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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

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
Jesus Christ

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
The Apostle Paul

Wisdom Notes

“Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. ”

“Dearly Loved” by Mark McGee

One of our family’s favorite verses is Colossians 3:12: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” The New International Version reads: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Christians are “holy and beloved, holy and dearly loved”. The Greek word for “beloved” is agapao . It expresses God’s Attitude toward us: He loves us deeply and dearly. If we are honest with ourselves, which is not an easy thing to do but helpful at times, we will see how difficult it is to love us. Human beings are, well, not nice at times. We say bad things, do bad things, think bad things … in general, we’re a bad group. Paul said it perfectly when he described humans this way:

“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18

Not a pretty picture, but it’s the Truth. And it is that very Truth that makes Paul’s statement in Colossians 3:12 even more precious. Humanity is sinful. It is like rotting flesh on decaying bones. Yet, God dearly loves us! Why? Because of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus makes all the difference in God’s Attitude toward us. Without Jesus, you and I would be just another lump of clay prepared for Divine judgment. “We know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin…For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:19-20, 23) “…who were dead in trespasses and sins…and were by nature the children of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:1,3) With Jesus, we are dearly loved and protected for a great eternal purpose. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference…Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Romans 3:22,24-25) “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)

Christians are the most fortunate of humanity. We have experienced God’s Love, Grace, Mercy and Eternal Kindness. We are forgiven and our nature has been changed from “children of wrath” to “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” However, before we gloat over our good fortunate, let’s remember what we were and what we would be without Christ. All glory belongs to God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) We owe God everything, including our lives.

So, what does all that mean? We are saved by Grace. We are dearly loved. We are forgiven. We have Eternal Life. Those are basics of our faith. But what does it mean today, in the real world?

It means we have responsibilities and obligations to God and others. It doesn’t mean we have to perform good work s to”earn” our salvation, because that’s free, but it does mean we do good works “because” of our salvation. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Our new nature as children of God includes a view toward good works. What are those good works? What is it we should do with our lives now that we are “saved,””free” and “in Christ”?

Let’s go back to our favorite verse in Colossians. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” We have a special responsibility to our family and friends and other members of the Body of Christ. That responsibility is to have an attitude of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and longsuffering. That attitude leads to the actions of forbearing and forgiving. We begin by putting on (enduno – to envelope in, clothe with) a Christlike attitude. Because we are holy (set apart for sacred service) and beloved (loved deeply and dearly), we are becoming “like Christ” in our thoughts and behavior. One Christian writer said we “become so possessed of the mind of Christ as in thought, feeling, and action to resemble Him and, as it were, reproduce the life He lived.”

The first action is “Forbearing one another.” The Greek is anechomenoi and means “to bear with, endure, put up with.” It’s a picture of the reality of relationships within the Body of Christ. The fact is that Christians are human and thus flawed. We are not always easy to put up with. It takes a “Christ- like” attitude to get along with some Christians. Before we get too proud, let’s remember that other Christians will need a Christlike attitude to put up with us. The word is used in Romans 2:4 and 3:25 (“the forbearance of God”) to describe God’s withholding of punishment against sinners while He gave them the opportunity to trust Christ for their salvation. God wants us to use that same attitude in our dealings with others. Not an easy job, but necessary.

The second action is “Forgiving one another.” The Greek is charizomenoi and means “to bestow a favor willingly and unconditionally.” The word comes from charisma (“a gift of Grace”) and tells us what we’ll need to willingly and unconditionally forgive Christians who sin against us. We will need special “gift of Grace” from God. Human beings don’t have a good record of forgiving others. If we’re honest, we’ve all had problems willingly and unconditionally forgiving Christians who did us wrong. That’s natural. What’s “supernatural” is “forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Yikes! That’s a tall order. God wants us to forgive sins committed against us in the same way Christ forgave our sins committed against Him. Whew! We’ll need a BIG “gift of Grace” to do that.

God’s Attitude toward us has been Mercy, Kindness, Humbleness of Mind, Meekness and Longsuffering. God’s Action toward us has been Enduring and Forgiving. Christ is our Example: “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

We are “dearly and deeply loved” by God. Let us now love each other “dearly and deeply.” By so doing we will demonstrate the reality of our Faith and the power of our Message.

“Mastering Kempo” by Dr. William Durbin

We’re pleased to share with you a new book by Soke William Durbin. Soke Durbin is a Christian brother and ordained minister. He is founder and director of Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei and Ki Bugei Kai – Christian Martial Arts Association, Inc. of Frankfort, Kentucky. He is a Vice President of Juko Kai Kokusai Remmei. Dr. Durbin is a recognized world authority on the history and practice of Kobujutsu, Jujutsu and Karate. He was a student of Richard Stone, Bill “Superfoot” Wallace and Dr. Rod Sacharnoski. Dr. Durbin’s martial arts ranks include:

  • Shodai Soke – Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei Kaiden – Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei
  • Soke/Kiyojute Ryu – Shinjo Ryu Iaijutsu/Kenjutsu Hanshi – Juko Kai Karate
  • Hanshi – Juko Kai Jujutsu
  • Judan – Juko Ryu Kobudo/Kobujutsu Kudan – Nihon Ryu Kempo
  • Hanshi Hachidan – Juko Ryu Kempo
  • Shihan – Koga Ha Kosho Shorei Ryu Ninjutsu
  • Shihan – Koga Ha Kosho Shorei Ryu Koppo
  • Rokudan – ISTJ Judo
  • Rokudan – Kenshin Kan Shorin Ryu Kobudo
  • Shihan Godan – Dai Yoshin Ryu Aikido
  • Shihan Godan – Shorin Ryu Karate
  • Shihan Godan – Juko Ryu Toide
  • Shihan Godan – Juko Ryu Aikijujutsu
  • Shihan Godan – Okinawan Goju Kempo Karate
  • Shihan Godan – Oikiru Ryu Jujutsu Bugei
  • Yodan – Seidokan Motobu Ryu Toide
  • Samdan – KwihanKu Sik Tae Kwon Do
  • Si Bak – Shaolin Chung Kuo Chuan Shu Kwoon Tai Chi

Dr. Durbin is associated with many martial arts organizations, including:

  • International Okinawan Martial Arts Union (Juko Kai, Seidokan, Kenshin Kan)
  • International Kosho Shorei Association Sei Kosho Shorei Kai
  • Koga Ha Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo Japan Martial Arts Society
  • Dai Nippon Seibukan Budo/Bugei Kai
  • Zen Kokusai Soke Budo/Bugei Remmei
  • International Martial Arts League

Dr. Durbin has been a dear friend of GMAF and shared his writings with us for publication in previous GMAF Newsletters. He also has written articles for major martial arts magazines, including “Black Belt Magazine”, “Aikido Today Magazine,” “Inside Karate”, “Inside Kung Fu”, “Inside Martial Arts,” “Martial Arts Masters”, “Martial Arts Ultimate Warriors” and “Karate/Kung Fu Illustrated.”

Dr. Durbin’s newest book is titled Mastering Kempo. He writes about the history, philosophy, techniques, tactics and training of the Art of Kempo. It is one of the best martial arts books I’ve read in the last 40 years. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the martial arts. The fact that Dr. Durbin is also a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes this book even more special.

Here are some comments about “Mastering Kempo” from other martial artists.

“As one of the leading practitioners of Kempo, Durbin has in-depth knowledge of the history and philosophy of the martial arts. I recommend this book heartily to all martial artists who wish to expand their knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of the martial arts.” Bill “Superfoot” Wallace

“William Durbin is the most objective, authentic, and accurate Kempo historian in America today. I have studied his methods and worked and practiced with him for five years. His skills and abilities in the martial arts, especially Kempo, are fascinating. I enthusiastically recommend Mastering Kempo to everyone involved in martial arts.” Bill Beach, Judan/Shihan

“Bill Durbin is unequaled as a researcher and teacher of the art of Kempo. This work shares his technique and philosophy gained throughout his 30- year career. I am honored to recommend Mastering Kempo.” Richard L. Stone, Hanshi Senior Master

Human Kinetics is the publisher. You can order Dr. Durbin’s book online at
http://www.humankinetics.com/ for $19.95. It is well worth the investment. (Review by Mark McGee)

“Carrying Other People’s Burdens” by Shidoshi Johnny Russell

My intent in the messages I send out is to edify warriors of the Cross of Christ to a higher commitment and dedication to service to the King of Kings. My method in doing so is to stimulate its thinking rather than to stroke its complacency.

There is an aura of warm fuzziness that tends to surround the body of Christ that is due to its tendency to see itself in the role of martyr-ism rather than to be the overcomers and spiritual warriors who are on the offense attacking the Gates of Hell that Christ intends for us be.

Not long ago, I heard someone say that the job of the preacher is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. I think that statement is correct up to a point. In today’s modern culture, many believers would rather view themselves as victims than as overcomers and, therefore, seek out those ministers and ministries that offer solace rather than those that prod them toward personal responsibility.

The road we walk is difficult for all of us. It is not a question of how many sorrows we can valiantly bear but rather how many obstacles we can overcome. One can either be crushed by the weight of affliction or see it as an instrument of God so designed to build him up.

It was with that thought in mind that the Apostle Paul said, regarding his own life of affliction: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians12:10).

There is most certainly a time to comfort the afflicted. Failing to do so in an appropriate and timely manner is to contribute to that persons spiritual demise. However, there is little room in the Scripture for one who accepts the role of a perpetual martyr. Failing to see the difference is a pitfall that both the afflicted and those who minister sometimes fall snare.

To build one another up in Holiness requires discernment and wisdom. We must learn when to bear the burden of another and when to require him to bear his own. In one location Paul admonished us to “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). A few verses later he commanded: “For every man shall bear his own burden” (Galatians 6:5).

As a minister in martial arts ministry, I find I am more equipped to prod the faithful toward greater responsibility and growth than to pour the balm of sympathy over their self-pity. In the American West there are bog holes that cattle, in search of water, sometimes wander into. If left to themselves they will only be drawn deeper into the mire by their struggles. One role of the cowboy is to find cattle in such need and rope them and pull them out to solid ground and security.

As ministers of Christ, we must be on the lookout for believers who wander into life’s “bog holes.” We must be dedicated to drawing them out to the safety of solid ground through the ministry of the Solid Rock. Unfortunately, many believers who are drawn into “bog holes” of life, become blinded by Satan and fail to realize the benefit of solid ground. It appears they would rather struggle in the mire of their own self-pity than to receive the effort and help required to place them on the solid ground of overcoming faith. Part of our responsibility in Christ is to sufficiently “prod the disoriented Christian so that they realize and address their need, submitting themselves to the help that is proffered.

As ministers and warriors of the Cross, our duty is not to make the afflicted feel comfortable in their affliction but rather to see them safely out of their sorrows and to convert them into overcomers, and fellow soldiers in God’s army.


Shidoshi Russell

Taking God’s Grace to the World!

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Grace Martial Arts © 1990 – 2019

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In the first part of our series we looked at the history of Hwa Yu T’ai Chi. Tradition is that Chen Tuan (also known as Chen Hsi-I) created Liu Ho Pa Fa sometime in the 10th or 11th centuries AD. If you did not read the first part, please click here to read before proceeding with the second part. You will find the historical background helpful.

Even though we are talking about a Chinese martial art created about a thousand years ago, the origin of Chinese martial arts was much earlier than that – possibly thousands of years earlier – as far back as the beginning of China itself.

One tradition is that the Yellow Emperor established the beginning of Chinese martial arts. Who was the Yellow Emperor and when did he live?

