The monastery was and still exists today, but martial arts in one form or another have existed as long as there has been warfare, and warfare has been here since the beginning of civilization. This monastery might have been an important turning point in the developing history of martial arts, but it could not have been the origin. . Martial arts predate 477 AD by many centuries. The Chinese has a legend about their martial arts being developed by the Golden Emperor dating back to 2000 BC.
This appears to be just plain untrue. The earliest practitioners appear to be the warrior class, who were in the lower levels of the aristocracy. This myth does have an underdog appeal, but is apparently untrue.
Martial arts probably did have a military origin, with the earliest techniques being appropriate for that particular time. But unless you are fighting armoured opponents on horseback these early techniques will be of very little use today.
The origin of anything is not the final word on the subject, and certainly not the latest version. The original martial art forms would be of great historical interest, but like the first computer they would no longer have much use today. Marital arts that developed for a particular situation may have elements or an underlying attitude that is not appropriate today.
Military fighting is about defeating the opponent quickly, as well as tactics and strategies. Older military attitudes were about killing enemies; more modern approaches are about immobilizing threatening individual. Immobilizing an enemy might apply to a mugging or bullying situation, but the rest of the military approach to martial arts is no longer appropriate.
It may take years of training to look like a Hollywood performer, but a year or two of training can do a lot for self-defence. After that year or two most people find they would like to develop it further.
You can just train without competing in competitions, and you will reap a lot of benefits for health, discipline and concentration. But competition helps us deal with stress and our ability to handle adrenalin. This is a huge factor in real life, especially when threatened. Training is great, competition is even better.
Really, Black belt is the level where things start to get serious. It is the demarcation between beginner and serious disciple. The person who has just turned serious still has a lot to master. Getting the black belt sounds impressive, but it is about the same as a young adult who has just graduated past the ‘P’ plates on the driver’s licence.
Learn some martial arts for the sake of developing yourself. It’s not about setting yourself above others, but learning that you don’t need to. Embrace the paradox where you increase your abilities but are more modest about your achievements. Be better for approaching your potential.