Gautama, a man of peace and love, was also a prince, and, as such, he received the military training given all people of high birth. His fighting skills were so great that it was said he was never defeated. Before Gautama devoted himself to religious meditation and teaching, he had won the hand of the beautiful Princess Yasudara by excelling above all other contenders in running, leaping, fencing, archery, and fisticuffs. It is said that, after becoming Buddha, he was able to overcome evil spirits by dazzling then with the reflection from the nimbus surrounding his body. This description was probably a romanticized explanation of his lightning-fast movements.
Some of the first written records of unarmed self-defense come from ancient India, from about 2,600 BC. One story tells of an Indian prince who developed the first scientific method of self-defense by systematically jabbing needles into his slaves. He recorded the results and developed techniques to attack the vulnerable areas he had discovered.
An Indian warrior class called the "Kshatriya," that was similar to the Japanese "Samurai" or the European Knight, were dominant during the times. Experts agree that the Kshatriya probably developed at least one early fighting style, but the first documented proof of an Indian empty-hand fighting style is found in the Lotus Sutra. The chronicle mentions an early type of pugilism but it also reveals an earlier type of unarmed combat called "Nata," which translates to mean a dancer or a performer. This is significant since one of the basics of Taekwondo is the performing of hyung/patterns/forms, which resemble dancing. Another empty hand fighting style called "Vajramushti" also developed in India. These early Indian arts, once they were coupled with the Buddhist teachings, gave birth to "Yoga" and later to "Kalarippayattu."