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.
November – December 2004
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
Thoughts from the Master
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
The Apostle Paul
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
“Teaching Wisdom To Our Children”
Sensei Mark McGee, GMAF Director
(This article is the third of six in a year-long study about teaching children and young people about wisdom and character development through Christian martial arts programs. GraceLife Ministries and Grace Martial Arts Fellowship present this series in the hope it will help you in your life and martial arts ministry.)
• Love Your Soul
First, we need to love our soul. That’s what we saw in the first study about wisdom. “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.” (Proverbs 19:8.) We know getting wisdom demonstrates we love our soul. Soul-love is love at a deep level. Jesus answered a question about the greatest commandment by saying, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) The greatest love is love God with all our heart, soul and mind. The next greatest love is to love our neighbors as we love ourself. A person who loves God with all their heart, soul and mind is wise. A person who loves their neighbors as themselves is wise. “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul.”
• Fear God
The first step in becoming wise and teaching wisdom to others is to fear God.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm 111:10
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:5-7
Wisdom is the “principal” thing in life and it begins by having a reverential fear of God. Having a healthy fear of the Almighty God is a good thing. It prepares our hearts and minds to receive knowledge and with knowledge comes understanding. To teach wisdom to others we must first fear God. It’s like the fear a child has for their father. They love their father and their father loves them. The child wants to please their father in every way. They do not want to displease him. When they disobey their father, they see the displeasure and disappointment in his eyes. They don’t want to see that. They don’t want to receive his discipline. Wise children obey their parents because they love and fear them.
• Learn Wisdom and Live for God
Now we move to the second step in becoming wise and teaching wisdom to our children: learn wisdom and be an example of a wise person.
We need to be students before we become teachers. We need to be wise and act wisely before teaching others about wisdom. Every Christian should be a student of wisdom, but those who teach others about living wisely should be well-versed in wisdom and continue to study wisdom throughout their lives. Good martial arts instructors have the respect of their students. Martial arts teachers have traveled the martial road ahead of their students and bring knowledge, experience and wisdom to their classes.
Martial arts books, especially Christian ones, speak about the importance of teaching wisdom to our students.
Verse 88 of the Chinese Five Word Song reads: “To learn correctly depends on long frequent practice and on your wisdom.” Verse 110 reads: “Strive for knowledge of the method, but also the wisdom (craft) of its usage.” In Christian martial artist John Chung Li’s commentary about that verse, he wrote: “When we talk about meeting the attack by the method you learn, you should know how to make your method suitable. Wisdom changes the method into a suitable movement. This we call craft. Craft is shaped from wisdom and experience. The detail of truth is so fine that we have to meditate on its usage. A rough minded student cannot gain much, so we should carefully meditate on each movement bit by bit. The more you meditate, the more you gain. First we should master the method of movement; second, we should meditate the craft together with the movement to meet the enemy. Method and craft: the two must come together.” This is paramount in our instruction. We teach methods that can cause serious injury when applied in a self-defense situation. We must also know which self-defense techniques are appropriate for different attacks. We may know how to perform a high block with great strength and speed, but if we have not also learned how to perform a low block and someone kicks at our leg we will not be able to defend ourselves. We may know how to execute an outer reaping throw with great proficiency, but if someone grabs us from behind and pulls us back quickly and we have not learned any other throws we will be unable to defend ourselves. Martial arts teaches students how to use every part of their bodies in every possible direction for self defense. We practice with our teacher, our partners and alone to develop the necessary understanding of how each technique works in every possible attack situation. We learn what works and doesn’t work against every conceivable scenario. Our students must know the wisdom of using the techniques they are taught. They learn the methods and the craft of using them from their teachers. If their teachers have the wisdom and impart the wisdom, students will be wise in their usage of dangerous methods.
Pastor Karl Marx Sr. said it well in his book Martial Art Spirit: “A sensei must always be an example of high virtue. The relationships with the many students must be, above all, objective and well defined. Only in this say is there perceptual learning and improvement. Since all martial arts training are primarily oriented towards the spirit of self-reliance, the Sensei has an obligation to set an example for the students in all things in excellence, discipline, moderation, and wisdom.”
These four aspects of life should stand before us every day as we teach children martial arts under the Christian banner. EXCELLENCE – DISCIPLINE – MODERATION – WISDOM. They will make us, and our students, powerful witnesses of the Glory and Power of our LORD.
