The information in this paper comes fromthe website ofMartial Arts Hall of Fame inducteeEric Wilson, a booklet by martial arts champion Linda Nathan, and the book Exposing Spiritualistic Practicesin Healingby Edwin A. Noyes M.D.

Composed by Edwin A. Noyes M.D., MPH
each source above is listed at end of paper)

The Huge Popularity of Martial Arts

Have you ever observed a group of individuals gathered in a room or some type venue dressed in white robes with white and/or colored sashes about the waist,with an instructor directing a practice of arm and fist thrusts,including kicks with the feet in what is known as Martial Arts?In the USA there are more than 30,000 such studios, or “dojos.”   More than 20millionpeople at any one time are enrolled in such training.  How many more millions have previously taken training in a “dojo” is anyone’s guess; perhapsmany, many millions?

What makes the martial arts so attractive and appealing, especially to the youth?  The text Enter the Dragon by De Castro,tells us that 40% of students in the martial arts will be between 7-14 years of age.  The martial arts practice and training is found in a large variety of venues,including schools and churches.  Even to being utilized as a drawing attraction in Christian evangelism programs. There are churches that incorporate practicing these arts with various ministries, women’s groups, Bible studies, even to forming a “karate ministry.” Claims of the martial arts as having many benefits are voiced.  Seldom heard is any rebuttal to the benefits,and so its popularity continues unabated.

Let us consider some of the proclaimed benefits and blessings of martial arts:  personal security, satisfaction in personal accomplishment, entertaining and fun; beneficial for physical fitness, balance, strength, and coordination.  It also fits with the “macho” and “egotistical” mind-set of many individuals.With such positive attributes held forth are there any concerns to consider?  Is it something I might choose for myself, for a family member?  Does it complement my way of life and beliefs?  Is the practice and teachings accompanying these exercises in harmony with the teachings of Christianity?  We need informed intelligent answers to these questions.

Bushido —The Warrior Spirit —The Beginning of Training:

Let us enter a dojo to learn of the spirit that is taught and practiced.  There may be differences as to how each dojo conducts their program,but there is enough similarity to present a typical practice for us to consider.  I share with you the description of Vito Rallo’s first session when he was a young man, later to become a national champion in the art. on “testimonies”

He tells of his first encounter: kneeling down and leaning back on his legs crossed behind, hands on thighs, and then directed by the instructor to meditate to clear his mind.  After several minutes he and his class bowed their heads all the way to the floor to pay respect to the instructor/Sensei (meaning twice born/reincarnated).  There may be on the white cloaks worn by the students and instructor a symbol of a “dragon” and/or a “circle of harmony.”  The same symbols and others may be posted inside the dojo.  The exercise follows by practicing repeatedly forceful movements, such as thrusting the hand/fist and arm outward as if to strike someone.  Students will be shouting “Kia” with each thrust and leg kick.  Practice sessions are conducted three or more times each week continuing for weeks, months, for some even years.  All the while the student progresses in agility, ability, strength, fighting skills, and receives promotions designated by wearing increasing darker colored belts.

Martial Arts Contrasted With Christian Character Development

The various martial arts are a sport of violence for either self-defense or offense.  It does not teach kindness, mercy, or empathy.  It may promote an aggressive attitude, sense of power, pride, promotion of self-esteem, and even a sense of superiority.

Contrast this training and its hostile character-promoting traits with the teachings of the Bible.  The Scriptures tell us that the“fruits of the Spirit” are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: which no law is against(Galatians5:22-23).  Matthew 5:39 shares with us a similar disposition to be achieved in character:  “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

How can it be justified that Christian pastors and/or teachers in church and study time promote scriptural teachings,and then in their extracurricular activities may arrange for classes in the martial arts to be part of church-sponsored activities?  Here are two opposing disciplines brought together in a church venue. One is to lead an individual to surrender his will and life to the Savior Jesus Christ,the Divine Son of God,to be controlled by and exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit;while the martial arts promote the exact opposite.  Is that compatible? To find an answer to this dichotomy we need to discover the origin and history of martial arts.  We need to find out if the physical aspect can be separated from the spiritual roots from which they sprang.

