Chinese Martial Arts
The enlightened T'ang Dynasty (618-970 AD) witnessed a great rise in popularity for the Shaolin Temple and its martial arts. During this period, the monks first served a military purpose and became a special detachment of the Imperial Army. For their quelling of internal uprisings and resisting invasions, the monks were rewarded with honors, citations, and large amounts of land. On this land, they built more temples; the first was the second Shaolin located in the Fukein province. Priests, soldiers, statesmen, and scholars, while visiting and studying at these Chinese monasteries, were exposed to the Chinese martial arts and returned to Korea, Japan, and the Ryukyu Islands with the seeds of what would soon be their own native arts.
Kempo was widely practiced in China and competitions were held throughout the country. Huge completions were held on the steps of the Imperial Palace and in public squares throughout the country. The men who survived all the fights were crowned as champions inside the palace so they became popular with the people.
During the Sung period, tenth to thirteenth centuries AD, Chang Sanfeng, after studying at Bodhidharma's monastery, retreated to the mountains to perfect is own fighting style. He added gentleness to traditional Kempo by adding soft, elegant blocking techniques coupled with sudden, sharp, powerful blows. Chang supposedly learned this from watching a crane battle a snake. When attacked, the crane made soft rounded movements with its wings and, when it saw an opening, it darted his pointed beak at the snake with speed and power. Chang's approach to fighting has much in common with modern karate's theories of circle and point attack. This use of resilience and softness in self-defense proved so effective that it pervaded other fighting systems. It was ultimately introduced into Japan where it was used in the creation of "Jujitsu" and "Judo." In Japanese, the word "ju" means soft or gentle.