Skip to main content

Kung Fu and the Christian


How I got involved in Kung Fu

Recently someone from our congregation called my attention on a subject that I am familiar with. The person wanted to know whether or not a Christian can learn Chinese martial arts - "Wu-Shu". First of all, I want to let you know that I am not an expert on Chinese martial arts but I do know enough to be able to discuss it intelligently. For me, there is conflict between Kung Fu and the Christian.

Secondly, I am not against all forms of Chinese martial arts, but there are certain aspects of Kung Fu that I do know, for certain, is harmful for the Christian to learn. There are not too many Christian ministers who can discuss this subject with their congregation. I am thankful to the LORD that I do have enough knowledge so that I can share with those who are interested in it. What you are about to read is strictly applied to the Christian only. What is good to the world at large may not be good for the believer in Jesus Christ.

In high school I was one of the tiniest students in my class, and my seat was usually in front. Whenever the teacher asked questions I would raise my hand and gave the answers. I was popular in my class but there were two class bullies that did not like me. Each of them was at least six inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than I was. They were also champion athletes. Every time they walked past me they would smack my head and ruffle my hair. I hated them but could not fight against them because they were so big and strong. One day a friend talked to me about Kung Fu. My main motive of studying Kung Fu was to get even with those two class bullies. I joined the Chin-Wu Athletic Association the most famous Kung Fu academy in China. They taught the Shao-Lin temple boxing. At age sixteen I became quite proficient in Kung Fu and had taken part in public exhibitions.

After I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the age of seventeen my attitude towards Kung Fu had changed. There was no longer a motive for revenge, but I was still fascinated by it. During my fourth year of study in architecture in London, England I had the opportunity to work as an extra on the film set of "Inn of Sixth Happiness". It is the story about Gladys Aylward who became a Christian missionary in China and established a mission to help the refugees during the Sino-Japanese war. I was one of the four extras who were chosen to play the role of Kung Fu practitioners in the movie. My part was to confront Gladys Aylward who was played by the famous actress Ingrid Bergman. That scene was cut. While studying in England my involvement in Kung Fu was minimal.

When I returned to Ipoh, West Malaysia my interest in Kung Fu was revived. I had a successful architectural practice with plenty of prestige and influence and I became the president of a Kung Fu association that promoted Kung Fu of the highest degree. There were two Kung Fu masters who had influenced my thinking on this subject. Both were Christians. The first one is Fok Yu Kuang. He was one of the few Kung Fu masters who were sent by the National Academy of Martial Arts in Nanking, China to promote this art in foreign countries This academy had all the top Kung Fu fighters in China. Sifu Fok was the son-in law of Barnabas Chang, one of the three early workers of the True Jesus Church in China. Sifu Fok's religious group had dissociated themselves from the True Jesus Church but his wife later rejoined the main Body. I shall talk a little bit more about him later. The other Kung Fu master is Yuan Tao a one-time Kung Fu champion in China. When he was in his early twenties he killed a man in a boxing contest with the first punch. That is how deadly Kung Fu is. Master Tao became a Christian in his older years and his temper became mild. The government of Taiwan honored him by appointing him as the director of all physical training in the armed forces. The lives of these two Kung Fu masters who became Christians have a profound influence on my thinking of whether or not Christians should learn the Chinese martial arts.

Brief History of Kung Fu

In China martial arts is called "Wu-Shu" but its more popular name Kung Fu is known throughout the world due to the television series of the same name and films starring Bruce Lee. Kung Fu means achievement through activity that requires time, energy and patience. It is not only a system of martial arts, but also a way of life, very much like a religion. Kung Fu requires of the practitioner a strict code of physical, mental as well as spiritual discipline, unparalleled in any western form of martial arts. To reach the highest order of proficiency in Kung Fu one must follow eastern religions such as Buddhism and Taoism.

Martial arts (wu-shu) existed in China before the Christian era, but it was not until 540 A.D. that Kung Fu was developed in the Shao-Lin temple in the Henan province. A Buddhist priest named Bodhidharma (Tamo in Chinese), traveled from India to China to see the Emperor. At that time, the Emperor had started local Buddhist monks translating Buddhist texts from Sanskrit to Chinese. The intent was to allow the general populace the ability to practice this religion. Tamo traveled to the countryside temple where new trees had been planted. It was called the Shao-Lin temple. Tamo saw the Shao-Lin monks lacked physical, mental and spiritual stamina to perform even the most basic of Buddhist meditation. Tamo introduced the Indian yoga meditation and physical exercises that were designed to strengthen the body, mind and spirit of the monks. The basic exercises were based on the movements of the dragon, tiger, leopard, snake and crane. That was how Shao-Lin temple boxing developed. Most forms of Kung Fu, including Taichichuan, originated from the Shao-Lin temple. Even the Japanese Karate has its source from Shao-Lin temple. Bruce Lee developed Jeet Kune Do from the Wing Chun style of Shao-Lin temple boxing.

Kung Fu is incompatible with Christianity

Kung Fu is incompatible with Christianity in the very basic concept of religion. Buddhism originates from Hinduism that teaches multiple gods and goddesses. It is in direct conflict with the Christian concept of the One True God. The Christian God is the Creator of the universe and mankind from whom we have life and must draw our strength. Buddhism tries to awaken the consciousness of the god within oneself. Buddha taught the true way of enlightenment is "Be your own light, your own refuge. Believe only that which you test for yourself. . . Do not accept authority merely because it comes from a great man, or is written in a sacred book, for truth is different for each man and woman." In short, Buddhism rejects a Supreme God who saves mankind through the Lord Jesus Christ and imparts His divine instructions through the Holy Bible. In Buddhism absolute truth does not exist. Our Lord Jesus Christ declared: "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (Jn. 14:6) Kung Fu also is in conflict with pure Buddhism that teaches non-violence. It is impossible for a Kung Fu practitioner to follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ: "To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also." (Lk. 6:29) It is evident that Kung Fu and the Christian are in direct conflict with one another.

The other religion from which Kung Fu is integrated is Taoism. Lao-Tse (604-531 BCE) was its founder. He was searching for a way that would avoid the constant feudal warfare and other conflicts that disrupted life during his lifetime. The result was his book "Tao-te-Ching." Taoism started as a combination of psychology and philosophy but evolved into a religion in 440 CE when it was adopted as a state religion. At that time Lao-Tse became popularly venerated as a deity. In other words he was worshipped as a god. Tao is the first cause of the universe. It has a parallel with Christianity. "In the beginning was the Word (Logos)." Here the similarity ends. Tao teaches that it is a force that flows through all life. Of course the Bible tells us that "the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Jn. 1:1) Taoism teaches that "Yin" (dark side) is the breath that formed the earth. Yang (light side) is the breath that formed the heavens. They symbolize pairs of opposites which are seen throughout the universe, such as good and evil, light and dark, male and female. The Holy Bible states: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Taoism teaches the "Chi" literally air or breath within the self can be nurtured through meditation to generate the greatest force of energy and power. This principle called "Chi Kung" is utilized in Kung Fu to perform superhuman feats of strength. A person practicing "Chi Kung" can bend or break the staff of a spear with the pointed blade thrust against the throat. They can break a brick with one finger or balance the whole body on one finger. A branch of Kung Fu called "Shing Kung" enables practitioners to jump fifteen feet up in the air and stay up there for one minute. That would make Michael Jordan's hang time look like an amateur's. My father had seen a Shing Kung practitioner walk on Tofu cakes like stepping stones without denting the tofu. How do they do that?

Let me explain a little bit more about "Chi Kung." The closest counterpart of "Chi" in Christianity is the spirit of man. The Bible calls it "the inward man." (2 Cor. 4:16) In practicing Chi Kung the person must first meditate. The Shao Lin monk meditates on a sutra (Buddhist or Taoist verse) until he no longer becomes conscious of himself. He focuses on the belly or navel section "Tan Tien" (center of gravity of the body) and continues to meditate, expelling every part of his physical and psychic being until he reaches a state of "nothingness." What happens then? Here is the critical point. A close friend of mine who practiced Chi Kung revealed this to me. When the body, mind and spirit reach a state of "nothingness", many shafts of light enter the mind and descends to the "Tan Tien". My friend told me that those shafts of light look like demons. The demons enter the body through the mind. This is how the Chi Kung fighter has the superhuman strength. The strength comes from the demons. Consider the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ about the unclean spirit who goes out of a man. "And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first." (Lk. 11:24-26)

The Truth about how Bruce Lee died

No Kung Fu story can be complete without the legendary Bruce Lee. He was born in San Francisco in 1940 in the year of the dragon, hence his Chinese screen name is "Lee Siau Loong" - Little Dragon.

In January 1969 he wrote to Planet Hollywood: "Starting in 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession ten million dollars. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness." Bruce Lee did fulfill his ambition. He became famous all over the world and his films made in excess of ten million dollars. He did live the way he pleased but did not achieve inner harmony and happiness.

Strangely enough, he was working on a new film called "Game of Death." in Hong Kong. On the night of June 20, 1973 he died on the bed of his co-star Betty Ting-pei. The medical authorities officially pronounced that Bruce Lee had died of cerebral edema (swelling of the brain), but Kung Fu experts say that he died from other causes. Some say that he was a victim of "Dim Mak" the Kung Fu death touch. Others say that he had offended the demons of Kowloon (nine dragons) by bad "Feng Shui". Bruce Lee's screen name in Chinese is Little Dragon.

From my understanding of Kung Fu, Bruce Lee had died from overindulgence in conflicting moral principles. Bruce Lee was a practitioner of Chi Kung. At the Ed Parker Karate Tournament in 1964,Long Beach, California, he had given a public demonstration of this power with his one to three inch punch that knocked a 190 pound man six feet away.

One of the rules of the Shao Lin monks is that they cannot indulge in sex. The monks could reach the highest level of Chi Kung because they were celibate. A married man can practice Chi Kung but he cannot reach a very high level of proficiency. Chi Kung and sex do not mix. You cannot practice Chi Kung and live as you please.

Some Kung Fu writers are correct by describing Bruce Lee's death as a misadventure. Most of the martial arts community would like to venerate this icon as a demi-god so they either talk very little about the circumstances of his death or try to cover up his sins. Bruce Lee had died from an adulterous and sinful lust of his flesh. The Holy Bible teaches us: "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body." (1 Cor. 6:18) Sexual immorality is a deadly sin that destroys the body, spirit and soul.

Conflict of Religions concerning Life and Death

Now I shall talk about Sifu Fok. [In Cantonese Sifu means Grand Master] He was both a Christian minister and a Kung Fu master at the same time. He had opened his home compound and taught Kung Fu from Monday through Friday and preached to a small congregation on the Sabbath day. He was a Oneness believer and Seventh Day Sabbath keeper. He had left the denominational church that I belong. Sifu Fok was known for his self-control and disciplined temperament. He had trained himself to decline challenges for contests and to absorb punches without flinching, and he seldom retaliated even when physically attacked. He would only defend himself, and if possible, without inflicting serious injuries to his attackers. He thought that was the closest he could practice Christ's teaching of turning the other cheek. Because of his unusual qualities many Christians including an American missionary came to him for martial arts training. I am not sure whether or not Sifu Fok had the Holy Spirit when he became a Christian but even if he was Spirit-filled at first the Holy Spirit would have immediately left him the moment he started to get involved with Chi Kung.