In the first part of our study we went back as far as Noah and his sons. Noah and his wife and their sons Japheth, Ham and Shem and their wives were the only human beings alive after the global Flood. We looked at how Noah’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren disobeyed God by staying together and building a city with a tower that reached toward Heaven with the intent of making their name great, “lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” God intervened by confusing their language, “that they may not understand one another’s speech.” The name of the city was Babel, “because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 11:1-9)

The families are identified in the Bible by their relationship to Noah’s sons. Family members scattered in multiple directions based on the new language they spoke after God confused the one language they had all shared. Because people continued to live for hundreds of years at that time, Noah and his sons were still alive when God scattered the people from building the Tower of Babel.

One of Ham’s grandsons, Nimrod, built cities across ancient Mesopotamia. He was a warrior and used his hunting and fighting skills to build those cities. Genesis 10:10 references Nimrod as being a “kingdom” builder (he may have been one of the first kings in the new world following the confusion of language).  The cities he built were known for their military prowess. Other sons and grandsons of Ham also built cities across the earth as they scattered and settled into their new lives in new locations. The information we find in Genesis 10 and in other ancient documents helps us know where many of Noah’s family members built their cities.

Origin of the Chinese People

Our question in this series is about the origin of Chinese Martial Arts, which goes to the origin of the Chinese people. There are many theories about family members from each of Noah’s sons establishing roots in China, so which family is it? Or did descendants from two or three of Noah’s sons make their way to China? China is a huge land mass with at least eight different language groups along with hundreds of dialects and variations, so it could be that multiple Noahic families moved to the area that became China. Let’s take a closer look at some of the theories.

[Because of the depth of each lineage we will have to shorten the information for this article. Please dig further into anything you find interesting or where you have questions.]

Japheth’s Family

“The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.” Genesis 10:2-5

Japheth had seven sons and we know the names of seven of his grandsons. That we have their names in the biblical account may be a clue to determining origins of various peoples and nations. We also know that the descendants of Japheth became the coastland people of the Gentiles.

The Yellow Emperor (Xuanyuan Huangdi) was a legendary founder in China whose rule was thought to have started during the early part of the 27th century BC. He is credited with defeating barbarians in a great battle and becoming the primary leader of various tribes in the Yellow River area. Some historians think Huangdi established an early government and military and trained soldiers in both armed and unarmed combat. Part of the legend about him is that he lived to a great age, which would fit with the ages of the grandsons and great-grandsons of Noah.

If there is some truth to a powerful warrior king (like Nimrod) establishing an early nation with government and military in the Yellow River area (often called the Cradle of Chinese Civilization), can we know the origin of his Noahic family? Might it be Japheth’s lineage?

Some writers from the 10th century AD believed descendants of Gomer reached China. Gomer was the eldest son of Japheth. Some writers even believed Japheth may have ruled in China for a time. Some Chinese have identified Japheth with Fu Hsi (also spelled Fu Xi) who was the first of China’s legendary emperors (approx. 29th century BC). (Donald Daniel Leslie, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 104, No. 3 (Jul. – Sep., 1984), pp. 403-409) The legend of Fu Hsi includes his discovering the Chinese trigrams (Bagua), which was used in the development of the Chinese martial art known as bagua zhang (ba gua chang/pakua chang).

Japheth’s next-oldest son, Magog, is also a candidate for traveling to China. Some historians through the ages have identified Magog with people living in China, Russia and Mongolia.

Japheth’s son Javan and his sons are also candidates for traveling to China. The name Kittim is thought to be connected initially with the people of Cyprus and later with Manchuria and China as descendants of that family traveled north into Europe, then east into Euroasia and Asia.

Ham’s Family

“The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, ‘Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.’ And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). Mizraim begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, and Casluhim (from whom came the Philistines and Caphtorim). Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite; the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. These were the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands and in their nations.” Genesis 10:6-20

We are given even more details about the family of Ham. The list includes four sons and many grandsons and great-grandsons. We already know that Cush’s son Nimrod established major cities throughout Mesopotamia. What about the other sons and their sons and grandsons?

Some historians believe that Ham’s descendants traveled to areas of the Mediterranean, Africa, Indian Ocean and South Pacific. Some of the people groups mentioned are the Philistines, Caphtorim, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, Hamathites and Canaanites. The cities and areas mentioned include Babel, Erech, Accad, Calneh, Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, Risen, Sidon, Gerar, Gaza, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Lasha. That information contains many clues as we search for where Ham’s family established new residences following the confusion of language.

Some of the areas are identified in what we know today as Africa, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Syria-Palestine. Does that mean Ham’s family did not travel to East Asia?

One possibility for Ham’s family connection to China comes through the Sinites. It appears from the Genesis 10 list that they came through Ham’s son Canaan.

“Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite; the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. “

Isaiah wrote about a people who would come from “afar” — “Those from the north and the west, And these from the land of Sinim” (Isaiah 49:12). The Hebrew word is סִינִֽים׃ sînîm, which is also translated into English as Syene, Syenites, China, Southern Egypt, and Aswan. The Orthodox Jewish Bible translates sînîm as Eretz Sinim [Sinites].

Some historians also refer to Chinese tribes as Sinites. It’s interesting that many Chinese believe Siang-fu (translated Father Sin) established one or more city-states in or near Shensi, China. Sinim is similar to Sinae which is a latinization of Qin. The Latin prefixes Sino and Sin are used to refer to China and the Chinese people (coming from the word Sinae). The Sinitic (Chinese) language is a branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family that has hundreds of dialects. You may have heard the following terms used for relations between China and other countries: Sino-Japanese, Sino-Tibetan, Sino-Indian, Sino-Vietnamese, Sino-US, Sino-American, and Sino-Soviet. The word “Sino” signifies China in each case.

Shem’s Family

We know from Genesis 11 that Abraham descended from the lineage of Noah’s son Shem. Abraham (Abram) is listed as a member of the 10th generation in the lineage of Shem. Each of the ancestors mentioned in the lineage are there because they lead directly from Shem to Abraham. That is a direct-line history similar to others in the Bible. You may have done something like that in researching your own genealogy.

It’s also important to note that each of the men listed in Shem’s lineage are also said to have “begot sons and daughters.” These men who lived to be hundreds of years old had more than one son. We are not told the names of their other children, but the Genesis 10 list tells about some of them.

“And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder. The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. The sons of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east. These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations.” Genesis 10:21-31

Shem is identified as “the father of all the children of Eber.” That this is the first statement about Shem in the Genesis 10 Table of Nations may be a clue that we should look carefully at Shem’s great-grandson Eber. When we look at Eber we find two sons – Peleg and Joktan. The earth was divided in the days of Peleg, which means it would have also been divided in the days of Joktan. The importance of Peleg is that he is in the direct lineage of Abraham according to Genesis 11. We are told that Peleg “begot sons and daughters,” but we aren’t given their names.

So, what about Joktan? Anything special about him? Genesis 10 records that Joktan had 13 sons.

“Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling place was from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east.”

An interesting note is that their dwelling place was from Mesha “as you go toward Sephar, the mountain of the east.” Some historians believe Mesha was located in Arabia. The names of many of Joktan’s sons have been traced to cities in the area of Mesopotamia. Others believe Mesha may be Mashad located in northeast Iran. Sephar may have been Mount Sabber in Arabia or a large mountain east of Iran. There are many large mountains between Iran and China. Much of western China is a mountainous region that includes Mt. Everest in the Himalayas.


It’s difficult to know with certainty which of Noah’s descendants settled in China, but the way families moved away from each other after the Tower of Babel could have eventually pushed any of them there. The fact that China has at least eight different language groups along with hundreds of dialects and variations could mean that some of the descendants of Japheth, Ham and Shem may have made their homes in what is now China.

We know from history that many of the ancient people who descended from Noah were warriors. A common language kept them together, which is why God confused the language. That caused the families to scatter from each other, which goes to the perceived need for self defense. We know from the history of Nimrod that he was a “mighty hunter” and established many large and powerful city-states. Establishing powerful cities with military force would mean that other people groups would have also used military force to both defend themselves as well as establish their own places in the new world through offensive means.

Martial (military) arts developed early in the years following the confusion of language and we can trace some the oldest ones, like the Chinese Martial Arts, to a time when Noah’s descendants established their foothold in what would become China. Was the legendary Yellow Emperor one of those descendants? Maybe.

Public Domain – 1854 map Early Chinese Martial Arts

Many martial arts preceded Hwa Yu T’ai Chi (10th century AD), including Shaolin Kung Fu (from early 6th century AD), Xiang Bo, Jiao Di, Jiǎo Lì, and Shou Bo. Some of them are mentioned in ancient Chinese writings including the Spring and Autumn Annals (5th century BC), Classic of Rites (5th century BC), Han History Bibliographies (2nd century BC), and Records of the Grand Historian (1st century BC). The concept of “hard” and “soft” techniques are mentioned in the Spring and Autumn Annals.

The history of Chinese Martial Arts demonstrates an early understanding of military and self-defense techniques that would become the foundation for the arts taught today around the world.

As for the history of Hwa Yu T’ai Chi, we invite you to read the following:

Hwa Yu T’ai Chi Ch’uan: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Five-Word Song by Grand Master Glenn Newth

Hwa Yu t’ai Chi Ch’uan Part II: The Inner Workings by Grand Master Glenn Newth

The Chinese Five Word Song by Grand Master John Chung Li (Foreward by Grand Master Robert Xavier)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright 1990-2019 ©  Grace Martial Arts

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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

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
Jesus Christ

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
The Apostle Paul

Wisdom Notes

“All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.”Proverbs 16:2

“Dead or Alive” by Mark McGee

As large and complex as the Bible is, God has a way of getting to the point in a few words. He inspired the Apostle Paul to write in Ephesians 2:1: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” The word “quickened” means “made alive.” Paul was writing to people who had been dead in the past, but were now alive because of the Power of God.

Everyone in this world is either dead or alive. Paul taught that everyone is born into sin and death. Everyone is dead until something makes them alive. That something is God’s Love, Mercy and Grace.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).” Ephesians 2:4-5

It’s interesting that with all the knowledge and information that is flooding the world today through high-speed computers, high-tech communication devices, satellites and the Internet, the Truth about people hasn’t changed an inch. People were dead in their sins 2,000 years ago and people are still dead in their sins today. While the world has learned so much, it understands so little. Great advances in knowledge and information don’t change the facts about a person’s spiritual position. They are dead or they are alive.

That is our message today. The Industrial Revolution didn’t change the message. The Computer Age didn’t change the message. The Communications Revolution didn’t change the message. The Information Age didn’t change the message. The world does not have the power or influence to change our Message. The Message remains the same through all time. People are dead or alive. They are dead in sins or alive in Christ.

We don’t need to concern ourselves with what’s going on around us. We don’t have to fear the next scientist’s discovery. We don’t have to worry that someone will learn something that will alter the Truth. Truth is Truth. It has always been Truth and it will always be Truth. People are either dead in sins or alive in Christ. The world will run itself absolutely insane trying to disprove the Truth, but it’s a waste of time. God said it, so it’s True.

Comfort yourself in knowing that the Message you share is True and unchangeable. Your Message of God’s Love and Grace and His Gift of Saving Faith and Eternal Life is what this old world needs. The world does need love. It needs God’s Love. You have it. Share it. Make a difference in someone’s life today. Most of the people you meet in an average day are dead in sin. Share with them that they can be alive in Christ.

“God Said No” by Pastor Howell Osborne

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is earned.
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings. Happiness is up to you.
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.
I ask God to help me LOVE others, unconditional as He loves me. God said… Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

Taking God’s Grace to the World!

[Join our Grace Martial Arts Facebook Community!]

Grace Martial Arts © 1990 – 2019

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The origin of Hwa Yu T’ai Chi is traditionally believed to be in China during the 9th and 10 centuries AD. Tradition is that Chen Tuan lived on Mount Hua (Hwa) in Shensi during the latter part of the Five Dynasties period (907-960 AD) and early part of the Sung Dynasty (960–1279 AD).  The mountain is located in the north-central part of modern China in Shaanxi province about 75 miles east of Xi’an. It is the western mountain of what is known as the Five Great Mountains of China.