The Original Roots of Martial Arts

To understand the roots of martial arts it is necessary to start with a review of the lie told by the serpent in the Garden of Eden: “… Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”   (Genesis3:4-5)   The promise of the serpent to Eve: no death, progression to godhood for all, and obtaining wisdom from blending “good” with “evil”. This has been the core dogma for the “serpent’s” deceptions throughout time.  Secular history reveals that this formula was incorporated into a story of creation, via the theory of primordial evolution, which in turn is the basis for astrology and the doctrines of nature worship/paganism. This is quite a contrast with the Biblical account of beginnings.

Biblical teaching of origins is revealed in the following scriptures: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. …And God said let there be light” (Genesis1:1,3).  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”(Genesis2:7).“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth…. For He spake and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm33:6,9).  “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3).  “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,  or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1: 16).   “…and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation14: 6).

The Bible presents the above story of creation, then of Eve’s distrust of God’s words of warning and her accepting for truth the lie of the fallen angel Lucifer as communicated through the serpent at the tree in the Garden of Eden, resulting in disobedience. Following Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden and loss of immortality, in Genesis 3:15 God presented to man the promise of a Savior through the sacrificial death of the Son of God.  This act would pay the penalty of death for mistrusting God’s word, which resulted in disobedience.  All man has to do to receive forgiveness and to receive back eternal life, is to return to a full belief/faith in the Word of God, accepting the merits of Christ’s shed blood to cover our sin, which will then reflect in our obedience to God.

Following the world-wide flood described in Genesis 6-7, Nimrod son of Cush built the city of Babel (Genesis 10:9-10), also known as Babylon.  Secular history tells us that from Babylon evolved the Oriental civilization, and also the Eastern pagan (nature worship) religions. These forms of religion and worship are a counterfeit of God’s plan of salvation for sinful man.  The cornerstone foundation for the pagan religions is a counterfeit story of origins, a primordial evolutionary concept put forth by Satan to deceive the world into worshiping him instead of the true Creator God of the Universe.  This teaching spread to the entire world when the dispersion from Babylon occurred following the confounding of languages at the Tower of Babel.

A Counterfeit Creation Narrative

The Babylonian creation story’s basic hypothesis is as follows, with variations from civilization to civilization:

A great all-encompassing divided two-part force/power existed throughout space apart from any living God.  With the knowledge of balanced blending of the two opposing parts of this force (good-evil, positive-negative, yin-yang), creation of the cosmos, earth, and man occurred.  The planetary cosmos was labeled “macrocosm”, and man was considered a “microcosm” of the “macrocosm.” In this creation story everything arose out of a hypothesized universal force, allowing correspondence, association, and/or sympathy between all substance, animate and inanimate. This hypothesis is given for the explanation for the origin of life.  Present day Neo-evolutionary theory has no real answer to the question of the origin of life.

The Chinese narrative of this creation act is as follows:

At first there was Chaos. From its pure light collected to itself and moved to create the sky. The darkness remaining moved and from itself formed the earth. From within this activity there arose two principles of yang and yin, light and dark, sky and earth. From this movement of “like to like” a balancing of forces occurred and growth and increase brought forth the beginning and the ten thousand creation, all of which take the sky and earth (yang and yin) as their mode. The yang (positive) is transformed by contact with the negative (yin) and so water, fire, wood, metal, and earth are produced. These five elements diffuse harmoniously and evolve into four seasons which proceed on their course. The two forces of maleness and femaleness reacting with and influencing each other bring myriad things into being. Generation follows generation, and there is no end to changes and transformation.

Insight Northwest “The Healing Trans formation, Some Lesser God , Keep

The Hindu Creation Story:

From this self, verily, space arose, from space, air, from air, fire, from fire, water, from water, earth, from earth, herbs, from herbs, food, from food, man.

Taittiriya Upanishad 2:1 Reported in Ayurveda, Scott Gerson

The Buddhist says it this way:

We have created our own bodies.

Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, Govinda p. 159

The symbols below represent pantheistic evolutionary origins.

a. The circle above with a man standing in the middle with arms outstretched is often seen in articles and advertisements for “holistic” medicine. Itis an ancient symbol and represents the evolutionary origins described previously.  The following is the comment seen beneath this same symbol, which is from a wood cut of the 15thcentury:  ‘A mirror of the world —microcosm of the macrocosm’-Man as conceived in astrology, reflects the rhythms and structure of the universe in the same way as the universe mirrors the rhythms and structure of man himself.  “Everything is part of everything…”

b. The circle of harmony has its roots from 2800 B.C. out of the ancient text “I-Ching”, also known as “The Book of Changes”, which is a text of divination. All types of divination have their roots in the occult. The circle of harmony, too, represents evolutionary creation by opposing sides of the same force/power.

Let me repeat this hypothesis of origins:

The force/power composed of two opposing parts, through a process of evolution were blended to a non-dual state, ONENESS, and is said to have resulted in the act of creation; however the objects created were formed into a state of duality (good-evil, positive-negative, yang-yin).  Life did cease, yet the serpent said there is no death. The dogma of re-incarnation is the answer to the dilemma that death does occur.  A cycle of life-death occurs in this hypothesis, so man finds himself in an ever-continuing pattern of dying and returning to life, but in various forms and conditions.  He desires to move out of this cycle. To do so he must balance and move through his body this dual-state force/power into a non-dual status of ONENESS.  At that point he becomes One with the universal force/power and leaves the cycle of re-incarnation by joining the spirit world of nirvana for a life of eternal bliss.

This “force/power” spoken of has a large number of synonyms.  It is at times referred to as Chi, Qi, Ki, Prana, Logos, Mana,  Orenda, Animal Magnetism, Innate, Vital Energy, Odic Force, Bioplasma, One, Self, Higher Self, Supreme Self, Divine Self, Consciousness, Purer Consciousness Creative Principe, Essence, Presence, Vitalism, Life Force, Vibrational Force, Monism, Ultimate Unified Energy Field, Universal Intelligence, Universal Mind, Universal Energy, Supreme Ultimate, Higher Self, Higher Power, etc., etc.,   even the words I AM and God are used as synonyms for “force/power”. This is a counterfeit god, not the living Being Creator God of the Bible.

Since all material substance is said to be formed from this creative power, the I AM/God power, then everything is “god”; this is called “pantheism”. A more deceptive variant of this concept is the teaching that there is also a living Creator God who in the creation of man left a “spark” of His divinity in man and in all creation, so man has innate divinity within himself (panentheism).

Hinduism and other Oriental religions promote a life-long journey whereby through various mental and physical practices, an endeavor is made to move and balance the so-called universal force or power (spiritual energy) through the body so efficiently that it brings an individual into a non-dual point of oneness, or “union” (yoga), with “Brahman”, the Hindu name for the “Ultimate Reality”, the ultimate Deity of Hinduism.  Brahman is regarded to be the supreme formless Source of power and energy that is the cause of all that exists in the universe.  The claimed union or oneness with Brahman supposedly fulfills the promise given by the serpent in the Garden of Eden at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that there is no death, and partaking of the fruit of the Tree would initiate progression to godhood.

The reasoning in the Eastern pagan worldview is that life came from balancing a bipolar force/power (universal energy), and physical disorders and illness are explained as result of an imbalance of the life force energy.  This imbalance is also considered a deviation from the path of acquiring spiritual union with Brahman. It is a spiritual imbalance which in turn produces physical changes, disorders, illness.  In the Eastern mindset there is no separation between spiritual and physical, hence the correction for physical disorders and illness is to apply a spiritual remedy.  That remedy must involve correction of the imbalance of universal energy.  Many methods have been devised for achieving balance and movement of universal energy in one’s body in the path to attaining spiritual enlightenment/godhood. The same methods/practices are also utilized for healing.

Application of Universal Energy Theory

How this proclaimed universal energy (prana/Hindu, chi/Chinese)is acquired and infused into an individual, as well as the manner in which it is supposed to travel through ones system to raise one to higher spirituality and on to enlightenment/godhood, varies from civilization to civilization.  Understanding this aspect of the Eastern mindset is important to comprehend the subject of martial arts.  The Hindu teaches that universal energy moves in air and is infused primarily through breath, so there is a heavy emphasis on the breath and breathing.  Air and its prana is taken in by breathing through the nose, then the prana proceeds to the lower part of the body through imaginary channels, and afterward ascends in an undulating manner up through the body along the spine, traversing seven energy centers called “chakras.” When this energy ascends through these chakra centers and is brought to the seventh chakra at the top of the head, then there is the joining with Brahman (ultimate Hindu god); enlightenment is experienced, and immortality secured.