Sifu Fok taught the Nei Kung system of Kung Fu - Hsing-I, Pa Kua Chang and Tai Chi Chuan. As a member of the CentralAcademy of Martial Arts in China he was also proficient in other forms of martial arts. He was a good western style boxer and held a third dan (degree) in Judo. To be a Kung Fu master and teacher of the internal system of boxing he had to be a serious practitioner of Chi Kung. Sifu Fok had reached the apex of Kung Fu. He thought that by being invulnerable to physical attacks without retaliation, he was practicing Christ's teachings of "turning the other cheek." He thought he had bridged the gap between Christianity and Taoism/Zen Buddhism, but he constantly had a conflict within himself - "How can I be a good Christian minister and a good Kung Fu master at the same time?" He could not honestly reconcile those two opposite religions, philosophies and teachings. He was mentally and spiritually obsessed with reaching "ultimate and perfect rest". What is it? If you had seen that latest epic Kung Fu movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", it will help you to understand the Taoist/Zen Buddhist religions' influence on Kung Fu. Like most westerners you would find it difficult to understand the final scene where the young heroine jumped down from the bridge of the WudangTemple where the supposedly highest form of Kung Fu was taught. That last jump was to reach the "ultimate and perfect rest" in "heaven." We call it suicide.

Sifu Fok had wanted to have that ultimate and perfect rest, but instead of seeking it through the Lord Jesus Christ he was deceived by the devil and sought it through Kung Fu. Once he tried to accomplish his goal by jumping down from the second floor of his home. Due to his many years of Kung Fu training he instinctively broke the fall and landed on the concrete floor without hurting himself. One fateful day he was alone at home. The devil made sure that he would surely die that time. He locked himself inside the bathroom. Then he did something really too horrible to describe. He cut the veins on his own wrist with a razor blade. His wife came home and looked for him. She saw the blood streaming out from the bottom of the bathroom door. She pounded the door but could not open it. Sifu Fok had already died from hemorrhage inside the bathroom.

Scroll to Continue

Many of my "brothers" (fellow students) of Sifu Fok believed that our master had gone to "heaven," and they would always say a prayer every year at his altar on the anniversary of his death. To me he went straight to hell. My Kung Fu master's suicide was the last straw that turned me off something that I liked very much. God showed me that Kung Fu/Taoism/Zen Buddhism and Christianity have absolutely nothing in common. I gave up Kung Fu many, many years ago because I had a conflict within my soul. Many of my Kung Fu friends have asked me this question over and over again. If you give up Kung Fu how will you defend yourself when there is a real need to do so? I was unable to answer them at that time, but God has been faithful to me ever since. Let me relate to you four outstanding incidents in my life that show beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord Jesus Christ is my true defense.

The Lord Jesus Christ defended me when I needed it

Incident number 1. The Bully became a Good Friend

You remember the two class bullies in my high school! After graduation we went in different directions. One of them got a job as a health inspector in our hometown. The other went to London, England to study law. I also went to London, England to study architecture.

After graduation we returned to our hometown. The lawyer opened his own law firm and was very successful and he was also elected into office as a City councilman and became a very influential and powerful politician. After graduation I also returned to our hometown, worked for a while for a prestigious architectural firm and later opened my own architectural firm. One day this lawyer called me to his office. He wanted me to be the architect of his development and building project. He gave me another building project and I also designed his family home. He actually helped me a lot to build up my architectural practice and we became very good friends.

One day we had a reunion of some of our former high school classmates and we talked about old times in high school. When I told the lawyer that I had secretly learned Kung Fu with the intention of beating him up. He looked at me incredulously, smiled and said, "You didn't!" We all had a good laugh. Praise and thank God I did not have to deliver a single Kung Fu punch or kick to get even with what he did to me in high school. He had done more than enough to compensate for those high school childish activities. God is truly wonderful for what He did to me. Praise His holy name! HalleluYah!

Incident number 2. The Lord sent someone to defend me

I was working as one of the team members for a project in an architectural firm in Los Angeles, California. The team captain Big George was a Vietnam war veteran. He was very grouchy and rude to every one in the team. He was especially more abusive to me. He kept on blaming the Vietnamese soldiers for killing his buddies. Although I had explained to him that I am not a Vietnamese but he would still insult and call me names. Many times he tried to provoke me into a fight. I tried to avoid confrontation by ignoring his remarks. This went on for weeks on end. I prayed to the Lord to help me keep my cool. One day at about five when we were about to leave the office this big bully challenged me to a fight. I began to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as I was praying, John, who was one of the other team members, stepped up and stood between Big George and me. Now John wasn't as tall as Big George but he had wide shoulders like a barn door. John had represented Canada in the Olympics as a weight lifter. He looked up at George square in the eye and said to him. "George, I have watched you for many weeks picking on Paul. It's not fair. If you want a fair contest I'll give you one. Let's step outside to the parking lot now!" When George heard this he said: "Take it easy John. I was only joking. I do not really want to hurt Paul." John said, "Well, stop joking from now onwards. I'm sick and tired of your dirty remarks, Okay?" Big George never abused me again. Thank the Lord Jesus Christ for sending someone to help me.

Incident number 3. The Lord knocked out my Attacker

On my second missionary trip to Brazil I had the privilege of preaching in one of the Brazilian congregations. It was the custom of the pastor and visiting ministers to stand near the entrance of the chapel to greet and embrace all the members as they leave the chapel. There were about 200 people at the service on that day.

I had embraced nearly half the number of people when one huge man came forward. Unlike the other people he hugged very tightly and pressed my face on his chest. He did not let go and I had difficulty in breathing. I knew I had to do something otherwise I would be suffocated. I said: "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command you Satan to leave." Suddenly the man released his stranglehold, fell backwards and fell to the floor unconscious."

Everybody in the chapel was excited and crowded round me. They were speaking through the interpreter: "How did you do it?" "Were you using a Kung Fu move?" I explained that I was only calling on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of the ladies were telling that the man had been terrorizing the church for the past few weeks. He had incredible strength. Only the previous week he had broken the church pews with his bare hands.

Praise and thank our Lord Jesus Christ. I did not have to use any Kung Fu moves to defend myself. The Name of the Lord Jesus Christ is all-sufficient and powerful.

Incident number 4. The Robber was repelled by the name of Jesus

After preaching in Salinas, California Brother Samuel, his wife Angela and I returned to San Francisco late at night. As our car was turning left an oncoming vehicle rushed towards us and hit us. There were two persons in the other car. One of them came over to rob us. As I went out of the car to try to reason with him the robber first pressed his gun to my head and demanded all my money. As I retreated backwards he pressed the gun on my chest. I had come to the point where I could no longer rely on my human ability. When I closed my eyes to pray the Lord Jesus Christ strengthened me. I opened my eyes and looked squarely at the thug and shouted right to his face, "In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command Satan to leave." The thug retreated and left the scene. The police later caught him. At the trial he pleaded guilty to the crime. Once again, I want to thank our Lord Jesus Christ for saving my life.

"Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me." (Psm. 116:5-6)


SM on December 20, 2019:

Wong Shun Leung (Ving Tsun master) once said "don't be a slave to Ving Tsun, make Ving Tsun (or Wing Chun) your slave. As long you do this you'll be fine.

He also thought Dim Mak was nonsense. As do I.

Jenny on January 08, 2019:

I read some comments here. Some are nasty comments saying the author was trying to force on others his beliefs.

Let me say what I think. This text I snot meant for non-believers of Jesus because non-believers and believers have different understanding. This text is for believers who would like some opinion or even confirmation of what they already suspected or believed.

It is fine if you do not believe but it is not if you criticise others beliefs. Likewise, it is your choice whether you want to learn martial arts or not.

Hello on April 01, 2015:

I've always liked martial arts. It's quite a beautiful art and good way to stay in shape. I pretty much taught myself from DVDs. I've learn all the WTF Tae Kwon Do poomse including the Palgwes. I've also learned a good chunk of Shaolin forms. But I have been quite skeptical to know if there are subliminal demonic messages in martial arts forms also.

One thing is for sure. Martial Arts can lead to vanity if one is not careful. If martial arts was truly the way to life, however, it would be free and accessible to anyone who wants to learn. Martial Arts schools are very expensive. Christianity, however, is free and accessible. And all the power one CAN access is found in The Holy Bible.

Martial Arts does not have the power to do the following:

Matthew 17:20

Acts 12:5-17

Daniel 6

Daniel 3

Exodus 16

Isaiah 61:1-2

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Matthew 14

Joel 2:2,7,8

Leviticus 19:18

John 15:13

lol on March 12, 2015:

You guys are hilarious. Ever thought about that your truth is not true at all? Ever thought, if you would be born in a muslim country, you would be a muslim. Claiming that Islam is the one and only truth. I mention the islam because Christianity and the Islam are both (what i consider) strong religions. Claiming if you don't believe that you will go to hell. Sometimes you might be even killed for it. Also the strong urge of showing the world that your believe is the only correct one. Forcing your truth on everybody else. It's ridiculous, i truly hate this behaviour. I'm happy that i live in a multi cultural society (Amsterdam - The Netherlands) and got confronted on a very early age with different kinds of religions. What i learned by now.. it's all bullshit. Sure.. it might help you coop with your life and you find comfort. Good for you! Really! But stop recruiting an army and force the other of what your believes are. There are no truths in your words.. you guys are just quoting some kind of book and take it as truth.. Those are not gods word (assuming it exists), a man wrote that book. And you guys are following it without question. It's pathetic.

manos on July 10, 2014:

epic story. i believe each and every incident. i hope your stories reach as many hearts as possible cause they are absolutely true.

James Rechtet on April 29, 2014:

You people are crazy. No one can force you to follow a religion against your will. Learn to defend yourself, skip the religion.

Weiwei on April 24, 2014:

One does not have to be a Buddhist OR even SLIGHTLY believe Buddhist tenants to do Gong Fu (Or, as you say in America, "Kung Foo"). Gong Fu CAN be Buddhist, however, nowadays, in most American Gong Fu training halls, it is only about learning to balance your body and use your muscles correctly while attacking. It's also about respecting your elders, which I recall the Bible saying.

Yoga is a different story. It is all about turning off your mind, which, in my opinion, can let demons in quite easily.

Gong Fu is not a master if you do not let it be a master. Everything can be a master if you make it that; sports, music, your job...

And as for Christ being our defense... Yes, there are times He is. Don't get me wrong- I've seen some miracles only Christ could've pulled off. But there are times when we CAN defend ourselves, and we are meant to. God started wars in the Old Testament. It is not as though He is a complete pacifist. One cannot simply look at one bible verse about such a diverse topic and think that it applies 100% to every situation. There are more than one verses in the bible for a reason. It is all to be compared.

Taiwan has many Christians, many good people who are Christian- I have known many of them. And many of them are non-Buddhist practitioners of the art of Gong Fu. If you were to ask them, "What about ___?" and the blank to be filled in had something to do with Buddhist spiritualism, they would reply saying "Oh, that is just an ancient Chinese belief. It's like a fairy tale to us, like Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny is to you." I've gotten that answer so many times from Christians in Taiwan.

God bless. May your mind be opened so that you see many things are allowed in your walk with Christ- and may you realize that many are not. You are right to think "Is this right for me because I am Christian?", but I believe humbly that Gong Fu is not wrong.

