Zen Katha tells the story of how Bodhidharma, born a prince in the south Indian kingdom of Kanchipuram in the fifth century, had to discover ways to excel at unarmed combat because the royal Pallavas prided themselves on their wrestling skills. The prince became a monk and travelled to China. There, his somewhat eccentric behaviour led to various piquant situations. He became not only the Founding Patriarch of Zen but also the first peaceful fighting monk. As Chief Abbot of the Monastery of Shaolin, he initiated the tradition that now makes it unique.