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Published by: hilegge7491 on Sep 29, 2008
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J. Burke 1James BurkeMs. ********World History28 February 2007Martial Arts throughout the worldBoard breaking, high flying kicks, fancy acrobatics, monks, and Chuck Norris are allthings that usually come to mind when the term Martial Arts is used. Popular culture has heavilyinfluenced the way these ancient arts are perceived, however most people have a roughunderstanding that they are at least missing some of the facts. Martial arts are more than justfighting techniques and looking cool, they are a way of life practiced for centuries throughout theworld. They cultivate not only the body physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.The exact origin of martial arts is still a mystery. Traces of Martial arts have been foundall over the world, tracing back as far as 2000 B.C. (History...Martial Arts). The eastern martialarts that most people are familiar with are said to have been brought from Tibet and India tochina by a Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma between A.D. 4702 and 543 ( History...MartialArts). In order to complete the extreme training necessary to ascend Zen Bodhidharma's disciples built on Indian combat moves to prepare themselves mentally and physically (History...MartialArts). Over time this art developed into the Chinese martial arts currently known as Kempo(History...Martial Arts).Evidence of martial arts have been found in Korean tombs dating back to A.D 37(History...Martial Arts). After hundreds of years of evolving, the primitive art became a wellcomposed system called “soo bahk” (History...Martial Arts). Soo bahk was taught to high
 
J. Burke 2members of the Korean military, as well as special forces, which later evolved to what is knowntoday as Tae Kwon Do (Tae Kwon Do). While Korea was inhabited by Japan many Koreanstyles took on the techniques of Japanese arts (Tae Kwon Do).Japan was the last of the Asian countries to develop a martial arts (History...Martial Arts).Around A.D 220 simple warrior training called chikara kurabe was created (History...MartialArts). It was discovered quickly that just using speed and technique to disable an opponent or disrupt their balance was easier than fighting with heavy suits on (History...Martial Arts).Beginning in the seventeenth century, Jujitsu was the foundation of modern Japanese martial arts(History...Martial Arts).The arts in the United States are not all that different from their original forms in variousAsian countries. They still stand for self-defense and self-discipline of the body and mind(Martial..in..States). After World War II, Americans who had seen several examples of martialarts practice returned to the United States fascinated by the new world they had seen (History..United States). They set up their dojos of practice and invited experts from the far east to comeand teach (History.. United States).There are hundreds of styles of martial arts throughout the world. They are all different, but are alike at the same time. Some focus on unbalancing an opponent and tossing them to theground while others practice on swordsmanship and honor, and others may have been developedfor military reasons. However every art is a way of living in its own respect.Wushu, more commonly known as Kung Fu, is a group a several hundred unarmedChinese martial arts (History..Kung Fu). This includes anything from different fighting styles,mediating arts, and gymnastics (History..Kung Fu). Every variation covers physical exercise,
 
J. Burke 3mediation, concentration, and Chinese philosophy, in one form or another, usually focusing on asingle area over the others (Wushu). A large difference between the versions of the arts are their origins. In north Buddhist China, monks focused on speed and strength, while their southernTaoist counter parts relied on more balanced movements and complicated techniques.Originally developed for military purposes, Wushu literally means military art, or the artof fighting (Wushu). However modernization has transformed kung fu into a practice for thegeneral public, and mainly the entire country of China (Wushu). Training in Wushu has allowedalmost anyone to increase their health and fitness (Wushu). Exercises have been adapted to fit thetimes and busy lifestyles of the modern world (Wushu).Ever since the mid-nineteenth century kung fu has been practiced in America(History..Kung Fu). However until 1957 when the first dojo opened in Hawaii, most training wasdone in private away from the general publics' viewing and participation (History..Kung Fu).During the nineteen seventies during the height of kung fu action flicks staring actors like BruceLee, Wushu was spread throughout the world to almost anyone who wanted to have a try at it(History..Kung Fu). However to this day the most important techniques and abilities are hidden(History..Kung Fu).The master of a martial art is often portrayed as an old man with a long curly beard thateven in old age can do multiple back flips and run up walls. Obviously this is a bit of anexaggeration, but there are still a hand full of people who truly shaped martial arts to its currentform. These include movie stars popularizing the practice of martial arts in their movies, tomasters of their art starting schools around the world, and early users developing their skills andevolving the martial arts they love. Common names such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Chuck 

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