MC Squared on October 27, 2013:

In reply to "arkwriter"s "You can write all you want about the merits of Kung Fu as a your means of defense, but I have the Lord Jesus Christ as my defense...."

I respectfully reply: You can have all of the faith in the universe, but I *know* you look both ways before you cross a street - especially a busy one. I know you put your seat belt on - even in the [safe] aircraft. If you have an alarm system or weapon in your abode, there's further proof.

Kung Fu is about balance, fluidity, quickness, and self-protection [and protecting one's family] - NOT about gods, or even God. Also, faith without works is dead.

To "bangerandmash": One CAN serve 2 masters (they do it every day in the USA alone!) - it's just hypocritical. But even Christianity is hypocritical: you shall not kill, yet Got led armies to wipe out others. Murder is rampant in the Bible. Incest is rampant in the Bible.

My point: "easy with the rebuking - you may just be rebuked".

(said lovingly and with a smile :-)

bangerandmash on January 20, 2013:

It's a shame some people don't think deep enough about what they say on here.

Your article was the ONLY possible truth. You can not serve two masters.

Many years ago I too practiced martial arts and was getting into it deeper, but when I became a Born Again Christian, I knew for sure that it was wrong to continue practicing it. I had a revelation that I was conceited, proud, play boy. No matter what I could not stand before God in the end and defend myself, He is The Most Powerful and Loving One, not me.

I have spoken to other people about Christianity and martial arts and I have come to the conclusion that it is pride that tells us, it is ok to practice the arts.

You are wright my brother, there is more power in the word of God and in His name, if only we practiced the faith He gave us.

Well done for expressing your thoughts so clearly and taking a righteous stand for Jesus Christ. I hope others will seriously re-think what they are doing.

There are many wonderful people in the world that practice all kinds of self defense for good reasons, but after all, there is only one way and that is of our Creator, if only we would humble our selves.

Here is a thought for us all. Why don't we devote more time to the things of God and practice the power of the Inner Man (The Holy Spirit). It seems to me we are only too willing to spend time on other things (pride) than the eternal things of God.

Thank you for having the courage to share like you did my brother.

Pleirosei on December 24, 2012:

This article is lovely. I just started learning Wing Chun, and one of the things that has always had me hesitant in learning martial arts is because in most cases it is heavily entrenched with eastern mysticism of some kind. All the philosophy about energy and the body has made me stay away from any kind of talk with regards to energy in the bible.

Having begun learning Wing Chun, I have become more dependent on the Lord for a couple of reasons, but there is one main one: I do not want to be involved in eastern mysticism at all.

The Lord has shown me some things with regards to energy and the body. 1: Every person's body uses energy; 2, the problem with the eastern philosophies and they way they talk about energy is that its used to bring about some sort of spiritual elevation which is not according to scripture whatsoever. The same with breathing. If you want to be a good sprinter, you have to learn to breathe correctly; same with any physical activity, even martial arts. Problem is most breathing is not taught as being "physically beneficial to your body" but as a means of meditation to channel some form of internal strength based upon nature and forces and spirits. That's where the problem is. If you are studying martial arts and doing these things, you are in great danger.

ArticCardinal, his statements regarding what you quoted he can say confidently based on God's word. If Chi kung is something that is to force all things out, including the Holy Spirit, to achieve nothingness, to let evil spirits in, it is clear as day to me as well that the Holy Spirit would be grieved by this. Also, to take one's life to achieve the ultimate height outside of Jesus, as his master did when he cut his wrists, is obvious deception and trusting in something else other than Jesus for abundant life. In Corinthians, Jesus is the power of God and the wisdom of God. In Colossians, "...Christ, in whom are all hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge...See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority." (Col. 2:3; 8-10). It is clear that his kung fu master did not trust Christ in this regard; he looked for it in another means, a means that required him to take his own life to trust in it; that is an obvious deception.

If you are taking martial arts, do not rationalize, seek Christ's approval; if He does not give it, then you need to leave it alone. I have told this to Christ many times; the moment I hear a disapproval from you, I want nothing to do with it; I want nothing to do with eastern mysticism, and if Wing chun causes me to learn anything like that, I want nothing further to do with it.

Since learning Wing chun, He has thus far taught me how amazingly he has created the body.

You must walk with your Lord, and not try to reconcile martial arts with the scriptures; the Holy Spirit will decide those things, for He can see clearly, whereas we cannot.

Emil H from Umeå, Sweden on December 17, 2012:

Found a great Q&A about this topic here:

Emil H from Umeå, Sweden on December 17, 2012:


Thank you for sharing interesting thoughts about your life and experience of martial arts. Even though I agree with a lot of your sayings I found some of your ideas quite judgmental and I could keep from making a comment.

"Many of my "brothers" (fellow students) of Sifu Fok believed that our master had gone to "heaven," and they would always say a prayer every year at his altar on the anniversary of his death. To me he went straight to hell."

"...but even if he [Sifu Fok] was Spirit-filled at first the Holy Spirit would have immediately left him the moment he started to get involved with Chi Kung."

With all respect, how can I wise man like you use such a confident language concerning the afterlife and the heart of Sifu Fok? How can you know what was going on in his heart? To me he sounds like man struggling, and that's one thing. And even though one wouldn't agree with some of his choices in life I find it quite harsh and judgmental to cut him of like that.

But concerning the issue if a Christian could practice certain MA's I'm leaving it to the pro's to comment. I have no experience of such things. I only play hockey – For Christ though. But I believe that all we do we should do with a clean and confident heart.

ARUN on October 26, 2012:


MantisMan on October 26, 2012:

People are Crazy!!!!!!

God is good on September 04, 2012:

Thank you for this article. After recently throwing away much of my music once I discovered that even a lot of 'Christian' labelled music is unacceptable to God [look up Ivor Myer's testimony, and 'Distraction Dilemma' series by Christian Berdahl], I felt as if I should also get rid of some of my DVDs. However I still have many Jackie Chan & Kung Fu DVDs. Although I know that Jackie Chan tries to put positive messages in his films, doesn't believe in idols and discourages sacrificing to them, I still felt that these DVDs may be unacceptable to God. It's all about what the spirit is behind things. As said in 1 Corinthians 10.20:'I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.' & 1 Thessalonians 5.22: 'Abstain from all appearance of evil.' I have learned things overtime by following God, and hopefully others also will learn to know more about the character of God. As Paul the apostle commented in Phillipians chapter 3, verse 8: 'What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ'. After reading this I may just be getting rid of those Wu-Shu movies.

-Our enemy is no fool, and deception today is about as deep as it gets, I have now learned that the 9 letter word 'Christian' doesn't mean that it is Christian at all. If anyone is in doubt of the spiritual warfare that goes on in this world on a daily basis, I can personally testify to you that it is as Real as the very definition of the word, just as Jonathan commented.

-On another note, that was a very nice poem by John Dufresne in the comments.

John Dufresne on August 01, 2012:


Your comment has hit me very deeply-- mainly because I use to feel the same as you do. I have studied Martial arts since 1964 and have trained and studied most of my life. In Kung fu (please feel free to Google my name) I have also been a true believer in Jesus Christ (Christian) for many years.

God does not ignore the starving or the homeless; on the contrary, He still allows these things because of His continued mercy on all of us. He does not want any of us to perish. Frankly as stubborn as I was, it took just that (HOMELESSNESS) for me to finally turn to God for help. Left to my own resources and what I thought to be true, I would have never believed or have even wanted to seek the answers. He uses the things of this world that Satan meant to harm you, for His purpose to save us. I read another comment above yours that stated "God only helps those who help themselves" this also could not be any more wrong. God knew we cannot help ourselves, this is the reason He provided the Solution through the death and resurrection of His Son. It’s not how good we are-- our very best are like dirty rags in the eyes of a Holy God.

If God were to call it quits right now --- what side of the fence would you fall on? Do you believe that Jesus has died for your sins and that you are the son of the living God and heir to His kingdom (Eternal Life)? If not then every day of trials and tribulations that continue on in this world, are for your benefit; to realize the truth of this world-- there is only 1 road to salvation and that is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I pray for you that God will reveal Himself to you in a mighty way soon. I pray for blessing in your life. I pray for everyone here in this forum looking for answers about Kung Fu and Christianity understands that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law of the OT but to fulfill the prophecy. The law was established so we would understand how far we have strayed from Gods will. That being said; Jesus further said in the NT—you have heard it said and eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth (OT), but I tell you the truth if someone strikes one side of your face turn to them your other (NT).

I see many comments and advise given here. Many it seems even from people trying to quote the truth found in the Holy Scriptures who obviously only know what they have heard and have never actually read it themselves (When we speak we expose ourselves). I further pray that before we write what we think is truth that can affect those seeking true advice about this subject; that before we write something, lets be of good character and able to do so, because we have studied both sides. It seems many are commenting trying to defend their practices rather than actually seeking the truth. After all, how can we make accurate statements or give good sound advice if we only have seen things from 1 perspective. That is; just martial arts or just what we think is Christianity. I am praying for God’s will and His intervention in this Blog. May we all come to find the Truth about Martial Arts and Christianity (The Way the Truth and the Life to salvation through the Blood already given for you so that you may not parish but have eternal life)


John Dufresne

THEMAN on July 08, 2012:

Dumbass, asking Jesus for help as self defence is stupid.

Why would he answer your cry for help if he ignores starving and homeless?

... on June 11, 2012:

You are deranged, in buddhism there are no gods nor demons.

In Gung Fu there are no demons, and while these amazing feats are possible, they are not supernatural. A Shaolin Monk can only break bricks with a single finger as they have strengthened their bodies through vigorous training for years.

You guys are actually retarded.

John on May 18, 2012:

Not all Kungfu has its roots in Budhism and Hinduism. There are some Kungfu which were created by the Chinese Muslim in the Northwest. Physically, many of these Northwest Chinese Muslims has a resemblance with the Seljuk (Turks) people although of course there are Chinese Muslims who looks like Chinese.

I'm not sure about the kungfu of Chinese Christians, but the point is I heard some Muslim scholars and authorities also forbid the learning of Yoga and Chikung...

Jonathan on May 17, 2012:

He is right, so so right.I cannot explain how right he is or the circumstances that surround Kung Fu and Christianity

I backslid myself and have practiced Kung Fu.I'm Experiencing the supernatural on a daily basis now, not the good kind and not because of obedience.Please take note of what he is saying, please i beg you. Thank You for reading.

Who you? on April 16, 2012:

Samson killed 1,000 Philistines when "The spirit of the Lord came mightily upon" him. That part is key...

I see both sides of the argument. If touching logs in a bonfire are going to burn my hands, then I should probably step back from the flames. At the same time, exercise is good and taking care of our God given bodies (paid for by Christ) a way of honoring our Lord. Although, one must discern what is and what is not of the Holy Spirit. Practice you're side kicks and jabs, but know that there may be a line that needs to be drawn in if your focus and meditation sinks deeper into something away from God.

blind sifu on March 11, 2012:

you know saying this "If none of you have seen demons cast out of someone who repented and renounced martial arts....its best you say its possible that's it demonic." just opens everything for interpretation of something being demonic. i could argue all day that martial arts is not demonic and point out proof, but it's just far more entertaining to read all of the posts when you guys obviously don't do your homework on the subject.

healing ministries on December 19, 2011:

If none of you have seen demons cast out of someone who repented and renounced martial arts....its best you say its possible that's it demonic.

superfly on December 18, 2011:

John Dufresne,

Your poem is one of the best poems I have ever read. It brought tears of humility to me. Thank you so much for sharing and utilizing your gift for God's Kingdom...

