There is not one martial art style superior or above others. History is showing us that the power is in the mixing of arts; MMA in the side of sports and advance military combat in the side of reality. The best is not found in styles, the best is found in the individual martial artist, his interpretation, his execution, his natural abilities, his dedication, his passion, his character and his impact in the lives of others. The legendary Bruce Lee, in his most popular quote, said,
I don’t agree with emptying our minds. The Bible does not tell us to empty our minds, but to transform our minds (Romans 12:2) However, I do agree with the rest of the quote.
There was a time when Karate was the most popular art, then Kung Fu, Taekwondo and then Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. However, today everybody recognizes MMA, (Mix Martial Arts) I think that Bruce Lee was ahead of his time; he saw the power of mix martial arts before anybody did. However, I think that he saw beyond the mixing of martial arts; to a place where we have not step into yet.
Lee emphasised what he called “the style of no style”. This consisted of getting rid of the formalised approach which Lee claimed was indicative of traditional styles. Lee felt the system he now called Jun Fan Gung Fu was even too restrictive, and eventually evolved into a philosophy and martial art he would come to call Jeet Kune Do or the Way of the Intercepting Fist. It is a term he would later regret, because Jeet Kune Do implied specific parameters that styles connote; whereas the idea of his martial art was to exist outside of parameters and limitations.
It is said that before Bruce Lee died he closed all of his schools; perhaps he found his freedom. The great American Kickboxeer and one of the pioneers of full contact martial arts tournaments in the United States Joe Lewis said of Bruce Lee,
“Bruce and I would only do drills related to combat. We did not give them names, such as Wing Chun etc. If it worked we used it and I have always trained that way. I do not care about names or styles, that is all garbage—and I mean garbage. Either your kick or choke worked or it didn’t: the style did not carry any super magic or extra powers.”
It is amazing to me that somebody that lived such short life caused such impact in the wonderful world of martial arts. That is the reason why, in my opinion and in the opinion of millions around the world, Bruce Lee was, is and forever will be the best martial artist of our era.
I want to take this opportunity to give glory to God. This weekend was a blessing to me. I came to the International Gospel Martial Arts Union Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was invited to teach, but the greatest blessing was to be able to learn from amazing, humble and Godly Martial Artist.
The GMAU tested me for Senior Sensei. I passed the test with a 92. Not perfect, that is because I have plenty of room for growth. But what an amazing privilege!
I was also promoted to the 5th Degree Black Belt. I was expecting to be promoted to the 4th degree, but that is the God I serve; He always out gives us.
I am very motivated to work even harder in our Casiano’s Martial Arts Program in Fairbanks, Ak. I was ask to close the event in prayer; perhaps that was the greatest honor. I was in tears as the overwhelming presence of God touched my heart in a very special way.
I want to take this opportunity to recognize Dr. JR Russell, & 8th Dan GMAU President & Executive Director. I thank God for this man for his friendship and uncompromising commitment to the Lord. Dr. Russell is also a senior pastor and I can’t wait to visit his church tomorrow.
Also I want to thank God for Grandmaster, Mike Proctor who change my life as a martial arts instructor. It was so good to be able to fellowship with him this weekend.
My sincere thanks also to, 10th Dan Keith Yates; so glad I got to know him a little better. This man is one of the highest ranked martial artist in our country, but I thank God for his humility and passion for the Gospel and the great commission.
Praise the Living God and all glory to HIM!
I have witnessed a tendency in the Body of Christ to do things with sloppiness. The philosophy behind such spirit is that the Lord knows our hearts, therefore, He accepts everything we do for HIM, and we are taught that quality is not really important.
From music, to dancing and sports, no doubt we can say, that the world is ahead of us in terms of quality and excellence. However, the Bible gives us countless examples that clearly demonstrate that we ought to be the best of the best in everything we do.
From Noah, who build the Ark; to Abraham, whom the Bible describes as the father our faith to Joseph who became the second most powerful man in the most powerful nation of those days to Moses who followed in detail all the instructions God gave him in the building of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. What can we say about David? Can we say that his son Solomon lacked excellence? We go all the way to the excellence of Daniel and, this is just to mention a few.
The Bible tells us in Psalm 33:3 “Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” (KJV) So why are we allowing people that can’t sign do so in the church. This takes us to the following point, why do we lower the standards in Christian Martial Arts? The Bible tells us in 2 Samuel 2:35, “He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” (NASB) This is, without a doubt, the description of a powerful martial artist. As a Christian Martial Arts Instructor we must be ready for battle, physically and emotionally. We most do things with excellence and passion.
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (KJV)
Since I was a young teen I’ve had a passion for fighting. I will go as far as saying that I was filled with a violent spirit. I was always attracted by martial Arts, but martial arts cost money that my parents were not wiling to pay, so I engaged in boxing since it was free. I actually got involved in Martial Arts in my mid-twenties.
When I became a Christian, somebody sent me an article that spoke very passionately against Christians getting involved with martial arts. I remember throwing away everything I had related to Martial Arts, trophies, equipment, certificate, etc. At least I knew that the spirit of violence was lifted out of me; it was not important to fight or compete anymore. I did not look back for five years.
One morning, my prayer partner, James Burch, prophesied that God was going to use martial arts in my life for His glory. I told my friend that he was in the flesh. Shortly after that, there was a group of young people in my church who wanted me to teach them martial arts. They convinced me because I also saw the opportunity to minister the gospel to them. I told them to bring friends and they did.
Even as I started teaching, I was not convinced that I was doing the right thing. All that changed when I saw people getting saved. Not only did student respond to the gospel, but also their parents. Unfortunately, I lost my passion for martial arts years ago. I don’t talk about martial arts, I don’t really read much about martial arts, but I saw it as an instrument to bring forth the gospel. Ministering the gospel is the foundational vision of our program.
Two years ago I went to the Gospel Martial Arts Union Conference and took a small class with Master Michael Proctor. That class changed my life forever as a martial artist. I liked the traditional martial arts, but not presenting a way to defend ourselves from the brutality of the street, I considered us irresponsible. So my vision to my martial arts program is as follows.
“To present the gospel to the lost, to make disciples and to offer a high quality martial arts program where our students are able to defend themselves from the brutality of the streets by learning self defense without throwing a punch. That is, by avoiding certain situations, people, and places. However, in cases where physical self-defense is absolutely necessary, they will have the confidence and ability to apply simple, practical, and powerful techniques so their chances of coming out alive from those dangerous situations will be in their favor.”