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University of Warsaw Library

The University of Warsaw Library is a library of the University of Warsaw, Poland. The library was founded in 1816 and linguist Samuel Linde became its first director; the library housed theological and historical books, the collection was however enlarged by papers from other scientific fields in 1825. In 1831 the library, which served as a public library at that time housed 134,000 volumes of books, stored in Kazimierzowski Palace. After the fall of the November Uprising the same year, the institution had been closed, most of the collection taken away by Russian authorities to Saint Petersburg. In the 1860s the collection numbered 260,000 book volumes; the collection was growing and a much needed new building was constructed in 1891-1894 at Krakowskie Przedmieście. Before the outbreak of World War I the collection had grown to 610,000 volumes. During the war some of the most precious books and manuscripts were taken away to Rostov-on-Don by fleeing tsarist authorities. After the 1921 Treaty of Riga, most of the works were returned to Poland.

During World War II part of the collection, 14% or 130 000 volumes, was damaged by fire. In the 1990s a selection procedure for a new building was initiated. A design by architects Marek Budzyński and Zbigniew Badowski was chosen, the new library building was opened on 15 December 1999. Six months before, on 11 June 1999, the building was blessed by Pope John Paul II; the distinct new building includes a botanical garden, located on the roof. The garden designed by landscape architect Irena Bajerska, has an area of one hectare, is one of the largest roof gardens in Europe, it is accessible not only to the academia, but to the public. The upper part of the garden consists of four parts: the Golden Garden, the Silver Garden, the Crimson Garden and the Green Garden, it is available from April to October while from November 1 to March 31 only the Lower Garden is open. The main facade on the Dobra Street side contains large blocks of classical texts in various scripts, including the Old Polish text of Jan Kochanowski, Classical Greek text by Plato and Hebrew script from the Book of Ezekiel.

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Origins of Asian martial arts

The origins of Asian martial arts are diverse and scattered, having roots in various regions of Asia. The evolution of the martial arts has been described by historians in the context of countless historical battles. Building on the work of Laughlin, Rudgley argues that the martial arts of the Chinese and Aleut peoples, Mongolian wrestling all have "roots in the prehistoric era and to a common Mongoloid ancestral people who inhabited north-eastern Asia." Dhanurveda, a section found in the Vedas contains references to martial arts. Around the 3rd century BC, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali taught how to meditate single-mindedly on points located inside one's body, used in martial arts, while various mudra finger movements were taught in Yogacara Buddhism; these elements of yoga, as well as finger movements in the nata dances, were incorporated into various martial arts. Indian martial arts were an important influence in the development of a number of modern Asian martial arts within the Indian cultural sphere of Southeast Asia.

Examples include Indo-Malay silat, Burmese banshay and bando, Filipino escrima and kali, Thai krabi krabong and Cambodian bokator. Indian martial arts lightly influenced the various forms of Indochinese kickboxing, namely Muay Thai from Thailand, Muay Lao from Laos, Tomoi from Malaysia, Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from Myanmar. Chinese boxing can be reliably traced back to the Zhou dynasty. During the Spring and Autumn period, the literature mentions displays of archery and wrestling by nobles. Warfare between rival states was conducted according to Confucian chivalry. During the Warring States period, warfare grew bloodier and common men were expected to have skill in personal attack. Shaolin monastery records state that two of its first monks and Sengchou, were expert in the martial arts years before the arrival of Bodhidharma; the martial arts Shuāi Jiāo and Sun Bin Quan predate the establishment of the Shaolin Monastery by centuries. As does shǒubó. Indian martial arts may have spread to China via the transmission of Buddhism in the early 5th or 6th centuries of the common era and thus influenced Shaolin Kungfu.

Elements from Indian philosophy, like the Nāga, the fierce Yaksha were syncretized into protectors of Dharma. The religious figures from Dharmic religions figure in the movement and fighting techniques of Chinese martial arts. Various styles of kung fu are known to contain movements that are identical to the Mudra hand positions used in Hinduism and Buddhism, both of which derived from India; the 108 pressure points in Chinese martial arts are believed by some to be based on the marmam points of Indian varmakalai. The predominant telling of the diffusion of the martial arts from India to China involves a 5th-century prince turned into a monk named Bodhidharma, said to have traveled to Shaolin, sharing his own style and thus creating Shaolinquan. According to Wong Kiew Kit, the Monk's creation of Shaolin arts "...marked a watershed in the history of kungfu, because it led to a change of course, as kungfu became institutionalized. Before this, martial arts were known only in general sense." The association of Bodhidharma with martial arts is attributed to Bodhidharma's own Yi Jin Jing, though its authorship has been disputed by several modern historians such as Tang Hao, Xu Zhen and Matsuda Ryuchi.

The oldest known available copy of the Yi Jin Jing was published in 1827 and the composition of the text itself has been dated to 1624. According to Matsuda, none of the contemporary texts written about the Shaolin martial arts before the 19th century, such as Cheng Zongyou's Exposition of the Original Shaolin Staff Method or Zhang Kongzhao's Boxing Classic: Essential Boxing Methods, mention Bodhidharma or credit him with the creation of the Shaolin martial arts; the association of Bodhidharma with the martial arts only became widespread after the 1904–1907 serialization of the novel The Travels of Lao Ts'an in Illustrated Fiction Magazine. The discovery of arms caches in the monasteries of Chang'an during government raids in 446 AD suggests that Chinese monks practiced martial arts prior to the establishment of the Shaolin Monastery in 497. Moreover, Chinese monasteries, not unlike those of Europe, in many ways were large landed estates, that is, sources of considerable wealth which required protection that had to be supplied by the monasteries' own manpower.

