Bodhidharma is widely known, by different names. He Is familiar as Daruma in Japan, While in China, where he had left his whole legacy is well known by Damo. However, it is believed that he was originally South India based, and was also having a powerful connection with high-profile clan – the Pallava dynasty. Tanin was the first author, to claim that Bodhidharma was basically South Indian, and had travelled so far to east, because of his tendency toward Mahayana path of Buddhism. There are several other valid sources which iterate the same account - Records of the masters or Student of the Lanka with addition to number of biographies related with monks.

In arts, the particular sage is portrayed as somewhat ‘restless’, often portrayed with blue barbaric eyes, or one with without eyelids, overall which give us the image which definitely has contraction to the peace-loving face which Lord Buddha possess generally in almost all school of arts. This thing is probably the reflection of the way, he tried to achieved enlightenment or in a pursuit of a way to ease the whole process of attaining moksha for his co-mates. Regarding his methodology, several stories are floating worldwide, the one which is very famous is where he cut off his own eyelid in order to prevent sleep.

It is said that in pursuit of new way to make the monks self-reliable, he took up a resolution of wall gazing, which later on, get stretched to unbelievable span of 9 years. It is further said that in amid of this(wall-gazing) whole process, he got to sleep, unfortunately duration up to which he slept remained controversial, however when he awaked, in his deep disappointment, with all ferocity he cut off his own eyelid to avoid such type of disturbance in future. These two eyelids which fall on the ground turned out be the ‘seed’ for new species of plant, which will then sprout out in upcoming future to become an herb, which will eventually resist the sleep of monks while they are engaged in meditation practices. This all happened near Shaolin temple.

Actually, Shaolin temple is the only place, where Bodhidharma preached his new martial art style - Kung Fu, which is now recognised, as Shaolin Kung Fu. It is believed that Bodhidharma was first rejected entry to the temple, but soon was granted when monk in the monastery observed his extraordinary meditation skill. The sage in the monastery, observed that monk was weak and unhealthy. And, the sage was also knowing the fact that meditation only goes fruitful when one health is opt. So, for welfare of his mates, he goes on to preach his own evolved martial style. There is also other folklore which claim different reasons, for Bodhidharma to give his new martial art style to his follower. One of them was to protect monks from wild animal, other goes as to heal the cramps which are generally adopted when one goes long in meditation. However, all these reasons when summed up together convey us that Bodhidharma teach his mate ‘some art’. Bodhidharma after his dead also left us a manual known as Ying Jing, which have some of its exercise mentioning, major of them are in proper coordination with breathing. This manual, with other observation in his Kung Fu style also convey us the fact, that he preached mainly exercise which were of Indian origin. And, whatever exercise which we all were unable to trace its origin, is believed to be gained by Bodhidharma through his meditation.

Current Status of Martial Art in India

In the above passage, we have already mentioned two important fact i.e. Bodhidharma was from South India and another crucial point was that he mainly preached yogic practiceswhich he had acquired either from India or by his meditation. Fortunately, South India has very big connection with martial arts. The world’s first martial art was kalarippayattu which originated in this (Kerala) region by sage Agastya. There is also another style which is prevalent in the nearby region is Silambam, which has a mention in Sangam literature. Overall, India has a rich Martial art heritage. There are eight type of martial art currently prevalent in India subcontinent. With having such multiple form of one art, it was common that Indian’s martial art enthusiastic will go on mixing the aspect of one to another. This process goes on for several decade, without taint. But after sometime what happened there was neither a distinction from one art to another, neither there was a perfect quality in the hybrid form which evolved out. Once, the hybrid form get mix with another hybrid one, full distortion of basic concept or idea took placed.


These all things were observed by founding members of Tamo art member federation. All of these member where already state and national medal bearers, and they were knowing the deformities which was inducted in the practices. Owing to good fortune, one of the members go on to discuss these all issues with another, and soon a group comes out with a common motive, to eradicate wrong aspects from martial art styles prevalent in Indian subcontinent. They were also aware that, clear distinction of martial art style is not completely feasible, and is also not relevant, as it would be futile if we are unable to utilize the rich heritage of martial art style practiced in India. So, they all move forwarded with this federation to generate a new hybrid form, by sensibly borrowing concept from all 8 forms of martial art, and integrating them together in a proper manner.