Now that’s a great question! OK, I’ll try and keep it short, but this could go on forever!
Basically it’s basing what we do on God’s Word in the Bible. So how does that work? Here are a few examples.
Gichin Funakoshi, the father of modern Karate, said, “The ultimate aim of the art of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.” So the goal of all this training is far more than just learning the physical skills, it’s developing the character of the student, helping each one become a better person. But what does THAT mean?
The buzzword right now in the martial arts community is “Life Skills.” Everybody is teaching “Life Skills.” But the truth is few have any real absolutes or foundation to show or explain what they mean by that. So when they say a student pledge like, “I intend to develop myself in a positive manner,” it sounds great! But what does that really mean? I jokingly tell my students that if you hang around with bank robbers, “developing yourself in a positive manner” could very well mean becoming a better bank robber! (I know, I know, don’t quit my day job… : ) But seriously, without a yardstick to measure this stuff by, it’s just warm and fuzzy and although very well intentioned, doesn’t really tell us what we need to know.
And so for us at Whole Armor Martial Arts, that’s where the Bible comes in, God’s Word – because there we find the yardstick to measure all this by. So when we say, “I intend to develop myself in a positive manner,” we can go right to a verse like Ephesians 6:10 where it says, “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…” And with that definition we can explain that we mean developing ourselves positively based on God’s strength and God’s Word, becoming stronger in our dependence on Him and not ourselves.
Another important aspect of this is what we’re training for. As a martial arts program, we spend a significant amount of time training in the physical skills for a self defense scenario that honestly we hope we will never face. But more importantly as a Christian martial arts program we train using God’s Word to prepare for the spiritual battles that we know we’re going face every single day.
Further, we use the Bible as the guidebook for how we are to live our lives, as it teaches us how to act and conduct ourselves. And as we train in the Karate environment, working on self discipline, self control, respect, courtesy, humility and so much more, each of those qualities can be measured by the examples and teachings in God’s Word. So we look to verses like Galatians 5:22-23 and the Fruit of The Spirit which are, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self Control,” and we have a lot of truth to go on. These are the very things that help us live the kind of lives that stay out of trouble, become better kids, citizens, parents, employees etc, etc, etc.
Ha ha ha – I told you this could go on forever! : ) The simple truth is that our Christian Program is one that uses the Bible as the foundation for teaching the character qualities that the martial arts are intended to cultivate. And it gives us the strength, knowledge, character, and confidence to live lives free from violence, and at the same time ready to stand strong against the temptations that come at us every day, fully immersed in the joy and peace of the Lord.
Hope that helps! If you have any questions to feel free to contact me anytime.
Mr. Ron Hagelganz