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 GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
THOUGHTS FROM THE MASTER
“If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
“Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
The Apostle Paul
Satan’s lie is that “Your Worth = your performance plus others’ opinions.”
God’s Truth is that “Your Worth = What God says about you.”
Satan’s lie is that “Those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be blamed and condemned.” (Fear of punishment)
God’s Truth is that “I am deeply loved by God.” (Propitiation, 1 John 4:9-10)
Satan’s lie is that “I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself. If I don’t…” (Fear of failure)
God’s Truth is that “I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God in Christ.” (Justification, Romans 3:19-25)
Satan’s lie is that “I must be approved (accepted) by certain others to feel good about myself. If I’m not approved…” (Fear of rejection)
God’s Truth is that “I am totally accepted by God.” (Reconciliation, Colossians 1:19-22)
Satan’s lie is that “I am what I am; I cannot change; I am hopeless.” (Fear of humiliation and shame)
God’s Truth is that “I am absolutely complete in Christ.” (Regeneration, 2 Corinthians 5:17 & 21)
“You are a unique, unrepeatable miracle of God with a spirit, that lives in a body, that has a soul.”
Grand Master Robert Xavier from “Confident Kid: Meeting the Challenge”
“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.” (Psalm 128:1)
“A Satisfying Life” = Love God, Love Self, Love Family, Love Believers, Love Others.
CHRISTIANITY AND THE MARTIAL ARTS
We are hearing from many people about the issue of Christians being involved in the Martial Arts. Many Christians believe we should not mix the two. Below is one response to the question.
“God taught the people of Israel how to defend themselves against the warring countries around them. In fact, God taught Israel how to make war successfully. Thousands of words in the Old Testament are devoted to issues of war and success in self and national defense. The kind of war Israel waged under God’s Guidance and in His Strength is some of the most brutal warfare known to the world. Israel often wiped their opponents from the face of the earth. Many spiritual truths are hidden in the warfare of God’s people, but the point is that God taught them how to fight and destroy their enemies. They learned how to defend themselves, their families, their nation and kings.
Christians have been warriors for centuries as they served their countries faithfully. My Christian father studied and practiced the art of war and helped keep America free for all people during World War II. Hundreds of thousands of Christian men and women fought and died for our freedom in World and regional wars in the past 200+ years. Christians were an intregal part of using force to free our nation from the grips of a religious state in the 18th century. The great words of the fathers of our nation speak highly of the calling of God to defend one’s country and the people in it.
Thousands of Christians today serve in the armed forces of scores of countries around the world. They are trained to fight with their hands and with weapons. We understand their need to use this training in time of war or national unrest.
Thousands of Christians are police officers, sheriff’s deputies, security guards, federal agents, etc. They are trained in hand-to-hand combat and the use of weapons. They often have to use physical force to uphold the law of the land. We understand the need for public guardians and applaud them for their enforcement of the laws that protect us.
Hand-to-hand self defense is necessary in an evil world, even for people who are not soldiers or law enforcement officers. It might be called fisticuffs, boxing, wrestling, savate, karate, jujutsu, kung fu, or hundreds of other names. A punch in the nose is a punch in the nose. It has no religion. It has no philosophy. It is a punch in the nose. My ability to block that punch before it strikes my nose and deal compassionately with the attacker is important to me and my family. My ability to teach others how to block a punch to the nose and deal compassionately with the attacker is important to those I teach. Many Christian lives are saved each year because of some training they had in defending themselves.
We do not question the religious views of a boxing instructor, wrestling coach, or drill sergeant in the US Army. What they believe about God has little meaning in the essence of training to box, wrestle or kill the enemy. They could exert some influence on students or soldiers who would listen to them, however, I know of no serious effort in the Christian community to keep boxing and wrestling out of AAU, high school and collegiate athletics, even though trainers could exert religious influence on their athletes. In fact, I know of many Christian organizations (i.e. Fellowship of Christian Athletes) that specifically minister within high schools and colleges for the purpose of using athletics, including martial arts, to evangelize. I know of little serious effort in the Christian community to do away with the US Army, even though religious influence is certainly a possibility.
I do not advocate violence of any kind. That is not the purpose of Martial Arts. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The purpose of Martial Arts is to “stop conflict.” If we can stop a confrontation from escalating into physical violence, we have succeeded in stopping conflict. If we can walk away from a situation before it becomes a fight, we have succeeded in stopping conflict. The best thing that can happen to a martial artist is that no fight occurs. We will accomplish much in our lives if we stop conflicts and never have to fight.
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
BUILDING BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
I recently asked two medical doctors their best advice to people to be healthy and physically fit. Both said: “Eat less and move more.” Simple, but profound advice! The people of America are getting heavier every year. The average weight of Americans has gone up steadily since 1970 while the average physical movement of Americans has gone down during that same time. We are becoming a nation of the “unhealthy and unfit.” We hear every day about people dying in their 30s, 40s and 50s from complications associated with poor diet and lack of exercise. What do we do about it?
Most martial arts have this in common: good diet and excellent movement. Our martial art training includes a strong regimen of eating, exercising and resting well. “Balance” is the key in all we do. One ancient medical document states: “with movement there is no decay.” Martial artists excel in movement. Martial arts instructors have a great gift for the people of the United States and other nations of the world. That gift is physical health: A Strong Body. Martial artists have strong and positive mental attitudes about themselves and others: A Strong Mind. Christian Martial Arts instructors have an even greater gift of spiritual health: A Strong Spirit. We can use knowledge of the martial arts and God’s Word to help our students build strong bodies, strong minds and strong spirits.
WHY JESUS IS BETTER THAN SANTA CLAUS
Santa lives at the North Pole … JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh … JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year … JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies … JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited … JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.
You have to wait in line to see Santa … JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap … JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl, what’s your name?” … JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly … JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO … JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says “You better not cry” … JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”
Santa’s little helpers make toys … JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but … JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree … JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.
It’s obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas,
Jesus is still the reason for the season.
Yes, Jesus is better, he is even better than Santa Claus. (Used by permission)
[Plus, Jesus exists and Santa doesn’t!]
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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