In the book Encounter The Warrior’s Heart, Joseph Lumpkin and Daryl Covington wrote: “Although learning is as important as leaves to a tree, it is only half of what is needed to become a warrior. There must also be discernment. Learning is not only reading books and acquiring knowlege. The ultimate challenge is in knowing how to integrate knowledge into life. In this way, and only in this way, can learning become wisdom. Discernment is far-sightedness. It is the ability to see the outcome of a situation. To hone this skill one must be a student of human nature. He must allow knowledge, wisdom, and far-sightedness to gestate in his spirit. This patience will enable him to see the end of a matter from the beginning.”
Knowing God’s Word and having the wisdom to use it correctly must come together in the life of the Christian teacher if we are to be able to teach wisdom to our children. Paul wrote Timothy about handling the Word of God properly and carefully: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) The NIV translates the verse: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” It should be the goal of every Christian teacher to handle God’s Word correctly. A teacher who mishandles the Word of Truth does need to be ashamed. The Lord has placed in our hands the lives, minds and hearts of children and youth. Christian martial arts instructors have the privilege and responsibility for guiding their students into the Truth of God’s Word as well as the truth of martial arts principles and practice. Our wises use of those Truths is an example to our students about how to use God’s Word. If we mishandle the Word, our students may do the same. If we teach improper martial methods, our students may use them to hurt rather than help people in need of protection.
One of a Christian martial arts teacher’s primary messages is that success as a martial artist is never having to fight. We don’t train our students to fight. We train them to stop conflict before it begins where possible and end conflict with the least amount of force necessary if it does begin. A martial arts teacher who is quick to fight sends a powerful and unfortunate message to his or her students. Students often follow the actions of their teacher. We need to be smart and act wisely when we face bullies, sensitive emotions or injustice. We teach more by what we do than by what we say.
Sensei Wendy Williamson in her book Christian Martial Arts 101 wrote this about wisdom in difficult situations: “Be smart. Think before you act. Wisdom is much better than strength and weapons of war (Eccl. 9:16-18). ” Those verses read: “Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.”
Nothing can compare with wisdom in a life. With wisdom we see, know and understand completely. We see things as God sees them, know as He knows and understands as He understands. The human mind is amazing and complex, but it is also flawed. It is clouded by sin, thus many of its decisions are mistakes. Self-confidence can and should go only so far. God-confidence is what we should trust. God’s Mind has no flaws. He makes no mistakes.
In Psalm 19:7-8 King David wrote that God’s Word is four things: perfect, sure, right and pure. ” The law of the LORD is perfect…the testimony of the LORD is sure…The statutes of the LORD are right…the commandment of the LORD is pure.” We can trust God where we can trust no one else, even ourselves. No other person’s words are perfect, sure, right and pure; only God’s.
When we trust in God’s Word, many wonderful things happen in our lives and the lives of those we teach. David said trusting God’s Word does four things in a person’s life: it converts the soul, it makes wise the simple, it rejoices the heart, and enlightens the eyes. ” …converting the soul…making wise the simple…rejoicing the heart…enlightening the eyes.”
This is what every Christian teacher should be: converted, wise, joyful and enlightened. This is what we want for our students. We want their soul to be saved. We want the simple to become wise. We want hearts to rejoice. We want eyes and minds to be enlightened. In a reverse way, this explains the condition of people who do not know God. They are lost, simple, sad and dark. Our mission is to teach lost people God’s Word so they will become saved people who are wise, joyful and enlightened. Many world religions and philosophies promise these attributes, but only Christ can deliver on the promise. Every philosophy contrary to the Way of Christ is foolishness. Christian martial arts teachers must first be truly converted. It’s not enough to attend church and say the right words. Conversion is new life, new direction, new thoughts, new desires. Christ touches our soul and changes it from the inside out. He makes us new and real. Christian martial arts teachers must be wise in the things of God. We must know Him intimately and understand His ways completely. When we face difficulties beyond our understanding, we must know how to go to God and His Word and receive His Wisdom to deal with those difficulties, problems and challenges in life and ministry. Christian martial arts teachers must be filled with the joy of God. Our hearts should be filled and overflowing with the joy of loving, knowing, worshiping and serving God. Christian martial arts teachers must be enlightened. We must know the path of God, be able to walk it securely and lead others in the way of righteousness.
