Millstreet_Yoga_Tai_Chi_forward_information_html_m34af444Were Kata derived from Yoga?

We need to ask what was the original impetus for the creation of Kata or Martial Arts forms... how did they evolve and then secondly what is the inner reason.

Using reverse engineering or traveling back in time we can see that from the current models, we travel back through Japan, Okinawa, China and come to find a source from India.  Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century and is traditionally accredited as the transmitter of Ch'an (Sanskrit: Dhyāna, Japanese: Zen) to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan. He was father of Zen Buddhism.

Taking it back further brings us into the discipline of Yoga.

Now Yoga is more than mastering postures and increasing your flexibility and strength.  "The traditional purpose of Yoga, however, has always been to bring about a profound transformation in the person through the transcendence of the ego," (Feuerstein)

In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism the word Yoga means "spiritual discipline". People often associate Yoga with the postures and stances that make up the physical activity of the exercise, but after closer inspection it becomes clear that there are many more aspects of Yoga. It is an activity that has been practiced for thousands of years, and it is something that has evolved and changed overtime.  Although the exact history and origins of Yoga is uncertain; there are pieces that have been connected and allow us to make some conclusions. It is known that it originated from the East. . Evidence of yoga postures were found on artifacts that date back to 3000 B.C. Evidence of yoga is found in the oldest-existing text, Rig-Veda. Rig-Veda is a composition of hymns. Topics of the Rig-Veda include prayer, divine harmony, and greater being.  This later evolved into postural exercises that linked the mental and physical being through increased and full personal discipline.

This is also exactly what Kata accomplishes (if utilized this way) with the same roots, but with the added martial concept and possible applicability.

For example he inner nuero-electrical systems of the body are first brought to the practitioners awareness, aligned, balanced and then experienced... even manipulated at will in more adept long time proponents.  This strengthens and invigorates the body, mind and spirit in both methods and is the original intent as Bodhidharma, brought the method to the monks of the Shaolin order as a moving meditation in the form recorded as the "18 Lohan Hands" or the "18 Arhats" (Chinese: 十八羅漢/十八阿羅漢; pinyin: Shíbā Luóhàn/Shíbā āLuóhàn; an Arhat (Sanskrit: अर्हत् arhat; Pali: arahant; "one who is worthy") is a "perfected person" who has attained nirvana).  These were a group of enlightened holy men who act as guardians and protectors of the Buddhist faithful.

This then transformed into Luohan Qigong is the "Art of Breath of the Enlightened Ones." Luohan Qigong, or Lohan Chi Kung, is an system of exercises and breath control for improving your fitness, vitality, energy levels, concentration, poise, and well being. Numerous legends attribute the development of the Luohan Qigong methods, and the Muscle Tendon Changing Qigong methods, to the Buddhist leader Bodhidharma (Da Mo, Ta-Mo, Daruma), circa 525 CE, a early advocate of Chan (Zen) Buddhism. Bodhidharma (Da Mo), circa 525 CE, is the source of many legends related to his spiritual and physical conditioning involvement with the monks at the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province. The Shaolin Temple has traditionally been associated with vigorous physical training, qigong, meditation, Chan philosophy, and martial arts (Kung Fu).

Link to Kyusho

So we have followed the line of this inner and outer cultivation from India and Yoga through the development of the Pugil Styles of China, but what connection does it have to Kyusho.  The connection is simply the total understanding of the physiological functionality of the body, to learn Kyusho to the highest degree we must reverse engineer the method to its core.  Researching the electrical, neurological or energetic essence of Kyusho will only bring greater skill and possibility to the practitioner.

This can be attained through the study of Yoga or the study of Kata, but we must realize both are the same developmental exercise and quest.

 

 

-ep

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