Martial Arts

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Marcia, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Started another thread because John's post above was concerning martial arts.

    Some martial arts are spiritually based - particularly Tai Chi and Aikido, which are designed to enhance and manipulate the chi. My former husband studied aikido and talked about the supposed power one could develop, like holding a large man down with a little finger (this was not done through physical strength). He saw this done.

    Some make distinctions between the "hard" martial arts, which are more physical in nature and intent like karate, and the "soft" martial arts, which are very spiritually rooted. If you look at some of the teachings in these areas, you find they are very spiritual.

    I've also talked to Christians who were involved in Tai Chi and the "powers" and sensations they got from this started freaking them out. I also had experiences of this energy when I was doing Eastern meditation and involved in the occult for a number of years. It became so strong that I could sense it around me (it was like an electrical current constantly on) and from other people. It went away after I trusted Christ. Due to my experiences with this force, I know it was not from God. It's tied directly into the occult and it is not unknown by those who get involved in the occult.
     
  2. Thinkingstuff

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    I've taken martial arts for three years and they always state that the form is a philosophy and exercise and self discipline. And quite honestly they are good for self defense etc... On the otherhand Japanese arts are a bit different than chinese or korean arts and keep in mind that they all began with budhism. A form that no longer exist. The form I took was Japanese and the grand master was Masaki Hatsumi. The teachers may not be as faithful to the teaching of this one form as it is in Japan but they did push a brand of Japanese budhism that even the Japanese had a problem with. Every Bujinkan had a shrine or a warrior house (with a mirror). And So it was very spiritual even though they said it was a philosophy.
     
  3. pinoybaptist

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    I don't know if Tai-Chi could be aligned with Aikido or Budo or Kodokan Judo, but frankly I don't think so.

    Mastering ki is a technique, and though some attach a sort of spirituality to it, there really is nothing more to it than learning to use and release power from the center of the body, along with timing and a little hip movement depending on the type of blow being delivered.
    A 75 lb 12 year old who masters the technique can break a two feet pile of firebricks with his elbow, while a 200 lbs six footer who does not have the technique could break his hand using his shuto on a single piece of hollow block.
    Those christians may be into something else besides their Tai-chi because the temptation to delve into the occult to enhance one's techniques can be strong at times.
    My brother was a yoga practitioner, and a good one too, until he started doing his meditations in cemeteries in the middle of the night, and while he claims to have more power in his meditations he also began to experience some things beyond the pale of ordinary yoga.
    He quit, of course.
    It probably depends on the individual.
    By and large, the study and practice of martial arts can be good, if one is aware of the "darker side", so to speak.
    I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water.
     
  4. Marcia

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    If ki is being defined as using strength from your body, then it is not the chi or ki I'm speaking of. The chi I am speaking of is from Taoism, which actually goes back to early Chinese shamanism. They cultivated (so they believed) it in their belly with movements, meditation, and certain herbs. They believed it would give health and long life, sometimes teaching it would give immortality.

    This belief in chi is at the source of several Eastern spiritual groups and practices, including sorcery practices. Falun Gong uses it, as do chi qong practitioners. Fooling around with this is no game.

    It is not throwing out the baby with the bathwater if there is no baby, or if the baby is not really a baby but a demon.
     
  5. Brother Bob

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    I always used a Sears Roebuck crowbar, myself.............:)

    BBob,
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    I prefer ching chang.

    (The sound of the slide of an 1911 A1 Colt 45)
     
  7. John of Japan

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    Well, Marcia, this may turn out to be be an interesting thread. But it is extremely broad! There are literally hundreds of styles of the Chinese martial arts (kung fu or Chinese Boxing), many styles of Japanese arts (karate, judo, jujutsu, kenpo, kendo, etc.), many styles of Korean martial arts (tae kwon do, hapkido, etc.), plus the Indonesian, Thai and other Asian countries.

    Add in the Western martial arts of French Savate, Brazilian Capoeira, Russian Sambo and Systema, American catch-as-catch-can and other forms of traditional wrestling, boxing, fencing, etc.

    I've trained since 1966 in various arts such as: catch-as-catch-can, judo, karate, kung fu and jujutsu, so I'd be happy to answer questions and interact on this subject.

    I'll start out by admitting that, yes, there are spiritually dangerous martial arts. The whole difference sometimes depends on the view of chi (Chinese) or ki (Japanese). See my website for an in-depth treatment of Eastern monism (mind-body unity) as compared to trichotomy for my view of chi/ki. Here are some arts to be careful of:

    (1) Many kinds of aikido add eastern spirituality to the mix, especially those in the direct tradition of Ueshiba. But don't lump all of aikido together.

    (2) Nippon Shorinji Kenpo is definitely Buddhist. It was developed by So Doshin after WW2 as a Buddhist martial art to get around the US Occupation forces prohibition of the practice of the martial arts.

    (3) Many kinds of Tai Chi are based on philosophical Taoism (as opposed to the religious kind). Depending on the teacher, eastern spirituality may be added to the teaching. But there are many Christian instructors out there who teach Christian principles with their Tai Chi. Let the buyer beware.