This sounds like a mighty big task to me. It seems greater than any human being could take on by themselves. It is. It is bigger than one person. That is the wonderful message of Christ: we are not walking alone. We are not serving alone. He is with us every step of the way. Christ is our great Master. He is our Divine Teacher. He is All-Powerful and All-Knowing. He walked the path before us. He can guide us through anything and everything that will come into our lives. He is the Wisdom of God.
Christ’s Life and Words while on earth, His Words through His disciples after He returned to Heaven, they are our wisdom, our guide through life. As we listen and obey we will know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Christ will answer our every question. He will meet our every need. And it is as we depend on Christ to guide us that we will know how to guide those we teach.
Christ faced life’s most difficult moments with great wisdom, strength and courage. His Life and how He responded to temptations and tests will guide us now through the soul-mines of life. The first thing Christ did after beginning His official ministry was to face the great enemy of God, Satan.
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:1-10
Jesus faced Satan and defeated him long before we started out on the path. Christ has already defeated the enemy. We don’t have to worry or fret about facing Satan alone. Nothing will happen to us that Jesus has not dealt with successfully. We will not stumble upon some new problem or challenge that will surprise and confuse God. Christ has faced everything Satan has in his arsenal of tricks and won the battle! Jesus wants us to follow Him and become like Him. He is our wisdom, He is our strength.
Notice the four things Christ did and said when facing the enemy.
- OBEY GOD
- TRUST GOD
- WORSHIP GOD
- SERVE GOD
Look through the entire Bible and you’ll find these four principles of wisdom in every book and every chapter: obey God, trust God, worship God, serve God. If we wake up every morning and conduct our life on these four principles, we will be wise and able to teach wisdom to our children.
Practical Steps to Gaining Wisdom
Read about wisdom in God’s Word every day. Here are several methods for doing that. You might want to take each idea for a year and complete all the methods in seven years. When you complete that, start again. It can become a life-long study about wisdom.
- Read through the Book of Proverbs (The Book of Wisdom) each month for one year. The purpose of Proverbs is explained in the first several verses of the first chapter: “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.” Proverbs has 31 chapters, so it’s easy to do that. You may enjoy it so much you’ll want to do that each year for several years. Select one or two verses from each day’s chapter to consider and apply to your life that day.
- Get one of the flip-card Scripture calendars that has a verse about God’s wisdom for each day of the year. Keep it on your desk, at your computer, in the kitchen, at work, wherever you’ll see it and remember to read the verse for each day. Meditate on that verse throughout the day and apply it to your life.
- Read a chapter of the Book of Psalms each day. It will take you 150 days: less than six months. You may enjoy it enough to read through the Psalms twice a year. Think about what you learned and apply it to your life that day.
- Use a computer search or exhaustive concordance to find every usage of the words wise and wisdom in the Bible. Develop a personal Bible study based on what you learn about wisdom. Read two verses each day and you’ll finish the study in one year. Apply what you mean to your life each day.
- Read a chapter of the Gospels each day for one year. You’ll read through the Gospels four times. Keep notes about the Wisdom of Christ. Think about something He said or did each day and apply the truth to your life.
- Read a chapter from the Apostlic letters each day. Consider one major truth from each chapter and apply it to your life. You’ll be able to read through Acts and the Pauline and General Epistles twice a year.
- Do a year-long study about the lives of people in the Bible. Start with Adam and Eve and work your way through each person God mentions. Think about what you learn from each individual’s life and choices and apply the insights to your life.
- Keep a journal with notes about what you learned about wisdom during your studies. Note what the Bible says, how you apply the truth to your life and what you are learning. You can review the notes throughout your life and use them in your ministry with children.
“Fighting For Family Values”
KARL WILLIAM MARX SR.
Founder of Keichu-Do Martial Arts
So here I am again. In Anxiety? Right! I always seem to become intellectually inclined when I’m fighting off an anxiety attack. Also my prayer life increases tremendously. Many of you readers might disagree with the intellectual aspect of my opinion and that’s all right, you might be correct, however here we go anyway. These day’s there is a lot of talk about Family Values. Dear God! Help us to truly understand what the real meaning of Family and Values are. The first thing we might consider is, just what a Family might be. Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, then there are the Cousins, and the in laws. At Church, there are the Christian Brothers and Sisters in Christ. In many cases these individuals are considered family.