Chen Tuan, also known as Chen Hsi I, is credited with being a martial arts expert who developed a style known as Liu Ho Pa Fa (also known as Hwa Yu T’ai Chi). Centuries later a master of Liu Ho Pa Fa, John Chung Li, brought the art from China to the United States. My teacher, Grand Master Robert Xavier, was a senior student of Grand Master Li and received the lineage of Hwa Yu T’ai Chi in 1980.

Training on Wudang

Chen Tuan was an expert in Chinese martial arts before he created Liu Ho Pa Fa. Tradition is that he studied martial arts at the Rock of Nine rooms on Wudang Mountain (also spelled Wu Tang).  Wudang is located in Central China about 405 miles from Mount Hua, certainly within travel distance for Chen Tuan to have trained there.

Wudang has a long history of “internal” or “soft” martial arts. Liu Ho Pa Fa (Hwa Yu T’ai Chi) is one of the internal martial arts. Other internal arts from Wudang are Hsing-I Ch’uan (Form of the Will Boxing), Pa Kua Chang (Eight Trigrams Palm) and T’ai Chi Ch’uan (Grand Supreme Boxing). It’s believed that these arts were created during the Ming Dynasty, many years after Chen Tuan created Liu Ho Pa Fa.

Some historians believe Chen Tuan taught Liu Ho Pa Fa on Mount Wudang and that he may have taught Huo Lung, who was the teacher of Chang San Feng (also spelled Zhang Sanfeng). Chang is said to be the creator of T’ai Chi and the concept of internal strength (neijia). It’s also believed Chang may have spent time on Mount Hua before finally settling in the Wudang mountains.

Some historians believe that Li Tung Fung was the senior student of Chen Tuan (Chen Hsi-I) and continued the lineage of Liu Ho Pa Fa. Others believe Li Tung Fung discovered a description of Liu Ho Pa Fa that Chen His-I wrote before his death.

Here is a short lineage of masters of Liu Ho Pa Fa (Hwa Yu T’ai Chi) beginning with Chen His-I.

Hwa-Yu Martial Arts Masters Lineage
  • Master Instructor Chen Hsi-I – Creator of Liu Ho Pa Fa (Hwa Yu T’ai Chi)
  • Master Instructor Li Tung Fung – Senior student of Chen Hsi-I … Master Fung was the author of the “Five Word Song”
  • Master Instructor Kwan Kit
  • Master Instructor Lan Wan Sing
  • Master Instructor Wong Tak Wai
  • Master Instructor Tai Yai Chin – Changed the name from Lop Hop Pak Fat to “Swimming Boxing”
  • Master Yeung King Kun – From Fon Shan, called the exercise “Twelve Movements of Exercise Before Birth”
  • Master Instructor Shut – Called the exercise “Idea Six Combinations”
  • Master Instructor Chen Kong Ta – From the town of Yellow Flower in the district of Cheung Pin of the Hopei Province. He studied the exercise under the names of “Idea Six Combinations” and “Idea Spiritual Kung Fu.
  • Master Instructor Wu Yiek Tai – Taught Lop Hop Pak Fat in the Republic of China. General Cheng Jee Kong brought Master Tai to the Chinese Martial Art GovernmentSchool in Nanking to teach Lop Hop Pak Fat. Master Tai later lived in Shanghai and taught a few students until the Communist Government appeared. He died in 1967.
  • Master Instructor Chan Yik-yan
  • Master Instructor Lo Chi-wan
  • Master Instructor John Chung Li
  • Master Instructor Robert Xavier

You can learn more about Hwa Yu T’ai Chi and its history by reading the following books:

Hwa Yu T’ai Chi Ch’uan: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Five-Word Song by Grand Master Glenn Newth

Hwa Yu t’ai Chi Ch’uan Part II: The Inner Workings by Grand Master Glenn Newth

The Chinese Five Word Song by Grand Master John Chung Li

A Biblical Perspective

While this lineage takes us back to the Sung Dynasty, the history of Hwa Yu T’ai Chi and Chinese Martial Arts goes back even further.

Chinese Martial Arts is thought by many to have originated with a legendary figure known as the Yellow Emperor. Huangdi (Huang – yellow .. di – emperor) is believed to have been one of ancient China’s earliest emperors. He was known as a great warrior and intellect and was given the name “Yellow Emperor.”  He is reputed to have been born on Xuanyaan Hill in Xinzheng County in the Henan Province. His birth name was Youxiong Xuanyuan and the beginning of his rule is believed to have been in the middle of the third millennium BC.

That’s interesting in light of the nations that descended from Noah. We find them listed in Genesis 10.

“Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.” Genesis 10:1

All the peoples (nations) of the earth descended from the sons of Noah. So, which son (or sons) of Noah was an ancestor of the Chinese people? Let’s begin with the lineage of Japheth.

“The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.” Genesis 10:2-5

Some historians believe the Chinese came from the lineage of Japheth through his son Javan and grandson Kittim. Though the Bible does not list how long Japheth and his sons and grandsons lived after the Flood, we do know how long Shem and his descendants lived.

  • Noah was born 600 years before the Flood and lived another 350 years after the Flood
  • Shem was born 100 years before the Flood and lived almost 500 years after the Flood
  • Arphaxad was born two years after the Flood and lived to be 438 years old
  • Salah was born 37 years after the Flood and lived to be 433 years old

That gives us some idea about the possible ages of the sons and grandsons of Japheth. Javan and Kittim may have lived for several hundred years after their births.

Genesis 10 informs us that “the earth was divided” during the days of Peleg. It would appear from what we read in the Bible that the division of the earth refers to the confusion of language at the Tower of Babel that we read about in Genesis 11.

According to the record of Shem’s lineage in Genesis 11, Peleg was born about 101 years after the Flood. Peleg was the great-great grandson of Shem. He lived to be about 239 years old, so the confusion of language at the Tower of Babel occurred sometime between 101 and 340 years after the Flood.

The significance of this is that God scattered the descendants of Noah who all lived together at Babel (Babylon). Genesis 11:8 and 9 read – “So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”

That means the descendants of Noah and his sons were scattered across the earth sometime between 101 and 340 years after the Flood. Noah and his sons would have still been alive when God confused the language and scattered the people. Noah lived 350 years after the Flood and Shem lived almost 500 years after the Flood.

The sons of Noah and their descendants who were scattered abroad over the face of all the earth would have had the time and energy to establish many cities across the world. We know from the life of one of Noah’s great-grandsons that he set up cities throughout ancient Mesopotamia.

“Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, ‘Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.’ And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city).” Genesis 10:8-12

Nimrod would have lived about the same time as his cousin Selah, who was born about 37 years after the Flood. If Nimrod was born about the same time and lived as long as Selah did (433 years), then Nimrod would have been living long enough after the confusion of language at the Tower of Babel to build all the cities attributed to him. He may have been stronger than members of other families since he built cities in the same area as Babel. Genesis 10 does say that Nimrod was a mighty hunter and a kingdom builder – which would possibly make him the first king after the confusion of language.

Nimrod would not have been the only person building a kingdom and cities across the world. His uncles and cousins would have also been looking for places to build their new lives after the confusion of language and many of them would establish themselves as kings and rulers in the new world.

Next Time

In the next part of our special series, we will look at where the families of Japheth, Ham and Shem moved to from Babel. We’ll also see which family or families may have moved to what would become China. We’ll also see if we can determine from the Bible the identity of the Yellow Emperor.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright 1990-2019 ©  Grace Martial Arts

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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

“They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”
Jesus Christ

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
The Apostle Paul

Wisdom Notes

” Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

“No Surprise” by Mark McGee

Sin to the left of us — Sin to the right of us — Sin in front and behind — Sin above and below. Everywhere we look we see sin and sinners. We hear the shocking sounds of cursing mouths and lying tongues. Robbers and thieves wait around every corner for their next victim. Men beat their wives. Women murder their husbands. Children have sex with other children . Men and women live together without being married. Legal abortions kill thousands of babies. Divorce is on the rise. Government leaders lie, cheat and steal to increase their power. What’s gone wrong?

The events swirling around us every day should come as “no surprise” to students of the Bible. Satan’s power is growing. The Apostle Paul wrote the Ephesians more than 1,900 years ago that every person was born dead in trespasses and sins. All of us once lived our lives under the dominance of Satan. We made decisions based on the lusts of our flesh. We fulfilled the desires of our flesh and mind. What kept us from becoming just like everyone else around us was the Amazing Love and Grace of God. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).” Even people who received Christ as young children had the terrible sin nature that could have led them into the depths of wickedness if they had become teens and adults without Christ. God’s Grace was just as amazing with a sinful little child as with the worst sinful adult you can imagine. “There but for the Grace of God go I” is a saying worth considering when we wonder how things in our community could have become so bad. Sinners have only one direction to go: “the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”

God does not want His children to participate in the sinful ways of this wicked world. In fact, God wants us to reprove them. “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” (Ephesians 5:6-12) God does not leave us wondering what the unfruitful works of darkness are. His Word gives us a long list. Here are several examples from Ephesians and Galatians:

  • “putting away lying”
  • “Be ye angry, and sin not”
  • “Neither give place to the devil”
  • “Let him that stole steal no more”
  • “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” “grieve not the holy Spirit of God”
  • “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice”
  • “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings.”

These are things we should reprove rather than do. That’s a good thing, but something we shouldn’t do is to believe that being fortunate enough to have received God’s Grace makes us better than those who haven’t. That’s a bad thing. The Love of God will grip our hearts and minds and constrain us to share His Love with those who are dead in sin. Sin is not pretty. It’s not easy to be around when you’ve spent years having little or no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. A danger of being a “saint” is believing we are better than people who aren’t. That thinking can lead Christians to remove themselves from being around sinners. We learn what God thinks about that from the way He prayed for His disciples centuries ago: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. ”

Christ wanted His disciples protected from evil as they went about ministering in the world. A key here is “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. ” Christ wanted His followers to do just as He did. Christ spent more time with sinners than He did the religious and self-righteous. Christ ate with sinners, walked with sinners, talked with sinners, touched sinners, prayed for sinners, wept for sinners. Jesus Christ loves sinners. Sinners were why He came into the world. He came to change their lives through the Amazing Power of His Life. He sent His disciples into the world with that same purpose.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-20

Every Christian has a ministry. It is reconciliation. We are ambassadors for Christ. We speak for Him on Earth. We are His representatives to all the people of this planet.

One thing we need to understand as ambassadors for Christ and ministers of reconciliation is what sin does to people as they continue in it year after year. We should not be surprised that sinners sin. We should not be repelled by it. We should go forward and serve God by telling sinners how they can be saved. Tell sinners how God saved you. That’s what Paul did. He told his story everywhere. He made sure everyone knew that he was the chief of sinners and had experienced the Amazing Love and Grace of Almighty God through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Paul pulled no punches. He did not pretend to be better than anyone. He was not surprised by the actions of sinful people. He understood. He knew what sin had done to him and what it did to others. Paul told the Ephesians to imitate God as children imitated their parents. “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Christ sacrificed Himself for sinners. Paul told Christians they should imitate that sacrifice. Paul went on to write that sin should not be part of a Christian’s life and that we should reprove the unfruitful works of darkness, but he always reminded saints of God to love sinners and to spend their lives in the ministry of seeing lost souls reconciled to God.

