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Thread: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

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    Default Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    What, if any, is your faith background, and what impact (if any) does it have on your martial arts training and/or teaching methods?
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    What, if any, is your faith background, and what impact (if any) does it have on your martial arts training and/or teaching methods?
    My family was Irish Catholic converts. My grandfather changed to a baptist church and the rest of the "clan" followed. So after a point I grew up southern baptist. I would say it does not have too much impact on my training or teaching. I honestly think most people seek out what they want to find in particular and I am just there to teach Karate. Most people , non-beilievers, maybe believers, and true-believers tend to have some good inside of them. I try to look for or allow to stay the ones I think are "good". I keep faith completely out of my training, but I do at times address "right or wrong" and try to have a good rule set.
    www.hunterskarate.com

    "I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one."

    - From the Lone Ranger's Creed




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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    I am a born again Christian, and like you, teach people of all faiths and/or belief systems. I have some strict Muslims who even train under me.

    But my beliefs certainly impact my training. Because I am a Christian, I don't have fear fighting against anyone. Yes, like everyone, I get nervous, but not scared (there is a big difference).

    I also put my faith in the Lord when I compete, teach, train hard, and so forth. If things don't go my way, I just hit the back of the line and start all over again until I get things right.

    Does your faith background (whatever it might be) impact your training?
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Jewish but it doesent really effectmy martial arts except for the whole killing thing of course.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    I'm an agnostic and generally try to live by the Golden Rule. I can think of no way which my belief system (or lack thereof) impacts my training.

    Lamont
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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    As a general rule, I usually avoid conversations about religion. They have a tendency to explode into hostilities as most that participate in religion are somewhat, if not very, passionate about it.

    I will say this though: Most people have some kind of religious influence in their life. Even if, as an adult, they no longer believe or follow a particular religion, the ethical base they obtained as a child is still there in some capacity.

    Regardless of religion, there are some basic "truths" that most people can agree on. Take for instance "The Golden Rule". Most people relate this teaching to Christianity, but the idea is not new. I do believe Confuscist was the first to put into writing the basic concept that if one does not wish to be harmed by another, then it is only logical that they in turn do not cause harm. It's really just common sense if you think about it. If we killed each other with reckless abandon there wouldn't be a human race for long now would there? So, this rule is necessary for the perpetuation of our own existance.

    In regards to myself, I was raised in a Methodist Church. A Christian denomination, protestant to be more specific. I do not currently "practice" any particular religion, but still hold values I developed while being brought up. A lot of my ethics are founded on what I was taught as a child. Be respectful of others feelings, don't commit murder, don't lie-cheat-steal etc... but as a thinking, rational adult I've formed my own opinions and new values based on personal experience and just plain common sense. Do my views affect my teaching? To some extent, of course they do! If I were a devout Catholic I might say that Kenpo is good for defense, but under no circumstances are you to take a life! But I'm not Catholic, and I don't feel that way. I do think that it IS o.k. to take a life under certain circumstances. If a student asks, and since I believe in honesty, I will tell them under what circumstances I find it acceptable to do so.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Ė Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    I spent about 3 or 4 years sudying differant thologies after beign raised Mormon. I eventualy settled on simply practicing Taoist philosophy with a strong passion for nature. (celtic druidic influence)

    How has it affected my training.. well teh taoist philosophies are ofen applied with concepts of emptynes and meditation and adaptation..

    main thing... patience.. and lots of it.
    "Do you have any bactine? Some of this blood is mine."

    "Dear Die-ary, today I stuffed some dolls full of dead rats I put in the blender. I'm wondering if, maybe, there really is something wrong with me."

    -JTHM

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    I feel that you can apply any religion to the martial arts as any oriental religion does. All you have to do is adapt the principles of the art to your beliefs.

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    IMHO
    Kenpo is not based on religion.
    We students are encouraged to ask questions, try things out and rarely accept something on just faith.
    If something can't be demonstrated, proven or explained to everyone'e satisfaction, then it doesn't belong in the dojo. Some exceptions would be traditions that were passed down which we choose to follow out of respect for those that came before us.

    To answer the question,
    agnostic,
    it has absolutly no effect on my training and "THANK GOD" my sensei doesn't try to incorporate religion into my training.
    What have I learned from this???

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Something to consider though.... SGM Ed Parker was a religious man. A Morman actually, and believed in the application of certain Christian ethics within the art. It is evidenced in some of his writings. I am neither advocating nor am I condemning religion...it's just a fact.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Ė Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Anybody else on this topic?
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    (Phillipians 4:13)


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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    I believe that what goes out, must come back, usually in the same fashion.

    I believe in hugs after class.

    I believe that Chi is a spiritual energy that can be controlled.

    Meditation can help martial arts.

    I believe that each person must use their personal sense of ethics and what's right and wrong to determine when they've gone 'far enough' with their techniques.

    I don't think specific religion doctrine has any place in Kenpo. General principles -- definitely.

    Do unto others.....

    And again, I believe in hugs after class. And even before class. Makes the class a friendlier place.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Something to consider though.... SGM Ed Parker was a religious man. A Morman actually, and believed in the application of certain Christian ethics within the art. It is evidenced in some of his writings. I am neither advocating nor am I condemning religion...it's just a fact.
    that can basicaly go into the whole chicken and egg thing... Do religious concepts build the ethics in martial arts, or have martial arts been based on ballance and system of behavior that is inherant to peacefull living which is often the same basis for lawfull religion?

