. He was the patron of Palaestra (παλαίστρα) which had rules, competitions, and training schools. I guess we are talking about a few hundred years BC -- I could not find an example of earliest primary sources. If you are going with the legends, 776BC were the first Olympic games. From the IEP: The very name palaestra derives ...


3

The confusion here stems from the fact that the traditional Chinese way of thinking does not make as clear a distinction between the spirit and the physical body. "Chi" is a combination of concentration and body mechanics. In Western terms, it can be described as performing a movement in the correct way, without unnecessary movements, and applying proper ...


2

Just because somebody comes from a certain lineage does not mean he is a good teacher or has certain skills. Lineage charts are pointless as they encourage people to believe that an instructor is a good one just because of his lineage. What about the guys who don't have this fancy lineage? Are they bad teachers? Are they lesser martial artists? It doesn't ...


2

There are hundreds of styles of silat. Take the entire area, assume most folks were living in villages and had fighting between other villages, pirates, raiders, and invaders for their entire existence, long before the Dutch. Then add in the influence from the Chinese, the Indians (both Hindu and Muslim) and you get a variety of styles based on what they ...


1

I'm sorry I don't have any sources for this, but I have always heard it that O-sensei really liked the movements of the bo, however, the ceiling of the dojo was (usually?) too low, so he adapted the bo movements into use of the jo (with which you can do hassō indoors). Except in France, there it is a spear, sometimes with a straight blade at one end and a ...


1

The Wikipedia page on the Southern Shaolin Monastery puts it beautifully: "The Southern Shaolin Monastery is the name of a Buddhist monastery whose existence and location are both disputed. By tradition it is considered the source of all southern Chinese martial arts. ... The following account is based on legend or folklore, with little, if any, documentary ...



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