OK! So we have a family, however, many family members don’t like each other. So what’s with that? Then there are those within the so-called family who perpetrate all kinds of illicit obscenities on their fellow members.
Molestation’s on fellow family members, no wonder there are so many dis- functional families around. This is not to say that ALL families are messed up. Why there are many husband and wives who have been married 35 to 60 years. Now that is living. I respect that more than an Olympic Gold Medal winner or a World champion. Just think of the values in that kind of relationship. Wow! That deserves our respect. Many people are the result of their experiences in their life. A child who has no father at home and a mother that has to be a hooker to pay for the drug habit she acquired to be able to do that for a living.
Depression likes to appear to those with broken home backgrounds. It affects our spirits, like a hole in a tire that allows the air to leak out. Joy is our air. Anyone living without joy in their lives is not living, they are just existing. I should know! I have lived like that too many years in my life. It wasn’t until I met Jesus Christ, yep! That’s what I said. You can take it, or leave it, believe it or not, the choice is yours. But the truth is that Christ is the answer to all our problems. So what’s with this Jesus kick you ask? I can’t even begin to teach you about that. It’s an experience. A kind of Holy Spirit rush. Words can never explain the felling; you must have IT happen to you personally, WOW! A kind of Wonder Of Wonders.
This Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit is a genuine real happening. Joy is restored, depression lessened, or totally lifted. The real deal is that it works over and over. AS a former substance abuser I can tell you that NOTHING man made can possibly come close to it. I get depressed, I don’t go to the bottle or smoke a joint, nor do I pop a pill. I go to prayer, yes you read it right, and that is no type error. Except for the way to spell when someone has already finished reading something. Well, anyway the word and meaning of the term family has a lot to be desired, in some cases. I am not speaking religion here, just speaking plain and true.
Family Values have a certain ring about it. Christians stand behind that. Well, at least a lot of us claim to. However what is the value? The question needs to be answered. What might be closer to the truth is the word Morals; Family MORALS HAS A MORE DISTINCT RING TO IT? The value of something may vary from object to object, but morals are never changing according to Almighty God. So here is the solution, Morals! But were these morals? Man is ever searching for the Truth, asking himself “who am I” or telling himself and the World “I didn’t ask to be born” stupid statements such as “why was I born,” or “why me?” All this just to say that the confusing minds of our day are kept there by in many cases the lack of morals.
If a child is brought up in the way he or she is supposed to be, what then? Who decides what is right or wrong? In days gone by most of what was considered proper behavior was taken from the values learned in the Bible. Now what? It was generally taken that having sex out side of marriage was a no, no. A Taboo! It was not socially acceptable behavior. Getting pregnant was an absolute evil. However as the morals of families crumpled with the slow death of modern social correctness, demanded by those who resist Christianity New Age Theology fills empty heads. Take God out of the classroom of public schools and Chaos will begin. Take the law out of our Nation and you get the same results.
This is not conjecture; this is factual proven empirical, (done that, been there) information. A father hates his son who is a homosexual. However it’s OK for this father to commit adultery. At least in the dad’s mind. What’s up with that? Family values? Ha! What values? It’s just great if his other son has sex with a girlfriend, but don’t let his daughter admit to having sex with he boyfriend, Man the roof goes off the house. What kind of double standards is that? How does anyone trust his or her spouse? If there are low or no moral values what is to help keep us out of extra marital affairs?
What grounds do we have to determine if a hold up is really against the law? People who charge exorbitant prices for gasoline at the filling stations.
Joseph Lumpkin & Daryl Covington
Karate For Christ International
From ” Encounter the Warrior’s Heart”
Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach. Sun Tzu
It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy; and to be upright and just, and thus maintain order. Sun Tzu
One matures into leadership. It overtakes him as he learns and expands. Those who seek leadership, do so prematurely. When people see those qualities in him they desire in themselves, they will follow. Only then is he a leader.
Those who desire to govern their states should first put their families in order. And those who desire to put their families in order would first discipline themselves. Confucius
A leader will never have understanding and compassion until he fails mightily, at least one time. It is necessary to have failed before one can be considered a mature leader. Both the leader and his followers must know he can and will continue after failure, overcoming defeat, and refusing to surrender when things are at their worst. People do not expect perfection, but they do expect wisdom and strength of will.
