Download PDF What Martial Arts Taught Me About The Gospel Of Jesus Christ - Spiritual Lessons From The Dojo

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Nardi, a psychologist and martial artist,states, "Karate training is a gross motor activity that helpsyoungsters develop a sense of integrity about their bodies. Balance,coordination, posture, and general movements improve with karatetraining. Martial arts training also develops self confidence, discipline,self control, and heightened awareness to greatly enhance one'sself defense capability. Says the aforementioned Mr.

Nardi, "Karateoffers an additional bonus that other sports do not provide. Karateteaches self defense. In the unsettling times in which we live,a knowledge of how to protect oneself can be crucial. Parentsoften report feeling more secure knowing their sons or daughtersare capable of defending themselves.

Guest instructors,such as Dr. As a ministry for the entire family, at KDKS it is not unusualfor multiple family members to be enrolled. As a family activity,many students have expressed their satisfaction with the school. As student Mr. Weenjoy the Christian teaching, the family-like atmosphere betweenthe students, and the disciplined training.

This is a great parent-childactivity. Another student, as well as assistant instructor, Sarah Wilsonproclaims, "As a woman, I was concerned about taking karate. But I have trained hard, and now I can break boards and betterdefend myself. My confidence, flexibility and overall fitnesshas definitely improved. I would also highly recommend that everywoman participate in the Women's Self-defense Seminars conductedby the karate school. Lamentations directs the Christian's path, "Letus examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

The Kick Drugs Karate School welcomes anyone interested indeveloping Christ for the Spirit, anti-drug education for themind, and Goju-Ryu Karate-do for the body, as a means to growpersonally and glorify God in the process. It's greatto have you here to help me with my arts and growth in the Lord. Sheryl Rainfrette has been a member of the Board of Governorssince the fall of She brings to the GMAU an excellent children'sperspective and medical experience. With over seven years experiencein the martial arts, Sensei Rainfrette has focused on the teachingand development of children.

She has her own children's dojo inWest Palm Beach, Florida.

Is it right for a Christian to be involved in martial arts?

A graduate of the Albert Einstein School of Nursing and with aBSN degree, she has used her nursing in hospitals, as a visitingnurse, and for social programs. She is currently completing therequirements for a degree in Business Administration with St. Joseph's College. She is a licensed rehabilitation specialistand a licensed medical consultant. It is imperative for martial arts teachers to stay on the cuttingedge of their profession. For the Christian, the martial artsis a ministry and this requires an even stronger dedication. TheGMAU makes available a variety of good publications, books andbooklets.

These are both philosophical, informational and practicalbased upon your needs. Ever have a student approach you with thename of a system of which you've never heard? Order our Ryus ofthe World publication and you will have the names and foundersof systems at your finger tips. Need to understand what "ki"is from a Christian perspective? Just what is a Christian "sensei"? Worried about the legal aspects of the martial arts? Does theOld Testament validate the practice of the martial arts?

We havematerial that will help you in your ministry. Check the back panelof this issue and order something today. Johnsbury, VT. Christian Karate Plus is rolling rightalong with active membership in the 50s. The Lord has been working,in that we have seen both new believers come into the fold, aswell as spiritual growth in our Christian students. ChristianKarate Plus has done some demonstrations, and recently took 8competitors to a tournament, bringing home 9 trophies in kataand sparring.

The club now has several green and blue belts whichis a great advantage to the depth of the team. There have alsobeen blue, brown and black belts join the program. Rawlins, WY. Sensei Baily requests prayers for WSP Self DefenseSystems as they are under attack by certain factions of the prisonadministration where the ministry is held.

Paul, MN. Solid Impact is currently maintaining an enrollment of approximately students in four classes. Thedemo team has 3 more demonstrations planned for this summer. Pleasepray that the Lord would prepare the hearts and minds of the audiencesto hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Sioux Falls, SD. Interesting thoughts.

How To Teach FUN Martial Arts Kids Classes (NO Silly Games!)

I have found that Karate has made me consider what I believe more objectively to the point where I am not sure that the religion I was brought up with is necessarily as important to me as it once was. I think the Zen aspects of Karate are extremely interesting……and one of the most useful parts of the art for me. Essentially we are all there to train and so that is what we should do. Also with the environment of respect we should respect people of all faiths and otherwise in the dojo and carry this with us into our lives.

If we stop questioning, we stagnate, right? Completely agree with you about debate, its relevancy in the dojo, etc. Well said! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart! I was brought up Catholic but later in life I just broke away from that. Anyway, my take is if taking up a martial art makes you happy then do it. I always wondered how these people who say that you will go to hell know for sure.

Did the man himself tell them personally. We as a society have no right to judge IMO. Bottom line for me, the martial arts can be a positive thing that can be used for good. Hope that made some sense. Anyway, great piece as always.

Enduring to the Finish Line

Hi, Steve! Thanks for taking the time to share. Amen, and amen, brother! My karate journey and my spiritual, christian journey have so many parallels. I had to learn obedience to God as I was learning obedience to the Sensei. I was learning that when you think you have made it, you have so much more to learn, you go deeper.

This is true for karate and spiritual journeys. To me, Jesus is the ultimate sensei… He was gentle and patient with the general population white belts even though he was so strong and powerful. He was strict, fierce and expected a lot from the lack belts teachers of the law. He built his disciples from white belts and expected more from them as he taught them, until they too became black belts and strong enough to teach others about the way. I was told by well meaning christian friends how bad martial arts was for me.

