“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
The foundation of martial arts includes health, fitness, stance and movement. Martial artists would do well to concentrate on those four areas. If we are not healthy, we cannot defend ourselves or people we love successfully over a long period of time. If we are not fit, we cannot defend ourselves or people we love successfully over a long period of time. If we do not have a strong stance, we cannot defend ourselves or people we love successfully during an attack. If we cannot move quickly and effectively, we cannot defend ourselves or people we love successfully during an attack.
The four K’s of Karate speak well to the foundation of martial arts. They are Kihon, Kata, Kumite and Kime. Kihon is the fundamentals, the basics of the art. Kihon is as basic as yielding to oncoming force, clearing the midline from the direction of violence in a personal attack, connecting with the attacker from a position of safety, taking control of the attacker’s movements and redirecting the attacker to an empty place where they are no longer a threat to you or people you are protecting. Kata is forms/patterns of self-defense. Bunkai is the application of Kata which leads to Kumite, the practice of self-defense against realistic attacks. Kime is the concentrated focus necessary to deal with an attack efficiently and effectively.
The foundation of Christianity includes Faith, Commitment, Power and Praise. Christians would do well to concentrate on these four areas during their life.
The first Bible verse we ask students to learn in Grace Martial Arts is Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” A man who thought he was better off dead than alive asked the Apostle Paul a life-altering question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The jailer of Philippi asked the most fundamental question about spiritual existence. Paul responded with the most fundamental answer: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Paul was dealing with a man who was one second away from entering eternity by his own hand. Paul’s answer was the bedrock of spiritual foundations: faith in Christ. That’s why Acts 16:31 is the first verse our students learn; nothing is more fundamental or vital.
What is faith? It means a deep belief and trust. The foundation of Christianity is more than believing God exists. “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” Believing in the existence of God is necessary, but it’s not the end. Paul said the spiritual step that “saves” your life is believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Believing in God and trusting Christ for salvation are basics of Christianity.
We must also be committed to our Savior. Read the Bible with our eyes wide open and it’s clear that God calls on Christians to be deeply committed to Him, holding back nothing. That depth of commitment leads naturally to the depth of ministry (service) which is reasonable given all that God has done for us. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
God is the Almighty God. That means He has All Power. God offers Christians access to His Power. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” God demonstrates His Power through earthen vessels. That demonstration leads to great blessings. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
The most basic truth about Christianity is that it is a deep and abiding relationship with the God of Creation. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” … “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.” Jesus Christ, the great God of Creation, took dust from the ground and formed all the amazing parts of the first human being. Jesus breathed into that form the breath of life and man became a living being. That began the deep and abiding relationship God wanted to have with the human race. God later caused Adam to go into a deep sleep and the Lord took one of Adam’s ribs and made the first woman. The Son of God personally brought the woman to the man. That’s when Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Everything about the beginning of God’s relationship with the first man and woman demonstrated His deep love for them. Even though Adam and Eve sinned against God, the Lord continued to demonstrate His great love for them.
God continues to demonstrate His love for the human race to this day. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” That’s what God does for us. What does He want us to do for Him? Praise Him! That has long been the truth God has wanted His people to understand.
It was the song of Moses and Israel: “The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” It was the song of King David and Israel: “Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name.” It was the song of the Lord’s disciples: “Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen.”
It is the song of Christians everywhere:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
Praise leads to hearts that are open to the true purpose of our existence: fellowship with the Son of God! “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” That truth for you and me today takes us all the way back to the beginning when Jesus formed Adam from the dust of the ground. Everything starts with Jesus and ends with Jesus. He is our everything and what He wants is you and me. He wants our hearts, our minds, our strength. He is the Supreme God of Creation and He wants to fellowship.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
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