It should be stated emphatically, a warrior NEVER stops learning. Even the highest ranked teacher should also be a student. New information and acquisition of other viewpoints should be implemented to adjust and re- define one’s philosophy. The warrior must be humble enough to follow before he is fit to lead. Moreover, he must be open to any possibility, unencumbered by the possession and attachment of his own ideas and philosophy.
Only our sense of honor and our faith must remain constant in our philosophy. As mortal men, our honor may flag and our faith may fail, but the philosophy remains the same. To make sure our philosophy and actions remain constant, we should come under the protective eye of another. For this purpose we all need teachers, particularly if we are teachers.
After I, a man of little rank, unexpectedly took control of the province, I have put forth great effort both day and night, at one time to gather together famous men of all kinds, listened to what they and to say, and have continued in such a way up to this time. Asakura Toshikage 1428 1481
Likewise, we seek to uplift ourselves through the company of better men. Although we should never turn away from those in need, we should never seek to befriend those of lower character in any deep way. Treat all people with equal respect but seek to befriend better men than yourself.
It is the nature of man that the good is difficult to learn, while the bad is easily taken to, and thus one naturally becomes gradually like those with whom he is familiar. Shiba Yoshimasa 1350 1410
Just as water conforms to the shape of the vessel that holds it, so will a man follow the good and evil of his companions. Imagawa Sadayo 1325 – 1420
Humility and the learning, searching, and keeping the open mind of a child are traits of a true warrior. Insecurity is its own wisdom. This may seem contradictory to the idea of “moral force,” which, upon first glance may look as if it is leadership by unbending will. Yet, even if the will is unbending, the mind and options remain open. We are not swept to and fro by any means. We set our course and command our will to go before us. Yet each time we learn and observe, the path may shift and tactics alter. For this to happen, we must remain teachable. To remain teachable we must be positive of one thing and that is our lack of knowledge. If the leader remains teachable and humane, his followers will continue to learn his ways.
A leader must be most careful. The lives of his students and their welfare depend upon him. If he is arrogant or incorrect, all will perish. ISA 9:16
For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
If one family has humanity, the entire state will become humane. If one family has courtesy, the entire state will be courteous. But, if one man (the leader) becomes grasping and perverse, the entire state will be brought into rebellion. Confucius
If one will fix his heart on the way of assisting the world and its people, he will have the devotion of the men who see and hear of him. Gokurakuji
The general who advances without coveting fame and who retreats without fear of disgrace, whose only thought is to do good for his country and to his sovereign is the jewel of the kingdom. Sun Tzu 490 B.C.
It is very regrettable that a person will treat a man who is valuable to him well, and a man who is worthless to him poorly. Gokurakuji
Encourage and listen well to the words of your subordinates. It is well known the gold lies hidden underground. Nabeshima Naoshige 1538 – 1618
In caring for others and serving heaven, there is nothing like using restraint. Restraint begins with giving up one’s own ideas. This depends on virtue gathered in the past. Lao Tzu
No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own ego; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique. Sun Tzu
It is truly beneficial in the understanding of what makes an excellent and respected leader, to look at the chinks in that leader’s armor. The following are eloquent writings of Sun Pin, exposing his concerns and observations of the weaknesses of leaders. Sun Pin was the great-grandson of Sun Tzu and an accomplished military strategist in his own right. His insights are as applicable today as they were in ancient China.
If he is incapable but believes himself to be capable, if he is arrogant, greedy for position, greedy for wealth, light (flippant), obtuse, cowardly, weak, not credible, not decisive, slow, indolent, oppressive, brutal, selfish, confusing, he is defective. When defects are numerous losses will be many.
If he loses mobility, if he lack resources but acts anyway, if he is argumentative, if he wrangles over right and wrong, if he does not see to it his commands are carried out, if his subordinates are not submissive, if his forces have stirred those around them to bitterness, if his troops are not fresh, if the troops are suffering and wanting to go home, if the soldiers are in disorder, if he is eager but unprepared for battle, if the troops are afraid, if the army does not view the leaders as capable, if the army has been victorious and has become lax, if he is brutish and relies on deceit and ambush, or if he is worried too much about strengthening one part of the army and is not watchful over the whole, he can be defeated. Sun Pin
The good company has no place for the officer who would rather be right than be loved, for the time will quickly come when he walks alone, and in battle no man may succeed in solitude. Brig. Gen S. L. A. Marshall 1964
It is important to have those of weaker character closely tied to and positioned between those who are loyal and strong. The weak will be goaded to good deeds by the fellowship of great men. The host thus forming a single united body, makes it impossible either for the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat alone. This is the art of handling large masses of men. Sun Tzu
Rank and position are not to be sought. They will come in the proper time and by the nature of the man. Those who seek rank and position for themselves are poor judges. How can a man judge himself objectively? A man who seeks rank and position will do so over the bodies or reputations of others. They are not to be trusted. Instead, one should always seek to improve oneself and then test the improvements in the fires of life. It is never the rank that makes the man. It is always the man who makes the rank. Take away the certificates and titles and we are still only what we are. Here, in the person, is the only thing that counts.
