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"Enter by the narrow gate...For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it (Matthew 7:13-14)."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Christian" Martial Arts: Another Bad Branch on the Tree of the New Spirituality


"Christian" Martial Arts:
Another Bad Branch on the Tree of the New Spirituality

Martial Arts & Yoga Under:
 New Age "Movement Practices"

Its been almost eighteen years since my conversion to Christ--and the renouncement of both my black belts--but it wasn't until recently that I fully realized the close kinship between the spiritual roots of the martial arts and the Emergent/Contemplative spirituality engulfing the Church of Jesus Christ.

After some research, I discovered that the devil's lie from Genesis 3 has been cleverly repackaged and marketed to unsuspecting karate enthusiasts for hundreds of years, and is now simpatico among many professing Christians. Although I studied Okinawan and Japanese martial arts systems for thirteen years, I had unwittingly succumbed to a plethora of unbiblical beliefs and practices due to language differences among the many Eastern disciplines. For example, I hadn't made the connection between "Do," (meaning, "way", in Japanese), with the Chinese (Confucianist) Tao/Dao, meaning the same thing. This becomes significant to the Christian, because the Do/Tao/Dao is synonymous with the Buddhist Yin/Yang philosophy which is pantheistic, not monotheistic, in nature. It is a spiritual "way"--or journey--diametrically opposed to biblical Christianity. Hence, "karate-do" (meaning "way of the empty hand") becomes a religious pursuit, rather than simply a self-defense endeavor. According to the founders and masters of all martial arts systems (whether hard or soft), the ultimate goal of "the way" is self-mastery, self-empowerment...self-enlightenment (satori): the point when the adept is awakened to the knowledge that he/she is divine. This is also at the heart of the Zen journey which is totally incompatible with the Bible and the God who wrote it.

Sadly, this is also the end product of contemplative prayer and other such spiritual disciplines advocated by many professing Christians. The common link beween all martial arts schools--and the Emergent/Contemplative movement is meditation (entering the silence) which is actually Far Eastern mysticism, not true Christianity. While Contemplatives and New Agers utilize mantras (repeated words/phrases) and visualization to empty the mind in order to enter the sacred/thin place within, martial artists concentrate on breathing exercises and floor patterns (katas) to reach the same destination.
One New Age healer calls this "the wider picture," a method for accessing the spiritual realm:

"To enable you to understand, and realize for yourself, that there really is more to life than what your physical eyes can see, and what your physical ears can hear. This is the wider picture, and out there is all the help you need...[emphasis in original] Meditation helped me to shut them down [physical senses] so that I could discover this world, a world as real as this one: the "spiritual" world...All the [meditation] exercises involve visualization: in other words, using your imagination--creating pictures within your mind's eye...1

While some New Age and Occult practitioners use this form of meditation to enter this inner spiritual world, Contemplative/Emergents and martial artists also practice what eastern mystics and budo masters call "moving meditation," or a "moving Zen study [katas]." Renowned labyrinth maker, Jim Buchanan, explains:

"The labyrinth has a single, winding path, meaning that you don't have to make decisions about which route to take. You just follow the path as it leads you into the centre and out again. Labyrinth-walking, a non-thinking, moving activity, frees your mind, taking you on a journey of calmness, meditation and, perhaps, enlightenment."2

He gives further insight concerning this form of meditation:

"The constant feature [of the labyrinth] is movement...By moving in a focused and directed way through the labyrinth, we begin to relax and our sixth sense becomes heightened...In his book The Genesis and Geometry of the Labyrinth, [Patrick Conty] says that the labyrinth is the 'quintessential sacred space that depicts the most profound levels of consciousness. For many cultures the center of the labyrinth exists simultaneously in this world and the invisible worlds, providing us with a doorway into other dimensions of reality.'"3

Like Emergent Contemplatives who unsuccessfully attempt to sanctify such mystical practices in the Church, so do martial artists calling their disciplines "Christian." The truth is that good fruit does not grow on a poisonous tree with putrid roots. No amount of fertilizer, pruning, or staging can cure what ails it. In the end, the Life-giving Vine will chop down the whole wicked monstrosity and will hurl it--branches, trunk, and roots--into the fire.


1 Charlotte Parnell, Meditation: A Beginner's Guide, Barnes & Noble, Inc., 2001, pp.4-6.

2 Jim Buchanan, Labyrinths for the Spirit: How to Create Your Own Labyrinths for Meditation and Enlightenment, Gaia Books, London, a division of Octopus Publishing Group, 2007, Inside Cover.

3 Ibid, pp. 7, 9-10.



  1. Thank you for your honest work and research in this area. I am not involved in martial arts but know this is common among Christians. I find the link between MA and the Emergent Church facinating, as is the link between charismaNIA's manifestations of what they believe to be the Holy Spirit, but is not, and those of Kundalini. I would like to link this to my blog to get the info out there.

    God bless.
    M'Kayla (m'kayla's korner)

  2. oops that would be

  3. May the LORD bless you for having written this book. I have emailed your link to several Christian friends who with their children have become involved in martial arts, Reiki and meditation believing it was ok. They are now reaping miserable consequences. May your book find its way into many hands and hearts. JH Dube

  4. Thank you SO much for writing this article and your e-book exposing the dangers of the martial arts. The church we attend started allowing a group to practice "Christian" tae kwon do in the church. They see nothing wrong with it even after we have tried to explain to them that it's still "moving meditation" and the whole philosophy behind the martial arts. I will certainly be passing on your article to others.

  5. Hello!...Your last sentence brought this scripture to mind...Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted apart from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish."...(Gospel of Thomas)...Thank you for making truth known.

  6. Praise the LORD ! We are so encouraged to find other children of the Living God, who are revealing these Truths. We also are working to expose this great deception, which the devil is using to try to infiltrate the church of Jesus Christ.
    You may see the 6 page article and testimony at the link below.
    Thank you again, and may the LORD bless and keep you strong in faith, and the power of His Living Word !

    Please contact my wife or I if we can be of any help.
    your brother and sister in Christ,
    Eric & Sarah Wilson - Isaiah Ministries

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Thank you sister Gaylene, for your stand for Christ, and the Truths of His Word.

    I am sharing with you the story of the miracle which the Lord Jesus Christ also did in my life, after nearly 25 years of active training in these pagan arts. There are so many of God's children yet walking in darkness, doubt and fear, and the LORD is doing all that He can to reveal to each of us, His love and great desire to set the captives free !

    My wife and I pray that this 2 part testimony, "The Dragon Revealed !" will be a blessing to you and your family.

    And may the LORD God bless and keep you until we meet, if not here, then on that great day of Christ's return in the clouds of heaven !
    your brother in Christ Jesus,
    Eric & Sarah Wilson and family

  9. I really appreciate your work and very amazing and important information about the Bible Mediation which have share in this blog.
    Bible Mediation

  10. Extremely helpful research. Helped me to back out of Martial Arts classes. Shared with others. Only criticism: Please look into the KJV as the preserved Word of God with as much depth as this research you have done for Martial Arts.