Let’s surprise some sinners in the coming year with our love and forgiveness. Let’s show the lost the Grace and saving power of God in the difficult days that are ahead of us. Satan’s power is growing. His hold on this planet is getting stronger. We may be living in the final days before Christ’s return. That possibility should push us forward with even more determination that we will serve God to the death if necessary. Satan is counting on Christians to grow weary, lose interest, give up. Let’s surprise Satan with our determination, our love, our desire to serve God and the lost. Great things are ahead for those who move with God. He is the Victor. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

New Beginnings by Pastor Don Engelhardt

It is never easy to start a martial arts school. We have found ourselves starting from scratch more than we would like, but there are some benefits to starting over. If you visited our Service page, you probably noticed that we do not currently have classes in operation. In the relatively short time that we have been instructing, we are preparing to begin our third school.

We initially began a school in Findlay, Ohio while I was in seminary. We pattern our class after the class of our instructor. We used the same teaching style and very close to the same vocabulary. We discovered that the community was not the same as the community where we were trained and the teaching methods were not as effective with the people of the new community. We altered our teaching methods slightly and in the course of the first year, we had over fifty students, due to our situation, we needed to form a waiting list for the classes we were teaching at the time. During the three years in Findlay, we relocated the classes four times. We held classes in a church, the seminary, a storefront, and returned to the seminary. Our Findlay classes continued for a year after we moved an hour away. We constantly were evaluating our teaching styles and techniques every time we held a belt test. We determined what needed to be strengthened and would emphasize that during the period between tests, but found out rapidly that it is difficult to strengthen areas that were allowed to become weak.

By the time we closed the Findlay classes, we had begun a new set of classes at our church in Elmore, Ohio. We used the information we discovered from the experiences in Findlay when we started the class. Our teaching methods were changed and much of our focus also changed. The location of the class at the church was rural, but we were still able to develop in less than a year a class of twenty-five students. Again, we evaluated our teaching by the students’ belt tests. There were still some weak areas, but we had seen a marked improvement.

God has called us to the Canton, Ohio area. This area has a strong presence of the PKC and there appears to be a high density of martial arts classes as well. There does not appear to be a need for another martial arts class in the community, but there appears to be a need for a martial arts ministry. So we are looking at a new start both in the church where God has led us and in martial arts ministry. With this situation of begin a new adventure in our lives, I have been thinking a considerable amount about “beginnings.”

There are two books in Scripture that begin with “in the beginning.” The first is Genesis that begins with the creation of the world. The second is in the Gospel according to John. Both of these books focus on beginnings. The book of Genesis tells of how humanity turned and started moving away from God and how the relationship between God and humanity deteriorated because of sin. It tells of how God slowed the ruin of humanity. In John, the creation of the world is also discussed. Here though the focus is not on the destruction of the relationship between God and humanity, but instead the restoration of the relationship. This is a place where a true new beginning may be found.

This short segment of Scripture sets one of the foundational aspects of our faith. This concept, theologians have labeled the “Incarnation” or the combination of two natures. This is one of the primary passages that shows Jesus as both God and human. Looking at verse 14, we find that “The Word became flesh” and lived among us. This is a description what Jesus Christ did. He became flesh or in terms more common to us, He became human. Verse 17 confirms the Word being the person of Jesus Christ and not someone or some thing else.

Now, we can get a fuller picture of understanding by replacing “The Word” with “Jesus Christ” in this passage. It would then read something like this:

In the beginning was Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was with God, and Jesus Christ was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Jesus is God and is life. Life begins with Jesus Christ for He is the source of life. Rejecting the source of life is to accept death in its stead.

You may meet up with people who have trouble accepting that Jesus Christ is both God and man, and say that He was either God in a human form or a man that was greatly endowed by God to do great wonders. Some say that Jesus is the Son of God, but that prevents Him in their mind from fully being God. Jesus has affected everyone who has met Him even those that rejected Him. “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not understand it.”

It has always been interesting to me that the people who had the most knowledge about God rejected Jesus. Verse 11 tells us that He came to those who were His own, but they did not receive Him. These were the people who knew about Him and carried the responsibility to teach others about Him, but they missed Him and did not recognize Him.

We find in the 3rd chapter the phrase that is frequently quoted “you must be born again,” which confused Nicodemas. Jesus was speaking of a spiritual birth that would be the new beginning that we need as sinful people. The first beginning showed God’s justice and mercy through the law, but this new beginning is focused on grace and truth.

In the midst of this new start, we again renew our focus that it is necessary for individuals to have the new life that is found in Christ Jesus.

“Drawing Blood”

We recently asked a question on the International Network of Christian Martial Artist Forum about Christians drawing blood during training or tournaments. Here are some of the answers we received.

“In our discussion of whether or not to draw blood, someone made a comment concerning getting hit. It was a very perceptive comment, and demonstrated the real-life nature of the author’s philosophy of martial arts. The comment went something like: If a student has never practiced full- contact, then they will probably lose a fight as soon as they get hit that first time.

This is a common point of discussion among those of us who are concerned with the street value of our techniques. How can we prepare ourselves for that first hit? Of course, full-contact sparring is just one way to get over the shock of initial contact in a fight. I’m curious whether or not anyone has any ideas about OTHER ways to prepare for this inevitable event. This might include “dragon breathing” “iron shirt” , etc… but I’d like to know how everyone deals with this in their own schools.

I’m afraid that too many schools teach the technique of “False sense of security.” This technique, of course, doesn’t usually work out very well on the street. It is also unnecessary since I’m sure there are many disciplines (aside from full-contact sparring) which can be utilized even among children to at least mentally condition and prepare them for being on the receiving end of a good sucker punch.

While I’ve come to realize that my school, for a variety of reasons (not the least of which being the age and maturity of my students), is often more physical than many others, I want to share a little truth I’ve found. In my school, and I know this will sound absolutely awful but bear with me, we actually make a jocular “celebration” of someone’s “first blood.” When someone gets hit really hard or knocked down hard, or gets a nose broken or something for the first time ever, we usually end class by getting a couple of cokes or ice cream or something and laughing it off. I’ve found that your students’ devotion to the arts multiplies tenfold when they get over the double handicap of no contact. The two big problems I’ve found with students who have never actually been hit are:

1. They aren’t scared ENOUGH of getting hit. They are unrealistic in their confidence. The believe that they will simply shrug off a solid punch to the face or something like it.
2. They are TOO SCARED of getting hit. They are not aggressive at all, and are handicapped by their own lack of ranging ability and lack of ability to close on an opponent.

I hope everyone will share their own ideas or observations concerning this age-old issue of “first contact.”

This is the way I feel about Christians in the Martial Arts:

As a Christian, Christ lives inside your heart, your soul, and in everything you do. Because of this, you have the right to protect Christ. The reason why you have to protect yourself, is Christ is inside of you. Because He is inside of us, our main goal in life is to spread the word of salvation. In this world today, the world is not 100% safe. If we are faced with a threatening situation, we must defend ourselves, or we can no longer spread the word of salvation if we are dead. Therefore our main goal in life is destroyed.

I feel as if Full-Contact is too much just to train with. I don’t like to hurt anyone, and I really do not enjoy getting hurt either. If I feel as if I want to hit full-contact, like that after a stressful day at work, I will get my punching bag, tie it to a tree, and use that to get out my frustration. This way, if I wanted to fight someone, it results in no person getting injured.

I do not like to draw blood, because I fear other people’s blood with all the diseases out there. To many blood diseases out there can kill you if it mixes with pure blood. I know because my best friend has a blood disease, not AIDS, but is spread like AIDS and will kill you in many years ahead. A slow an painful death, sometimes, and other times a quick death. Some won’t even know they are sick.

I used to spar in my old school with a head gear, arm/forum pads, shin pads, feet pads, and a mouth piece. My equipment was great for the light contact we used in our school. We used minimal contact and make contact in proper places. No one got injured, unless they were goofing off, and walked into a punch, and their nose got the punch, or something like that.

I believe if you want to practice kicking, punching, or other techniques in full-contact, like that of the street, you can use heavy bags, punching bags, kicking bags, and even human dummies to practice your technique with, so that no one gets injured.

I feel as Christians we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and I can not hurt family. ”

As we know the Martial Arts of almost any style can include some risks. I have been involved for over 28 years (no wonder they call me “Major Dad”). I do not purposely intend to draw blood, but it has happened, mine as well as theirs. In full-contact it can be brutal. I try my best to hit “target areas” for points to win the match, but do not try to cause someone to purposely bleed.

As a RN Nurse Practitioner always use universal precautions when around blood etc to protect against HIV, Hepatitis etc. ”

In my classes, our philosophy as Christian martial artists is one of civic responsibility. If you are going to study martial arts, it should be so that you can become a good fighter. This fighting ability should then be used to both defend yourself and those around you, not just friends and family, but all people around you. “Who is my neighbor?”

How does this fall out in sparring? My class, an old-fashioned Chinese style, tries to make sparring as real as possible. Full-strength strikes are not only encouraged but required. I have one student who is an adept boxer who has broken my nose and knocked me silly once. These are the risks. We say in class: “If you don’t hurt when class is over, you weren’t doing it right.”

In sparring, we have only three rules: 1. No striking the knees from the front. 2. No striking the groin intentionally. 3. Both participants must agree on mutual rules before they begin.

We have no point areas. We have no illegal moves. We try to simulate true-to-life fighting as closely as possible in class. We compensate for the combative nature of our “sparring” by wearing significant pads. We wear chest protectors, shin protectors *cloth*, head gear, mouthpieces, cups, instep guards, forearm *optional* pads, open-finger gloves *for grappling*.

My beginning students begin with point-sparring (we call it “tag” in a less- than-affectionate manner), so that they can learn the valuable skills of ranging and control. Only approved students can go to full-combat sparring.

I recommend at least trying this style of fighting with your mature or older students. I have found that it is much easier for students to discover and capitalize on their natural talents and body-types when regularly practicing this style of sparring. I only teach high school kids and older, and I naturally wouldn’t recommend this style of fighting for kids.

Ultimately, an instructor needs to keep in mind what his goals for class are. If you are a TKD instructor, then sports and athletic goals are paramount, and hard sparring is unnecessary. If you are a self-defense oriented school, however, I recommend full-contact continuous sparring… the more realistic, the better. On the street, there aren’t any rules.”

I have to disagree, but then again, we are all humans and are entitled to our opinions. If you agree to full contact spar, that is one thing, but if one has no clue that they have to fight full contact, then are required to do so, that is a problem. In my years of martial arts training, I never fought full contact. I don’t’ see the point of hurting someone to train. Bones are fragile, and you can break them over and over, but the more you injure yourself the more you will have a hard time recovering from them as well. I’m still young, to most people, and I want to remain that way. I do not train just for self-defense real life practical situations. I trained for self-esteem, self-respect, physical and spiritual conditioning (spiritual because it was Christian based) and also for fellowship. The self-defense part of it just came with the requirements, and I have learned some real life practical techniques, even though any full- contact was never used. I myself can not hit someone full contact, just for a..

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In the last part of our series we looked at Threat Level Two which includes high-level verbal threats that are menacing and possibly criminal. If you haven’t read that article yet, please click here to read.

Let’s move now to Threat Level Three.

Threat Level Three is where someone approaches you physically with the intent to cause you harm.

Response Level Three is where we “run,” “escape and run,” or “stun and run” to get away from the attacker(s).

Escape and Run and Stun and Run are specific to when someone makes physical contact with you as shown in the image below.

The person approaching you may verbally threaten to hurt you, then step toward you with an obvious intent to carry out their threat. However, they may approach you in a menacing manner without saying a word.

Bodily harm is the lowest level of physical harm and is defined legally as “physical pain or injury or any impairment of physical condition.” Almost any kind of physical contact can cause “bodily harm.”

