History of Martial Arts

History of Martial Arts

Thermae_boxer_Massimo_Inv1055When referring to the history of the martial arts as we know it today, it is rather hard to stipulate the actual origins of these millenary art forms. However, we could perhaps refer to certain evidence gathered by archaeologists and historians around the world, which would suggest or indicate the presence of a form of art similar to the martial arts as we know them today.

The evidence in question has to do with findings related to ancient weapons and figurative art; and more specifically the finding of various frescos as old as 5 thousand years, in which the depiction of some form of a fight can clearly be observed by the naked eye. Perhaps, the most ancient of these frescos showing a battle scene, are a series of paintings pertaining to the Ancient Egyptian era. These ancient works of art date back to roughly 3 thousand years BC and depict some sort of wrestle.

Also from the same millennium, only perhaps a few hundred years later, there are also frescos depicting some sort of battle art form. These frescos were rescued from the ancient city of Babylon in the now extinct ancient culture of Mesopotamia. In Southern Asia, certain paintings and sketches estimated to be from the year 2 thousand BC have been found in which some types of fight or struggle using swords, and such combat weaponry are depicted.

It is worth noting, however, that wrestling is believed to be an innate human pastime and sort of game, especially played by youngsters. As such, it is also seen in many other species of apes. Let us be reminded that apes are the closest species to humans and we humans descend from the same family or species as many of them.

In the ancient Chinese Empire, for example, the Yellow Emperor, a reputed general who ruled Ancient China in the 29th century BC, wrote documents about astrology and, of course, martial arts. Existing literature on combat and art forms related to battle were registered to have been around as early as 4 thousand years ago.