In Hinduism, the mental practices that are believed to balance and move energy is Eastern style meditation, yoga, and visualization. The physical acts considered to facilitate balance of energy flow are yoga exercises, chakra cleansing techniques, use of crystals and gems, diet, essential oils, and aromatherapy.

Chinese traditional medicine is influenced by Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism concepts.  Their foundation is similar to Indian Hindu beliefs, but with a variance in how universal energy (chi, qi, or ki to the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) flows through the body.  Flow of universal energy (chi) is said to move through conduits called meridians.  These supposed channels, 14 in number, run more or less perpendicular over the body.  The goal is to bring balance of the yin (negative) with Yang (positive) forces of chi to the point of non-duality to secure one’s place in nirvana, the heavenly bliss of the spirit realms.

Also, as in Hinduism, there is a mental and physical component to Chinese chi balancing.  The methods are Buddhist-style meditation, martial arts, acupuncture, acupressure, herbs, and some other practices. Meditation is the most fundamental, and all the other methods are not effective without meditation.

Hinduism’s Ayurveda (ancient traditional Indian healing system) and Chinese Traditional Medicine both have their origins based in astrology, as does all aspects of paganism wherein man is considered a microcosm of the macrocosm (cosmos).  The mental and physical practices of these Eastern religions are solidly founded in astrological concepts, which are anti-Biblical.  The Chinese Zodiac utilizes the movement of 108 planetary bodies through our galaxy for use in divination.  These heavenly bodies are, in the occult world, symbolic of deities, false gods of paganism.  The spirits of five of these planets (Jupiter/Zeus, Mars/Ares, Saturn/Cronos, Venus/Aphrodite, Mercury/Hermes) are believed to be Elemental Energies/spirits, involved in creation and its continuation.  Synonyms for these Elemental Energies are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water.  Synonyms of these same five planetary bodies used in the martial art “Kung-fu” (grandfather discipline of martial arts) are presented in similar order: Leopard, Tiger, Serpent, Dragon, White Crane.  Also Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the words liver, heart, spleen/pancreas, lungs, and kidneys as synonyms for these Elemental/spirits.  Everything in Chinese cosmology is based on these astrological roots, as it is in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Oriental pagan religions.

The five “Elements,” “energies,” or “spirits” concept of the planets are integrated into Traditional Chinese Medicine, and into the martial arts of Feng-shui, Kung-fu, Tai chi etc., and also into yoga of Hinduism.

Of interest is the choice of 108 planets in Chinese Zodiac theory.  We see 108 moves in Tai Chi Chuan;108 beads in the neckless, each bead representing a deity;108 rounds of yoga “sun salutation”;108 emblems/symbols, each representing a single manifestation of the supreme Hindu deity, Brahman.  A string of prayer beads is used in Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Roman Catholicism. The second in hierarchal order of the 108 symbols is the swastika, which is actually a “sun wheel.”  The five planets/Elemental Energies are also referred to as the “Five Ancestors.”

Isaiah the Prophet gave council in reference to the benefits, or lack thereof, in looking to the stars for wisdom and guidance: “Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast labored from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.”  (Isaiah 47: 12-14).

“Hear ye the Word of the LORD, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain:…” (Jeremiah10: 2-3).

While Hinduism proclaims 7 major energy centers in the body referred to as “chakras” the Chinese philosophy lists three centers.  These are the Upper, Middle, and lower “dan-tien.” Disease is said to occur when there is some blockage in the flow of chi/energy through either the meridians or the chakra energy centers.  The upper dan-tien located in the center of the forehead is considered the “third eye” or seat/throne of the will of man.  Traditional Chinese Medicine has as its objective to manipulate energy/chi through the meridians and or dan-tiens so to enhance flow of chi.  Methods used are meditation, martial arts (kung-fu, karate, tai chi chuan, etc.), acupuncture, acupressure, and various other modalities.

