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Is the South Indian Kalarippayattu the Mother of Japanese Iaido Sword Fight?

March 10, 2012  by: Paulose  Points: 20   Category: Others    Views: 694

Iaido sword fight martial art is gaining popularity in Japan and other parts of the world. It is said that Kalarippayattu (sword fighting art) of South India was the mother of this art. History can bring out facts and unite the world through exchange of culture.

         

Unlike modern fighting with gun or bombs from hidden places, fighting or wars in olden times were face to face showing one’s talent and courage. They showed the physical and mental skills and talents of a good warrior in attacking the opponent and in defending oneself. Martial arts in ancient days were learnt from childhood. They were a part of the ancient education to develop body, mind and soul.

Ancient literatures of Tamil (South India) and Sanskrit (North India) give a lot of details about martial arts that were in practice two thousand years ago. There are evidences in India, China and other Asian countries to prove the close connection between India and those countries.

India as “mother of martial arts”

The Indian subcontinent has been the mother of various martial arts, including Karate, Kung Fu, Iaido, etc. There are many literary works that describe about these arts and give many hints of evidence on these martial arts. The Sastravidya in Sanskrit and Kalarikalai in Tamil teach the art of sword fight and self-defence. The Vedic text Vishnu Purana in Sanskrit describes dhanurveda as one of the traditional eighteen branches of martial arts. Tamil literature belonging to the period between the 2nd century BC and the 2nd century AD, provides a lot of details about these arts. Purananooru and other texts of Sangam (Tamil) literature describe interesting facts about these martial arts. Poems in Purananooru tell about warriors fighting with swords and protecting themselves from the swing of the opponent’s sword, at the same time trying to wound the other with their own sword. Victory was determined when the sword of one struck to the ground by other.

Buddhism spreads the martial arts

Early Buddhist texts, such as the Lotus Sutra (around 1st century AD) give references to many martial arts. Buddhist texts say that Siddhartha Gautama, who later became the Buddha, was a champion of swordplay, wrestling and archery. These martial arts were taken to China and other Asian countries by the Buddhist scholars who traveled between India and China.

Martial arts in modern days

In modern days, martial arts are learned as “art of self-defence” and to train the mental skills. They help in building up immunity and a healthy life. They are powerful in sharpening mental faculties, including memory.

Iaido the Japanese martial art of sword fight

Iaido is a sword fighting martial art of Japan which has its origin some time between the late 16th and early 17th centuries. It is based on sword fighting which consists of techniques that train participants to handle sword in defence and offence. Iaido is more concerned with the motions of unsheathing and re-sheathing the sword than cutting or attacking the opponents. The word “Iaido” refers to the modern martial arts of self improvement or self-defence techniques.

Though little is known of the life of Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto of the sixteenth century, he is generally credited with as being the originator of the first dedicated school of sword fighting. Nakayama Hakudo of the 20th century is credited with coining the word Iaido.

Today, Iaido is an imaginary fight that is more concerned with the motions of unsheathing and re-sheathing the sword. Richard Sung, a trained instructor of Iaido residing at Hong Kong, hails Iaido as an art that helps him sharpen his mind though he cannot practice using his sword in any place. He says that he will close his eyes and mentally go through every move in a sword movement. According to him Iaido is a form a meditation, helping him stay focused and calm




Comment(s)
Author: Mathi        
Posted Date: 03/10/2012    Points:1    

This is called kalari fight or kalarypayathu. nice information given.

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