The historical origin of Japanese martial arts can be found in the warrior traditions of the samurai and the caste system that restricted the use of weapons by members of the non-warrior classes. Samurai were expected to be proficient in many weapons, as well as unarmed combat, attain the highest possible mastery of combat skills, for the purpose of glorifying either themselves or their lord. Over time, this purpose gave way to a philosophy of achieving spiritual goals by striving to perfect their martial skills. Wrestling, called Ssireum, Taekkyon are the oldest forms of unarmed fighting in Korea. Besides being used to train soldiers, these were popular among villagers during festivals, for dancing, mask performance and sport-fighting; the ancient Koreans did develop their own comprehensive system of unarmed weapon-based combat, but they had a preference for bows and arrows. It appears that during the Goguryeo dynasty, swordsmanship and arrow, spear-fighting and horse riding wer

China and the Kachin State

This article pertains to modern economic and political relations between the People's Republic of China, the rebel-occupied Kachin State of northern Myanmar. Since the renewal of the Kachin Conflict in 2011, violence between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burmese military continues to prevent contact with lowland Burma; the majority of activity between Kachin, the neighboring Chinese province of Yunnan is made up of illicit trading and the illegal migration of refugees. China holds a significant economic and strategic interest in the region and is invested in development projects including several controversial hydroelectric dams and pipelines. Although adhering to a policy of nonintervention, the Chinese government has been involved in the discourse of the region and acts as a mediator between the KIA and the Burmese government in Naypyidaw. During the early years of Myanmar's government transition, China maintained genuine fears over Myanmar's demands towards its ethnic minorities. Most troubling to China was its goal to convert existing rebel groups into Border Guard Forces.

Consequentially, the People's Republic of China began to support the KIA as well as the United Wa State Army in the neighboring Shan State. During this period, it is believed that China supplied a significant amount of weapons and military supplies to both of these rebel groups. Although China adamantly denies these claims, rebel troops in both states have been seen using Chinese-made rifles, surface-to-air missiles, at least 12 armoured vehicles. Officers in the KIA have mentioned to journalists that their satellite array had once been an unused channel operated by the Chinese military until the KIA purchased it from them in some years ago. While the Chinese government's support for the KIA has ceased entirely in recent years, China continues to supply advanced weaponry to the UWSA; the Chinese funded Dapein Hydroelectric Dam played a significant role in the breaking of a 17-year cease-fire that reignited the violent civil war in the Kachin State. In these early months of the renewed conflict, Beijing did not pay much attention to the crisis and turned down the pleas for assistance from the KIA.

China wanted to protect their economic interests in the region and no longer wanted to upset the government in Naypyidaw which supported their investments. There was growing suspicion that the KIA was under the influence of western powers and China was losing trust in the predominantly Christian state of Kachin, it was widely believed in China that the KIA was first to strike on June 9 in order to intentionally end their cease-fire agreement and spur Chinese intervention. This belief diminished many of the Chinese sympathies for the Kachin; when the full extent of the violence was realized in the following months, China reversed its policy once again. Continuous warfare in the area made stable development projects excessively difficult. More pressing was the fact that tens of thousands of displaced Kachins were trying to escape the combat and seeking refuge in China. In response, China set up nine official refugee camps across the Yunnan province that provided housing for 7,097 Kachins in 2012.

The Chinese government has since taken to a mediator role between the KIA and the national government of Myanmar. Between 2011 and 2013, China hosted three out of the five rounds of negotiations that took place between the two warring parties, they participate in addition to extensive, ongoing behind-the-scenes discussions. These talks have taken place in the city of Ruili, a Chinese border town near Kachin's eastern border in Yunnan and have had varying levels of success. In Ruili, China provides the parties with discrete locations, maximum security, gentle moderation. A multitude of Chinese development projects is scattered throughout the Kachin state; these projects are large-scale energy endeavours that are funded by Chinese state-owned corporations. Most of the profits and electricity produced through these projects will go back to the People's Republic of China; because these plans are agreed upon through contracts with the national government of Myanmar and do not directly represent Kachin interests, they are unpopular among the KIA and the civilian population.

In 2007, China gained the approval from the Myanmar government to construct a series of seven large dams along the N'Mai River, Mali River, Irrawaddy River in the Kachin State. The two most notable of these include the Myitsone Hydroelectric Dam and the Dapein Hydroelectric Dam; the Myitsone Dam is an enormous hydroelectric power facility, under construction in the upper Kachin State. It is funded by the Chinese Datang Group and is being built by the China Power Investment Corporationalong side a Burmese government contractor at a cost of $3.6 billion. The project will be the first-ever Dam on the culturally and ecologically significant Irrawaddy River and requires that several Kachin villages be relocated further away from the dam site. Like other projects, the Myitsone Dame has caused strong anti-Chinese and anti-Myanmar sentiment in Kachin. On April 16, 2010, three explosives were set off at the site of the dam, killing four Chinese workers and obstructing construction; the KIA claimed no responsibility for the attacks.

In response, Burmese President Thein Sein declared. However, in March 2012, local villagers were once again forcibly removed from the area by Burmese soldiers and construction was resumed. Dapein Dam 1 is one of two Chinese dam projects located on the N'Mai Kha River in southern Kachin State, its construction began in 2007 and it began producing power in February 2011 at the co