Stepping onto Enchanted Ground:

This short history of the spiritual philosophy behind the origin and objective for the practice of martial arts lays the foundation for further investigation.  Let us pick up from where we left off above (Page 1) in this narrative after entering a dojo training venue. Upon looking more closely at the participants it is observed that not all have white belts.  There are seen various colors ranging from white, to the black belt of the sensei.  We learn that the beginner or Novice will wear white, then yellow, to orange belts as he progresses in skill. The next level is the Initiate wearing green and on to blue, then Apprentice-brown to red, and a Disciple or “5th dan” in black. The ladder continues: Master—6thdan; High master—8thdan; Grand master—10thdan.

What at first appeared to be a group of individuals being led by an instructor in Eastern style exercises has taken on more complexity.  Why the hierarchy ladder? Is proficiency of the physical movements all that is involved in climbing the ladder? The answers are surprising.

The visitor also observes that shoes are removed when entering the dojo, the student bows upon entering, bows when addressing the instructor and calls him “master.”  The student is to honor, respect, and to give full obedience to the Sensei/Instructor/Master.

“But be ye not called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.  Neither be ye called masters: for One is your Master, even Christ.” (Matthew23: 8-10).

The student or novice’s constant goal is to move up the hierarchical ladder, obtaining darker colored belts as one progresses. The instructor most likely will be wearing a black belt, and he too is a part of the hierarchy as he has ties to the Master above him, etc., until the Master at the 10thdan level is reached. Leadership organization is pyramid-like, with the Grand master at the top.  We will come back to this subject later, but now it is time to learn a little about the history of the martial arts that are practiced today.

How It All began?

In mid-5thcentury an Indian Buddhist Monk, Bodhidharma, came from India to the Shaolin Temple (Hall of Three Buddhas) in Hunan province of China. He was the 28thin line from the founding of Buddhism five hundred plus years before Christ.  He had revised Hinduism (referred to as Chan Buddhism) and he brought yoga to the Shaolin Temple monastery.

“Legend tells, that it was he who taught the monks the methods of physical movement combined with their meditation to enhance spiritual (occult) abilities.  Through certain breathing, visualization techniques, and acts of worship, the monks were said to develop almost supra-natural psychic and physical powers.” Bodhidharma had written a small book (The Muscle/Tendon Change Classics) found at the temple following his death, which outlined

spiritual and physical exercises which would enable the Buddhist to reach “enlightenment.” Thus, from Indian yoga developed the martial arts of the Buddhist. p. 17, 18

This book by Bodhidharma is given great respect by martial artists worldwide.  It outlines the foundation of all martial art forms, including qi gong.  The book presents mediation, attention to breathing, and visualization practices, which have great similarity to a book written in 1522-1524, The Spiritual Exercises by Ignatius Loyola.   The philosophy of Ignatius’s book has very close similarity to those of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

“Many churches in this country (USA) are now offering what are known as ‘spiritual retreats’, which use as their curriculum Loyola’s book of spiritual exercises; along with yoga, Chinese qigong, Tai-Chi, labyrinth walking, and new age practice called, ‘contemplative prayer’”  (a deceptive form of Eastern meditation). p. 19

From Shaolin temple, the spiritual/physical exercises spread throughout China, to Korea, Japan, and Okinawa.  Names of the various martial arts changed with the nationality propagating them;  In China—Tiger, White Crane, Internal Chi-kung, Qi-gong, Tai-chi Chuan, Bagua-zhangand yoga; Okinawa—karate;  Korea—Tae Kwon Do, Japan—judo, Jujutsu, Aikido.

The Symbol of the Dragon

Let us now experience the beginner’s journey into the martial arts.  The student (novice) comes to a martial arts class at its dojo/venue.  Symbols of a dragon, and/or a circle of harmony may be seen on the entrance, or some place within the venue. These symbols may also be found on the gowns worn by instructor and students.  What is the significance of these symbols?  Is it important to have an understanding of these symbols?  When I go to a Christian church frequently there will be a cross exhibited somewhere in the church, and it tells me that the worldview and teachings to be found therein will be Judeo-Christian.  If I see the emblem of a half moon and a star, I am encountering Mohammedism/Moslem influence, etc.