    I do not think that one really is the basis for the other but rather the idiologies stem from the same base for a lawfull and organized society. I believe that Master Parker incooperated the laws of his beliefs because they apply.. as simple as that.

    Which is interesting because I happen to feel that with organization you instantly create it's opposit, with rank you instantly create an environment where people want what they do not have. Good creates bad.. and so it will always be.
    "Do you have any bactine? Some of this blood is mine."

    "Dear Die-ary, today I stuffed some dolls full of dead rats I put in the blender. I'm wondering if, maybe, there really is something wrong with me."

    -JTHM

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Well, when I started in Kenpo while in college, I had no real interest in history. I didn't really care at the time about who the founder was. All I wanted was whether the martial arts I took up would serve my needs in being practical and effective for self defense. As time went by and after training at a few studios along the way, I finally was able to extend my understanding of Kenpo beyond the purely physical focus. It was then I got more interested a few years ago in the history and background of American Kenpo.

    I am a Latter Day Saint (Mormon). When I finally studied the Americn Kenpo history, it surprised me that SGM Parker was one also. That said, none of the five studios I've trained at mixed religion with the Kenpo training. All of my instructors at the five studios were honorable men and women and had strong respect for the beliefs of people. Religion is personal, so they do not bring it up in training as the students are diverse and of various religious backgrounds. I'm sure that religion may have played a role for them [instructors] as well as the martial arts ethics and philosophy. With half of them, I do not know which religion they practice as they didn't say and I didn't ask. My beliefs, however, does effect the way I think and feel.

    The head instructor at my current studio is of the same faith as I and we are good friends. Sometimes when he is aware of my personal struggle, he might mention something to me quietly to offer comfort. That is just a part of friendship.

    - Ceicei
    Last edited by Ceicei; 05-17-2006 at 01:05 AM.
    Studying martial arts is for life, not for the color of the belt.

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Good topic,

    On the religion part of this thread I have to say I grew up Heinz 57 as dad is Jewish and mom is Baptist. What a combination but it worked as a kid I got the best of both worlds. As an adult I am a born again Christian but I donít claim an affiliation to one group IE Baptist, Methodist, and so on. I am still searching for a church that goes deep into study of the bible and most services I have attended they just read word for word a few paragraphs. Then pass the plate and talk about the upcoming bake sale.

    Does my faith help, hinder or mix with my Kenpo training? I say it helps me in that I am able to stay grounded. I donít however push my way of thinking in that respect at the school I attend. I am not an instructor and even if I was I would not push my religion as people are there to learn Kenpo not religion. Now if someone came to me after class and took me to the side and asked me about God then yes I would do my best to answer their questions or point them to some one that could. The only hindrance I do face is the part where the class is expected to bow to our new belt placed in front of us. But I donít think my instructor notices that I donít do it. At lease he has never said anything to me about it.

    On the topic of could, or would I teach people of a different way of thinking than myself? Yes I can not judge them for not being Christian but I might pray for them.

    On the part about ending a life if the situation warranted that action I have to say God decides my time to go not some street thug. If I am force to take that drastic of an action to survive then I am not happy about it but I would make it home to see my wife and kids.
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    im protostant (sp).. i dont really bring it to the martial arts aside form my morals and stuff.. i leave religion and politics out of conversation when i can.. i tend to say stuff before thinking.... this some times gets me into trouble.. espesally in thoes two catigories

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by 2004hemi
    The only hindrance I do face is the part where the class is expected to bow to our new belt placed in front of us. But I donít think my instructor notices that I donít do it.
    My understanding of bowing to your new belt is as a show of respect to your new belt and the information you are going to receive. It's not a prayer. Just respect. I don't think it involves religion at all.

    What's your conflict with it? (This is asked respectfully, not with any challenge.)

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
    New Cool (free) kenpo tool bar: http://KenpoKarate.OurToolbar.com/


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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    I do not practice any religion currently.

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    My understanding of bowing to your new belt is as a show of respect to your new belt and the information you are going to receive. It's not a prayer. Just respect. I don't think it involves religion at all.

    What's your conflict with it? (This is asked respectfully, not with any challenge.)

    --Amy
    Well I donít have a problem at all with salutes or the customs of bowing when you are introduced to someone as a show of respect. I may be way off base in my thinking on the belt promotion issue. But being on your knees and bowing down and placing your head on the belt almost places the belt in a position of warship or raising the status of the belt to idol hood. That IMHO gets close to placing rank or even the belt itself before God. And there are several instances where Gods chosen people bowed down to and worshiped something other than God. And they paid for it. But like I said that is my opinion only and I can not and do not fault anyone for taking part in that practice
    A black belt covers 2" of your butt. Covering the rest is soley up to you

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    Default Re: Faith, Spirituality, Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by 2004hemi
    Well I donít have a problem at all with salutes or the customs of bowing when you are introduced to someone as a show of respect. I may be way off base in my thinking on the belt promotion issue. But being on your knees and bowing down and placing your head on the belt almost places the belt in a position of warship or raising the status of the belt to idol hood. That IMHO gets close to placing rank or even the belt itself before God. And there are several instances where Gods chosen people bowed down to and worshiped something other than God. And they paid for it. But like I said that is my opinion only and I can not and do not fault anyone for taking part in that practice
    I can see your logic behind that... don't agree with it... but I can see that, and thats cool. reall all comes down to a mater of perrception
    "Do you have any bactine? Some of this blood is mine."

    "Dear Die-ary, today I stuffed some dolls full of dead rats I put in the blender. I'm wondering if, maybe, there really is something wrong with me."

    -JTHM

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