The spiritual side of martial arts is a choice. It does not matter if you chose soccer, baseball, or martial arts, you have a choice to live a spiritually guided life or not. The type of person dedicated to martial arts, and the type of person who chooses to walk a spiritually guided life, are similar. Both groups are:
The first known martial artists were Shaolin Monks from China around the 5th century. Very spiritual men who chose to live a spiritually guided life.
The word Do (as in Judo, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do) means way or the path you choose to walk. Few martial arts systems in the United States of America (USA) promote a spiritual side. Usually the martial art classes in the USA are viewed as a service business. This is where there is a transfer of money to a Martial Arts Instructor in exchange for his/her knowledge to gain an understanding of martial arts movement to defend yourself or participate in a martial arts sporting event.
In breaking down one's being to its simplest components, a person is made up of three parts:
The Attacker(s) who wants to harm you for no reason generally has a corrupt spirit, or no spiritual development. The Attacker may or may not feel conviction when their mind tells them, Hey lets harm this person, the mind proceeds to tell the body to Attack! and the Attacker moves in to do harm.
The Apostle Paul states in the New International Version of the Bible in Colossians verse 1 : 21-22
Understand that the Attacker has not developed their spiritual side. Or has willfully chosen to disobey their conscience (mind) out of the desire to do evil. Also, understand that this person (or hopefully not a group of Attackers) is interested in harming your body, not your mind, or your spirit.
Your goal to defend yourself is to use the components that comprise you as a person (spirit, mind, body) to CHANGE the Attackers mind about attacking you. You can use your spirit to pray, or ask for divine intervention. You can use your mind to out think your Attacker to get away. Or you can use your body to attack the Attacker and put the person in so much pain that they don't want to attack you any more. Or use any combination of the three.
As the President of True Power Martial Arts, I have had the opportunity to meet and train with many people from many cultures. As we share stories and get to know each other, many students have shared their spiritual beliefs with me. Our system does not discriminate against other religious beliefs. I for one, started my martial arts journey without a spiritual foundation. I believe most people have a deep desire to seek the truth. As I was introduced to reading the Bible, I realized the True Power within me is Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
The New International Version of the Bible states, 1 Peter verse 4 : 10-11
I believe one of my gifts, and many of our instructor's gifts are to teach the martial arts and to treat others as we would want to be treated. Through our words and actions I hope we get this message across.
Lou Costabile, President, True Power Martial Arts, Inc.
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