The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals. Hence his ability to pick out the right men and utilize combined energy. Sun Tzu
The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers. Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different from fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting signs and signals. Sun Tzu
Any organization that relies on one central person is bound to fall when the figurehead falls. There should be structure and redundancies within the organization. President and vice presidents should be in agreement. Men in authority should have their assignments and also be trained in ways to equip them with overlapping knowledge. A leader should lead more through his captains than directly. In this way, the troops and thus the entire organization, can continue should the leader fall.
Lead by teaching, nurturing, and planning. Lead in humility, calmness, and a teachable spirit. Be direct, honest, and kind. Share your vision with others.
Lead by communicating. Write your thoughts and plans down for those who are carrying out your wishes, Write clearly. The written word lasts forever.
If you cry “FORWARD!” you must make sure the direction If you fail to do so, the monk and the revolutionary will go in exactly opposite directions. Anton Chevok
Cultivate virtue in yourself and it will be real. Cultivate virtue within the family and it will spread and abound. Cultivate virtue in a village and it will propagate. Cultivate virtue in a nation and it will abound. Cultivate it everywhere and it will be everywhere. Lao Tzu
I have three treasures which I hold and keep; mercy, economy, and humility. From mercy comes courage. From economy comes generosity, and from humility comes leadership. Nowadays men reject mercy, and try to be brave.
They abandon economy but still try to be generous. They do not believe in humility, but always attempt to be first. This is certain death [failure]. Lao Tzu
To defend your faults is to covet your own weakness. One should be always ready to acknowledge a fault and correct it.
To justify a fault is to argue for your own downfall.
No leader should trust a person who will not take correction. Those who will not take correction cannot be led. They will turn on you one day.
He who will not apply new remedies must expect old evils. Sir Francis Bacon
Obtaining victory may be easier than preserving the results.
Generally speaking, people do not care who is in charge as long as things run well. The charisma and expertise of the leader should be used to build the organization, but things should not be tied so closely to the leader that his downfall would adversely impact the organization.
Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his fellows and the sacrifice of his friends. Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1945
Comrades, you have lost a good captain to make a bad general. Saturninus 100 B.C.
I think with the Romans, that the general of today should be the soldier of tomorrow if necessary. Thomas Jefferson 1797
Never forget the fact that all leaders have strengths. In addition to that, all leaders have weaknesses. The problem for the leader is to avoid pride. If not, a leader will see his strengths become his weaknesses.
[Reprinted by permission of authors]
“Difference between Christian Meditation and Eastern meditation”
In Hanmudo meditation, I learnt that the “Eastern method ” of meditation is not thinking of nothing. It is thinking of some subject matter. Hanmudo Grandmaster Dr. Kimm himself said this to me. In Hanmudo, we meditate to concentrate on our techs. It can be used to concentrate on e.g. your studies. So in Hanmudo case meditation is a method only and not religious. It is a tool/ method to discipline our mind thought process and to remove distractions, so as to prepare for deeper thoughts.
In my case, if my mind is too occupied with many things, I prepare myself for quiet devotion by meditation method of counting my breath, then when I (my mind, body, spirit) am still, I do my Christian devotion. Prayer is deep concentration of talking to God. I think of Bible verses application. I think of what is true, noble, right. Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true,noble, pure, lovely, admirable – anything that is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Please note that I am not saying you have to be in a meditation position to pray. In Christian context, prayer is simply talking to God, and you don’t need to be in any specific position. I do this personally to help me concentrate myself. Of course there are many other ways to calm yourself, like going for a walk in the park, listening to music etc. But meditation method is fast to bring your mind to readiness to concentrate.)