But what worldview does the symbol of the dragon and/or the circle of harmony signify?  Worldwide these symbols are to be found in the martial arts, and they tell us the world view, the spiritual orientation, of the system being embraced.

We first encounter a serpent used as a medium in the Garden of Eden, through which Satan tempted Eve.  Throughout the Bible, the serpent, when used as a symbol, represents Satan and sin.  “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation12:7-9).  One scripture, referring to the serpent somewhat differently, is the brazen serpent hung on a pole in the Sinai desert. The Israelites were directed to look to this brazen serpent and be saved from the deadly bite of a living serpent. This brazen serpent represented Christ dying on the cross in victory over sin.

Satan has enticed mankind to understand the symbol of the serpent to represent “the life giver.”  Ancient Greek hospitals were dedicated to the serpents as being life givers.  The serpent climbing a staff is a symbol representing the medical profession.  The Eastern civilizations and religions have used the symbol of the dragon to represent their worldview, which is in direct contrast to the Christian worldview.  A “worldview” expresses: Where did we come from, why are we here, and where are we going?

“To the pagan the dragon represents ‘wisdom’, pride, wealth, and ultimate spiritual power.  He was also known to the Babylonians, Greeks, Aztecs, and Romans as Leviathan.” p. 4

“In that day the LORD with His sore (severe) and great (terrible) and strong sword (word of God)shall punish Leviathan the piercing (fugitive) serpent, even Leviathan that crooked (tortuous) serpent; And he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea!” (Isaiah 27:1; Job 41; Ephesians 6: 17; Hebrews 4: 12).

The serpent/ dragon symbol represents a “life force” that is supposedly throughout the cosmos and in everything and every person.  It is believed possible to manipulate this force by human means to bring healing, to promote spirituality to the point of escaping reincarnation and joining in the spirit world of Nirvana/spirit heaven.  In contrast the cross is the symbol of the Judeo-Christian world view.  In this story mankind distrusted God, partook of the fruit of the tree in disobedience, thereby falling under the condemnation of the law of God.  Immortality was lost and mankind was doomed to eternal death.  Christ paid that penalty for sin for us by his death on the cross and gives us pardon as we believe in Him as our substitute and surety. He then invites us to partake once again of eternal life in paradise on     earth made new.

The pa qua/circle-of-harmony likewise is displayed prominently within martial art dojos and on the garments worn.  Previously in this article this symbol was explained as representing evolutionary creation, whereby opposing sides (good-evil, light-darkness, yang-yin) of the same force/power blended to “oneness” and creation occurred.  This is the false story of creation which is the fundamental doctrine in Eastern religions and nature-worship/paganism.  These martial arts as usually taught present a holistic view of life with a final goal of Eastern religion’s “Enlightenment/Immortality/Godhood.”

Upon entering the dojo, shoes are removed, and a bow is made toward the sensei/instructor. In the opening of this article, Vito Gallo told of his first encounter in the martial arts.  He sat back on his haunches, arms on thighs, and was to do mind clearing meditation for several minutes, then bow his face to the floor facing the instructor.  The instructor is to be addressed as “master”, and his directions strictly obeyed.

Now starts a training in body and mind that will consume several hours each week, which may grow into years of nurturing an attitude of pride, superiority, aggressiveness, self-mastery, intolerance of others, violence, etc., under the symbol of the dragon and the world view it represents.  Contrast this attitude with the spirit taught in Scriptures; turn the other cheek, seeing others as greater than one’s self, experiencing the fruits of the spirit; “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians5:22-23).

This scenario of the practices and teachings of martial arts brings to memory pertinent scriptural passages: “ Thou shalt have no other gods before me…Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them…” (Exodus20:3-5).  “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ.”(Matthew23:10).  “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey!  Whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans6:16).

The new student finds him or herself at the bottom of the ladder of hierarchy, and so is stimulated to begin the trek of attaining the next step in this ladder. The higher the steps on the ladder the greater self-pride grows.  “Ye know that the princes of the unbelievers exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon those who are weaker. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your servant!” (Matthew20:20-28).

The Quest For Mastery

A vital part of growth and progression in the arts is to not only improve in physical action and skill, but to give the highest respect, honor, and obedience to the head of the martial arts family.  A failure to comply will impede advancement in rank. This aspect of martial arts training may be desired by some families as they believe their youth are being taught discipline. But discipline and allegiance under what flag or worldview?

