It may seem odd that a non-violent monk would develop a fighting system. However, no documentation exists that Bodhidharma intended his system to evolve into an offensive art. He merely wanted to improve the fitness level of the monks at the monastery.
Hwang Kee, a Tang-soo-do grand master, in his book Soo Bahk Do Dae Kam, strongly rejects the theory that the Bodhidharma founded the martial arts. Citing the Muyedobo-tongji, a martial arts history book written during the Joseon Dynasty (1790), he says there was a record of a martial art similar to Tang-soo-do in Korea about two thousand years before Bodhidharma lived.
Chinese historians dispute the claim that Bodhidharma brought martial arts into China. They point to military manuals dating from 206 to 220 AD that show that Han emperors promoted kung-fu far before Bodhidharma's birth.
In China, Bodhidharma's teachings combined with the indigenous Chinese martial art of "Kempo" and gradually developed into the Chinese fighting art of "Shaolin Ch'uan-fa" ("Shorin-ji Kempo" in Japan.)