Most important I find that for a Christian when meditating is not to let your mind be blank, for as a Christian who believe that there’s always a spiritual battle going on, if we let it go blank, we expose ourselves to spiritual attacks rather than be filled with Holy spirit.
For non Christians, some meditation do go into the spirit realm and hence into a trance. So as an instructor I teach my students to focus on a topic, and not let the”emptiness” of mind take over.
So I use the tool of meditation to prepare myself for martial arts training, prayer, thinking of Bible verse application etc.
(Reprinted with permission from Karate For Christ International)
Faith and Fitness
by Brad Bloom
Faith Fitness Magazine – we wanted to provide you with a special issue packed full of ideas to help you network more effectively and build community. It is designed to help a diverse group of readers climb to new
heights in their personal lifestyle. The new issue is on-line at: “http://www.faithandfitness.net“
I invite you to take a moment now or on your lunch break and read one article. There are plenty more which will give you some good reading for the next few weeks.
Faith Fitness Magazine develops content that is useful to both leadership/ administration but especially for members. So, after you have taken a look at the new issue I invite you to communicate with your membership about the magazine. Send them a short e-mail with the web address or include a mention of the magazine in your next bulletin or newsletter. We’re committed to providing a tool for powerful, healthy and passionate living.
Brad Bloom Publisher
MARTIAL ARTS TEACHING TIPS
Most martial arts practitioners are taught how to throw someone. They are also taught how to roll and breakfall to help avoid being injured during practice. But few are taught how to defend themselves once they have been thrown to the ground.
Of course if you are knocked unconscious, severely stunned or injured when you are thrown, you may not be able to respond to any further attacks. However, if you are able to “roll” with the take-down or throw, you may be able to launch a defense from the ground. Though this part of a martial artist’s training may be lacking in some areas, it is a vital part of training which should be stressed. If practical self-defense is a primary component of a student’s development, then ground-fighting should be addressed on a regular basis.
Here are some factors to consider if you are thrown to the ground:
1. Your body position.
2. The extent of your injuries.
3. The position of the aggressor.
4. The intensity of the situation.
5. The environment.
6. The type of follow-up attack the aggressor initiates.
Let’s take a look at each of these factors and how they could affect your actions.
Your body position: Have you landed on your side, on your back, or perhaps face down? Are you facing the aggressor or away from him? You only have a split second to assess your position in order to determine your options for a defensive maneuver, should the situation escalate. Develop defenses which may be used from a wide variety of positions such as facing upward, downward and to your side.
The extent of your injuries: Any injuries you may have suffered as a result of your fall could reduce your effectiveness to defend yourself. For example, if you have injured one of your arms to the point where you are unable to use it defensively, you would have to initiate a defense which employs only one arm. Be sure to work on defenses which require you to use only one arm so you will be better prepared in such a situation.
The position of the aggressor: Is the aggressor standing, kneeling, sitting of top on you, holding on to one of your arms, or have you in a hold? Practice defending yourself when the aggressor is in each of these positions as well as any additional ones you may think of. You can’t assume he will always throw you or take you down the same way. You must try to prepare for as many variations of attacks as possible.
The intensity of the situation: There is a significant difference between being pushed to the ground as opposed to being thrown to the ground. Does the aggressor show intent to do you great bodily harm? Does he have a weapon? Is there more than one opponent? You should use only the amount of force necessary to defend yourself, keeping in mind that your actions should be directly proportionate to the intensity of the aggressor’s attack. Do not over react, while at the same time do not use a technique which will not render you safe from further danger of attack.
The environment: What is the surrounding area like? Are you outside or inside? Is the ground snow-covered or dry? Are there objects you may be able to use to defend yourself with? Are there other people in the area which could be injured if you use a certain defense (such as throwing the opponent)? Is there room to maneuver or are you in a restricted area which may limit your ability to apply certain techniques?
The type of follow-up the attacker initiates: After considering the factors all ready mentioned, you will actually base your defense on the type of attack the aggressor launches. For example, he may try to punch you, or he may attempt to maneuver you into a joint-locking technique, or he may endeavor to apply a choke or hold. You may choose to wait until he has initiated his attack before you begin your counterattack. You could initiate your defense before he attempts to attack again, such as kicking him or manipulating him into a hold or throw. You should practice for both contingencies.
(Reprinted with permission from Karate For Christ International)
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