To me it is a gift from God that has taught me so many life lessons and prepared me for other journeys i have to travel. I think the church has trained me well for karate and vice versa…. Your email address will not be published. Sign me up for new post notifications. Nor did any Christian leaders I consider credible rebuke me.

In fact, most loved it and encouraged me. The above illustrates that there are indeed subtleties involved, and that Christians need to think through this area very critically, especially if they are considering personal involvement. Spiritual maturity and much prayer are required and, hopefully, discussion with those on both sides of the issue before anyone starts training.

Our concern here is twofold: 1 how the Christian church generally reflects largely uncritical attitudes toward the martial arts; 2 how the degree of spiritual maturity at the individual level is essential to making the right decision about involvement. Bob Brown The following two testimonies point out several other issues involved. He received his first-degree black belt in Shoto-kan karate. During his military service in the Army he was trained by a third-degree black belt who ran a Shoto-kan Karate Do school that was associated with the Nippon Kobudo Rengokai of Japan.

After military service and attending college for a year, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. He immediately went to Bible college and afterward began training with a seventh-degree black belt in Kwon Mu Do Taekwondo. He then began studying under a sixth-degree black belt, who subsequently became the master of the Goshin Jutsu Karate system following the death of the previous master. Even though he had accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior in , he continued martial arts training until November of He recalls: The years slipped by.

My martial arts skills were developing, but my life in Christ never got off the ground. There were many recommitments to Christ which would last about a month or two, but no lasting relationship. During the final years of my training in the martial arts, several things happened that I feel God used to bring me to a point of decision. I was intensely working out to develop skills in the use of sticks and knives escrima.

The movements involved in this training put a serious strain on my joints, primarily my knees and shoulders. To overcome these debilitating developments I began to spend more and more of my training time in visualization techniques…. My skills improved dramatically as a result of this type of training. But as I became more adept at the technique and as my objectives in escrima became more defined, I began spending greater amounts of time practicing mentally.

It was not uncommon for me to sit in a chair and visualize defending myself against several attackers for one and a half to two hours twice a day. These images became increasingly violent…. On the contrary, I found my visualizations taking a very morbid turn…. In the end, the issue that brought me back to God was that I came to a place where I could not distinguish between training and real life, between visualized actions and reality.

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Training and visualization of self-defense situations dominated my life. I had fits of rage for no reason. The visualization would start the moment my head touched the pillow and would not stop for three or four hours, even though I was exhausted. In the end I became suicidal. The martial arts, therefore, can be a substitute for spiritual growth in Christ.

Is He Lord of my life? Was I yielding to Him? But in fact, I was not yielding and I had not yet died to the old life of sin. I had held on to a god I had found in my former life that I was not willing to be without. He had won numerous trophies for competition in the martial arts, was a brown belt in Kajukempo Karate, and close to a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

He also ran two Tae Kwon Do schools that enrolled over students. After receiving Christ as his Lord and Savior, he made a public confession of this to his students in an attempt to make his martial arts school Christ-centered: In all my years within the system, I explained to them, no one had ever approached me about Christianity…. The reality of the martial arts training was that the God of the Bible was not a priority, and the instruction was contrary to the Scriptures.

What Martial Arts Taught Me About The Gospel of Jesus Christ: Spiritual Lessons from the Dojo

In order to be a higher ranking belt, a study of Eastern philosophies was required. All of my spare time was spent keeping up on karate skills. But now I wanted to put Christ in His proper position, as the only Truth worth knowing. He thought he could build up his previous practice perhaps even bigger than before. When I tried to practice my karate skills, a weakness overcame me. I felt like praying instead. Something was still wrong. Again, we are not saying that Christians should never practice the martial arts. We are saying that this is a complex issue, and that Christians who are interested in this field, as well as the church as a whole, need to take it more seriously in terms of critical evaluation.

Clearly, God has led these and other instructors and students to forsake involvement with the martial arts. In such cases, the primary issue seems to be that the martial arts became a substitute for the Lordship of Christ, or that it has in other ways hampered spiritual growth. This also indicates that Christians who want to join the martial arts should make absolutely certain that their spiritual life does not become compromised. Maybe Jesus is not leading them to involvement or to retain involvement. On the one hand, we cannot say absolutely that some Christians should never practice the martial arts.

If they do this wisely and are sufficiently informed, it could be useful. On the other hand, it seems that for many Christians it is not right to get involved. One issue, then, is, what is God really saying to the individual? Another issue is one of how much wisdom the individual Christian and church currently has on this issue. How much spiritual wisdom do pre-teenage, or even teenage, Christians have?


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As a parent, are you willing to shoulder the possible spiritual or physical risks involved in having your son or daughter trained in the martial arts? The trainer may be a Christian, but does he really know what he is doing? What has been his own experience in the martial arts? Is your child going to be trained by other instructors at the dojo who are not Christians? What happens if your child begins to enjoy the excitement and power of the martial arts more than his love for Jesus or the discipline of Christian living?

To conclude this chapter, we asked a Christian mother who had read the chapter for her thoughts about whether she would let her son join a martial arts program at a Christian school if he became interested: As far as I can see, a martial arts program with the Eastern philosophy supposedly removed is represented by proponents as an opportunity for a child to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As a parent who wants her child to enjoy life and be successful, the martial arts appear to allow a child the capacity to advance and improve on an individual level, unlike being involved in team sports.


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