When people think of martial arts, they most likely picture the most popular forms such as Kung-fu, Karate, Judo, and Jiu-jitsu. While the popularity of these martial arts is widespread throughout the world, thanks in large part to movies and television, they are fairly recent in the history of martial arts.
Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law enforcement applications; competition; physical, mental and spiritual development; and entertainment or the preservation of a nation’s intangible cultural heritage
The foundation of modern Asian martial arts is likely a blend of early Chinese and Indian martial arts. During the Warring States period of Chinese history (480-221 BC) extensive development in martial philosophy and strategy emerged, as described by Sun Tzu in The Art of War (c. 350 BC).Legendary accounts link the origin of Shaolinquan to the spread of Buddhism from ancient India during the early 5th century AD, with the figure of Bodhidharma, to China.Written evidence of martial arts in Southern India dates back to the Sangam literature of about the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD.The combat techniques of the Sangam period were the earliest precursors to Kalaripayattu.
Kalaripayattu also known simply as Kalari, is an Indian martial art and fighting style that originated in modern-day Kerala. Kalaripayattu is held in high regard by martial artists due to its long-standing history within Indian martial arts. It is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India. It is also considered to be among the oldest martial arts still in existence, with its origin in the martial arts timeline dating back to at least the 3rd century BCE.