Who Was Bodhidharma? Father of Martial Arts


Whenever it comes to martial arts, the first pictures that come to our mind are the Buddhist monks of China and the Shaolin Temple, and we feel that martial arts must have been invented in China. But if I tell you that martial arts were not invented in China but in India, you might not believe it once but it is absolutely true that martial arts were brought from India to China by a Buddhist monk. And the name of this Buddhist monk was Bodhidharma. Today we will learn about the history of Bodhidharma as well as the history of martial arts in India.

Who Was Bodhidharma

History of Bodhidharma

Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, the father of martial arts, was born in South India around the 5th century. He was the third son of King Sugandha of the Pallava kingdom. From childhood, he was of prodigious intelligence. He used to study yoga, weapon education, Kalaripayattu, and religious teachings deeply along with the teachings of Raj dharma. Bodhidharma had no desire to become the king of the Pallava kingdom.

He was inspired by the teachings of Buddhism since childhood and left the kingdom at a young age in pursuit of becoming a Buddhist monk. After this he became a Buddhist monk. Bodhidharma imbibed all the rites and initiations of Buddhism very quickly and at the age of 22, he attained the first stage of enlightenment, i.e., salvation.


After attaining the first stage of salvation, he was inspired to spread Buddhism to the neighboring Countries. And he spread Buddhism in China, Japan, and Korea. Bodhidharma is known as Daruma in Japan. Daruma is also known as the founder of Zen Buddhism in China. From 520 to 526 V.E., the foundation of the meditation school was laid in China, which is addressed by the name of Cho or Zen. When he went to China, at that time he was studying martial arts as well as medicine.

Bodhidharma went to China to spread the teachings of Buddhism as well as Ayurveda, yoga, and the art of fighting martial arts, and by giving this knowledge to his disciples, made them proficient in this knowledge.

Story of Bodhidharma

As soon as the name of martial arts comes, the name of China comes to our mind and generally, we Indians think that China is the inventor of martial arts. While the truth is the opposite. Kung Fu is the most important form of martial arts and the best place in the world to learn it is China.

There are many martial arts schools in China, the most famous of which is the Shaolin Temple. Apart from being a Buddhist temple, the Shaolin Temple is also a center for self-defense training, where meditation and yoga are taught along with Kung Fu. The foundation stone of this Shaolin Temple was laid by an Indian monk named Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma was the inventor of Kung Fu. Bodhidharma is called the grandfather of Kung-Fu in China and there are many temples named after him in Shaolin where martial arts are taught.

Important things related to the life of Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma’s maximum life was spent in meditation. He was not only a great yogi but also had a deep knowledge of medicine. He had completed the journey to China by sea route and took the knowledge acquired in India to China. Very few people in India know about Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma became the 28th and last teacher of the Buddha tradition. The name of Bodhidharma’s first disciple was Shan-Kkang, whom he named Hui-Ke after becoming a disciple.

Martial Arts History in India

If the history of martial arts in India is explored, then the description of this education is first found in ancient texts like Mahabharata where it has been mentioned by the name of Niyuddha. Fighting is an ancient Indian art. The word Niyuddha means ‘war without weapons’, that is, the art of attack and protection while being unarmed.

In South India, this art is known as Kalaripayattu. This Indian knowledge went to many countries of the world by Buddhist monks and migrant Indians and many martial arts were born from it. The people of the country where this art reached, gave it a new name in their local languages.

In a country like China, this knowledge was given the name of Martial Arts and today the whole world knows it by the name of martial arts only. The sad thing is that the knowledge went to foreign countries from a country like India. And if the name of its mother country is asked from all the world countries, then probably all of them will name China in one voice and not India.

The so-called scholars of our country have always looked towards the West and never propagated their own country’s culture, medical science, economics, mathematics, martial arts knowledge, science, yoga, etc., nor did they try to respect it.

Movie on Bodhidharma

Friends, a film was made in the South on the life of this Bodhidharma, which is available in many languages, the name of this movie is Chennai vs China movie in hindi. Many of you must have seen this movie too. If you have not seen this movie yet, then you can watch it by searching on the internet. I hope friends, you would have liked the information about the modern father of martial arts, Bodhidharma History in Hindi.

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