According to history, in A.D. 527, an emperor named Wu Di invited an Indian monk named Bodhidharma to travel to China. The purpose of the journey was for Bodhidharma to come and teach his fellow monks in certain exercises to help strengthen their bodies. Monks in Henan province were frequently attacked by bandits and had no training in how to defend themselves.
After arriving in Henan Temple, Bodhidharma meditated for nine long years. After he finished the meditation, Bodhidharma wrote two books entitled, “Yi Jin Jing” and “Xi Sui Jing”. The former was about exercises for developing external strength while the latter was about meditation and breathing. After finishing the two books, he wrote a third book entitled “Shi Bao Luo Han Shou” (The Eighteen Hands of Lohan), which was about his experiences as a member if the Kshatriya. (Indian warriors and rulers). This book included synchronized defensive routines. Historians consider this book as the first manual on offensive and defensive combat movements. That was how the martial arts began in China.
These facts explain the close similarity of the postures in Chinese martial arts and yoga. Both traditions focused on the lower abdominal region as the center of all human energy (chi, pneuma, ki). Martial arts and Yoga were both developed to promote a healthy body, increase lifespan, and attain a state of bliss.
According to Eastern beliefs, the mysterious power of the chi is responsible for self-healing, self-recovery, and self-realization; and that ll life in the cosmos is inspired by the chi. As the “life force” or vital energy that is present in every living thing, it is also the same force that controls the universe. Chi is the Chinese word for the word life…and translated as ‘pneuma’ in Greek… and ‘ki’ in Japanese.
Clinical studies show that martial artists use several aspects of fitness like muscular strength, endurance, aerobic, and anaerobic conditioning. Their training also involves flexibility, body composition, motor skills, and coordination. These training modes may give practitioners health benefits such as stronger muscles and improved endurance. Martial arts training also includes meditation. These moments of stillness may bring short periods of relaxation. Some people actually see martial arts as “moving meditation.” Researches have also shown that the regular practice of martial arts help release stress and improve one’s self-esteem.
But more than just a system of self-defense and meditation, the martial arts practice is also associated with the improvement of libido and overall sexual performance. People who frequently exercise have more energy, less anxiety, better self-esteem, and increased testosterone levels. Martial arts not only firms one’s body and improve their overall health, martial arts can also improve one’s sex life. The practice of martial arts entails rigorous physical exertion. Still, Bodhidharma was careful to teach his monk-students about the virtue of moderation. He taught them that even in martial arts, care must be exercised to avoid over-training. Some studies show that too much intense physical training may have an effect on one’s sterility. An investigation by health experts revealed that exercising too much causes fatigue, which then temporarily reduces sperm count and quality. Other researches point out that those who exercised to the point of exhaustion produced less sperm during ejaculation. Specialists say that this happens because the body literally “kills” itself during training. To build muscles and improve the body, it needs to recuperate to attain normal cell development. Intense physical activities may reduce the level of hormones in the bloodstream that affects sperm production. Medical experts believe that sperm levels return to nearly normal after about three days. They added that drinking coffee after a few hours of training may protect sperm quality because of the antioxidants that are found in caffeine.
Indeed, understanding the benefits of martial arts and exercise can make a difference in one’s life. If done properly, these arts may promote good health, and an even better sex life.