Legal Considerations

Our response should be in proportion to the action. Legally, assault is –

“… an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful oroffensive contact.” Legal Dictionary, The Free Dictionary.com

“A criminal assault — a threat or physical act that creates a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact with one’s person — involving an additional, aggravating factor, such as the intent to inflict serious bodily injury or the use of a dangerous weapon.” Wex Legal Dictionary, Legal Information Institute

An assault (sometimes called attempted battery) is where someone threatens you with bodily harm and presents the ability to cause you harm. Someone approaching you in a threatening manner with threatening words may rise to the level of criminal assault, but the first thing you need to do is evade their movement toward you.

Running is usually the best option when you can do that. However, there are times when someone has cornered you or grabbed you in a way that keeps you from running. What can you do legally? You can “escape and run” or “stun and run.”

Your response may be as simple as an escape technique (e.g. pulling your arm away from their hold) or a push or pull technique (e.g. push, punch, kick, throw).

You have a legal right to defend yourself in these ways, but you don’t have a right to get revenge on someone. Once you are free of their attack, run.

Click on the image below to watch a video describing how to respond to Threat Level Three.

Threat Level Three - YouTube
Personal Considerations

Once someone is close enough to grab, hit or kick you, you need to move quickly to escape. Once the threatening person makes physical contact with you, their attack has gone from assault to battery. You can use a variety of non-deadly defensive techniques to escape the attack. The important thing is to keep yourself safe.

Next Time

What happens if you are with other people (e.g. family members, friends, strangers who are victims of attack) and you don’t want to run away and leave the others to face the attacker alone? We’ll look at responses to Force Level Four in the next part of our series.

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© Grace Martial Arts 1990 – 2019

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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

“My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
Jesus Christ

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
The Apostle Paul

Wisdom Notes

” In all labour there is profit.”
Proverbs 14:23

Unto Good Works
Mark McGee

Why are we on Earth? Why aren’t we with Christ our Lord and Savior? What reason do we have for continuing life on this planet after we’ve tasted the Love and Grace of Almighty God and been given the desire for a Heavenly home?

God made it clear through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not by works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” God wants us to “W-O-R-K.” What does that mean?

It means serving God while on Earth. It means spending our time, talent, energy and money to do what God wants done. What is it that He wants? Jesus said it well: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Christ is the Greatest Example of a Person committed to doing God’s Work. It was Christ Who told His followers to do as He did. God wants us to do His Will and finish His work. We are saved with a view toward doing good works.

God wants people saved. He wants them to grow in spiritual knowledge and wisdom. He wants them to obey His Word. He wants people to love Him above all others. God inspired thousands of words so we’d know His Will and what He wanted us to do. It’s not a mystery. It’s not something we have to think about for years until something finally becomes clear to us. God wants us to be busy doing His work. Study God’s Word, find out what God’s work is, then do it.

The Apostle Paul wrote many words about Christians busy doing God’s work. Paul was another excellent model for us of a Christian who was committed to doing the work of the Lord.

1. Paul spoke highly of the work of God and Christians who did the work. “Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.” (Rom. 16:6) “Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ.” (Rom. 16:9) “Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord.” (Rom. 16:12) “Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.” (Rom. 16:21) “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9) “Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.” (1 Cor. 16:10) “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.” (1 Cor. 16:1-16 … what an interesting concept of being “addicted” to serving others!) “Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you.” (2 Cor. 8:23) “Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.” (Phil. 2:25) “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.” (Phil. 4:3)”And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.” (1 Thess. 5:12-13) “Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer.” (Philemon 1:1)

2. Paul encouraged all believers to be involved fully in the work. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58) “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph. 4:12,16) “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:10) “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Col. 3:23-24) “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousnes; That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

3. Paul wrote that every Christian’s work will be tested. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built threupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Cor. 3:13-15)
I cannot find anywhere in Scripture where God commends laziness or lack of direction on the part of His people. From the beginning of time, God has always had specific and important work for believers. He made it clear to each one, equipped them for the work and expected them to do it. Our time is no different. True, we are under Grace and not under Law. However, that changes nothing in God’s desire for His children to be busy doing good works. We don’t “have” to do it as far as Law is concerned, but God’s Grace works in our hearts to make us “want” to do His work. It is not a difficult thing. It is a work of Joy! We are not saved by works, but we are saved with a view toward good works. We have Christ, Paul and thousands of saints before us as examples of what God wants His children to do. It’s called “G- O-O-D W-O-R-K-S” and “S-E-R-V-I-C-E.” Work is not a bad four-letter word. It is a great OPPORTUNITY to be part of the Amazing Grace of God in our communities and countries. The work of God leads to the salvation of souls, the saving of marriages, the strengthening of young lives, the morality of leaders, the direction of nations.

Paul felt the Grace of God so deeply that he sometimes referred to his ministry as a “debt” he owed. May we feel the Love and Grace of God that deeply.

“I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians, both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.”

The Battle

We receive many e-mails from Christian martial artists battling with whether to continue or return to martial arts training. Here is a recent question and answer that you may find helpful as you minister.


I’ve attained to the rank of brown belt in Chinese Kenpo (Villari style) but haven’t seriously trained for over a year and a half because of the battle of: is it of God? It’s of the devil, Is it of God? It’s of the devil, it’s rooted in the occult, take the occult out of it and still do it, Will God approve? Hmm. This mind game never ends. I just need to settle it and move on. I’d like to reach 1st Dan anyways, but…”

Many of us have had similar struggles. The physical and mental aspects of martial arts are positive because they are in agreement with the way God built us. The challenge is the spiritual aspects of martial arts. Christians cannot participate in the non-Christian spiritual beliefs. We just can’t. It’s against what we believe. I don’t participate in what’s against God’s Word. We can understand that Taoists and Buddhists practiced and taught some of the martial arts we study, but also understand that we don’t have to be Taoists or Buddhists to practice and teach the arts for health and martial results.

God made the body to move. He gave the body and mind the ability to heal itself of much of the damage from living. The Bible has many insights into the body’s self-healing properties. God also taught His people through the centuries how to wage war and protect themselves and their property when necessary. Moving the body for health and self defense is not anti-Bible. What’s anti-Bible is believing something that is anti-Bible. What is anti-Bible is anti-God. What is anti-God is not from God. We won’t believe or practice anything that is anti-God.

Is the art of Kenpo from God? Did God invent Jujutsu? Did He create T’ai Chi Ch’uan? We know He didn’t. We know the names of the men and women who created and innovated various martial arts styles. Did God create a particular swimming stroke or high dive form? No, but what’s wrong with learning how to swim or dive? Nothing, unless we believe that a particular swimming or diving system forgives us our sins or makes us like gods. I don’t believe that martial arts practice can forgive my sins or make me into a god. I believe it’s good for health and self defense. I believe God forgives me and will make me like Christ in Heaven.

The fighting arts are much older than Karate and Kung Fu. Even T’ai Chi, as old as it is, is fairly young when compared with the fighting arts of the Lamech clan or the family of Nimrod, “who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth,” or the Canannites, the Ludites, the Anamites, the Lehabites, the Casluhites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinitets, the Girgasihtes and the Israelites.

Fighting has been around a long, long, long, long time. The defending of life, family and property goes back thousands of years. Many of these families, clans and nations tied their fighting with their religious beliefs, but that doesn’t making the defensive martial arts wrong or unworthy to practice and teach. One of my Christian martial arts instructors said it well: “A punch in the nose is a punch in the nose. Your religion has nothing to do with whether you can block a punch or not. It’s a mental and physical skill.” I hope this helps. My prayers are with you.

100 Things That Are Free To Us By Christ

submitted by Edward Yarber

1. ACCEPTED —————- EPH. 1-6
2. ALIVE WITH CHRIST—————– COL. 2:13
3. ASCENDED————— EPH. 2:6
4. ADOPTED —————– GAL 4:5
5. AMBASSADORS —————- 2 COR. 5:20
6. ACCESS ————– ROMANS 5-2 & EPH 2:18
7. ALL THINGS ————— I TIM. 6:17
8. ANOINTED US ————— 2 COR. 1:21
9. APPREHENDED —————- PHIL. 3:12
10. APPOINTED—————— I THESS. 3:3
11. ATONEMENT ————– Rom 5:11
12. AUTHORITY —————– TITUS 2:15
13. ASSURANCE —————- I THESS. 1:5
14. ABUNDANCE OF GRACE ——— ROMANS 5:17 15. BAPTIZED —————- I COR. 12:13
16, BLESSED ——————- EPH. 1:3

17. BURIED ——————- COL. 2:1
18. BELOVED ——————– ROMANS 1:7
19. BUILDED TOGETHER ———— EPH. 2:22 20. CALLED —————— ROMANS 8:30
21. CHOSEN —————- EPH. 1:4
22. CIRCUMCISION ————– COL. 2:11
23. COMPLETE —————– COL. 2:10
24. CONFORMED ————– ROMANS 8:29 25. CRUCIFIED —————— GAL. 2:20
26. COVERED ——————- ROMANS 4:7
27. CONFIRMED ———————- I COR. 1:7,8 28. CLEANSED ——————- EPH. 5:26
29. CREATED ————————- EPH. 2:10
30. CONQUERORS —————– ROMANS 8:37 31. CROWNED ——————- 2 TIM. 4:8
32. DAUGHTERS —————– 2 COR. 6:8
33. DECLARED ——————— 2 COR. 3:3
34. DELIVERED —————- 2 COR. 1: 10
35. ELECT OF GOD —————- COL. 3:12
36. ENRICHED —————– I COR. 1: 5
37. ESTEEMED ———— PHIL. 2:5
38. ETERNAL —————- TITUS 1:2 -15

39. FAMILY——————- EPH. 3.
40. FELLOWHEIRS ————-EPH. 3:6
43. FELLOWSERVANT ————— COL. 4:7
44 . FELLOWSOLDIERS —————- PHIL. 2:25 45. FORGIVEN —————— COL. 2:13
46. FREEMAN —————— I COR. 7:22
47. FURNISHED —————– 2 TIM. 3:17
48. GLORIFIED ————— ROMANS 8:30
49. HABITATION ————— EPH. 2:22
50. HEIRS ————— ROMANS 8:17
51. HOLY——————- Col. 3:12
52. HUSBANDRY—————1 Cor 3:9
53. INDWELL —————- Romans 8:1
54. INHERITANCE————— Eph 1:11
55. INSTRUCTED—————– Phil.4:12
56. INTERCESSION————— Romans 8:26,34 57.FITLY JOINED TOGETHER————– EPH 4:16 58. JUSTIFIED———— ROMANS 3:24
59. KNOWN OF GOD———— GAL 4:9
60. LOVED———— EPH 2:4

61. MADE MEET————- COL 1:12
62. MEMBERS————— EPH 4:25-5:30 63.MESSENGERS ————– 2 COR 8:23
64. MIGHTY————— 2 COR10: 4/COL 1:29
65. MINISTERS————- 2 COR 3: 16, 6:4
66. NEW CREATURES————- 2 COR 5:17
67. PARTAKERS———– EPH 3:16/1 TIM 6:2
68. PEACE——— ROMANS 5:1
71. PREDESTINATED——— EPH. 1:5,11
72. PREPARED UNTO GLORY————- ROMANS 9:23 73. PRESERVED———— 2 TIM, 4:18
75. QUICKENED————– EPH. 2:5
76. RAISED————— EPH. 2:6
78. REDEEMED ———— GAL. 3:13
80. RENEWED———— 2 COR. 4:16
82. RICH———- 2 COR. 6:10,8:9

83. RIGHEOUS ——- ROMANS 5:19
84. RISEN———- COL. 2:12,3:1
85. ROOTED———— EPH. 3:17/COL.2:7
86. SAINT———- ROMANS 1:7/1 COR.1:2
87. SANCTIFIED———- I COR. 6:11
88. SAVED———– EPH. 2:8-10/11 TIM. 1:9
89. SEALED————- I COR, 1:22/EPH, 1:13 90. SEATED———- EPH. 2:6
91. SOLDIERS ————- 2 TIM. 2:3,4
92. SONS————– ROMANS 8:14
93. STEWARDS———- COR. 4:1
94. TRANSLATED ———- COL. 1:13
95. TRIUMPH ———- 2 COR 2:14
96. VICTORIOUS———- I COR. 15:57
97. VOCATION ——— EPH. 4:1
98. WASHED———– I COR. 6:11
99. HAVE WISDOM ———– I COR. 1:30
100. HIS WORKMANSHIP ————- EPH. 2:10

How Many More Can You Fine?

