ShinKen-Do traces its origins back almost 5000 years to India.
In the year 527 AD, a monk known as Dat Mo (Bodhidharma) arrived at the Shaolin Temple located in Honan prefecture.
It is believed that he found his Chinese disciples too weak, both physically and mentally, to practice the intensive meditation required by his path to enlightenment. Realizing the monks could not stay awake he introduced a series of breathing exercises that would help their physical posture and developed their health and strength improving the bodies inner organs.
The physical exercises were devised by watching and imitating the movements of different animals. Da Mo took the best of what nature had to offer and combined it into a system which mankind could use and understand. He furthermore taught the monks fist fighting helping them learn how to defend themselves against bandits.Here martial arts became the main form of spiritual training for the buddhist monks and the monastery became famous for its fighting arts. Wall paintings can still be seen today in the Shaolin Temple of the monks practicing and teaching martial arts. The Imperial Chinese Government, feeling threatened, destroyed the temple and persecuted the monks. The techniques however continued to be taught and practiced by various secret societies as a means of protection against bandits and corrupt officials.
Martial arts now are systems of codified practices and traditions of training for combat. Martial arts are studied for various reasons including combat skills, fitness, self-defense, sport, self-cultivation (meditation), mental discipline, character development and building self-confidence. A practitioner of martial arts is referred to as a Martial Artist.
Worldwide, there is a great diversity and abundance of martial arts.
Broadly speaking, martial arts share a common goal:
to defeat a person physically or to defend oneself from physical threat. There is also a deep sense of spirituality within some martial arts. Each style has unique facets that makes it different from other martial arts.