A question needs to be asked: What is the instruction, attitude, worldview being transferred down through the organizational ladder to reach the novice at the bottom? Let us move up the ladder several steps to the level of 5th dan, the black belt.  The power to be attained in martial arts involves more than just physical strength and skill in strength and motion, it is through a martial spirit. This is where the super-human power is obtained to do super-human feats; and it is passed down from above in the martial arts hierarchy. Page 4 of

“The Shaolin teaches that; once a man achieves the title of Disciple, (black belt) he is “bound” to his master for life, by a spiritual tie not easily broken.  The Black Sash/belt ceremony is very much like a wedding ceremony.  For it is only then that the student can begin his training as a true disciple of the art, under the personal instruction of a Master.  The new disciple receives a very special certificate, which bonds him/her to the master in a tie that can be greater than that of most husbands and wives!”  (same reference as above)

In the reference above we are informed that whatever spirit possess the Grand Master will be passed down to the disciples and instructors below them and on to the lower levels, and finally to the novice at the bottom.  The higher the level of attainment in these martial arts, the higher the hold of the spirit on the person, and the more difficult to separate from it.

When a Master of a system attains the level of “Grand Master” 10thdan, and also experiences “enlightenment”, he is considered “infallible.” This applies to the spiritual and physical aspects of the art.  Thereafter he communicates and is taught direct from the spirit world; at times from spirits guised as Masters and founders of the martial arts long dead.  “His training takes the form of secret kata, meditation and self-awareness in disciplines such as Qigong, Yoga, Nei-gond, Baua, Hsing-yi, and other esoteric arts.  This level of instruction is revered in the martial arts world, as the path of the enlightened ones, or Arhat masters.” p. 3,4.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians6:12-13).

This is where the real power of the martial arts is derived then passed down the hierarchy ladder, even to the novice.  There is more than physical strength involved, additional power from the spirit world (martial spirit) is imparted. When feats of great strength and power are displayed such as breaking great blocks of ice with the head, breaking many thickness of boards with the hand, it is not just physical prowess obtained by exercise, it is enhancement by demonic power.

Power in Symbols

Previously in this article symbols were briefly discussed.  Communication by symbolism is of ancient origin and is still a very informative practice in the modern world. Governments, industries, organizations, and many additional places use a logo or symbol to identify their product and its origin.  Similarly, is symbolism used in the spiritual realm to identify belief systems?  If I wear a symbol of a crescent and star I would be identified with Islam, and a Star of David identifies with Israel, etc.  In the pagan and neo-pagan belief system there are many symbols that are peculiar to those beliefs.  If one identifies with a symbol and displays or wears it as a talisman or amulet, that signifies my relationship to it.

In the martial arts there is an even deeper relationship formed by identifying with certain symbols.  In this system the symbols stand for “spiritual powers” imbued to the Master.  “In the art of Kung-fu, Karate, Tai-Chi, and Yoga, these various symbols are used to connect the practitioner to the spirit world.”“ One of the primary ways a symbol is used in Eastern mysticism and the occult is as a ‘Talisman’, a means of which to channel an evil spirit.  These doorways, or ‘gates’ are drawn, painted, written, carved, and/or tattooed on the person’s body or property.  They (symbols) stand in the sight of the spirit world and the initiated few as marks of affiliation and ‘brotherhood.’” p. 6, 7.

Can I Take the Good Out and Leave the Bad?:

Important questions arise upon exposing the roots and core principles involved in the martial arts.  Can I participate in them yet stay free of their pagan worldview and just take the good out?  My instructor in martial arts is a born-again Christian, and should that not protect from any spiritual concerns and danger?  “I have been practicing karate for several years and I have not experienced anything that would suggest to me that there are spiritual dangers involved.”  Is it not probable that you are on a witch hunt and have exaggerated the Eastern worldview and spiritual concerns and their association with martial art practice?  What possible harm or spiritual danger comes from participating in the gentle moves of Tai Chi Chuan, for even the elderly in rest homes benefit from it and no one has seen evidence of demons?

