Exposing the dangers of Maritial Arts


Exposing the dangers of Martial Arts




- Brian Brandon


The Western secular mind is used to taking things at their face value rather than looking at their underlying meaning, so that our society has accepted activities which have great danger to us without realising it. The martial arts are one such thing. There are many people who are now being drawn in to practice the martial arts, particularly young people who of course are at an impressionable age, and just forming their spiritual direction in life. There have been and are many Christians who have taken them up and many churches that have allowed the use of their church halls to practice the arts. I have talked to a number of our own church people who are surprised when I have warned them about the martial arts and they have said, "I can't see anything wrong with it." "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." [Hosea 4:6].

Some modern films and children's programmes (eg `Karate Kid' series, `Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles') have also popularised the martial arts. In the martial arts films and TV programmes there is a great attractiveness which comes from the combination of magic and violence. The actors are seen as people who are cool under situations of great conflict.

With the popularisation of computer games, heaps of people are being exposed to martial arts games, whether being played at home on Sega, Nintendo, or their PC, or down the street in video parlours.

But we must approach our understanding from a Christian point of view which looks at the history and spiritual meaning of the martial arts. We must test all things. "Put all things to the test; keep what is good and avoid every kind of evil." [1 Thessalonians 5:21-22]

Are the martial arts just another sport that is no worse than boxing, wrestling or gym exercises?

Some Christians deny any supernatural or mental power behind the exercises they are doing in the martial arts. And efforts are made by some trainers to placate those who participate by saying that they are for people of any or all beliefs.

But those promoting the martial arts claim spiritual benefits from their exercises and even to develop healing power. They claim they are bringing development of the whole person through physical, mental and spiritual aspects of their art.

We need to understand some history to see the religious background to the martial arts.

Historical and religious basis
The martial arts are an extra-ordinary mix of at least three major religions as well as other developments. Peter Lewis in his book `The Martial Arts' (Tiger Books 1987), identifies the place of origin of martial arts in the temple of Shaolin in the northern Chinese province of Honan. There are various versions of the story, which seems to be more legend than fact. The story goes that a monk named Bodhidharma (about 526AD) crossed the Himalayas on foot to arrive at the monastery at Shaolin to find that the monks there were in a terrible state of health. Through a series of exercises, based on some Indian systems of yoga, brought the monks back to health. These exercises were the beginning of Kung Fu. As the system spread through China, many different styles were developed and they took on aspects of Taoism.

Bodhidharma brought a new teaching of Zen Buddhism to China that combined elements of Hindu Yoga with Buddhism. From Yoga has come the idea of the body imprisoning the spirit, so that the physical exercises are intended to release the spirit. The Yoga positions are traditional worship positions, intended to help you to meditate. This idea of meditation has come through into the martial arts, where in the various exercises you are trained to also meditate. Martial art training includes yoga breath control. It is said that power is inhaled into the lower abdomen and exhaled through the hands. In reality the yoga meditation opens up the person to demonic spirits.

The Buddhist aim is to develop calm and peace within, which is a stated aim of the martial arts. "One trains in the arts of war, yet the ultimate goal is peace." (Peter Lewis). There is a basic deception in this, that while they are claiming peace and harmony they are actually leading a person into violent methods. It is not a Christian understanding of peace, which is not how one looks on the outside, but is a gift and fruit of the Holy Spirit that grows from a right relationship with God, from the inside out.

Bodhidharma's teaching was open to the incorporation of Taoist teachings also, and these became an important part of the mix in the martial arts. From Taoism comes the principles of Yin/Yang.


female -male
negative - positive
evil - good
darkness - light
black - white
death - life
winter - summer
cold - warm
inactive - active


This is a philosophical system that is meant to explain the mystery of good and evil by saying that these opposites exist in all life, and that the opposites co-exist together. The Taoist believes that the fulfilment of life is in harmonising and blending with these contrasts and achieving a proper interaction of the forces of yin and yang. eg "As the trees bend with the wind and the rivers follow the path of least resistance, so must man adapt to the co-existence with evil and wrong." Martial arts incorporates the concept in its methods of balance, and turning attacks into defence and return attack. In this way the martial arts rationalise their use of violence.

Taoist philosophy contrasts with the Christian teaching that ultimate reality (God) is good. "Be holy, because I am holy" [1 Peter 1:16].

Martial arts leads to suppression of love and kindness and allows a spirit of violence. You appear passive and relaxed but you are actually looking for violence around you and making yourself ready for instant violent action. There is deception in that while they claim peace and harmony, they are actually leading a person into violent methods. True harmony comes from repentance from sinful desires.

An important concept in the martial arts that has come from Taoism is that of `Chi' (Chinese) or `Ki' (Japanese). This is considered to be a universal and internal energy through which it is claimed you can control your emotions and body, anticipate others, and make your body impervious to outside influences. This energy doesn't come from God and can only be occult. A characteristic of Satan's power is that people attribute it to the person, rather than to Satan. eg of Simon Magus: "He claimed that he was someone great, and everyone in the city, from all classes of society, paid close attention to him. "He is that power of God known as `The Great Power’, they said"." [Acts 8:10]

In the 12th century Bodhidharma's views were brought to Japan, where the Samurais, the Japanese warrior class, took them up. The Ninja's were their servants. Development of the martial arts has occurred in the 20th century. From China, came the influence of the martial arts to Okinawa, where Karate was developed from Kung fu, and was brought to Japan by a schoolteacher, Gichin Funakoshi. By the 1930's most leading Japanese universities had karate clubs.