    (4) The so-called internal Chinese arts of Hsing I and Pa Kua (Ba Qua) are based directly on philosophical Taoism. Depending on the teacher, they can be taught with eastern spirituality. But one well-known teacher of a style of linear Pa Kua in Taiwan was a strong Christian who later became a missionary to another Asian country. The works of Robert Smith, one of his students, tell about him.

    (5) The ninjutsu of Hatsumi, mentioned on this thread, has a strong Buddhist element. A Christian friend of mine who is a third degree black belt in the style recently became convicted and abandoned his training. However, one of Hatsumi's top students stripped the Buddhism from the art and taught it as a Christian art back in the 1970's.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    It's this kind of generalization that muddies the waters in any discussion of Christians and the martial arts. All Asian martial arts did not begin with Buddhism. In fact, the majority did not. One art I practice is called Tan Tui, and the Muslims of Northern China who invented and practice it would be highly offended if you called them Buddhists!
    Your experience with Hatsumi's ninjutsu is by no means the typical experience. His art and method is quite different from the typical karate or judo class. I will say that there are many schools in Japan in various martial arts that have an "idol shelf" in them. But then so do most businesses and private homes. It's their religion--but that doesn't mean that the martial art is Buddhist, but that their own personal religion is Buddhist. In the same way, American sports teams pray before a game. That doesnt' make the sport Christian.
     
  9. Benjamin

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    Smoke and mirrors Marcia. I don't know what JoJ will say but I don't believe there is a man on this earth that could hold me down with his little finger. I'm not boasting, I just know better.

    When I was maybe 13-14 I would listen about these magical martial arts powers, they went along good with the Ouigy Board (sp) but guess what, that little sliding thingy had no powers and neither do these guys have special energy other than that which comes from training and conditioning. It is very hard to hit me, but my blocks aren't magic; I might put down a big man with a three inch punch (no electrical force powers to it) I would suggest any experiences you felt/sensed was your imagination runing away with you. I know because I confronted these professing mystical dudes for sport in my younger days.
     
  10. Allan

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    As one who has trained for 9 1/2 years in the Traditional Korean art of Tae Kwon Do (I have one 2nd degree black belt in one style and a 3rd in another), I can say with great assurance - you can add Tae Kwon Do to that list.

    Tae Kwon Do is steeped in spirituallism with an emphasis on chi energy. There are proper ways of sitting (for meditation) so as to allow one's chi to flow more naturally and fully (this posture is different for men and women) as well as certain forms with do the same but these forms are different from training forms.

    It can be stripped of spirituallism but one meeds know exactly what is what in order to do so. Some things that seem inoccent are not though some do them or teach in ignorance of what it truely means and does.

    I agree as well with Judo, Aikido and Kung Fu as I have been involved with these others to a greater and lesser extent over my life.
     
    #10 Allan, Sep 15, 2008
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  11. Allan

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    I was going to address this but you did a good job so I'll leave it be.

    Tae Kwon Do was another. It's roots began in shamanism but was formulated into what we see today through a mixture of budhism and some other things pressed into the mix over the centuries.

    Again, well put.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    I'll agree with this. The one-finger thingy is a manipulation trick that depends on the psychological belief of the student. It doesn't usually work on non-students of the "master," unless they are particularly gullible.

    The chi-kung "push without touching" is more of the same. I once saw this done on Japanese TV, and the "master" could push his students at will, but could push none of the non-students on the show.

    I have an appendix in my book on my website that debunks many of these fake chi/ki stunts: http://www.johnofjapan.org/pdf/strength_in_the_inner_man.pdf There are also a couple of good books on this kind of chi/ki manipulation by Dr. Leung Ting: Behind the Incredibles and Skills of the Vagabonds. Marcia, I highly recommend these books to you, since they expose a lot of the tricks used by travelling Taoist magicians in China that claim to be using chi/ki. Dr. Ting is a Wing Chun Gung Fu teacher based in Hong Kong who graduated from a Baptist college--though I don't know if he is a faithful Baptist nowadays.

    Another appendix gives a discussion of chi/ki, especially from a linguists' view.
     
    #12 John of Japan, Sep 15, 2008
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  13. Benjamin

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    Hey, John tell him what your friend used to call this style. :laugh:
     
  14. John of Japan

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    Well, brother, I respect your experience, but I think you are generalizing. Once again, there are many styles of Tae Kwon Do. I've known many teachers of the art who were Christians and didn't teach any Asian mysticism. One man I know is a very strong IFB man who learned his art in the rough-and-tumble TKD world of the '70's. He's never mentioned any mysticism in his training. Another man well known in the TKD world is a solidly conservative SBC pastor and head of his own style of TKD.
    Concerning kung fu, again there are hundreds of styles, some based on mysticism, most not. As I mentioned above, one style I practice was invented by Muslim Chinese.

