View Full Version : How did Chinese martial arts reach Japan ?

28th May 2007, 18:02
I read that ancient martial arts did come to Japan via China . But how ? By travelling salesmen , monks , ...

Prince Loeffler
28th May 2007, 18:24
I read that ancient martial arts did come to Japan via China . But how ? By travelling salesmen , monks , ...

Who took chinese martial arts directly to Japan, hmmm probably some AMWAY guy.. :) :) :)

In all seriousness, I am not sure what ancient martial arts you speak of , But, the karate version would be that the chinese system of martial arts came to Okinawan then some Okinawan went to Japan. Also, note that some Okinawan masters went to china to study chinese martial arts.

28th May 2007, 20:12
I know that some Japanese pirates (wako) spent time on the Chinese mainland, and that this may have influenced their martial arts practice. The same actually happened in reverse as well; Kage Ryu, a sword style popular with wako, took root in China and there are allegedly still Chinese practitioners of a sword art that is no longer extant in Japan.

The fourth headmaster of what is now the Jikishinkage Ryu decided to spend some time on the Asian mainland studying Chinese martial arts (and hiding out from the shogun, who wanted his head on a platter). Supposedly there are still traces of Chinese influence in the style that he taught when he returned to Japan.

3rd June 2007, 22:32
Could it be that travelling monks took ma from China to Japan ? Priests travelled the world spreading their gospel whatever it was.


Brian Owens
5th June 2007, 07:20
There is no one single route of transmission.

Japan and China had maintained political, religious, and commercial intercourse for many centuries, with teachers, students, priests, and envoys from both countries traveling back and forth and living in the other country.

During some periods, a great deal of exchange occurred via a trade route between Southern China and Japan via what is now Korea. Korea, like Okinawa, became a great melting pot of many cultures, while also maintaining a distinctive seperate identity.

As Trevor suggested, one of the biggest carriers of Chinese arts and culture was Buddhism.

Japan's writing system, tea, Zen, etc. all came to Japan from China carried by priests, and were then blended with native counterparts to form the Japanese versions.

8th June 2007, 06:30
My memory is VERY rusty, but here's what I remember.. before the Tokugawa era, there was a Chinese pottery-expert-guy named Chen Yuan Ping (Chin Genpin) who came to Japan, stayed in a monastery and taught Chugoku Kenpo (Chinese Kungfu) to some ronin-guy. At roughly the same time frame (before Tokugawa), a Japanese doctor-guy from Nagasaki named Akiyama went to China to learn Chinese Medicine. He picked up some Chugoku Kenpo there. After he returned to Japan, he started Yoshin-ryu Kenpo (Yangshenquan?).

Both person is said to be very influential in the formation of Japanese Jujutsu, or so Sato Shizuya sensei said.

Caution: I'm not a historian, so there's a possibility that what I said are completely wrong.

Douwe Geluk
11th October 2018, 15:47
Well i think the arts spread the same way as people travel.
Travelers, Immigrants, Traders everybody with knowledge is a potential sharing factor.

The Chinese martial arts are big in Taiwain and in Indonesia as well. I practise a martial art form called: How Chuen Monkey Kungfu under Fred Decramer. If it is a real form of kungfu or more a mix of Chinese and indonesian arts is unclear to me.

But we had fun, Japan and China are neighbours ofcourse they learned a lot from eachother and exchanged knowledge

11th October 2018, 18:53
I believe that seeds of the Chinese Martial Arts, as well as other arts, sciences and culture, were all sown from the Chinese Tributary System...


Ellis Amdur
14th October 2018, 19:07
See Chapter Two - Six in my book Hidden in Plain Sight (https://edgeworkbooks.com/hidden-in-plain-sight/), for a lot of details on this subject.