Taking God’s Grace to the World!

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Grace Martial Arts © 1990 – 2019

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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

“For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.”

Jesus Christ

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Apostle Paul

Wisdom Notes

” A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”

Proverbs 15:15

Restore the Joy by Sensei Mark McGee

Almost three decades of pastoring and counseling Christians have given me the opportunity to see deep into the hearts of God’s people at many stages of their lives. Most new believers have a great joy in their hearts because of the salvation God gives them in Christ. That joy continues for a time, but often lessens as the young Christian battles daily with the world, their flesh and the Devil. The battle wears on them. Sin scars them; sometimes hardens them.

King David experienced many joys in his life. He also experienced heartache. David sinned against God and man, so the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to confront David about his sin. David’s reaction was what it should have been.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according

unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” Psalm 51:1-4

Some Christians react to confrontation of their sin by denying it. Others get angry with the person who confronts them. Some hide. Some want to die.

God confronts His children because He loves them. It’s not because He wants to embarass or punish us. He wants us to acknowledge our sin and change our behavior. We have a great advocate on our behalf. His Name is Jesus. Christ died so we do not have to die. Christ exposed sin so we do not have to hide. Christ poured out His righteous anger on sin so we do not have to be angry. Christ finished the payment for sin so we do not have to deny it. We believe and receive. We believe in the power of Christ’s Sacrifice and receive Christ’s Life.

Every child of God has experienced the terror of sin in their lives. We all have said with David:

“Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.” Psalm 51:8

Sin in a Christian’s life steals their joy and gladness. They feel as if their bones are broken. They feel deep pain inside their bodies. They feel a million miles away from God. They want the pain to stop. They want the joy of their salvation restored.

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Psalm 51:12

That is the prayer of our hearts when we face the sin in our lives. We want to feel like we did when salvation was new and fresh. We want God to restore that feeling; we want Him to restore the joy we had once with Him. We need Him to uphold us with His Spirit.

The result of that desire and prayer is that God will restore us to the joy we had before. He will uphold us with His Spirit. God’s ministry of restoring our joy has many benefits. We are happy again. We are productive. We are back on the path. We are also ready to minister to others in a deeper way.

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Psalm 51:12-13

It’s wonderful to see how things change for Christians who acknowledge their sin to God and are restored to joy. They serve God and others with renewed vigor and vitality. They are able to share with the lost in a new and powerful way – “and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”

That is one of our primary goals as Christian martial artists. We want to see sinners converted to Christ. The joyful servant will bear more fruit than one who has lost their joy because of sin in their lives. An amazing truth about sharing Christ from a joyful heart is that the ministry of sharing multiplies our joy.

“O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” Psalm 51:15

What’s The Matter LORD? “You Are Karl”

Part One by Pastor Karl Marx

“Well here I am, at the computer again. This time what I have to share may be of use to other folks as well as it is for me. I have thought something was missing in my career for many years now. To tell the truth I just found out my problem has something to do with Pride. What Pride? I’ve thought that was in the past, I don’t have any of that stuff anymore! Ha! Pride, and a liar to boot. Let me begin back in the days of old. I had the impression that to be worth something, a person had to be a somebody.

My dad Twain P. Marx had been a somebody, He was ranked third in the World, in the early 1920’s as a professional boxer. My Uncle Paul C. Marx was one of the best boxers that ever graduated from LSU in Baton Rouge Louisiana. My cousin Donald Marx became a Doctor of Chiropractor, and his brother Paul is a Lawyer, all earned the hard way. I am so proud of them. As for me, well I never felt worthy of much, I had been left behind in a boarding School in Lake Charles Louisiana, at about 10 or 11 years of age, I think? By my mom and step-dad, I felt abandoned, hurt and angry. They had no other choice, we moved so often I had a very difficult time keeping up in school.

I made up my mind then that I would become a “Big Shot” as we used to say back then. No one would ever leave me again. Ha! Was I ever in for a rude awaking. My goal in life was to become a very important man one-day. To that end I made myself into the man I wanted to be. But Not what the Media respected. Like the song goes, “I can’t get no satisfaction” Ha!

It is my little opinion that Martial Arts need a new vision. It is apparent to any open-eyed individual that the ranking system builds too much pride, and puffed up egos. I see many Christian Martial arts instructors getting caught up in the occult aspect of what I myself have been guilty off. Pastor, Martial Art teachers are not exempt from this danger, and many are crossing over the line into the “Pride Side.” Most of these well meaning persons, in attempting to keep out of the occult part of martial art training without very much real knowledge and skill, make up something of their own. In doing this, they look into an oriental dictionary and find an appropriate Christian translation. Then they name their style something like Ohai-Do. Which according to them means The Way of the Lord. Of course these names are bogus, I don’t know what or if there is such an oriental term.

Then come the Associations. Next in line is the promotions. This starts out innocent enough, but who really had or has the authority to make such high rank promotions? How many years has Christian Martial Arts been organized? Is there really anyone truly qualified to promote someone with less than 25 years experience in these Arts to 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 9th and even 10th degree? My question is why do we have to have all these titles, and high ranks? My excuse was that since the World appreciates this kind of hero worship, that IF I were to become FAMOUS, God could use me as a tool in getting young and old alike to desire to hear what I had to say about Jesus Christ.

So I trained hard, and my students trained hard. Keichu-Do students won many titles, State, Regional, National, World, and even Junior Olympic Gold and Silver Medals in competition. My being the First American to be promoted to the rank of 10th Dan, by an Organization outside of my own, can be challenged, there are after all, a lot of diploma mills out there. And is my own really legitimate? I question that myself sometimes. I don’t want any bogus rank. But I was promoted to 10th Dan way back in the Early 70’s, that is a fact. But again SO WHAT? Who really gives a hoot? Does that fact make me any better than any one else? Of course not. So why did I spend so much time fretting over the stupid thing? WAAA! I didn’t get recognized at this event or that convention. Wow! What a wimp!

The World didn’t even recognize Jesus Christ; for crying out loud, so who the heck do I think I AM? But not having the good since God gave me to use properly I didn’t let my Creator do what he wanted to do. The problem was that I did it the easy way. I became the first Cajun from Louisiana to form a self-defense system. Then I claimed what I actually believe; to be the first American to start his own style without having studied and earned a black belt from an Oriental Karate martial art. I later studied and became a black Belt in Judo.

I accomplished a great deal of feats that no one has yet reached, yet I was ignored by the black belt magazine publishing Hall Of Fame, in 1979. They left that year blank even though many of my friends and students, including public politics were with me. The whole story is not necessary, however I should have won. Ha! but they left the slot open and chose no one, rather than give it to me. Here I am the first American to have done what I did and Bruce Lee is the best thing since Jesus Christ in the Martial art world. Keichu-Do has been around publicly for 40 years this year 2000. Our 40th anniversary and do I get a story in Black Belt magazine. NAAAA!

My story is not about what I should have been, but how I hindered God’s blessings in my life. I was so busy striving for fame and glory that I completely missed my chance to allow God to do His will for me. Yes I did earn the right to be better recognized by my peers, however my attempting to help myself instead of letting God caused a backlash.

I do not wish to expound on my few little accomplishments. The reason why is simple, my own egocentrical pride is what I think has been holding back the Blessings God wanted to give me all this time. God has informed us in the Bible that if we obey His commands, He will lift us up to our peers and honor us in the eyes of man, not because of what we do but by His Grace and mercy, through Christ Jesus. My wanting to be honored by my fellow man was selfish, and as I Narcissistically looked at my, so-called feats at least in MY own eyes, I became more of a fool. Again the Bible warned me, not to be wise in my own eyes, to think of others as better than myself, Ha! My vanity would not allow me to do that until recently. Just this month of July in the year 2000 The Holy Spirit showed me what was going on in my life and ministry. I am learning that to receive all that God has to offer we need to step back, let go and let God do his will in us.

The more we try to help the Lord the more we interfere, and interrupt, His plans. Just like a football game, when the coach sends in a play if the captain or quarterback doesn’t respond correctly the plan may go bad. As martial artist we have to give up all the hype, and high rank, pride, and ego stuff. Most of us are just making a fool of ourselves anyway, Masters and Grandmasters, Soke’s (founders) Ha! It actually takes around 25 years to really master most styles, very few true masters of a traditional style would ever consider starting their own. That is paramount to being a traitor. Where do we get off creating our own style when it takes a life time to just learn the one we started with.

You can’t blame me for doing that because I never studied or received a black belt in Karate. The problem appears to again be the old ego, and pride brothers. “The higher the rank, the bigger the head, the bigger the head, the smaller the brain.” (KWM) Unfortunately most of the so-called Masters and Grandmasters, as well as the Soke’s are a bunch of wanab’s. Many are too egotistical to learn a real Martial art, so they fumble up a conception of their own. Where is the integrity? Honor, Loyalty? Of the Bushido code of old? With this trend of unfaithfulness already in advance there is a group of highly intelligent Business minded individual who take advantage of the unsuspecting lesser knowledgeable, in the marketing and business area of their field. These super businessmen could care less about Martial Artist being loyal to their instructors, and style heads.

The truth is these businessmen appear to be stealing the money from rightful individuals. Shame on you fellows and you know who you are. While you profess to teach others how to retain their students, and you do give great business advice, you also want the dojo owners to give you incredible fees for your service. I have no problem with you making a living. However stay the heck out of my business. You are infringing on my right to make a living by telling the World and my students that They don’t need to pay me for the right to teach my family Art.

I do agree that there are a bunch of creeps, who take advantage of their students, however I am not one. I resent your implication that ALL of us are pseudo masters. I’m 64 years young and have been in the self-defense field all my life. From the day I was born my dad had me punching like a boxer, which he was, earlier in his life. I am willing to meet anyone of you in the ring to prove beyond a doubt in your mind that I am not a pseudo anything. Win, lose, or draw, I can guarantee, that you will never forget that you were in a real fight. Am I bragging? No! Just stating the Facts. Nothing personal! It’s just another job to me.

Most of this Martial Art stuff is just a big ego builder anyway. Statements like “we will build your self-esteem, and self-confidence, are nothing but promises you can’t keep. You can’t make someone brave, or teach them courage, you teach them techniques that IF they work in a real situation fight or attack, then your student will feel good about his/her success. Other wise they will most often wonder if they could really defend themselves. A lot of students want to believe and regardless of whether they can or cannot really defend themselves, they never the less believe they can, and in many cases get their butt’s kicked in a fight. Most of the real fighters are not afraid to fight, it is not important if they win or lose, it’s the fight that really matters. The thrill of danger, the chance to prove you got it! Man that’s the high, the adventure, and a high adrenaline rush that is better than any substance abuse. I don’t fight anymore because my life style has changed since I became a Christian. However my being a Christian and a Pastor, does not mean that now I forgot how to fight or that I lost the ability to defend myself.

I know I’m ranting, and raving, here, however I only wish to make my point clear. I don’t like some desk jockey black belt salesman spouting off at the mouth, accusing me and other legitimate martial arts instructors of all being pseudo masters because we have a franchised system. It’s OK for our students to Pay you large sums of money to tell them how to teach and manage their dojo. Ha! Anyone with a lick of business since is taught by his or her Sensei how to do that.