Chance Kelly:A true believer in Christ on December 11, 2011:

Has anyone read John Dufresne's post?If you haven't, it's really awesome.This person must truly be a Christian.Arkwriter, if you want to really live for Christ, LAY OFF THE BREATHING.According to mine and many other people's perspective about this subject, merely anything can stand in between you and Christ.This is the truth.I live for Christ and only want to live for him.Jesus Christ and God are my only true soul purpose to live in life.There are a lot of things in your article that I believe in, but the breathing and other thing you mentioned, in my perspective, are not of Christ. All God is looking for is that you be willing to lay down your entire life for Him.Just give him all of your problems and he will bless you like you never thought.-Chance Kelly, a twelve year old true believer in Jesus Christ

Sifu David on December 10, 2011:

I am a 10 year practitioner of the martial arts and I also go to church. We even teach class at the church with many members of the congregation being students. They enjoy learning how to defend themselves by joining what we teach with the power of jesus. We have a korean warriors code that you can fit bible passages to that match each frase. chi is life, god gave us life, if someone sees demons while meditating that is for them and god to go over. the bible doesn't say anything about chi "your life essence" being evil.

Samuel on November 25, 2011:

Sorry about the misstypes, im not that educated, i do want to point out that a do not mean any disrepect once again, reading my comment i may have come on a little strong, i just disagree is all. I came to forum cuase i was googling for a topic on ways to center chi without meditating, beuase i find that instead of meditating enlightment wich is higly demonic and i dont do it, but rather i fast and pray and spend time with God in order to sharpen my "inner man" and uno what, ask anyone who has ever fasted and spent long hours in prayer, thats exactly what it does, meditation is the devils cheap knock off of prayer, but the devil didn't create chi, God did, its not our fault he uised it for his own evil like he does everything else.

samuel on November 25, 2011:

hi, i highlky disagree with you, i mean no disrespect but i am a youth pastor and a born again spirit filled believer, i pratice wing chun, and i have never been in a fight, ever, and never will use it, ever, i do it cuase it keeps me fight and agile, and it makes me feel closer to the type of human i am supose to be without sin and death, Adam was perfect, saying that kung fu isn't good for christianity cuase of its origins is the same as saying that many of our holidays are bad like christmas and easter wich have pagen origins, there are many examples of this, some people jog, some ppl pay alot of money to go to a jim, but i practice wing chun, have you considerd jesus didn't mean let him hit the other cheek, and that he may have ment, show it worries you not? think about it, or maybe it ment if your hurt emotionally show ur not concerned? your interpretation says that if someone coomes into my house and rapes my wife i am suppose to say its ok, you want to rape my sister too? go ahead......think about it, the bible says there is a time for war and a time for peace, jesus doesn't want a bunch of push overs to let every tread on us and do with us what they want, i could go on for days but i wont, i will finish by saying that bolleywood dancing Must be eveil according to your standards cuase its origin is in hinduism, sorry but you need to think about this subject more, with love, your bother in christ samuel

Emmanuel on November 02, 2011:

Thx for sharing, what about other forms of martial arts. I did practice kick boxing and to a big extent Karate though i kind of lost interest later coz as a x-tian i did not want to have a fight even when the opportunity to fight came along. But i like karate, it gives some form of confidence and yes, only Jesus can help you learn it and give you the ability to practice it. what do u say about that?

knight on October 04, 2011:

so when church people gossip and tear down a believer a true believer in Jesus does the gossiper's action come from the Holy Spirit? I practice Chen taiji which is basically shaolin and also chi kung and i hear what you are saying brother. But not all kung fu is bad nor is all chi kung. Chi kung is just breathing correctly, but when the master starts on those new age principles then don't follow him. Those are the people who are non Jesus and demonic. Breathing is not a demon. Shaolin is not demons. I think a lot of church people are stuck on everything outside of my click is a demon. this is not so.

hepzibag on September 30, 2011:

God is a God of peace and also a mighty warrior. We are created in His image. Is there a form of fighting using only the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit (a person) that God is saving for the end times that He has yet to teach us. I have been praying about this for several years now but don't feel I have the answers. Perhaps we will be endued with power when the need arises like Elijah and Samson. Focus on a pure heart before God. This is just my thoughts to be prayed over by some of you. I am absolutely positive that the Lord does not want us to be involved in the occult power that is used in Martial Arts. But is He trying to tell us something?

Shifu Harms on September 23, 2011:

Well I have been studying animal kung fu for the last 8 years, I am also working with a friend of mine and he has invited me in to partner in a martial arts ministry. I teach kung fu in my ministry. I do not practice any form of eastern religion but found that this form of exercise very good. I have even found that the internal arts are beneficial God created our bodies to respond to exercise and different breathing. Because I know Jesus Christ as my savior I can test and approve of what his will is for my life. We hold Bible Studies on Monday morning led by a pretty conservative Pastor and we are building relationships with other churches and have many believers as students as well as non believers. God knows my heart and I am in a great personal relationship with Him. My Kung Fu is a great way to share my faith with others. I have a hard time with people using turn the other cheek as a reason not to defend ourselves, Jesus was talking about a humiliating strike not a life threatening blow. I have a God given right to protect myself and my family. I really wouldn't use my martial arts to protect my family anyhow being a gun advocate it is much easier to survive using a weapon that can be used from a distance (I hope I never need either). thanks for reading my response oh by the way I grew up in a Mennonite Brethren Church (they are Pacifists) I went to a Christian High School as well as a Christian University and recently resigned a position as a youth pastor (where I had a church approved kung fu ministry) to pursue the Kung Fu ministry thanks for your time.

Shifu Harms (Teacher Harms)

flufcat on August 23, 2011:

I did wing chun kung fu for two years up to green belt. I only covered the basics up to intermediate level. I found that it made me a better person because it made me face my own fears and in doing so I was no longer fearful out on the street in real life. I am also a psychology Masters graduate and know that people react to each other on an unconscious level all the time. If someone is fearful - others can sense it and chose that person as their victim. If you learn the basics you won't even be in the area when the bully is looking for their victim. This is how your faith in yourself can save you. It has nothing to do with dark forces - only your own inner fears. A strong faith in God is also a good way to have faith in yourself and your abilities. Faith leads to confidence and the bully will pick on someone else.

JoJo on June 24, 2011:

Wow, thank you very much. I was just praying if it was right to be getting into Kung fu. I wasn't getting a clear answer until now. Thank you.

caltex on February 23, 2011:

Very helpful. I had read a long time ago about martial arts being in conflict wirh being a christian, and it just seems to be something that I believe to be true in mu gut, Thanks for the info.

E.ZX on January 25, 2011:


yes, indeed, if you are in a close and true relationship with the God, nothing can ever harm you...

John Dufresne on January 17, 2011:

I posted that Poem over a year ago—it has gone through many renditions. I have studied Chinese Wu-Shu for over 45 years. I travelled and lived in Mainland China for decades, to study with some of the most erudite Masters known in the modern world—including – Wu-Bin, Wing-Lock Ng, Huang Da Xiong to list only a few. I really respect others perspective of Christianity and the Practice of martial Arts. I enjoyed reading all the posts approving and disagreeing with it.

I guess what I was trying to establish with my testimonial Poem was that all the martial arts studies in this world did not give me peace or my salvation. Frankly, all the studies and practice taught me was how to manipulate my opponents, ultimately how to deceive them “to make them think I was far when I was near, and near when I was far”. Chi-Gong was founded on the Tao --- Tai-Zi (The Tao) Ba-Qua (again the Tao) ultimately all Martial Arts no matter their origin can find routes back to the Tao. That being said; what is the Tao anyway, but the study and understanding of this world/ universe and change. Yin and Yang two opposites that make a whole. A principal that is not religious is practice, but philosophical. This concept of practice is natural for us to desire to learn or even master. Our ego is feed by the study and mastery of these systems. The danger is that God did not intend us to know death or Sin. The greatest deception in the Garden that the serpent told Eve was: that if she ate of the fruit of good and evil, she would be like God—all knowing. The problem is that Adam and Eve already knew all that was good. So all they could learn was what was evil (Thus—Yin & Yang) After the fall, we now are subjected to both Yin and Yang; for now they are both conceived and we are subject to them until the time we go home. This is a fallen world and we are living in a duality—God did not intend us to live in this Tao. Trust me; in Heaven there will be no Yin & Yang. Their will only be Love, Peace and Goodness (all one) -- So as for me and my experiences strengths and hopes: God entrusted Moses (and who better than the Prince of Egypt) to go back into Egypt to free his people from bondage. So, I teach Wu-shu to those who truly want to learn—and I even can teach on the subject of the Tao—it’s just that my motive and focus has changed. No longer do I study and teach to learn how to manipulate or deceive my opponents--- I teach to expose the misconceptions, that the Tao is the “Way”. Poor translation and deceptive from the start—Only Christ is the Truth, The Light and the Way—no one comes to the father except through Him. And by no worldly or Taoist practice can we get salvation. So the real question is not whether we think being a Christian and martial arts practice is compatible. Of course they are not compatible—they are as far from each other as the east is from the west. But, even though we have already won the war through Christ Jesus, He asks us to serve and run the good race while we live in this world. I believe it is better to know our enemy then to be blinded and ignorant that he exists. This is why God will even use Evil for good—we must be prepared. After all it is a spiritual war and we all serve in different capacities. Who better to teach Martial Arts than the Master who was delivered from it; today I am His Servant.

Bev on January 03, 2011:

Thanks so much for writing this article!

I've been thinking of taking up Kung Fu for weeks. I'm a Bible based Christian, and brought up the question at Church. But generally,, nobody was able to oomment much, someone knew of a minister who did Kung fu. I felt a little happier after that, but I still wasn't fully at peace. I prayed about it and searched for an answer in Scripture...I found it now in your article.

I want you to know an amazing thing. The Kung Fu school I was going to join, was very friendly and inviting, but something always prevented me from going there, something came up at the last minute one week, then I was ill. Now they broke up for Christmas, & before I went there as it re-opened in Jan...God helped me find your article. Wow! The Lord works in misterious ways! He'll defend me when I need it! I don't have to worry & I don't have to learn Kung Fu!

: D

rick jenkins on December 25, 2010:

Common sense should tell you why their is no CHRISTIAN martial arts. Jesus said i now give you a new command(not a suggestion)Love one another. Let those that have eyes see and let those that have ears hear.Ask god to anoint you and pray in the spirit, then go back and read arkwriters blog.If you still think there is any place for martial arts in your life then you are under a strong delusion.

rick jenkins on December 25, 2010:

Judge them by their fruits.

Mikaru on December 13, 2010:

I'd like to rephrase a few things to make them more true. The religion behind Kung Fu is incompatible with Christians, the practice of the Martial Art itself is fine. Like Yoga, the religion behind it, incompatible, the motions and art of it, fine.

Actually, since the Bible teaches self-defense in several ways (the "turn the other cheek story is on receiving offenses), I'm rather surprised there are no Christian Martial Arts. To make Kung Fu (lit. translation "Human Achievement") with Christianity behind it rather than Buddhism is, in my opinion, one of the greatest ideas there could be.