In looking for answers to the questions posed it is helpful to understand that martial arts are classified as “external/hard” and “internal/soft.”  Hard refers to intensive physical conditioning, powerful strikes with hand and/or feet applying strong force i.e., as Kung fu, karate, and judo. “Internal/soft” forms emphasize mystical Taoist and Buddhist spiritual concepts i.e., Tai-Chi Chuan and aikido.  The chi/qi/ki concept or universal force is central.  The emphasis is on balance, physical form of soft slow-moving movements and seeking control of chi force, so as to become attuned with the universe.  Tai Chi Chuan originally involved 108 rounded smooth movements, but in the USA, it has been simplified to 37.

Linda Nathan, author of Dangers and Deceptions of the Martial Arts, walked away from a championship career in martial arts following conversion to Christianity. In her booklet she shares with us the comments and beliefs of many of the Masters in the arts: “Eastern religious concepts and techniques are key to mastering karate and the martial arts. ”And, “Eastern philosophy should be central to all martial arts instruction.” Also, “that the martial arts really are training in Eastern meditation.”  Page 10.

The above mentioned concepts and techniques that are central to Eastern mysticism and martial arts encompass manipulating the chi/ki force by meditation (mind emptying), physical discipline (which of itself may not conflict with Christianity), attention to breathing or breath control, which is more than a physical act—all in an attempt to master the chi/ki/qi force, “to gain immortality and to control the universe.” P. 13

Linda further advises us:  “Bowing, specific methods of concentration, meditation, and breath control, emptying the mind, visualizing yourself doing the kata, calling your teacher ‘master,’ centering in the Ki, and trying to ‘flow’ with the ‘oneness of nature’ and your ‘inner self’ are all part of Buddhist and Taoist philosophy.  Doing the arts without absorbing at least some of those influences is like trying to swim in a river and not get wet.”  Page 10.

A recent article appeared on the Internet titled, “Just Exercise?  Former Yogi Says Spiritual Effects of Yoga Occur Spontaneously”.  It gives great insight as to whether we are able to practice the physical techniques of the Eastern religions, taking the good out, and not be spiritually influenced by their religious dogma.

Connie Fait, a former Tibetan nunandyogi, was head of a Tibetan Buddhist temple and for 40 years practiced and studied yoga traditions.  Then she had a Christian conversion and writes to warn the uninformed of the dangers of participating in Eastern yoga practices.  The martial arts are out of Yoga.

Fait makes it clear that whether or not one desires to receive a spiritual influence from practicing the physical aspects of yoga, that influence will occur. Here is her quote: “The knowledge of the Yogic Tradition is deeply hidden in mystery, and only understood by accomplished yogis who have passed on those secrets orally to one another for 5000 years.  Yoga asanas (postures, positions) are recognized as the main tool to realizing these secrets and is accomplished only through a process of experience.  Anyone who is doing yoga asanas is in that same process –whether or not they are aware of it or intend it.”

(emphasis added)

“As with all martial arts, the real power comes through, only through ‘spiritual ‘training.  And all of these mystical eastern practices find their roots in the Indian Hindu religion and yoga breathing/meditation techniques.”  “The very spiritual DNA of a martial style can never be separated or severed from its practice and physical manifestation.  For ‘out of the heart, the mouth speaks;’ and through the physical life, the spirit is made manifest.  The fruit of our actions bear witness to the God or powers which we serve and obey.” p. 4, 19.

“…And I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and the table of devils.” (Romans 13:20-21).


  1. Noyes, Edwin a. M.D. MPH, Exposing Spiritualistic Practices in Healing , Forest Grove Publishing, 5678 SW Blue Heron Dr., Forest Grove, OR 97116, (2012).
  2. Nathan, Linda, Dangers and Deceptions of the Martial Arts, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, LLC, P.O. Box 908, Eureka, MT 59917, Ph. 866 876 3910.
  3. Wilson

The information presented in this article is primarily a summary of articles written by individuals who were personally in the martial arts as instructors over many years, (# 2 ,3 above).  Each converted into Christianity, renounced, and now exposes the source of origin and power connected with martial arts.

YouTube videos by Eric Wilson giving additional exposure of martial arts:

Dragon Revealed, From Darkness to Light

Dragon Revealed Disc 2