Brian Kagen pick: “Should a Christian Practice the Martial Arts?” by B.J. Oropeza

“Aikido means ‘the way to union with the universal force.” This impersonal force is known as “chi.” The goal of Aikido is to control both self and environment. Ironically, this martial art is the most compati­ble with Christianity in regard to its nonviolent nature, but — on the other hand — it is unal­terably steeped in Eastern mysticism.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

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  1. Bruce Baker says:

    WHO is God?

    Where did human beings create God from?

    IF you were to start from scratch, completely dump your emotional attachment to life as you now know it and become an impartial observer … what commonalities would you find between all these things that are the different disciplines of martial arts and the different classifications of religions?

    You can agree with me or disagree but every single religion is created from nature and science, let alone a vivid imagination of human beings.

    Every human being is a brain stuffed into a human shell of a body. The brain recieves stimuli from both the chemical and electrical signals of the body, and in turn manipulates the body’s functions adjusting those signals. But just the same, the environment around that body with both it’s chemicals and, for lack of better term, electrical/magnetic signals cause stimulation that the body interprets.

    Any yet … so many people .. ignore the science, the commonality of so many human beings interpreting the connections of mind, of body, of functionality of the human shell in our environment .. makes me wonder … if we have evolved at all… or are we still animals giving in to our animal instincts?

    Well, there is only one UNIVERSAL FORCE and that is the nature of science that is the universe around us.

    Christianity is an evolution of war, of persecution, of mind numbing programming, of propaganda, and yet … it is also a LESSON OF FORGIVENESS. Study your history! Study the evolution of religions, of which Christianity is one, and find both the commonality and the changes over the centuries that make the differences.

    The same goes for different martial arts. Study the commomalities, as well as the differences, and see what works for you as your body easily adapts to some techniques or has difficulty adapting to some techniques.

    My biggest complaint about any of these writings or discussions is .. we forget that human beings created these religions, just as we created these martial arts, and we also create states of mind/thought to foster the illusion that there is something supernatural in either religion or martial arts. History is rife with subjects, followers, and those paying homage to the powerful, or influencial, and one must wonder .. just why do certain causes or certain people have so many members or followers?

    I would ask, why do so many large groups have so many people splintering off the group forming new groups if the original group had the end-all to whatever it was the group was about?

    My bottom line answer is always … we human beings made it up. Maybe it was a valid observation of science, a valid observation of nature, and a valid thought process of the human mind, but just the same.. we made it up.

    So, in realizing each human being made it up based upon what their human body found best for them the group or each individual, found best in light of their experiences, found best in light of nature and science as their body and mind worked together to interpret all the data .. it is no wonder … we forget that it is all based upon the science of the universe and the nature of our environment from where we get our data. We made it up, even if it was based upon science and the universe we exist in … THAT SIMPLE FACT is the bottom line.

    Plug that into this blog, and see how the commonality of all these different things ties together, let alone how the differences create the different labels also.

    Of course, maybe it is as simple as … if there are only animals evolving into thinking creatures, where would they get the ideas of God, of Religion, of martial arts from?

    Don’t go off the rails, because even the most analytical minds need some counter-balance of faith that the unknown has some higher power, some greater force that is our protector, our savior, or our mind turns to depression and insanity. Don’t neglect the duality of realization of both the positive and negative exist in balance, not just in science, but in the very personality and behavior of the human being and the minds of human beings also. This realization clears up a lot of the questions of both the history of science/ nature, but the history of human interaction for human history also.