Liltranga on November 27, 2010:

The thing that shocked me was the poem by John Dufresne in the comments here.

This is what happenend to me. so I testify to his poem.

About qigong this is what I found out.

When you breath steadily calm and deep during prayer or praising the lord and you do your qigong exercise your body, spirit and soul will heal by the holy spirit.

Learning Kung Fu is good exercise, but should never be taken up as a way for violence, greed, hate, anger, etc. This is how demons enter. They find things they like in you and then they wait for a weak or traumatising moment to enter.

They grant you many gifts and help you a lot, but it is always at a price.

We all have soulpower, but without God we should not mess with it.

I personally advice not to play with qigong until one is fullfilled with the holy spirit and totally free of other powers(demons)

Demons are very very very real and they are all around us, I lifed with them for many years. Did horrible things, lost and destroyed everything. My family, my job, my health and my sanity went out the door..

I got freed by Jesus, he truly is my saviour in every way.

If you reconise any of this in you as a Kung fu student or master.. This is what I did.. I fell down on my Knees and called to God in Tears.. So call out to God, he will know what to do. Your soul is payed for and he will send for you when you call him.

John 15

Im not looking to be right.. I just pray that someone reads this that needs to reeds this. Its all up to God.

God is Good and very Praisable :-)

livingStone on November 21, 2010:

Dear arkwriter,

In recent years there has been increasing popularity in ??? ??? and taiji chuan purely as a from of health promoting exercise at many community clubs and social groups. It is taught and practiced just like any other form of physical exercise which involves breathing, stretching, relaxing of the body and mind.

I hold to the belief that when we maintain Christ as the centre of our lives, our mind is filled with the presence of God as our body practice those movements. The Taiji chuan can be turned into zan mei cao ????

I read from one of your responses that you are teaching breathing and freehand exercises to your family and church members. Just wondering if it is the same set of exercises, and is your approach similar to the practice I am talking about here?

Appreciate your sharing. Thanks.

Chris on September 26, 2010:

I will say that your information on Kung Fu origin has some truth. However, the God in the NT is the Same as the OT. There was war. Practicing Kung Fu is ok as long as you are not practicing the religious aspect of it. We don't need all the super strength and superstition just forms and self defense. We must becareful of legalism here. Jer 17:9 will tell you that the heart is decieptful. That means we are easily decieved. Meditate on Christ during meditation. Kung Fu should make you not want to fight otherwise you are practicing it for the wrong reason.

Christian Seeker of Truth on September 24, 2010:

I just read your post as I just happened to be surfing through the web looking at stuff. I myself am indeed a Christian but even though I don't study Kung Fu I do train in the martial arts but not those of an oriental quality.

Anyway even though I have had this discussion with people on other forums and proven them wrong each and every time it seems that I will have to go through it again.

I personally don't believe that Kung Fu and Christianity are incompatible because of the following reasons that so far not a single solitary person or group on the internet has been able to debunk.

1.Even though Kung Fu may have eastern philosophies you don't actually have to believe in their God's or any of their religious ideas in order to practice kung fu.(If you need to me elaborate on why this is so then let me know because I have three paragraphs waiting on that one)

2.Chi Kung doesn't come from daemons as it has been proven to be nothing more than the bio electrical energy that is found in all living things which is a side effect of the metabolism. This is why they explain it as breath which is indeed a process of the metabolism.

You need to remember those almost all of that mystical martial arts is fully explainable by science and all operate within the confines of natural physics law and as for that sword trick is it just a simple trick that anyone can be taught to do.

And my last but most important reason is this.

Even if you don't believe in the reasons I have presented above there is an apparent contradiction in your idea that self reliance which is taught in zen and taoism is indeed blasphemous.

According to the Bible, life is a test which began when Adam and Eve ate an apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is the reason that good people who do good things go to heaven and bad people got to hell.

But in order for some thing to be a test you can't be helped and if God helped you through life then that wouldn't count as being tested now would it.

There is an old saying that "God helps those who help themselves" and that would explain why some of the most religious people have gone out of their way to make the world a better place and not sitting in their homes and praying and feeling as if they have made a difference when they have done nothing.

In order for mankind to have free will they have to be able to fend for themselves and then make the choice for good or evil.

The reality is that if God protected everyone then bad things wouldn't happen at all to anyone but they do. I don't believe that it's because God doesn't care but because as human beings we have to have either the choice to do right or wrong.

Learning how to protect yourself could potentially save your life or the life of someone else so how a compassionate christian could turn away from that type of training(within reason of course) is beyond my understanding as I thought all Christians would want to protect and help their fellow man.

So your idea of self reliance being blasphemous actually doesn't make sense because then life wouldn't be test and then how could God judge whether or not a person deserves to go to heaven or hell if that person has not lived his life based on his or her own choices.

Jerry Duke on July 20, 2010:

Dear arkwriter,

Thank you very much for sharing your testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ and for the information about Kung Fu. I have no experience in the martial arts, but I was possessed with the devil for three days in 1975 before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour.

Being possessed with the devil was the most terrifying experience of my life, but when one of the two Christians whom God sent to my house to tell me about Jesus said, "You need to reject Satan and accept Jesus Christ", I determined in my heart that I would do it.

Knowing that if I accepted help from Jesus Christ that anything I might accomplish in life after that would be to his credit and not my own, I decided that if there was anyone in the world that I could trust, it was Jesus Christ, and if later in life I decided I wanted to go my own way in life again, I knew that he would not force my to be his follower. With that understanding, God helped me to break through the total paralysis in which the devil was holding me at the time, to rise up onto my knees (while maintaining the half lotus position in which I had been sitting), and to scream one word at a time, "I" "REJECT" "SATAN" "AND" "I" "ACCEPT" "JESUS" "CHRIST."

After saying those words, I could see clearly how filthy my life had been up to that point, believing all those years that I was a Christian, but trying to find my own way to heaven. I immediately began to weep, telling Jesus, "I'm so, so, so, so sorry!" When I finished crying and lifted my head, I found that God had washed me clean on the inside. In that moment God revealed himself to me for the first time in my life and said, "I am your Father. You are going to heaven for sure. And you are safe with me forever."

Jesus Christ saved me on September 6, 1975 and has kept me free from the devil ever since. Over the years since that day, the devil has tried to deceive me many times, but he has never been able to take control of my body or convince me to turn away from Jesus Christ. I know that my freedom in Christ depends upon following Jesus.

Your description of Kung Fu reminds me that while I was possessed with the devil, no one could defeat me in arm wrestling, not even one man who had always been able to beat me before. While possessed with the devil, all I had to do was keep my arm static in an upright position until my opponent wore himself out trying to move my arm. It mattered not whether his arm was bigger or longer than mine or not. When I sensed that his strength was gone, it was easy to push his arm down to the table and hold it there.

My idea of the devil when I became possessed was that he was a cartoon character who was about six inches high and more or less harmless; however, the Lord, he has shown me in his Word that my "adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" and that I have a responsibility to resist him.

As a Christian, I have sometimes been threatened with death by those who hate me, but no one has been able to kill me and I have had no need to defend myself against them. I lived in the basement of a church in the Atlanta West End for a few years to protect it from theives, and had many encounters with thugs while I was there.

My first night staying in the church, two men came to visit. Their names were Black and Blue. I witnessed to them and both of them prayed that night to receive Jesus as their Savior. Blue came to visit often after that, usually to borrow money which he never repaid. One day I asked him why he wanted the money and he said, "To gamble." I told him I could not give him money for that purpose and he left. Later that day two men came to the door whom I had not seen before. One wanted to use the restroom, so I let him in. The other man asked questions about the church which I answered as best I could until his friend came back outside, then his demeanor changed and he said, "That's enough of that." He picked up a piece of tree limb about the size of a baseball bat and said. "Give me all your money or I'll kill you."

I explained to him that I would not resist him, but that I could not help him take the money because it belonged to God. I said, "You can take it if you want, but I can't help you." He raised the club and began to move as though he would hit me in the head. I bowed my head and began to pray that God would help me.

After a while it appeared that he was not going to hit me and I raised my head to look at him. He then told his friend to get my wallet. The other man carefully took my wallet out of my back pocket, extracted the sixteen dollars I had in it, handed my wallet back to me and then both of them ran away.

I felt angry as I saw them running and yelled after them, "You're going to hell, if you don't believe in Jesus!" Just then another man was coming through the alley into the parking lot and I told him, "And so are you!" He said, "What?" I said, "You're, going to hell if you don't believe in Jesus!" He went on his way, but came back a few days later to tell me, "I've never forgotten what you said to me the other day." I did not recognize him, so he explained that I had told him he was going to hell if he didn't believe in Jesus. Then I remembered him and had a chance to witness to him in a more calm frame of mind.

One day a man who belonged to the Black Christian Nationalist cult came onto the property, yelling at me and saying, "You don't belong here. You're the wrong color. I'm going to kill you." He walked right up to me saying over and over, "I'm going to kill you!" I did not feel afraid but as he kept saying, "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to stomp your face in." His speech irked me, and I began to poke my finger in his chest and said, "Go ahead and do it. Stop talking about it and do it!"

He still wouldn't do anything, so I said, "Here, I'll help you." I laid flat on my back on the asphalt parking lot and invited him to stomp my face. All he could do was tap the end of my nose lightly with his foot. After a while he got disgusted and walked away.

When I got up from the pavement, I found a man standing there behind me who apparently had been there for a few minute without me seeing him. I recognized him immediately as a man I had seen walking through the neighborhood a couple of times before carrying a guitar. He said, "His name is Salt. He is very dangerous." I wonder sometimes if he may be an angel.

Another man from the BCN cult tried to show his disciples how to handle a white man and kicked me in the stomach several times, lifting me off my feet each time and knocking the breath out of me but doing no permanent damage. My mistake was to give him a quizical look when he said, "Give me fifty cents white man."

Over the course of years, I learned to be more polite and to be a more effective witness for the Lord Jesus Christ, but the Lord showed mercy in giving me a place to start and teaching me little by little how to live as a Christian and not wrestle against flesh and blood. The power of God, love, is so much greater than the devil, there is no comparison at all.

"And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and sup

Gus on July 09, 2010:

It's shame that the writer had the opportunity to study Kung Fu but not understand it's true meaning. Kung Fu is simply a form of exercise and that's it breaking spears with ones throat and breaking brinks is just physics and mind over mater it has nothing to do with demons that just absurd. In fact as a Christian I know that even to entertain the thought that demons exist is sacrilegious. Chi Gong is simply the cultivation of natural controlled energy that is used to stimulate blood flow in a positive way to help cultivate natural good health to oe organs and is even an accepted form of exercise and used by many hospitals especially in cancer patients.

God on July 05, 2010:


myprobe1991 on May 31, 2010:

While I agree the origins of Kung Fu are steeped in buddhist and mysticism. I cannot agree with the fact that they cannot coexist and a Christian cannot practice Kung Fu or Tai Chi. One of the key teaching of all Martial Arts is humility and discipline.

In the bible, Jesus spoke of humility and how we should be humble. Jesus himself was very humble yet knew what his abilities were. How he used those powers was an example of his discipline. I know of no Martial Art especially Kung Fu that starts you out saying "Once you learn this, you should go out and kick peoples butts!"