Developed as sports
The development of the martial arts as sports is a modern western development. As we have seen the basis is in self defense and exercises for physical and spiritual purposes.

The first Japanese art to be recognised in the West was Jujitsu, the art of flexibility, with its vast array of locks, holds and strangulation techniques that was taken up by the armed forces of many countries for unarmed combat training. Judo, a less lethal form of Jujitsu was developed by Joigoro Kano (1860-1938) as more of a sport than a fighting system. In 1964 judo became an Olympic sport, and remains the only martial art in the games.

The American forces of occupation in Japan, banned Karate, but it was soon to become popularised as it was brought to the West. In 1955 the Japanese Karate Association was formed. In the same year in Korea, Taekwondo became accepted as the national martial art of Korea, and the first competitive championships were held the following year.

The hidden nature of the martial arts
The martial arts were at first passed on by way of secret groups who tried to protect the knowledge of their practices from others. Note that the term `occult' means `hidden'. Demonic spirits desire to be hidden because they belong to the darkness.

Although the martial arts have now become widely known in the west, their spiritual basis has been largely still hidden, and people are initiated into the practices without being told about the occult basis. The development of the martial arts as sports is part of this hidden nature to try and make them more acceptable to the modern mind.

There are only two kinds of spiritual power - the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. There is only one God, and any spiritual power from any other source that is not attributed to God is actually in rebellion against God, and belongs to Satan. Jesus said, "Anyone who is not for me is really against me" [Matthew 12:30] Jesus said this in the context of being accused of having the power of Beelzebul (Satan) behind his healing and deliverance ministry. The supernatural power of God may look similar to the power of Satan to some people, but the two are actually opposed to each other.

Because of the combination of various elements of religion, the martial arts have developed into a very powerful and subtle demonic art that should be seen for what it really is.

The first step to dealing with the influence of the martial arts is to expose their true nature. "Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light. And when all things are brought out to the light then their true nature is clearly revealed; for anything that is clearly revealed becomes light." [Ephesians 5:11,13-14].

Forms of martial arts
Yoga. Although not strictly a martial art, it forms one of the basic methods used in martial arts. Exercises based on Hinduism. Comes from Sanskrit `yo' (man) and 'ga' (god), and the aim is to bring a union between them.

The Yoga positions were originally designed as positions to help the person doing them to meditate. It is the Hindu way of worship. The philosophy behind it is that those positions will allow the body to release the inner human spirit, and to be freed from the limitations of human flesh and thought. The aim is to achieve union with the universal spirit Brahma, or in Buddhism, with the eternal nothingness. The meditation used in Yoga is used to induce a state in which the mind is blanked out and mental activity is suppressed until one becomes tranquil and blissful.

In itself this is dangerous, and opens a person to be under the power of evil spirits. It is also a deception, in that the aim of true spirituality is not to be freed from our bodies and thoughts, but to allow the Holy Spirit to empower and cleanse them. Even if people think that all they are doing is yoga exercises, they are making themselves vulnerable to this false philosophy and spiritual influence.

WARNING: Blanking out your mind is very dangerous. It is like leaving the door of your house open - and vulnerable to any burglar. What you meditate on you leave your mind open to the spirits of. This is a way that demons can enter your human spirit.

Christian meditation is never leaving our minds blank, but meditating on the Word of God, or on the person of Jesus. "Do not let the Book of the Law depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it." [Joshua 1:8]

Kung fu (Chinese boxing): The original form of martial arts as developed in the Shaolin temple. A system of defence and attack, sometimes using weapons such as knives or sabres. The most popular form of this used in the west was developed by a Buddhist nun and has been popularised by Bruce Lee. There are five main stances based on animals that are supposed to give certain mental qualities to the person. These are the tiger, the leopard, the dragon, the snake and the crane. We do not find our fulfilment from animals but from obedience to the Word of God "How is it that you want to turn back to those weak and pitiful ruling spirits? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again?" [Galatians 4:9]. Also, "Instead of worshipping the immortal God, the worship images made to look like mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles." [Romans 1:23]

One exercise `chi sao' aims to heighten sensitivity in the students hands to `feel' his opponent's intentions.

Karate. A Japanese method, originated on Okinawa. Means `empty hand'. They use their hands, feet or head in exercises to break concrete, wood and various other materials. From the first stage of training a kata, or series of movements, is learned, which is considered the soul of karate. This is not only a basic fighting movement but also aims to achieve physical and spiritual sensitivity. While performing the required movements the student is able to meditate (called moving Zen) and the person seems able to sense the movements of his opponents before they occur.

The daily repetition that is involved in practicing of exercises is powerful part of meditation, and opens you to whatever influences are behind the practice. They are meant to allow you to take on their nature, spirit or energies.

