Grace Martial Arts Fellowship began in 1990, went online with a website in 1995 and began publishing newsletters to the Christian martial arts community in 1998.
Because of the quality of information found in those early newsletter articles and the fact they are no longer available online, we’ve decided to re-publish many of them in the coming weeks and months. Our hope is that a new generation of Christian martial artists will be blessed by the wisdom of those who were on the path before them.
Welcome to the “first” GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
THOUGHTS FROM THE MASTER
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” Jesus Christ
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” The Apostle Paul
The following are questions and answers about developing a Martial Arts Outreach Program. We appreciate Master Ron Shively of “Karate for Christ” sharing his wisdom with us.
Q: What is an Outreach Program?
A: An Outreach Program, by definition, is some specific activity or special program designed to interest people within a local community. Through such a program people of similar likes and talents are drawn together. The inherent purpose of any outreach program then is to develop fellowship and/or comradre in and around a central purpose, goal, or idea. The general idea is that there may exist a want, a need, or a desire within a community that is not readily offered or available to the general public. Most anything that can be physically and/or verbally taught within a classroom or gymnasium can be readily classified under this category.
Q: Who then can offer an Outreach Program?
A: Most anybody who has an inherent desire, hobby, or interest within a subject or physical activity may be the one who initiates an Outreach Program. Also, Outreach Programs are not limited to federal, state, or local governing agencies. As well as to any specific church group, and/or denomination.
Q: What then is the difference between an Outreach Program and a Ministry?
A: Actually, they are both one and the same. However, to avoid confusion and to give general direction to this outline, a Ministry is something that has a religious attachment to it. That is it may (or may not) belong to a specific church group and/or denomination within a local community.
Q: What then is a Martial Arts Ministry?
It is an Outreach Program to the local community. It is not limited to any specific denomination or church group within the local area. In general terms, it is non-denominational. Meaning, that it, or we, choose not to exclude people or individual(s) because of any personal philosophy or opinions he/she/they may have concerning their own individual religious beliefs.
Q: What are some of its goals, or purposes?
A: We recognize that there exists a need for an effective alternativeto the senseless violence that is becoming so common place in our world today.
We recognize that no amount of social experimentation, and/orlegislation has been successful in helping to curb or control the rise of crime and/or violence that exists within our nation today.
That as citizens within our community we recognize that thisresponsibility is first and foremost ours and ours alone.
That while authority can and is delegated to those whom we elect to govern, to serve, and to protect us; it is also each and every citizen’s obligation to be the first line of deterrence against crime in our community, state, and nation.
That only as a last resort when no other alternative presents itself, when no other option is available, then and only then is it necessary to use some means of physical deterrent or force to either repel and/or subdue an attacker.
Only when no other means is available is force recommended or prescribed to deter, repel, or subdue an attacker.
Unnecessary force is to be avoided at all possible costs. Reason being, is that it is harmful, wrongful, and unlawful to cause unnecessary bodily harm to another individual.
Q: How then can a Martial Arts Ministry be an effective Outreach Program?
A: By definition, an outreach program is something that offers a service. It is designed to fill a need that may exist within a local community as a whole. However, unlike aerobic exercise classes, baseball, softball, or basketball, a Martial Arts Ministry is not limited seasonally. It is not fueled by pop-culture fads or trends. Much of the appeal that exists within a Martial Arts Ministry rotates around a general need, a feeling of helplessness that is all too common in the U.S. and abroad today.
Most Martial Arts have a process of Warming Up and Cooling Down. Both are important to the health and well-being of the Martial Artist. The Style and Discipline dictate the type of Warm-Up. Judo and Jujutsu use Joint Rotation and Full Body Stretching for combinations of throwing and being thrown, joint locks, holds, chokes, and pins. Karate and Kung-Fu use Joint Rotation, Full Body Stretching, and Dynamic Stretching for combinations of blocking, striking and kicking. Cool Downs include Isometric and Relaxed Stretching.
Joint Rotation and Stretching have a long history in the Martial Arts. Rigorous stretching exercises were an integral part of the Shaolin monks’ daily training. It has continued through the centuries.
A good training session should include the following:
- General warm-up that begins with a cardiovascular warm-up and is followed by dynamic stretches.
- Specific warm-up where movements resemble the Martial Art about to be practiced. The entire warm-up process should take no longer than 30 minutes.
- The Martial Art Workout. This is the specific Discipline of the Art and Style you study. Many Styles include Ballistic Stretching within Forms and Sparring. The Workout will usually vary in length from one to three hours, depending on the Style.
- Cool-down that includes Isometric and Relaxed Stretching. This usually takes 20-30 minutes.
MARTIAL ARTS AND STYLES
Our first Martial Art will be Judo. Many people are introduced to the Martial Arts by learning Judo at dojos, fitness gyms, YMCA’s and YWCA’s, high schools, colleges and military posts.
Japanese educator Jigoro Kano was a student of Jujutsu in the 1800’s. He began his studies with Master Hachinosuke Fukoda. Dr. Kano founded his own Martial Art style in 1882. He first called it Kano-ryu. He later named it Kodokan Judo. The Kodokan in Tokyo, Japan is the world headquarters for Judo. Judo means “The Gentle Way.” Dr. Kano removed the most dangerous techniques of Jujutsu from his Judo. He traveled around the world introducing Judo. It became a required subject in Japanese schools in the early 1900’s and an Olympic sport in 1964.
Judo students (Judoka) wear a reinforced jacket and pants (Judogi). It is similar to a Karate uniform, but is stronger in construction. Judoka learn how to fall safely. They exercise their bodies in ways to strengthen the muscles and joints. They also learn about etiquette and respect. They train to throw, trip, choke, hold and pin an opponent. Some schools teach students basic striking and kicking techniques for the purpose of self-defense.
Judo has two types of competition: Kata and Randori. Kata are specific Judo techniques that students perform in a specific order. Randori is freestyle competition (sparring). About 80 percent of Judo practice is Randori. Speed is essential in winning at Judo.
Next Month: Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan
I hope you have enjoyed this first GMAF Newsletter. Please let us know what you’d like to see in future editions. Our desire is to encourage and support you in your service to Christ and humanity.
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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