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 November GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
THOUGHTS FROM THE MASTER
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also.” Jesus Christ
“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 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.
- Is there a “Philosophy” within the Martial Arts? Yes. The study, as well as the “Philosophy” of Martial Arts is based upon an ancient precept that we readily recognize in our laws: The Right to Preserve Life, Limb, and/or Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness. There is no other type of “Philosophy” within the Martial Arts.
- Is there a “Religion” then for the Martial Arts? No. Many people would like to have you believe that the Martial Arts are a product of Zen Buddhist, Taoist, Asian and/or Eastern Philosophies. However, under closer scrutiny this attitude is due in part to:
Ignorance |Prejudice | European-Ethnic (Euro) Bias
Any argument that supports the idea that there is a religious or philosophical basis to the martial arts contrary to the doctrines of Christianity is absurd. Certain religious groups, denominations, as well as individuals, that object to the study of martial arts is due inpart to an abusive, controlling nature.
What do you mean by Euro-Ethnic Bias?
Many of us here in the U.S. are W.A.S.P’s, or White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant’s. Meaning, that we are a homogeneous group of people. We tend to isolate as well as segregate ourselves according to our place of ethnic origin, as well as according to our religious affiliation.
Bias, by definition, is anything that causes you or I to favor someone or something over someone or something else. Fortunately, none of us are born prejudice. We learn these things from our parents. Who in turn learned them from their parents. Bias or prejudice is usually the result of ignorance. And ignorance is inherently linked to fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of that which we cannot readily understand or control.
So then, all Fear is unhealthy or unnatural?
No, I didn’t say that. There is a “healthy” kind of fear. The kind of fear that alerts us to danger. That warns us of possible threats. There is also a healthy kind of Biblical fear that refers to a divine reverence of God. This fear is what the Bible calls the beginning of wisdom. This isn’t actually fear, but love. A selfless, giving, God-like love. Any other type of fear that causes us to hate, to distrust, to control, to dominate, or even to abuse one another is wrong. It is the true source of all that’s evil, demonic, and occultic in nature, and in man. This is the worst kind of love. It’s selfishness pure and simple. It’s a Devil-like love.
Lower-body warm-up exercises from Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan (Soo Bahk Do)
Grand Master Hwang Kee understood the importance of the lower body to Martial Arts. He developed powerful warm-up exercises to develop power from the waist down. Because of that development, Tang Soo Do is one of the most powerful kicking arts.
These are “examples” of Tang Soo Do warm-ups. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. The Tang Soo Do warm-up portion of your workout will take between 20 and 40 minutes (depending on age and condition), so you will not be able to do every exercise at every workout. The number of exercises available for each part of the body also offers a variety to keep the warm-up portion of your workout interesting and challenging. Because of the large number of lower-body warm-up exercises in Tang Soo Do, we will keep the description to a minimum.
- Back Exercises
- Hip rotations
- Torso twists
- Hang on rings
- Toe touches … no bouncing – hold stretch
- Leg Exercises
- Anterior tendon stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Lying hamstring and anterior stretches
- Butterfly stretch
- Lying butterfly stretch
- V -stretch
- ▪ Sitting V – stretch against wall
- ▪ Lying V – stretch against wall
- Choi Ha Dan Ja Seh stretches (low stance)
- Hurdlers stretch
- W all stretch
- Front split
- Side split
- Chair stretch
- Cross hip stretch against wall
- Side leg swings against wall
- Stretch kicks
- Knee Exercises
- Knee bends
- Knee circles
- Knee raises
- Dragon stances
- Ankle and Foot Exercises
- Ankle rotations
- Foot stretch
- Toe stretch
MARTIAL ARTS AND STYLES
Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts
Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts translates as “Soft Fist, Cotton Over Steel.” It is one of the original “Internal” Martial Arts. The principles came from Chen Hsi-I, a Taoist from the Hwa Shan mountain range in Shansi, China during the early part of the Sung dynasty. Yon Ch’uan is an ancient Chinese Temple-style meditation in movement. It comprises more than 500 sequenced, rounded, graceful, balanced movement patterns.
Yon Ch’uan was first known by the name “Lop Hop Pak Fat” (also spelled Liou He Ba Fah), which means “Six Combinations Eight Methods.” The name was later changed to “Swimming Boxing,” then “Twelve Movements of Exercise Before Birth.” It was called “Idea Six Combination Boxing” and “Idea Spiritual Boxing” during the Ching Dynasty.
The late Grand Master John Chung Li, former Legacy Holder of Lop Hop Pak Fat, changed the name to Yon Ch’uan and Hwa-Yu T’ai-Chi Ch’uan (after the mountain range where it originated). Master Li came to the United States in the late 60’s to share the art with the American people he had come to love and admire. Master Li often spoke of his sincere appreciation to America for liberating Hong Kong from Japanese occupation during World War Two. Grand Master Chung Li was head of the Hwa-Yu T’ai-Chi Health Institute in China-town, Boston, Massachusetts for many years. He taught Yon Ch’uan at Yale, Harvard, MIT and Boston Universities. He also taught the scientific health attributes of Hwa-Yu T’ai-Chi Ch’uan at the New England Medical Center. He instructed more than 700 seriously committed students while he lived in America. Grand Master Li passed the legacy of Yon Ch’uan and Hwa-Yu T’ai-Chi Ch’uan to his top student, Master Robert Xavier. The Grand Master died a short time later.
Master Xavier is the Chief Instructor of Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts and Legacy Holder of Hwa-Yu T’ai-Chi Ch’uan. Grand Master Li promoted Master Xavier to 8th Dan shortly before the Grand Master’s death. Master Xavier is also one of only a few privileged students who received certification from Master Li in both the internal health care benefits of Hwa- Yu T’ai-Chi Ch’uan and the 500+ elite internal movement vocabulary of the Yon Ch’uan self-defense system. Master Xavier lives and teaches in Palmetto, Florida.
Yon Ch’uan and Hwa-Yu T’ai-Chi Ch’uan combine relaxation in motion with precision breathing to stimulate the inner energies of the body, strengening the immune system, nervous system and regulating the metabolic processes. The Yon Ch’uan movement vocabulary increases the capability to utilize physical energy effectively and efficiently with the amount of least muscular resistance. The source of strength in the Yon Ch’uan internal system is derived from a relaxed posture of perfectly balanced whole body power connected in unison with springy energy spiraling through the physical body movement. The essential difference between meeting force with external strength as opposed to internal energy is when resisting force with force you engage the attacker on his or her terms. Whereas, when using SOFT internal energy, you deny both your attacker’s expectations and the object of his or her attack: Yourself.
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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