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#217185 - 12/25/05 06:45 AM Bodhidharma
jarhead Offline

Registered: 12/25/05
Posts: 3
Does any one have any info on Bodhidharma? I know he introduced the first 18 hands to the shaolin which provided the foundation for kung fu and he provided works on the concept of ki and how to use it. There is very little else about him or the original 18 hands. If any one has any info please reply. I'm really trying to find out what the first excercises were.

#217186 - 12/25/05 08:44 AM Re: Bodhidharma [Re: jarhead]
Fisherman Offline

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
From what I recall, Damo's exercises that introduced to Shaolin were the 49 postures of the I Chin Ching.

#217187 - 12/25/05 09:20 AM Re: Bodhidharma [Re: jarhead]
WuXing Offline

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
There is nothing known for certain. Everything attributed to Bodhidharma that is practiced today is conjecture. The one thing that everyone attributes to him, though is the 49 I Chin Ching postures. I chin ching means "muscle changing classic". It is said that he also taught 18 Lohan fists, like you said, but nothing is known what this original form of kung fu might have been like. The Lohan style kung fu which exists today would have gone through many changes in 1500 years. There aren't many people who know or teach just Lohan style kung fu, either. It is the foundation for most shaolin arts, though. I would guess long fist would be closest to it.

If you really want to practice in the spirit of Bodhidharma, then Buddhism must be interwoven with your martial arts. It's not important that the exercises are exactly the same as they were when he first taught. What's important is to use the practice to unify body, mind and spirit, like meditation. To foster peace in your mind and your heart, to overcome fear.

#217188 - 12/25/05 09:41 PM Re: Bodhidharma [Re: jarhead]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
Bodhi = Buddha. . .
Dharma = Teachings of. . .

How can that be a MA style? Isn't that more along the religious line?

-Taison out
I got two fists.. Don't make me use my head as well!

#217189 - 12/26/05 08:35 AM Re: Bodhidharma [Re: Taison]
Fisherman Offline

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
There is a good deal of traditional chinese MA's with religion at its core.
Buhdism as well as Taoism have heavily influenced the higher level/spritual practices of martial arts.

#217190 - 12/27/05 02:02 AM Re: Bodhidharma [Re: jarhead]
ButterflyPalm Offline

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
As he originally came from India or may be somewhere bordering it (as India as a country did not exist when he was alive) he must have taught some Yoga based exercises and meditation. My best guess would be the shaolin monks (or more likely people who took refuge there for whatever reasons) later adopted and adapted them to their existing fighting techniques. "History" seems to attribute the I Chin Ching and the See Sui Ching to him, and even these two, if practiced today by anyone, may not be the original ones he taught.

From my own experience, the I Chin Ching does what it says it do, namely, it "changes" / "transforms" the muscles / tendons; meaning it qualitatively strengthens and hardens them without the need of any external weighted resistance and so you get strength without muscle bulk. It is my experience and belief that the Sanchin kata (and other dynamic tension exercises in some chinese systems) is a distant descendant of the I Chin Ching, modified for martial art purposes, because if you can keep to the core principles, the patern of the movements is not important. So you can have a glimpse of what he might have taught at the Shaolin Temple through these exercises.

And once this happened, the original yogic exercises would have been modified out of all recognition. However, one posture at least remained -- the one legged horse-stance where the non-supporting leg is placed on the other knee which is seen in Hatha Yoga today.

You just have to see what the 17th, 18th century Okinawans and Japanese did to the original Chinses kata to see what I mean.
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

#217191 - 12/28/05 06:09 PM Re: Bodhidharma [Re: WuXing]
Guy Offline

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 68
Loc: Indiana USA

What's important is to use the practice to unify body, mind and spirit, like meditation.

I agree. When I see people who have great form when performing the katas then see them use sloppy form when actually sparing, it tells me that they may have inner composure when by themselves but their inner composure will go to pieces when they are in a stressful situation. The goal is to maintain inner composure no matter what, even in the midst of stressful situations.



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