Your rotten propaganda cost people like me a hundred thousand dollars a year. Don’t build you house on another man’s foundation, is a warning from the Bible. I used to have connections with the COMPANY! But my Boss is MUCH bigger than all the companies put together. I work for Almighty God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. I’ll stay out of your business; just YOU stay out of mine. OK! ENOUGH of that! My situation is that I wish to make it known that we are all guilty of teaching PRIDE to our students. Not a good kind of pride of accomplishments for a job well done, but a Pride of ” since I am higher in rank than someone I have the right to make them do pushups whenever I want. I’m a higher rank so others have to bow to me type of rotten attitude pride, and ego.”

[We will publish the next part of Pastor Marx’s article in an upcoming GMAF Newsletter.]

Class Games

“We play a relay race. Team of 4 or so. 1st they run to the 1st kick pad and do 10 front snap kicks with each leg. Then they run to the next kicking pad and do 10 down (ax) kicks with each leg. Then they run back and tack the next team mate and then he starts. We also play “Simon Says” using stances and blocks. Push-ups are used when they mess up.

We have all students line up in 1 line in sitting stance. The person at the end of the line crawls through each students legs and then rejoins line at the front. We save the largest kid for last (my 12 yr old son). When he goes throug he can’t get under the little 5 yr olds legs and the all end up in a pile laughing. This is a good sitting stance practice.

I need some more games. Anyone have any games maybe in a circle?”

David Lieder

“We had a game similar to David’s, but in a horse stance, and the last person in line army craws under the legs, not to touch the sides, and to not use thier feet. They must use all upper arm strength to do this. It does work on the muscles for a horse stance.

We also would play stance drills in the dark, all lined up side by side, and then shut off the lights. We then would move, on instructor’s count, moving foward in that stance, and see who could end up straighter. If you ended leaning in one direction, in the end, that meant your other side was just a little weaker, but could be worked on.

We also sometimes did stump the student, which wasn’t a game outside karate teachings, but worked as a game as well. Students site down, instructor call on a kid, and says, do such and such, form or self defense set, and they do it. If the student doesn’t know it, they sit in a hot seat, waiting to do it again. In the mean time, the kid that went first, calls on someone, and chooses something for them to do. Of course, the requirement had to be something on their belt level or below. The game goes till everyone can get it done, best to do it first. Sometimes, if a student is laughing at the stumped student, they are chosen to do something, to see if they really know their stuff even more.

Sometimes too, not as games, but for fun, we’d allow kids to tumble on the mats, such as simple techniques, such as cartwheels, tuck rolls, shoulder rolls, and simular ones. Kids also loved having the long jump competition, and the high jump competition as well.”


“Once you get new students in the door, how do you keep them there?”

“Being honest with them and sincere. I try to make them feel important to the class, not just another person in line. I try to give them individual attention. Learn their name quickly and the names of their family and friends that come with them. Show them that you are consistent with your beliefs. Never try to appear “better” or “smarter” than anyone just because you are the instructor. Let them see that you are “real”, not someone who thinks they are something because of the color of cloth they wear around their waist. ”

Taking God’s Grace to the World!

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Grace Martial Arts © 1990 – 2019

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In the last part of our series we looked at Threat Level One which included low-level verbal threats like name calling, insults and other verbal bullying. If you haven’t read that article yet, please click here.

Let’s move now to the next Threat Level.

Threat Level Two is high-level verbal threats that are menacing and possibly criminal in nature. This is where someone threatens to cause you or another innocent person harm. The threat often includes specific information about how or when the threat will be carried out and there is evidence and genuine belief that the person will carry out their threat.

Response Level Two should be reasonable in light of the threat. What do you think is a reasonable response to being threatened with physical harm?

Our recommendation is to use a non-confrontational defensive posture with verbal command. Here are some possibilities for responding depending on the situation –

  • Back away to a safe distance with your hands up in a non-threatening manner and talk to the person in a way that expresses your desire to leave peacefully.
  • Once the angry person stops moving toward you and you think it’s safe to leave, turn around and walk away quickly.
  • Look behind you every few seconds to make sure the person who threatened you is not following you.
  • If they are following you, move quickly to a safe place where you can engage with adults who can protect you from the person. That will usually end the verbal and potentially physical threat. If it doesn’t, you will have more witnesses to the threats.
  • If the person chases after you and attempts to grab, tackle, punch or kick you, quickly move to a higher response level depending on the type of attack.

Walking away does not mean you don’t do anything about the threat after walking away. If someone has threatened you with physical harm, tell your family and friends. Depending on the nature of the threat, they may recommend you contact police. The reason for sharing the information about the threat is both legal and personal.

The Buddy System

Take someone with you when you walk in the neighborhood, go to the park, store or other location. The Buddy System gives you the advantage of numbers in most situations. A large dog can also be your “buddy” when you walk alone. Bullies and predators often think twice before attempting to harm someone attached to a large and menacing dog.

We invite you to watch this video to see how to use Response Level Two in real time.

Responding to Threat Level Two - YouTube
Legal Considerations

Verbal threats may or may not rise to the point of being criminal in many states, so talking with someone who knows the laws in your state can guide you as to how to proceed.

One of the basic necessities for verbal threats to be criminal is for the person threatened to have a reasonable fear of injury. Walking away from the person making the threat and talking to family and friends can help determine if the threat rises to the level of criminal intent. If it does, you or an adult can call police to file a report. Your information may help police protect someone else from the same perpetrator.

If you intend to file criminal assault charges with police, be sure to write down details of what happened and have a list of people who witnessed the event and are willing to  talk with police.

Someone who says to you – “I’m going to beat you within an inch of your life” – may or may not have verbally assaulted you in the legal sense. However, if they say the same words while holding a hammer in their hand and shaking the hammer at you that may rise to the level of criminal intent.

If a person threatens you verbally and shows you a baseball bat, knife or gun at the same time, there is a good chance that would rise to the level of verbal assault. Whether you can walk away or have to respond at a higher level would depend on several factors that we will address in future articles and videos.

Personal Considerations

The way you respond to a high-level verbal threat could determine what happens to you personally. If you confront the person verbally, it could quickly escalate to the point of physical attack. It’s possible you could be blamed for the escalation, so best not to do that.

If you walk away from the person making the threat without saying something that causes an escalation, it may end with no one getting hurt. That’s the best thing to happen in the moment. It’s still a good idea to talk with family and friends to let them know what happened. You may get some good advice for what to do if it happens again. Someone who threatens to harm you may take it up a notch the next time.

Next Time

We will look at Threat Level and Response Level Three in the next part of our special series.

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© Grace Martial Arts 1990 – 2019

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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

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Jesus Christ

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

The Apostle Paul

Wisdom Notes

“The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.”

Proverbs 11:8

In Times of Trouble by Mark McGee

The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God’s children will experience times of trouble. One of the picture ideas of the Hebrew words for “tribulation and trouble” is of a person being in a narrow place and pressed hard on all sides. Have you felt that in your life? I’m sure you have because God said that everyone would experience tribulation and trouble in their lives. Some Hebrew words for “trouble” carry the idea of being seized suddenly with fear, to tremble and be terrified, to shake by a sudden impulse, to be confused, to be agitated, burdened and distressed, to be bent down, bowed, depressed with calamities, to be cut off. Every man and every woman has been troubled.

Jesus cared deeply for His disciples. He spent more time with them than anyone else on earth. Christ gave them insights into life that no one else knew until the disciples began sharing those insights after the Lord returned to Heaven. Shortly before Christ went to the Cross to die for the sins of humanity, He told His disciples that He had spoken to them that they would have peace in Him. Jesus went on to say, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” (John 16:33) The Greek word for “tribulation” means a pressing, a pressure, anything which burdens the spirit. It means to suffer affliction, to be troubled because of sufferings due to the pressure of circumstances or the antagonism of others. The Greek word is similar to the Hebrew word in its picture of someone in a narrow situation being pressed hard on all sides. Christ told His disciples they would have that kind of trouble in the world. That’s a fact. Write it on a piece of paper and tape it to your refrigerator door: you will have trouble in this world.

What do we do about it? Complain? Fret? Freak out? Get angry? Quit? Leave this world? Those are some options, though poor choices for God’s children. Christ told His disciples, “but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” That’s what we do; we depend on Christ and His peace. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.”

“But,” you ask, “how do I experience Christ’s peace when I’m pressed upon hard in all directions?” Good question. The answer is easy to say but hard to do: “Trust God.”

What good is our Faith in Christ if we lose it when things get a little tough, or when things get a lot tough? We say we “believe” in Christ. What does that mean? It means we completely rely on Him, not ourselves. We don’t trust anyone or anything other than Christ. We don’t look to our families or our friends or our jobs or our recreation or anything else to give us peace. We look to God! He is our Peace. “But,” you say, ” my life is falling apart around me, how do I trust God in the middle of disaster?” That’s exactly when we NEED to Trust in God; when we are bowed by pressure and affliction. When our strength runs out, we’re ready to depend on God’s Strength. When I am weak, He is Strong. No one is closer to you in times of trouble than Christ Jesus our Lord. Most of us have seen the picture of the footprints in the sand and the question from a child of God about why they see only one set of footprints during some of the Christian’s most troubled times. We remember with tears in our eyes the answer from our Heavenly Father that it was during those most difficult times that Christ picked us up in His Arms of Peace and carried us through tribulation.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so also our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

I believe God placed a special burden on my heart about this. I’ve felt deeply about it for some time now. That’s always been God’s way of telling me He has some children in trouble who need support and encouragement. If you are feeling pressed about on all sides, if you are distressed and troubled, hear God’s Gentle Voice speaking to you right now. He will support you during you these times of trouble. He will carry you through to Victory. He will give you His Peace which passes all understanding. Our prayers and our love go with you.

What’s The Matter LORD? “You Are Karl”

Part Two by Pastor Karl Marx

Wow! Have I told you that God is about to Bless me again? On Sept 22-23 I will be inducted into the Texas LIVING LEGENDS at the Houston Southwest Hotel. God has been faithful and true. I owe it ALL to HIM. To be in the same company of the greatest Martial Art people in the World is indeed a Honor. Such dignitaries as: Mr Texas Himself Grandmaster Allen Steen, Fred ” whirlwind” Wren, Bill “Super foot ” Wallace, The absolute Queen of point karate, Ms Linda Denley, Roy Kurban, George “Master of ceremonies ” Minshew, Jim Harrison of the good old bare knuckles days, as well Grandmaster Jack Hwang, Dr Maung, Ray “Harley Biker man” Mcallum, Grandmaster Pat Burleson. This is just a few of the REAL LEGENDS, I’ll very humbly be in their company.

6th Dan Director of this entire event is the incomparable GARY LEE, himself a NBL World Champion. After all my fretting, complaining, and other prideful unchristian like poor behavior, it took my being able to sacrifice all my so called titles, and my willingness to let go of my wants, and allow God to give me what HE WILLED concerning my needs, so to speak. I realized I didn’t NEED any titles or atta boys I just Needed God. So all the poor me stuff, about how and why ( I ) wasn’t recognized by my peers, was for nothing, besides they, who in reality were not even in the same Class as these magnificent, TEXANICANS. ( a definition coined, I think, by Chill Wills Jr ). I am invited to join them at this most prestigious event and National Tournament. And I can assure you, I definitely feel out of my league. God must be teaching me to not depend on pleasing man, and seeking man’s esteem. But to totally rely on God and HE will esteem us in the eyes of man through Jesus Christ.

