CLIO FINAL - page 32

There have been many martial art based
films taken to the big screen: - most recently, Don-
nieYen’s Ip Man, and previously the works of Jackie
Chan or Jet Li. If looking further back, the Bruce Lee
films spring to mind. From the outset these films
are rather different: different actors, different tech-
nology and different eras of cinema. However, an
underlying feature in all, is their ancient origin. All
bear a distant but distinct trace of Buddhism. Wing
Chun, Gong Fu and Jeet Kune Do, all have been
inspired by the Buddhist surge across East Asia.
Fast paced, quick moving arts with such prominent
striking and blocking patterns are the key styles of
their practitioners. The nature of this statement
itself begs the question why a religion dedicated
to nonviolence would invent such forms of self-de-
fence? If Buddhism is so well renowned for peace
then why would it be the driving factor in creating
martial arts?
There are many key Buddhist virtues that
are promoted throughout the religion and a vast
amount of these revolve around the principal mo-
tivation of non-violence and morality. One list, the
pāramitās include virtues such as Khanti (patience),
Sila (proper conduct) and Upekkha (equanimity); all
of which represent the peaceful religion of Bud-
dhism. In addition, the Buddha clearly states that
the killing of any animal or human-being leads to
karmic consequences and that the ideal is pacifism.
Therefore no Buddhist must actively take part in
war in anyway and one must stay with their com-
mitment to harmony and self-restraint.
Buddhism as a religion and its values have
an influence in culture all across east and south-
east asia. Buddhism has been said to have spread
in a peaceful manner not through a large military
conquest or my force however at some stages
battles and opposition were faced and violence was
brought into question. The teachings of the Buddha
dictate that the aim was to help others to overcome
unhappiness and not to force people to believe in
him. In doing so, people who joined the Buddhist
faith were voluntary believers and had a stronger
connection and devotion to the religion. People
heard about Buddhism via the beliefs of travelling
monks,who taught those who were receptive.
How have martial arts been
inspired by Buddhism?
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