According to history, a Chinese emperor named Wu Di invited Bodhidharma, an Indian monk to China in 527 A.D. Bodhidharma came for the purpose of teaching Chinese monks certain exercises that could help strengthen their bodies. In the province of Henan, bandits regularly attacked the monks who were not trained on how to defend themselves.
After arriving in the Temple of Henan, Bodhidharma meditated for nine long years. After finishing his meditation, he wrote a couple of books entitled, “Xi Sui Jing” and “Yi Jin Jing.” The former was about breathing and meditating and the latter pertained to exercises that help develop external strength. After he finished these books, he again set out to write the Eighteen Hands of Lohan (Shi Bao Luo Han Shou) which described his experiences as a part of the rulers and warriors (Kshatriya) in India. This book was all about a series of defensive exercises. It was deemed by historians as the world’s first manual on defensive and offensive combat movements. This was how martial arts in China began.
This is why the postures in yoga and Chinese martial arts appear similar. Both cultures concentrated on the lower stomach area as the focus of all human energy (pneuma, qi, chi, ki). Yoga and the defense arts were both designed to increase lifespan, enhance an already healthy body, and bring about a state of bliss.
In Eastern philosophy, the esoteric power of the qi (pronounced chee) is the force responsible for self-recovery, self -healing, and self-awareness; and that, in the Universe, all life is inspired by this qi. This vital energy or “life force” that can be found in all living things is also the same energy that controls the entire universe. The Chinese word for life force is Qi; in Japanese, it is called Ki and in Greece, it is known as ‘pneuma’.
Clinical researchers have determined that martial artists utilize several features of fitness such as endurance, muscular strength, anaerobic and aerobic conditioning. Their practice also entails enhancing body composition, flexibility, coordination and motor skills. These modalities of training may provide practitioners a variety of health benefits that include improved endurance and stronger muscles, to name a few. Meditation is also included in martial arts training. Those periods of quietude may bring short moments of peace and relaxation to the practitioner. Martial art is actually considered by some as “meditation in motion.” Studies have revealed that frequent martial arts exercise can help boost your self-esteem and relieve stress.
The practice of the martial arts also goes beyond the system of meditation and self-defense; it’s also connected with the enhancement of general sexual performance and libido. People exercising frequently are bound to have less anxiety, more energy, higher testosterone levels and better self-esteem. Aside from improving a person’s overall health and firming his/her body, martial arts can also boost his/her sex life. Martial arts practice involves thorough bodily exertion. This doesn’t mean that you need to overdo it since Bodhidharma also taught his student monks the virtue of moderation. Even in martial arts, he instructed them to refrain from over-training and to care for their bodies first. Research shows that extremely rigorous physical training can directly lead to sterility. An examination by health scientists show that too much exercising leads to fatigue, that then decreases temporarily the quality and count of sperm. Other studies suggest that during ejaculation, people who exercised to the point of exhaustion manufactured less sperm. Experts explain during training, the body “kills” itself literally. After enhancing and building muscles, the body needs to recover in order to go back creating healthy normal cells again. Extreme physical activities may lower hormone levels in the bloodstream that can influence sperm production. Medical researchers believe that after about three days, the levels of sperm in a man return to almost normal. They also believe that drinking coffee after a few hours of training may protect the quality of the sperm due to the antioxidants contained in caffeine.
Knowing the benefits of exercise and martial arts can certainly bring about a positive impact in a person’s life. If these arts are performed properly, it can lead to better health, and an even better sex life.
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