That is a Biblical statement found in Scriptures. So after reading my first part last month, does any one see any difference in my attitude? I would like to get some feed back from all of you out there. Don’t be fearful of hurting my feelings, you won’t. I just love the truth. Your council is welcomed. Tell me like it is! And if this is a little confusing please forgive me, my mind is not where it usually should be. I had some kind of allergic reaction last night and had to be taken to the emergency hospital. That’s twice in a month, ain’t insurance great. I think it was just the Lord giving me a test run. Ha! I can just hear Him saying to me, relax Karl it isn’t your time yet, this was just a test drill, like in the military. HA! God does have a since of humor.

Be Blessed those of you who take the time to read what I write. I hope I haven’t offended anyone, however if what I say is from God ( I HOPE ) and is the TRUTH, then I don’t apologize for God’s Word, I just say “GET A LIFE” Sucker! What you see is what you get! HA! just kidding, saint’s. The Lord Bless you all.

Just me and Jesus, getting along. In Christ I am, HIS servant. Old Soke Karl W. Marx Sr

Greetings Fellow Warriors by Shidoshi Russell

Recently, I have been asked by several people why I participate in the Martial Arts. Is it a hobby? Is it for the physical exercise? Is it to build self-confidence? Questions such as these cause me to reexamine my true motivation and ask myself; Why do I spend so much time in practice, training, and teaching? Is it really worth all of trouble, disappointment, and time away from my family?

If training in the martial arts was indeed simply to better myself and my ability to protect myself I would have to say that it is NOT worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. Why should I place such demands upon myself and commit to countless hours away from the comforts of my home and family?

Then I think wait a minute… I am part of an outreach ministry. My time spent in training in the martial arts is not about me… it’s about reaching others for Christ! The Christian Martial Arts Fellowship’s primary goal is multi-fold: To evangelize and bring lost souls into the Kingdom of God; To build and develop disciples for Christ; And to train and equip those disciples to bring others to Christ and repeat the cycle. Our secondary goal is to produce world-class, professionally trained martial artists.

While Christ preached to the multitudes and thousands followed His earthly ministry, our Lord literally poured Himself into lives of the twelve disciples. I relish the “insiders view” we enjoy while reading the words Jesus spoke only to His chosen few.

In today’s fast-moving culture, the responsibilities of life can at times seem overwhelming. In my 30 years as a Christian I have witnessed countless warriors who, though once on fire for Christ, suffered burnout and have abandoned the battle. Burnout is many times due to a lack of depth in one’s Christian walk. Improper discipleship will no doubt produce a shallow- rooted believer. As we serve God and work diligently to bring others to Christ, we must acknowledge the fact that our commission from Jesus does not end with soul winning.

Years ago while I was attending Indiana Bible College several of us “preacher boys” would have monthly soul winning contests. While winning souls is an admirable goal for anyone, we foolishly placed complete focus on people “praying the sinners prayer”. We carelessly abandoned the newly reborn soul, forcing them to fend for themselves against Satan who we know to always be lurking and waiting to attack. My heart sinks when I think about how many young Christians never grew and blossomed as a dedicated believer as a result of my lack of discipleship efforts.

Sometimes in our zeal to “save the world for Christ” we develop improper attitudes mingled with unattainable goals and expectations. When we demand too much of ourselves and others we tend to produce very little spiritual fruit. If one believes that he has the sole responsibility of reaching the world or perhaps just his own city, town, neighborhood, or block he may tend to accomplish very little since such demands made on any single person are rarely productive.

Paul’s exhortation in 2 Timothy 2:2 is a very simple formula for reaching others. Rather than trying to reach every person, Paul teaches that we should focus on reaching a few and developing them in the processes, principles, and practices of our faith. A person adequately developed in his faith will inevitably touch the lives of others… drawing them to Christ. Those he reaches will extend what they received to others over whom they have influence, et cetera.

I am convinced that the reason for our lack of witnessing to, and the discipling of, others is primarily due to the insecurities we feel in our own person, walk, and faith. Every believer undeniably has areas of his life concerning which he feels conviction, dissatisfaction, or a sense of failure. Such issues often cause the believer to falter in his walk, to be opaque in his testimony, and to draw back when confronted with the opportunity of witnessing Discipling others requires transparency in one’s walk. Failure to be transparent can result in a superficial, artificial, and non effectual witness.

Transparency requires one to openly be what he is. Obviously, none of us relishes the idea of openly exposing the inner dysfunctions of life. This, however, is a vital part of the discipling of others. To be a discipler predisposes that we not only recognize our frailties, but that we be determined to address them. Therefore, an essential part of discipling is that we recognize our failures, be willing to be transparent about them, and to not only show our disciplees that we are willing to address them but the process by which we go about it.

Such a process is the only logical way that the Apostle Paul could openly invite others to emulate his life as found in Philippians 4:9. This is the only convincing way to demonstrate our spiritual determination to those we are attempting to disciple.

If we carefully read 2 Timothy 2:2 our job is much larger than to simply make DISCIPLES of new believers… we are to make DISCIPLERS of them. Those whom we influence with the gospel are to be so convinced, converted, and committed that they will see every contact as a potential mission field. They will then begin their own process of so developing the spirituality of those persons that those persons in turn will do the same for others. This is the discipleship process as commanded by Jesus and defined by Paul.

The martial arts while appealing to most, doesn’t interest everyone. Martial arts does however attract an interesting kind of person that by other means may have never darkened the door of a church.

You are part of an exciting, cutting-edge ministry. Bottom line… the CMAF exists to glorify God, bring souls into His Kingdom, to produce not only disciples for Christ but disciple-makers! (now don’t you feel better about having to execute those 500 front snap kicks?!)”

Shidoshi Russell

Here is a new article from our friends at Faith Fighters for Christ Christian Martial Arts Ministry! We thank the Engelhardts for sharing this with us.

Martial Arts Ministry As Small Group Ministry by Charlaine & Don Engelhardt

Hanging out your sign with a Christian emblem or name does not a martial arts ministry make. Martial arts ministry happens when Christ is at the center of all that happens within the group of people in your school. One manner of doing this is using the small group concepts that are utilized within churches to help cement relationships of the group members with the Lord and with each other.

What is a small group?

Small group ministry, also called cell groups, is an extended ministry of your church. There are several types you may be able to think of, such as recovery groups, prayer groups, home Bible study groups, discipleship groups, etc. These are considered a direct ministry of your church because they either happen within your building or are located off-site, but have the same accountability within your church=s administrative structure. Indirect ministries of your church are the ministry of individuals from the church, but are not official ministries of the church. Such things as a prayer and Bible study time during lunch at work, Moms in Touch, and other small groups lead by individuals and/or couples by the leading of the Holy Spirit are indirect small groups.

There are different ministry goals of small groups. Recovery groups are specialized to meet very specific needs of the group members. They also remain confidential in their discussions, which means that “what is said there stays there” for the protection of the members. No one new is allowed to come in after two or three weeks. There are also less specific groups where the focus is Bible study and prayer, as well as a good time talking with each other. They are not usually confidential unless someone specifically asks for something to not be shared outside. More general groups do not officially close, allowing new people in either anytime or at intervals. Human nature has a tendency to close a group because of the comfort level, but will begin regrouping and gaining a different identity over time. Small group dynamics are based around building strong bonds within the membership.

There are elements that are specific to small groups making them relationship-building ministries. The aspects of small groups that are present at every meeting are: Prayer, Bible Study, fellowship, service, leadership- mentorship, multiplication, and guidelines for effective operation. Those things that build relationships with God are: prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and leadership-mentorship. The ones that build human relationships are: Bible study, fellowship, service, leadership-mentorship, multiplication, and guidelines for effective operation. The focus of the group determines how much of each of these is utilized. For example, with a prayer and Bible study group, prayer and Bible study get the majority of time and attention, even though all the other elements are present. Recovery groups are primarily focused on service and Bible study, but again the other elements are still present. They just do not get equal time and attention. One of the most important factors in all of this is that everyone who has the need for the focus of the group is welcome. The only thing that could cause them to be put out of the group is breach of trust. All of the aspects of small groups must be in use or the group will fail.

Martial arts is a natural setting in which to place the small group ministry aspects. Since traditional martial arts, operated like that of the Asian countries, is primarily based on Zen and Taosim, most of the small group aspects are all ready there, but with Eastern religion. There is order and structure with rules for belonging to the group. There is a defined leadership set-up.

Martial arts ministry is more than teaching techniques. Unfortunately, balance is not always kept in martial arts ministry. It does not matter whether your school is in a church, a commercial school, or study/fellowship group after karate class in a secular school, keeping balance with the techniques as well as the ministry aspect is of primary importance. Remember, most of us practice arts that were originally intertwined with Zen, Taoism, and/or Shintoism. There was balance for them because their belief system was a part of all they did in life. Unfortunately, American Christians compartmentalize different aspects of their lives. This sort of lifestyle makes balance difficult. Our entire workout time in class should be a form of worship to God. There should be an aspect of thanksgiving and praise to God internally as we punch, kick, block, etc. When we invite God into our classes, being an integral part, then can we begin to balance ministry with our training. Our first focus is on God, then on others, and finally self. This order must be kept for effective ministry.

Types of Martial Arts Ministry

There are several types of martial arts ministry: church-based, commercial school, outreach/support in a secular school, associations, and tournament circuits. This article is focused on the first three types because this is in our realm of understanding and small group ministry needs consistent, regular meeting times. If you have figured out how to use small group ministry through associations and tournament circuits, let us know. Each group will be different because it will reflect the personality differences and spiritual gifts of the leadership.

The church-based or youth center-styled martial arts ministry is actually the easiest to set up in small group format. The primary group of people who will have an interest in Christian martial arts in a church are Christians. The main ministry focus becomes discipleship, even though evangelism will be greatly emphasized. Many of the church-based groups are either family-oriented (ours runs ages 10-adult) or youth-oriented (a friend has his aimed at ages 12-18). There is structure set with the protocol and heirarchial structure that is found in martial arts classes, but some things may be different like a salute rather than bowing, using Mr. or Mrs. instead of Sensei or Sifu , and bowing to the room or pictures may be deleted. Usually there are devotions or Bible study as a break from intense physical activity. Fellowship time occurs before and after class as students gather and part. Outreach happens when new students come in, but mostly through demonstrations and seminars. One problem in the general martial arts world is that these types of groups are seen as having substandard skills and believe there are too many inadequate black belts coming from these settings. Reality is the majority of ministry instructors are very conscientious about the art they pass on to their students. We have found that it is very difficult to get Christian students to be bold, developing a reasonable amount of aggression because of fallacies passed down through well-meaning Christians. This is quite a challenge for this type of instructor to work with. (In our opinion, secular martial arts classes are a problem in the church. They should not be allowed to use the church space. These tend to add confusion in the church’s teachings.) There should only be Christian-based teaching in the church, which the small groups ministry format can aid.

Many instructors use the commercial school to reach people for Christ while they pass on the benefits of their systems of martial arts. This is the environment in which they have come to know and love karate, judo, jujitsu, kempo, and others. But this is more difficult setting to bring in small group ministry aspects. However, it is not impossible. Some schools have Scripture verses to memorize, others use creeds to remind the class whom they serve. Some pray as a group. Yet others offer Bible study and fellowship time after or between classes. Some instructors have parties, fellowship times in the evenings after classes, or special gatherings. During the instruction time, the students learn how Christians should respond in confrontations, whether or not to use lethal force, or the wonders of God’s creation of the human body. There are always rules and guidelines to be followed with the consequences for those who choose not to cooperate. These things are all aspects of small group ministry in a commercial martial arts setting.

Christians in secular schools do minister to other students in their classes. They usually are able to reach out because of instructors who are willing to accept that these students have problems observing some protocols and teachings. Their witness is a relationship-based evangelism. Some obtain permission from instructors to hold Bible study and prayer after class. These become a small group since they meet the needs of other Christians in the class for..

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