Now as for Chi, What you are referring to is the opening of Chakras. While I will not say your friend is wrong in saying they look like demons I have NEVER seen a demon in all my meditating. These energies are a life force that is a gift to us by GOD. If GOD didn't want us to have them, he wouldn't have given them to us.

Now, before we go any further. I am sure there will be some people who say GOD don't want us to sin but we do that too. Well, yes but the difference is this. GOD gave us free will, the ability to make our own choices. It is up to US to use our free will according to GODs will.

I have to say this, my old Sifu not only studied at the WAH LUM temple in Orlando, but also went to David Lipscomb College in Tennessee to become a minister. Last I knew, he was at a church in Louisville, KY.

So, after reading and writing, I am not trying to change anyones mind, I am just not convinced Kung Fu is not compatible to Christianity.

Ican'ttellyoumyrealname on April 01, 2010:

I think that if the Holy Spirit truly is in you, you will make the right choice.

Rob Johnson on February 16, 2010:

I am not trying to judge anyone’s heart or their relationship to Christ; I just want to say that there are better choices

I was heavily involved in the Martial Arts between 1966 to 1984. I held a 2nd Degree Black Belt with in the United States Karate Association and a 1st Degree Black Belt in Aikido. During my tour of duty with the USMCR (1968 – 1974) I was the Company Self-Defense Instructor. Then I met Christ

I could not justify within my heart the concept of constantly drills of my mind, body, and spirit to this level v/s developing the character of Christ within soul.

Yes, I did at one time believe the spirit of harmony in Aikido would somehow answer this. However in truth we are talking about two different “Spirits”.

Point One:

When a Christian refers to the Holy Spirit, we are talking about a member of the Trinity, a Person, not a force (the force be with you). In the Bible whenever God (The Holy Spirit) moved in defensive matter He allowed the Army or Individual to perform supernatural results beyond any human ability (with or without Martial Arts Training).

Point Two:

Of all the sports that come to mind, I strongly believe that the Martial Arts and other types of combat sports like it (Boxing, wrestling, etc) will not find their way into Heaven due to the nature of the driving force behind these sports (being able to defend oneself due to the evilness of man’s heart). In heaven all of this will be wipe clean along with any fear of being hurt, over power, etc, etc.

I believe those who find enjoyment in other sports such as Baseball, Football, Golf will still be able to continue enjoying these type of sports in heaven due to a different mindset or driving force behind them.

Pont three:

All the positive benefits that one can gain in the practice of the Martial Arts (good health, self confidence, control, etc, etc) can be found (obtain) many other ways including other sports and exercise programs.

An illustration I like to uses is; One can easily teach their child the alphabet or basic numbers by using a Ouija board. However, I doubt seriously if any parent would choose this as a teaching method (or tool)

John Dufresne on November 23, 2009:

The Master’s Servant

I was born in a family that lived by the Law

My perception of truth, I believed what I saw

I studied many things as I grew to a man

Placing my confidence in a personal plan

Convicted to study all I could of the Dao

But the more that I learned I became holier than Thou

Intrigued by the world and all of its changes

Mastering blindly not knowing the dangers

This ancient world practice called changes of eight

Taught me to bend and was anything but straight

I went to a place where all this was taught

This knowledge of art for which I had fought

I got what I wanted all the way to the end

A will for myself and no one to depend

A concept of truth I thought to be power

The sort of things that can make a man cower

An illusion to seem I was far when I’m near

It wasn’t too long, before that was all I could hear

Acquiring this wisdom I though understanding

Seeming at times to offer more of a standing

I used it in life to make money and fame

When wants not received, I was never to blame

I created a world, where I was the King

Those who had followed, were looking to cling

Just when I thought that my kingdom would stand

Everything lost on a foundation of sand

First went my health, my business, and family

Then went my wealth, my home, and my sanity

I couldn’t believe, the world that I studied

Deceived even me, and left me so bloody

I thought I already had found the true meaning

Selfishness nature makes life so demeaning

As years slowly passed, I lost more of an edge

The friends that I kept, just mocked what I said

There once was time I placed value on health

Eventually I changed, focused mainly on wealth

Confident I could handle my reaction of fate

As time lingered on, I became that what I hate

Promises lost, my dreams slowly dwindled

Victim of those, to whom I had swindled

Spending life mastering that which I see

I traveled so far from where I thought I should be

Perceived by the world to have a true path

Inside I was captive to my own form of wrath

Exalted positions from which I created

Destined to ruins for which I had slated

Revealing in time I had lived without seeing

Exposing the truth of my self-centered being

Forced in seclusion I learned how to hear

Finally facing all the things that I fear

Hard for a man who didn’t know humble

Reaping the fruits of my own chosen stumble

Now I’m alone where I looked through my past

Trying to find out what destroyed me so fast

One day I was living as a Martial Arts Master

The deception that first spawned my house of disaster

Held hostage for years for the things that I did

I didn’t understand we all do the same bid

I thought of the love and the joy that I missed

The faces of my children, or the last time we kissed

A tear came to my eye, but I didn’t let it fall

People may see me, so I built up this wall

I couldn’t let it show or they’d think I am weak

So I built that wall high, to hide what I seek

They told me “find God”, He is the answer

Hard to accept when He allows cancer.

There are mysteries in life still searching for truth

No matter where I was there just was no proof

If I had to explain all those lies in my head

I would have to say someone just wanted me dead

I was full of excuses for not seeing the picture

We all have a choice; they said it’s in scripture

Pain overwhelming I concealed with a grin

My denial continued so they told me again

Find a Power that was greater than me

It is the only way that you will ever be free

Discover a strength coming only through weakness

A love of forgiveness that makes new the uniqueness

I fell on my knees, and I started to pray

I didn’t know how, so I asked what to say;

I felt a great presents, I can’t really explain it

But the words were as clear as if someone had spoke it

You must first believe that I am who I am

Placing your faith that I came as the Lamb

Ask now forgiveness the sins of your past

What I can give you will put light in your path

My body and blood, remembrance required

Eternal Salvation for you I desired

The debt now paid from beginning to last

You don’t have to hold on to the baggage of your past

One Body, one Spirit, the same blood in our veins

I suffered for you so you won’t have to feel pain

Revealing I lived with forces that hid

I know now what it was, that made me do what I did

My perspective of life has forever been altered

To think I was alone is where I had faltered

There still will be those who say it’s my opinion

My experience of truth confirmed His dominion

It’s hard to believe the things I denied

When evidence is there, I never even tried

Faith is not blind when we open our heart

Receiving the Spirit is what sets us apart

I’ve learned how to knock, to seek, and to find

The answers to questions confusing my mind

I continue to pray still amazed by my seeing

Transforming me back, from that self centered being

For years I was lost and defied my Creator

If verdict were passed, I would have died as a traitor

So I live my life now, not for my bidding

My commitment to God is for all of His willing

His gifts are experience and knowledge of past

My Service to Him gives Him Glory at last

So, there is Good News, for this I am preaching

Study His Word, and keep to His teaching

I once carried doubt the size of a mountain

It all pasted away when I drank of the fountain

My life was restored with much more than I had

My childhood dreams and a God I call Dad

I give Him my life, my heart, and my soul

The Truth and the Light are no longer untold

Instead I will shout to all who will listen

Life only begins at the moment we’re Christian!

By John Dufresne

warrioroftheWord on November 05, 2009:

Breathing exercises without visualisations and emptying of the mind are OK, But Chi Kung that involves these things is leading towards the occult and potentially demonic. The higher the level, the greater the danger. Purely external kung fu for self defence or sport is fine, in my book. Physical training of wrestling is made reference to in 1Corinthians (boxing).And Ephesians 6 uses a Warrior's armour to illustrate the Armour of GOD as a our defence against the devil and his demons. External only is OK, as long as the attitude is not one of aggression and hostility, pride and arrogance. IMHO. Danny

Joseph on November 04, 2009:

The writer of this article clearly has not trained enough to know what he is talking about. It takes years of consistent practice in Kung Fu, especially Quigong, to have any idea of what that entails. There is no religious implication for Quigong since it is bio-mechanical energy cultivation, or the energy that makes your heart beat. Learning to control that takes patience and practice not daemon control or Buddhism. The holy spirit is from God and beyond the scope of human understanding it is not something you use, God uses you through the Holy Spirit just as Samson was moved by the spirit of the Lord. Martial art is purely and simply the constant attempt at refining motion. Kung Fu is meant to help others not to hurt, just because it came from Buddhist monks does not mean you must be Buddhist to attain the highest level. Kung Fu means hard work not hard 'Buddhist' work. Go train daily for 5 years maybe then your ideas will have merit.

J. McCoy from CA (originally) on October 16, 2009:

Thank you for sharing your experiences and perspective. I respectfully disagree, though. I have been actively involved with the martial arts community for nearly all my life. I've seen how the emphasis has changed over the years. I agree that the physical training and spiritual instruction were inseparable for many years after Kung-fu was introduced into western culture. However, it's now exceptionally rare for any martial art dojo in the USA to teach anything more than the physical techniques. Although it may have been a correct assessment 20 years ago, today martial arts are taught with as much spiritualism as basketball. I have found no part of the Bible that suggests defending yourself or protecting others is sin. Either way, this isn't a salvation issue to me in my life and walk with God. I do genuinely appreciate your insights and enjoyed your hub.

shaolin tour on September 20, 2009:

Dear Arkwriter,

Thanks for sharing your detailed information about Kungfu and introduction to Lee.Your personal expriences about learning Kungfu are also interesting.

Mahogany Tree on August 24, 2009:

Martial arts have their origins in Eastern religions such as Taoism and Buddhism – therefore it should not be practiced. However, Kungfu/wushu or martial arts existed long before Lao Tzu (about 600BC), Confucius (about 551 BC), Buddha (about 600 BC). These were the founders of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism respetively.

Historically, the earliest reliable records of kungfu were found in the Shang dynasty (1622 BC - 1122). The Shang dynasty was the second dynasty in the line of 3 dynasties in China that worshipped ONE true God – many centuries before the earlier mentioned religions even existed!

So, to say that kungfu originated from Shaolin Temple is a popular misconception. Rather, kungfu was adopted by Buddhism and the other religions. So does this then make kung fu an art that should not be practised by Christians? Let’s try to answer this by thinking out of the box…..If Buddhists play soccer, does this mean that Christians should no longer play soccer?

In regards to the question on religion, Taoism in its original form is closer to Christianity than the Taoism that is being practised today. If one is to take a closer look at Lao Tzu’s writings, it can be observed that he acknowledges that there is a Creator who made the heaven and the earth. However, this aspect appears to have been neglected in today’s practice of the religion.

Hinduism in its original form similarly speaks of the Prajapati God who is the Supreme Creator of everything. Again, today’s practice of Hinduism (and its several million Gods) is very different from the original.

Now, let’s leave the topic of martial arts for a while and look at another sport … or football.

The ancient mayans played a form of football where the captain of the winning team would get sacrificed to their Gods. Some authors also claim that football was used by the ancient Chinese and Romans to sharpen the skills of their Military (which would make football a form of martial art).

So, if we used the same yardstick that is used to judge martial arts, to judge football, where do we arrive at?

simson rajkumar on July 24, 2009:

Dear master,

I am fine. I hope u r fine. I thank god giving me this opportunity to show me your way .Let me introduce first.

This is SIMSON RAJKUMAR from TAMILNADU INDIA . Iam 30 yrs and working in a small company . Iam very much interested in kungfu from my childhood.