    Judo is the one Japanese art I would say definitely has no Eastern spirituality in it, unless the instructor deliberately adds it. (I hold a brown belt in Judo and a black in Jujutsu. Learned my judo at Bob Jones U. in the early '70's from Christian teachers.) I have the classic Manual of Judo by E. J. Harrison (1952), and it mentions not a word of Buddhism or Shinto. If it did have any Asian spirituality in it, it would be Shinto and not Buddhism, due to its roots in the samurai art of jujutsu. The founder of Judo, Jigaro Kano, was a very practical man who just wanted to improve the art of jujutsu, not teach religion.

    I was once down at the Kodokan in Tokyo, the headquarters for world judo, and saw a statue of Jigaro Kano, the founder. It was not an idol, not designed to be an idol. Yet an old man walked up to it, bowed and prayed to the spirit of Kano. Why? Ancestor worship was his religion! People do their sports according to their religion.

    We as Christians should practice everything to the glory of God, and as you say above, be sure to strip it of any spirituality that is not Christian.
     
    #14 John of Japan, Sep 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2008
  15. John of Japan

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    What, and be rude and insulting to my TKD friends? It all goes back to that TKD guy who knocked me out in an Atlanta tournament in 1974--but I'm over my bitterness. :laugh: Besides I'm getting old and forgot--you tell it!
     
  16. Benjamin

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    Ok, quite a while back we were talking about different styles and I referred to the many Tae Kwon Do black belts that couldn’t fight worth beans (sorry John) being a money making gimmick or something. JoJ said he used to have a Japanese friend who used to call it Take-Yu-Dough (sp) :D I thought it was funny.
     
    #16 Benjamin, Sep 16, 2008
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  17. John of Japan

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    Okay, Allan and other TKD black belts--I repent! Besides I was just relating a Japanese cultural opinion.... Besides, the last time I sparred a TKD black belt, on our last furlough, he 'bout killed me with a little hook kick to the floating ribs, and he didn't ask for any money for the lesson! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. Allan

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    I understand that the are many different types of styles (as I have studied specifically 2 of them).. and is why I qualified what I was speaking of with "traditional". Many claim to be traditional but it is more regarding the knowledge of where Tae Kwon Do came from. However my instructor was Grandmaster Lee in Raliegh, NC and what he taught was straight from Korea and it's Tae Kwon Do history so much so that he brings over college students who are masters to help teach and maintain and instill that value.

    He has a website Blackbeltworld.com; This is from the hypelinks to Grandmaster Lee (about him)
    And this is a message from him to those who are reading his site;

    I was generallizing when I was speaking of TKD being steeped in spiritualism. But it is the core of the TKD. Many have christianized it, modernized it or worse - westernized it (take-yu-Dough :laugh: ) I agree. But some who have done this do not realize some of the things they keep to make it still seems 'Korean' are aspects that one needs to be cautious of or for the christian remove.

    I also did not say that 'all' Tae Kwon Do schools are the same nor that 'all' teach the mysticism which is traditionally apart of it. But those who will try to keep it traditional will typically have this as a large part of their view, since TKD was created to something that through it balance of body, mind, and spirit was something achievable.


    John, I was agree with what you said. So instead of re-writing what you said I merely used the general names for styles you spoke of not that they encompassed all styles under their umbrella.

    Agreed. It is not that no Judo has spirituallity or mystisism added but that we must be careful and not presume they do not because the teachers of it, add what they believe will add to whatever they believe is lacking.

    If that art is done traditionally and traditionally there is none of that garbage then good, but if (Like TKD) it traditionally included such then we are to be wary.

    AMEN!! Actaully one of the reasons I liked TKD so much is because christianity melds so well into the art itself because it was designed work spiritual concepts and practices. So if one removes all the garbage and infuse it with that which is God honoring and exhaulting.. wow! It's great.
     
  19. Allan

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    I actaully agree with him. I get quite disgusted at many of the TKD schools and the training (if that is what it can be called) given to their students. The poor guys/gals if they ever actaully needed to defend themselves would end up needing defence from themselves.

    Ok.. don't even get me started here cause I'll....... (breath, just breath :) )
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Okay, I missed the term "traditional." Sorry! Looks like a strong organization. It may be the same organization (NC-based, Orlando school) a friend of mine was in who is also 2nd black in our style. He was third or fourth black in TKD when his school went under and he lost it all. He moved out to OK and is back driving trucks.


    I'll bow to your wisdom and knowledge on this, having never trained in the art--though I have friends who have.

    Appreciate it. :wavey:
    There's the thing. Any good Asian Buddhist will have his religion rule his life, including his martial art if he has one. So anyone who takes a martial art from an Asian immigrant should watch out for Asian religious elements. The opposite is the same, also. Any Japanese who takes kung fu from me is going to learn about Christ!
    Hey, are you familiar with the GMAU? We are a bunch of Christian martial artists from many different arts who seek to glorify God and win souls with our art. You can find some of my articles from the GMAU Journal starting in 1999 on the website at: http://www.gmau.org/gmau_journal/index.htm . You're invited to join if you are interested. They've also published a couple of pamphlets by me that might be useful to you, but as per BB rules I'll not promote them.
     

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