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The foundation of modern Asian martial arts is likely a blend of early Chinese and Indian martial arts. During the Warring States period of Chinese history (480-221 BC) extensive development in martial philosophy and strategy emerged, as described by Sun Tzu in The Art of War (c. 350 BC). Legendary accounts link the origin of Shaolinquan to the spread of Buddhism from ancient India during the early 5th century AD, with the figure of Bodhidharma, to China. Written evidence of martial arts in Southern India dates back to the Sangam literature of about the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD. The combat techniques of the Sangam period were the earliest precursors to Kalaripayattu.

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