Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 4

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 Surely you won’t teach it?

Over the years this has been THE one must discussed areas of my walk with Christ.
How can I be a follower of Christ Jesus and teach people the martial arts?

My response: “With great joy”

One of the major themes of the teaching of our Lord was how we as individuals behave in our daily walk. Whatever our vocation or hobbies or past times, we are to do all things as unto the Lord. (1)

If you’re currently teaching the arts then you have been trusted with a great gift. The Lord has gifted you as the teacher. (2) Even though you teach the Martial Arts you are first and foremost a servant of the Most High. (3)

This perspective should never be lost. If you’re salvation does not run through every area of your life (4) then you are quite simply denying the Lordship of Jesus in that area of your life. Jesus had a very straightforward teaching on this. He said in Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

This is a tough teaching but the point is simple. In every area of our lives we are to endeavor to be witness to the life changing power of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. (5)

In all of our teaching we should find new ways of showing Jesus is Lord with out necessarily beating our students up with Scripture. Surely as gifted instructors (or maybe not so gifted) we can come up with Bible based illustrations that apply to real life.

I once had a private student who worked under cover on a drug task force. He was a believer and had no desire to use his side arm. Over the course of time he was able to become very proficient with trapping and disarming techniques. But one of the real blessings was that both of our walks were strengthened through the desire to find non- lethal means of defense.


Funny moments:

My wife, Sandy, was a student of my at that time and I would use her to demonstrate shuai chiao (throws and takedowns). She was very good at “taking a fall”. The first time he watched me do a full speed take down with her and then her throwing me, his eyes got really big and after a few moments of silence he said in a very serious voice  “I’d sure hate to see you two really fight with each other”.

In all truth my wife would stomp me into the ground. I just can’t defend myself against her.


OK, back to the point:

If we take the little that He has entrusted us with (6) (our students) and invest His truth in their lives I believe the Lord will reap huge return.

Yes, some of the teachings we were given will be required to change. But we have to make a choice, are we more interested in preserving the traditions of man (7) or advancing the kingdom of God?

“Love the Lord with all of your heart, all of your mind and all of your strength. And love your neighbors as yourself!!”

If we emphasize grace and shedding of mercy in our teaching than we will have no choice but to reflect that in our techniques. Moving them into the “higher end” of the martial arts and out of the “beat’m up” mentality.

Yes this will require some of us to rethink our methods and techniques. But isn’t that what we are called to do in every area of our lives.

In 1st Timothy, (8) Paul lays out a description of the characteristics we should have evident in our lives to show maturity as Christians. Those relevant to the martial arts are: respectability, tempers, not given to drunkenness, not quarrelsome, not violent but temperate of nature.

Back to the main Point AGAIN!

So to the question of ” can you as a Christian be teacher of the martial arts?” The answer is a resounding YES!

Who better to teach our children self-defense than one who is redeemed by mercy and the servant of grace.

One who is forgiven much and knows it! (9)

May the Lord bless you and your house hold.

John Roche


Foot Notes:

(1) “Romans 7:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and none dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”
(2) “Corintians 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: 9 to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; 10 and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: 11but”
(3) “1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain
from fleshly lust, which war against the soul; 12 having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
(4) “James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. 23 For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: 24 for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”
(5) “1 Corinthians 6:9 Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the
kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”
(6) “Matthew 25:24 And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter; 25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own. 26 But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter; 27thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest. 28 Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away.”
(7) “Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
(8) “1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil..”

(9) “Luke 7:40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to
say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.”

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