10yrs back i joined a kungfu class. I practiced there well for 4.5years .

I got few medals in competitions in sparing .I didn't get any BELT GRADINGS bcos of my poorness .But i learned some basics, stances, leg workouts, punches, kicks, lessons, forms .I will finish the given lessons then and there.

Moreover iam not intrested in belts . i want good skills .Getting belts without without skill is a wrong thing. So i will concentrate in syllabus only.

6yrs back my master was expired in some accidents .Still iam praising and thanking him . SO furtherly i can not continue there. bcos after his death, there is some dominations, eghos, non-operations, partialities, competitions, and money evils. So i came out of it. Still now i thank thank and worship my master . Bcos the first visible god is PARENTS , then MASTER, and then finally the INVISIBLE god who is above the world. bcos he gave me a chance to learn a good kungfu .

Masters are many ,but good and kind and skillful masters are very very few. From that , i was searching for a good master. but i cant.

So i decided to learn and stand on my own with the help of Other State masters. BY gods grace i got ur mail ID.I saw ur web its nice and good and thinkable. Iam thankful to god for showing ur way when i was fedup and felt alone with worriness.

Then i began to think of my future. I want some back ground and strong foundation and administration .There must be some master to lead a student till he is well trained. So i want YOU to lead me .I have some skills it must be taken out by some good masters like you . Your style and performance is very nice so I would like to ask you to do me some favour in kungfu…

If u give me an opportunity to join with u, its a very very great thing and iam thankful to god and you .I need ur help. So give me a chance to me. I would like to learn a good art from you. If i want to learn there r 2 possible ways.1....i have to come there or 2....i have to learn indirectly.

But it is difficult to come and learn there. bcos iam in such a poor condition. At present i would like to learn indirectly. Bcos iam the only feeder of my family for old aged parents and sisters. So plz help me to learn from u and help me to shine in this competitive world.For that what i have to do?.

more over i can say that ,some classes here has no originality. An originality is nothing but say iam doing a FORM. It must be done by timings, accordings, speed, good look,perfection and discipline etc. many peoples r not following them. ok well and happy to have a nice meet and contact with u.

I can learn from u through VIDEO TAPES. SO plz help me to shine in kungfu .I like ur style and believe u and trust u that u will help me. PLz remember me in ur presence. U may have many students but give me a chance to learn from u.

The above statements are true and best of my knowledge. Iam very much confident that this is an honest message.If there is any mistake in this mail plz forgive me. Thanks alot, happy about u, praying for u.thank god .....take care. my email id is

Eagerly waiting for ur kind reply.

Elizabeth on June 28, 2009:

If any of you have anything you'd like to say to me personally, I'd love to talk with you or read what you have to say. I would be happy to answer any and all questions. Feel free to email me at

Elizabeth on June 28, 2009:

Well I think that all this back and forth arguing good and bad points is leading nowhere. If you ask me (which most of you probably would say you aren't) I take what Paul said and apply it to everything "all things are permissable but not all things beneficial" if it has even the hint of hindering my personal intimate relationship with Jesus, I want nothing to do with it. Plain and simple, without arguing all the minor or major details of what came from what or where, the bottom line is this. Why jeapordize your relationship with God? Why even put yourself in a position to hinder anything and everything you can receive from God by dancing around the technicalities and fine lines of this or that. The Bible says to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect (that means Holy which means set apart and mature in the Spirit) and the Bible says that Jesus is the One with the Father. The Bible says nothing about Jesus practicing kung fu to defend himself or anyone else. And the Bible says that we shall do greater works than these referring to what Jesus did and he did not need kung fu to do it. I am not saying kung fu is wrong or right. I am merely stating that Jesus is our model to be like the Father and I just want to do what He does, say what He says and go where He goes. I have never practiced kung fu nor do I have the desire to. I do not condemn those who practice it. But if we're going to be quoting the Bible and all, then these are the facts. They're in the Word, not just coming from me. If I am just passing through and I am not of this world and am living for the age to come, I want the least from this world that I can possibly have. This is my decision. May the Lord keep you and bless you all the days of your lives.


BP9 from Cleveland Heights, Ohio on June 11, 2009:

While I certainly appreciate your expression of religious beliefs and spiritual principles, I take issue with the suggestion that martial arts study is incompatible with anyone's religious beliefs, provided they have not taken to extremism in pursuit of either.

Your journey in kung fu is remarkable and to be celebrated.  It is disappointing to know that it should have to stop because you believe that in order to continue you would have to embrace even the most esoteric, mystical aspects of them.  In fact, though Taoism and Buddhism are most certainly related to kung fu and other martial arts (as it is to the whole of every aspect of most asian cultures) it is not necessary to embrace the specific precepts of the religions themselves to study the related martial art and culture.  The philosophies of both deal with the inherent dualities and realizations of living.  Though admittedly I have perhaps oversimplified them, these are universal concepts present in most religious thought, including Christianity.  It is not necessary to be a Taoist or Buddhist to attain a level of mastery in any form of kung fu, just as being a Christian does not prohibit or forbid such.

Originally Taoist and Buddhist religious beliefs were engrained in martial arts teachings: a) because of the overall prevalence of those belief systems in ancient Chinese society, and b) because of the need to buffer the potential lethality of any who were trained as a form of behavior modification.  As you know, the fighting monks of Shaolin are a perfect example.  They were some of the deadliest individuals alive, but were trained at the same time to walk humbly, with one's head down and never to retaliate unless life was at stake.  You also had people who trained as disciples of Shaolin Chuan Fa, without actually having to become Buddhist disciples.

Here's a thought:  If in need of a spiritual reference point in your martial study, refer back to scripture and it's accounts of the life of Jesus, and others.  I say this because technique is technique and can be mastered from a physical and mental perspective.  What you draw from to enhance yourself on a spiritual level is determined by you and your personal beliefs.

I will reiterate that it is a shame to end what seems to be a phenomenal journey in martial arts due to a percieved conflict, which you have created for yourself. 

Mentor on June 08, 2009:

Remember God IS NOT a god of abuse, that's the devil. If you are harming yourself or others that's not of God!!!

Former Master on June 08, 2009:

Arkwriter is right, his experiences in martial arts and his experiences with spiritual warfare are consistent. Martial arts, if practiced, should just be viewed and practiced like any other sport ie.. basketball, baseball or tennis. Forget the religious aspects of martial arts as they are harmful to you spiritually. Just play sports in moderation and to keep in shape. Study hard to improve your mind as that is more needful nowadays, remember moderation in all things and to trust in the Lord to show you the way to go.

Former Master on June 08, 2009:

I used to be a martial arts master, when I became a Christian I felt the demonic in some studios so I naturally stayed away from practicing though it it was difficult. The story about Sifu was especially moving as I was about at that level. If you are young make sure you get parental guidance in your sports activities as you do not want to damage your young growing bodies during the adolescent years for some "sports glory." It's not worth it. Sports has been elevated to a form of idolatry that pagan nations always turn it in to. Think about your future and don't get extreme, Because if you are harming yourself its not of God. Take care and follow the Lord.

Tony on May 06, 2009:

Hello ArkWriter, I have a 4 year old who is interested in Martial arts. What forms of martial arts would you consider are good for the Christian to Learn?


Brian on April 03, 2009:

This was an interesting read for me. I teach Wing Chun, which is a Siu Lim style of Kung Fu, originating from Ng Mui, a Shaolin nun (as the legend reads). The physical aspect of Wing Chun, pertaining to its technique, is simple efficient and direct. Wing Chun is taught in three empty hands forms Siu Lim Tao, Chum Kiu and Biu Gee. The first form of Siu Lim Tao teaches us how to build energy and store it within your body. The second form, Chum Kiu teaches how to place or direct the energy and finally in Biu Gee you learn to release that energy into another person. Wing Chun does practice the internal art of Chi Kung (Qi Gong) however, the practice is physical and not religious in any way, UNLESS you choose to make it that way.

The energy referred to by the Chinese is Chi, however, scientifically it is kinetic energy which we use daily in all aspects of life. So in essence Wing Chun, or Kung Fu in general for that matter, trains individuals to build, place and release the natural kinetic energies within the human body in the sake of prevailing from life-threatening situations. Each and every piece of Wing Chun, including Bruce Lee's ever popular one inch punch, can be scientifically explained. It has NOTHING to do with religion. Myself, I'm a short 5'7" 175lb guy and I have used the one inch punch during my demonstations knocking a student of mine who is 330lbs across the room. I don't use any demons in that process, nor does anyone else who learns Wing Chun to my knowledge. This is possible due to proper bone alignment, attack angle (taking the opponents center of gravity) and the appropraite power generated through speed, ITS NOT DARK ENERGY OF ANY KIND!!!

That said, if a student approaches me, as I did my Sifu, to understand the art in more depth, including any supporting religious beleifs; then we can discuss its connections to Taoism and the associated practices.

Now, the true purpose of martial arts is benevolence. A martial artist who trains for "self-gain" or "self-defense" has already missed the point. My students don't need self-defense because they have no reason to fight. I can safely say that I don't train people to fight; I teach them to prevail from threatening situations. I teach them that to learn the art obligates them to help others in their time of need. A TRUE martial artist, a humane individual and person of integrity has no reason to fight and will only use the art to help others.

So, while I see a few good points in here much of what was said is based soley on the opinion of the author and not truth. It shows me the author's elementary understanding of the true meaning of the martial arts and the generation, manipulation and delivery of our natural energy; kinetic energy. There's no demons here...


John on March 16, 2009:

Very good reading-- I am a living witness to all you stated. I studies Chinese Wu-Shu for over 40 years. The powers of evil are very real. I studied the Tao and most of the MA pertained to the diagrams and the changes/elements of the universe. Tai Chi, Ba-Gua and Hsing-I. I was so captured by the mysticism of the Eastern studies that it possessed my life-- I even moved to China to study Wu-Shu at the Beijing Wu-shu institute, from the most erudite masters in the world at the time..

Needless to say my life feel deeper and deeper into self centeredness-- manipulation took over-- for the very art in which I studied "this art of deception" ultimately deceived me.

To make a long story short-- I came back to Christ only when I thought my life was over. Jesus has restored me and ever since He is my center and Lord. Praise God for His amazing grace.

The only thing I would like to add, is, it is not difficult judging whether or not Kungfu in good or bad for a Christian-- because anyone with discernment already know- Violence toward each other contradicts Biblical teaching. But God uses us where we are and what we know. We are currently living in a fallen world-- people are in many stages of spiritual growth and development. God knows our hearts---- Even Paul was the Apostle to the gentiles, he met pagans and sinners at their homes where they live. Jesus himself hung around with Bill collectors and Pagans--He Loves everyone.

Sometimes there are teachers of Wu-shu who have had the miraculous change back to Christ. Sometimes there are servants of God that are on missions to go back into the battlefield and extract those they can. Sometimes God uses the gifts He gave us to touch those in need, and who better to reach the students of Wu-Shu than the Teacher of the Ancient practice. Today I teach students of Wu-Shu and introduce them to the true Master---Jesus Christ.