T'ai Ch'i. (literally the way of Chi) Founded by Taoist mystic Chang San-Feng (1279-1368). Exercises with a flowing movement meant to bring harmony and peace.

Judo. The sporting form of Ju-jitsu. A blending of kung fu and Japanese samurai martial arts. One of the first martial arts to be recognised in the West, and the only martial art in the Olympic Games. Founded by Jogoro Kano (1860-1938). Concentrates on arrest, throwing and hold techniques. Some judo manuals warn students that this art should not be learned and practiced without the meditation exercises, as judo is considered to be a method of arriving at self-realisation.

Taekwondo: The national martial art of Korea. Similar to karate but has more spectacular flying kicks. Similar to karate with its kata and use of `ki' power.

Aikido: Developed by Marihei Uyeshiba from his study of the many styles of Ju-jitsu. Based on avoiding conflict by neutralising an enemy’s attacks the art is characterised by flowing circular movements, and the use of `ki' a vital energy that is cultivated in all its adherents.

Why are people attracted to martial arts in the first place? It can be because of the need for physical exercise, to be part of what may be seen as an attractive sport, or for self-defence and security. A major reason is the need to boost self-confidence, because of a lack of self worth. The ability to defend yourself may attract you because of the increase it gives to your sense of confidence. The discipline offered may help you to be a more disciplined person. But do not let these factors fool you into being a part of a belief system that is far more than what you expect when you seek to enter in.

Think of the attractions of the martial arts as like seduction that leads you into a trap. The book of Proverbs has a better way. "If you listen to me you will know what is right, just and fair. You will know what you should do. You will become wise and your knowledge will give you pleasure. Your insight and understanding will protect you and prevent you from doing the wrong thing. They will keep you away from people who try to stir up trouble by what they say - men who have abandoned a righteous life to live in the darkness of sin..." [Proverbs 2:9-13].

Just a Sport
Westerners tend to get involved because they say, "It is just a sport". It is part of our secular culture to downplay or separate spiritual and physical. We imagine that we can leave out the spiritual side of an activity and make it into just a physical activity. The Eastern mindset is completely different, and is saying to us that the two are intimately involved with each other.

The Bible says, "Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." [1 Corinthians 6:19] The truth is that we cannot separate spiritual and physical, and that what you do with your body has an effect on your spirit as well. We are created in the "image of God" to be spiritual beings. Don't get involved in a physical activity which doesn't give glory to God, and opens your spirit to a false spirit.

Basic concepts in martial arts are commitment and discipline. For anyone involved in martial arts there is a heavy commitment involved with training and performances. You become part of a group and are expected to honour your leaders, as part of your respect for and honouring of the system into which you enter. "The first time one addresses an instructor, one should call him `sifu' which means `father' and is always applied to a Chinese kung fu instructor in accordance with the art's long family traditions." (Peter Lewis). Some groups are more strict than others. Advertising for the martial arts often shows it as a lifetime commitment.

There is a basic principle here, that you cannot make a commitment of yourself to both Christ and his church and another spiritual group at the same time. This commitment usually leads to a loss of interest in spiritual commitment for a Christian. "Do not work together as equals with unbelievers, for it cannot be done. How can right and wrong be partners? How can light and darkness live together? How can Christ and the devil agree?" [2 Corinthians 6:14-15].

There are many ways of getting physical exercise and being involved in sport without having to do any martial arts.

The martial arts don't bring peace but violence. Their message of peace and harmony is a deception. You cannot train for violence without it becoming something that fills your mind so that you are on the lookout for violence in order to respond to it. It becomes a spiritual bondage. Bill Subritzky says, "In such practices as karate, kung fu and judo, I have found that those involved in these practices receive spirits of violence and anger which manifest in extreme fashion when we pray for deliverance."

The prime experience of giving our lives to Christ is peace. Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and is the opposite of quarrelling and violence [Galatians 5:16]. Jesus says, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." [Matthew 5:44].

What To Do With The Martial Arts
The Bible makes it clear that we should have nothing to do with the occult; therefore we should have nothing to do with any of the martial arts. "Worship no God but me." [Exodus 20:3] "Don't let your people practice divination or look for omens or use spells or charms, and don't let them consult the spirits of the dead." [Deuteronomy 18:10-11] "I am the Lord, your saviour; I am the one who created you. I am the Lord, the Creator of all things. I alone stretched out the heavens; when I made the earth, no one helped me. I make fools of fortune-tellers and frustrate the predictions of astrologers. The words of the wise I refute, and show that their wisdom is foolishness." [Isaiah 44:24-25] Like the Israelites of old, we are also living in a pagan environment, and need to sift out what are sinful activities of our culture around us. Have nothing to do with things that deny your belief in the true God.

For any who have been involved in the martial arts, there is a way out which is to repent of this sin. Even if you are no longer involved, but have been involved in the past, it could still have an effect on you.

Why not get help through a prayer ministry session with someone who is trained to help you to be completely freed from the bondage of martial arts?




Excellent article Angel !!


Thank you Brian. All for the Glory of God, & to warn those that do not know the dangers of such practices.


yes all for the GLORY OF GOD !!