Christian Church ideology and the mantra of martial arts do not coexist. At least that is the opinion of many. Yes, many martial arts school use their faith as the means to structure their school code and at the same time many churches look down on the idea of placing children or adults in an environment that promotes self mediation or the concept of self betterment without the active hand of God.
It can be a hotly debated topic and one that never gets resolution. Why? Does the God worshiping group have the ultimate say? Some religious ideologies seem to think so. But does not the individual also deserve the respect of other faiths to pursue their own ritualistic belief?
These are a lot of questions and ones that as I age open a larger narrative of conversation. And in opening the consciousness of this conversation, what happens when you move away from the more mainstream Christian religion? Do the Tao, Shinto, and Buddhist practitioners deserve less respect for their spiritual dogma?
What of the atheist or agnostic? Many skillful martial artists exist and improve themselves without the inclusion of a God faith. Are they less deserving of the benefits of what we in the arts consider spiritual betterment?
These are hard questions. It might be time to consider them and where you stand in the realm of a wider understanding. Or do you think your religious faith is the only thing that matters? Is that the true way of a martial artist—spouting the ‘my dojo’ is better than yours mantra.