  2. David DeLong says:

    This article brings to the forefront the question, “Are we talking about Christianity as a religion, or Christianity as a political movement.”
    As someone who was raised in the Christian tradition and who subsequently has received an education that opened doors to the many diverse cultures of the world, I am deeply troubled and frankly annoyed at the thrust of this article.
    The author obviously perceives Christianity to be foremost an institution of sociopolitical doctrine aimed at fostering an “us vs them” mindset. He/she is attempting to “out-Taliban” the Taliban with the arrogance of dictating to others the “proper” attitude regarding martial arts.
    As someone who has led a university aikido program in a “Baptist-heavy” environment, I have long since tired of such attitudes, and frankly, I’m relieved now not to have to deal with it directly anymore. I’ve always stressed the secular nature of Aikido practice as an institution while acknowledging the spiritual foundation of O’Sensei’s vision, and the underlying cultural climate favorable to the “Art of Peace”. However, I believe secularity is absolutely necessary in order for aikido to be accessed by people of diverse backgrounds as a cultural tool of mutual understanding.
    O’Sensei did not require membership in Omoto Kyo for his martial arts students. They individually manifested a diverse approach to spirituality. No instructor in my experience has ever dictated their students’ spirituality.
    This form of political Christianity has insinuated itself into every corner of American life, so it’s unfortunate but inevitable that it would attempt to sink its fangs into the cultural bridge that martial arts represents. This form of so-called religion is hallmarked by a need to enforce ignorance, of history, biology, physics, even Biblical theology and archaeology. The Bible has been mis-construed to support the flat-earth idea, that the sun revolves around the earth, the divine right of kings, slavery, segregation, to oppose women’s suffrage, etc. This political movement which seeks to call itself Christianity is losing in the war for hearts and minds, but it has just grown more and more hysterical and shrill in response.
    All responsible adults, including those in the martial arts community, should reject it. As I am speaking from righteous anger, I have struggled to use civil language in this response.

  3. Bruce Baker says:

    My short answer … YOU .. the individual .. are conning yourself into mysticism.

    Go back and follow the evolution of history as human beings discover the science of the world around us, and the science of the human animal.

  4. Bruce Baker says:

    Dear David Delong … your point is moot .. because eventually .. human beings will invent another religion and our thoughts will be a footnote at they move on to something else.

    Doesn’t matter what you believe as long as .. you are not a danger to yourself or others.

    But in finding that commonality .. religious groups and names disappear as the common traits remain to recombine into the NEW religion that will evolve, what that is in the future…. ya got me!

  5. David DeLong says:

    I agree absolutely with the idea of the evolution of religion. The Bible itself is a story of man’s evolving relationship with God.
    One important article of faith (or wisdom) for me is the concept of uncertainty. To be human, for me, is to be perpetually on the threshold between the “known” and the “unknown. No matter what knowledge is revealed to us, we always confront that which is yet hidden. That is a “spiritual” reality as well as a matter of physical survival. So it’s ever-present.

    “Doesn’t matter what you believe as long as .. you are not a danger to yourself or others.”

    I agree with that sentence too. My point is political. I make no judgements about other’s spirituality. I am opposed to having another impose their religious beliefs on my life. We should endeavor to keep politics out of aikido. I accept spiritual values as they are revealed to me as truth.
    As they convince me.
    My students, likewise, are in charge of their own spirituality.
    This is a political issue.

  6. …somebody told me that O Sensei’s reaction to Christianity was, “It’s a good religion, but I think you should turn the other cheek before you’re struck.” Met a very nice deputy sheriff once upon a time who wouldn’t do yoga exercises, because he ‘didn’t believe in it’ in a religious sense.

  7. Jorge Cardoso says:

    The Jesus Carpenter from Nazareth used to say “to Ceaser what belong to Ceaser and to God what belong to God”
    Either you know it or not the spiritual world is a reality OSensei received and had may experiences with and from the Spiritual world beings or realms.Spiritual things is not the same as religion but you cannot ignore that roots in what is Aikido as expressed by OSENSEI.



  8. Bruce Baker, brother look at yourself and you will see the amazing creation of God,your are alive because there is God the creator, he created you and give you a chance to taste the life which is temporal in this world, grab the chance of eternal life he offers to anyone who may believe in him, for further question just ask Brother Eli Soriano at http://www.justin.tv/elisoriano. He will answer you base on the Bible.

  9. charles warren, brother O sensei’s reaction about Christianity is correct, because the meaning of Christianity is followers of Christ he is the savior of his followers,and i will convince O sensei if he is still alive in these generation that Christ is our real O sensei, He was called teacher by his followers, it was written in the Bible, I recommend you to ask Brother Eli Soriano, http://www.justin.tv/elisoriano.

  10. jorge I believe you’re reading Bible and understand some text and verses but why not read it more and you will found out that there is really spirits, The good spirits from God and bad spirits of evil, if your entension is for good ask the most sensible preacher of our time, recently awarded as The Most Educational to Follow category OPEN WEBAWARDS by Mashable.com, the esoriano.wordpress.com website, hope we have the same spirit of God.

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