God Bless You

TriDaan on March 03, 2009:

Hi all. I practice karate (non religious format, in other words physical training only) for two years and am now taking classes in MMA (mixed martial arts). I personally believe that martial arts should be practiced only as a physical exercise and recreation or in a valid situation (war etc.). As soon as it becomes spiritual (even if it seems "good" at first) then you will know you are in the wrong. God is the only legitimate source of our spirituality and inner peace. Let us look to Christ the Lord to fulfill our spiritual needs. However I see no problem in practicing martial arts, just as I see no problem in playing basketball or soccer.

Also fencing and boxing are martial arts just as karate and tae kwon do are. As long as the the religious teachings are removed from the physical training then martial arts are just another sport, however if the two are mixed then it is no longer simply a sport, but rather it becomes a religion.

Also whether you believe martial arts can be allowed or not I think it would be good for all of us to pray to God to lead and guide us and use us according to His purpose...I know I am.

mnbv on February 27, 2009:

You may be got it wrong!!!You are totally lost concening this! May I ask you something?What its your religion if you say that kung fu it is something different ?

sprout on February 27, 2009:

I have been doing 35 years and more BOY! HAVE YOU GOT IT WRONG. Religion and kung fu is two different things. I am a kung fu master.

raphael paris on February 23, 2009:


arkwriter (author) from Houston, Texas U.S.A. on January 30, 2009:

Dear Spoon,

If you read my Hub again you will understand why I cannot in my Christian conscience encourage anyone to take up Kung Fu, Wing Chun or other styles. Wing Chun style of Kung Fu was created by a woman therefore it is deceptively soft and harmless, but nonetheless it is a very deadly form of boxing. Bruce Lee started practicing the Wing Chun boxing style and ended his life on the bed of a woman. What a bitter lesson and paradox of life! If you are a Christian, my advice to you is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ to the end of your life and you will end up in heaven. May God bless you.


spoon on January 26, 2009:

dear arkwriter,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have been recently interested in Wing Chun. I wonder if you would consider Wing Chun also as a problematic exercise. I believe that Wing Chun is a Wai Kung Style of Kung Fu. Does that mean it has less spiritual influence?

I actually went to my first Wing Chun class last week, but one of my Christian brothers alerted me of the problems of Kung Fu. So all in all, do you recommend me to continue to take Wing Chun classes? If so, are there any advices that you would give me?

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your perspectives.



da_missionary on December 28, 2008:

i wanted to know further information about your views on the breathing techniques and such!!

Reinhard on December 21, 2008:

Let me know what you think about this link:


Reinhard on December 21, 2008:

Let me know what you think about this link:


Thanh Truong on December 16, 2008:

Thank you so much. Your sharing is very useful for me, because I'm considering to join in Martial Arts Class like Kung Fu. Thank God. HalleluYah! Jesus is the way, the truth and the life!

May God bless you!

Sokotra on November 30, 2008:


Thank you for sharing your story, you are very wise... I see that the Lord has given you great wisdom. Others will be wise to ignore the ignorance of those speaking here that would insult you. God bless...

Lionswhelp on November 09, 2008:

Dear Arkwriter,

I really enjoyed hearing about Bruce Lee! My son and I were great fans of his. I once thought about learning martials arts I have seen a number of Bruce Lee's films. Do not worry, I am sure you do not, Bruce Lee will be resurrected in the future. Then you can teach him something better then Gung Fu, Jesus Christ.

Before I was shown God's way I was a very extreme about the USA. I did noit like communism. I wanted to fight them much like Chuck Norris. I joined the Navy, I wanted to join the Marines but my eyesight was to bad. I spent 4 years in the U.S. Navy but never had to fight in any war. After I got out later the Vietnam war started. Just at that time I became a Christian. I gave up my guns and even though I thought about learning the martial arts I never did. In all that time from 1955 to 1965 there was not one war around. As soon as I became a Christian a War started up.All those years our Heavenly Father kept me from harms way. Wow! God is Good! Guess what? Even at the time of becoming a Christian when I was still blind spiritually but seeking truth. Our heavenly Father gave me a seeing I dog, my German Sheperd - Tippy or Good Tip - With a God like our God who needs human weapons. Now, I can see very well. My old friend Tippy has since Gone unto 'heaven', all dogs go to heaven- humor. Now I see very well thanks to Jesus christ for buying my life. Gode is very, very , Good.


Tony on November 01, 2008:

And as you all know the bible does not read as above, but reads "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

Tony on November 01, 2008:

The bible says "I am the way, the truth, and the light."

When it was written over 2,000 years ago, the apostles never intended its message would be deliberated on in a 'blog'.

Let's work together for harmony and peace.

Debating Kung Fu and Christianity might be an interesting topic and one deserved a lifetime of debate; however there are more pressing issues for the Christian of today.

Saving those devoted to Satan, and not The Lord/Bhudda/Mohammed/Ganesh/etc might be considered a stronger cause.

We need not to argue over words, but to assemble for the greater good.

God be with us all,


Aram on September 28, 2008:

Oh, and one more thing. It would be foolish to accept that G-d would justify the bloody stories in both the old and new testaments, but look disfavorably on man cherishing and protecting his own life and the lives of his loved ones with the fists given to him by G-d himself. That would just be plain hypocracy.

Aram on September 28, 2008:

This is so awful, I think it gave me cancer. Martial arts and religion do not have to be interconnected, ever. This is why I'm glad I was born Jewish.

daniel on July 15, 2008:

i belive that while there are things in themselves mutual its only how the person reacts to them that make them demonic, there are also many things that seem harmless until you reach the point where you realize that it is demonic, you just didn't see it first glance. i used to be really interested in kung fu and such , but there is a line where it goes from natural to sinful, i just want to know why he thinks the breathing is ok. peace, be still

Hard Facts on July 14, 2008:

Well! according to Mr Arkwriter Anything and everything which is not in his book(bible) are Demonic.

daniel on July 04, 2008:

why is it ok to do the breathing exercises, dont they also lead to demonic possesion?

Hard Facts on June 21, 2008:

Total crap and useless material. It thorws bad light on other religions in the world. This man Arkwriter doesn't even pause to throw bad light on other religions or to pause and think how it would hurt other people.

arkwriter (author) from Houston, Texas U.S.A. on April 19, 2008:

No, I have not read the book "Christ: The Eternal Tao" so I am not going to comment on the book itself.  You are correct in saying that the Chinese word for "Tao" literally means "the way".  For your information this same Chinese word "Tao" is also used for the "Word" translated from the Greek "Logos" in John 1:1.  In the Chinese Bible this verse would read: "In the beginning was the "Tao", and the "Tao" was with God, and the "Tao" was God."  Then in John 1:14 it would read: "And the "Tao" became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

The Chinese translation of the Word "Tao" in John 1:1, 14 should not be confused with the "Tao" as in the Taoist religion.  Taoism is a religion that has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity.  I can fully understand the title of the book "Christ: The Eternal Tao" when referring to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is not in any way connected with the "Tao" in Taoism which is a pagan religion.

Wyldman on April 19, 2008:

You should read the book "Christ: The Eternal Tao" by Hieromonk Damascene. Someone as accomplished as you probably knows that "Tao" literally translated means "the way". As you pointed out, Christ himself said "I am the way...." Check it out.

arkwriter (author) from Houston, Texas U.S.A. on April 13, 2008:

Dear Doug Rambo,

I used to think the same way as you do but I don't anymore.  A Christian progresses as he walks with the Lord.  If you read about the lives of every man of God in the Bible you will see the progression of his relationship with God.  Moses killed an Egyptian man because he thought it was the right thing to do at that time.  He had to be trained, not in martial arts but character development and self-discipline, in the wilderness for 40 years before He could be used by God. 

David had committed adultery and murdered Uriah.  He had to become a fugitive and went through a lot of trials and character training before God could use him. 

How about Peter?  He had a sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant (Jn. 18:10)  He did it to defend his Master.  "Then Jesus said to Peter, 'Put your sword into the sheath.  Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?" (Jn. 18:11)  Had Jesus approved of Peter's defensive action He would not have rebuked him. "Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword." (Mt. 26:51-52)

You quoted Psalm 144:1 "Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle."  That was written by David who was actually trained by God to fight Goliath and the Philistines.  There is absolutely no comparison between David and a martial arts student who is trained by a teacher who is an unbeliever.  Besides, as I have pointed out clearly and unquestionably that Kung Fu originated in a Buddhist temple and has connection with the occult.  

One thing I agree with you is that "a Marine that goes into the service and in boot camp is taught certain self defence to fight for this country."  So are the policemen and F,B,I. agents who protect the president and other government officials.  The Bible is very clear about professionals who have to maintain law and order in the country (Rom. 13:1-4)  Are you a marine, soldier, policeman, F.B.I. agent or security officer who requires martial arts training as a mandatory requirement to hold such a position?  If so, just go right ahead and be the best you can be.

If you read my hub again you will see that in the second paragraph I wrote that I am not against all forms of martial arts. Here is the excerpt: 

"Secondly, I am not against all forms of Chinese martial arts, but there are certain aspects of Kung Fu that I do know, for certain, is harmful for the Christian to learn."

To be honest and truthful with you, I still regularly practice Kung Fu breathing and freehand excercises that promote good health, and they have absolutely no connection with the Buddhist or Taoist religions.  I also taught these breathing and freehand exercises to my family and church members.  

Some day when I have the time to draw diagrams of the movements I shall publish a hub on the Kung Fu breathing and freehand exercises.  

May God bless you


Doug Rambo on April 12, 2008:

Try this scripture on for size. A psalm of david. Blerssed be Jehovah my rock,who teacheth my hands to war,and my fingers to fight. Psalm 144:1

Couldn't this apply equally to a Marine that goes into the service and in boot camp is taught certain self defence arts to fight for this country. A good and admirable service. Or couldn't the Lord lead someone into a martial art and teach them self defense methods. Go study King david's life he was a poet and a singer and a warrior. By the way martial means military. I really don't care if I convice you or not. I just feel you or way off base here about martial arts. Have a good day!

Doug Rambo on April 12, 2008:

Apparently you didn't read my blog very carefully. I said I was lead of the Lord to practice the martial arts. I don't practice it to beat people up. I practice it because I feel I am being obedient to the Lord. If you want to quote scripture fine. I read and pray daily.

arkwriter on April 10, 2008:

Dear Doug Rambo,

You can write all you want about the merits of Kung Fu as a your means of defense, but I have the Lord Jesus Christ as my defense. "But the LORD has been my defense, And my God the rock of my refuge." (Psalm 94:22) May God guide you to trust in Him and not in your own understanding. God bless you!


SirDent on April 10, 2008:

I will be a fool for Christ's sake.

Doug Rambo on April 10, 2008:

One more comment you make that shows me you are a religious nut is your supposibly knowing how Bruce Lee died. You say it was from sin. Before you make such accusations where is your evidence that you of all people know more about Bruce Lee than the rest of us. Bruce Lee was a great man Don't denigrate his reputation with crap!

Doug rambo on April 10, 2008:

I recently felt led of the Lord to practice martial arts. I have a relationship with God and I feel you are seeing demons under all the rocks. Yes kung fu is a Buddhist origin. But just as i practice Yoga I am still in relationship with God not some false God. I practice the forms in Kung Fu and know God is leading me to become a warrior for him. I feel you are as wrong as someone who say s dancing is evil. Its all in the motive and spirit that you practice it. I can own a car and drive it or it can become an obsession an an idol. Its that way with anything.

Kathryn Skaggs from Southern California on March 21, 2008:

Powerful truths you are teaching. Thank you.

A double-minded man is in all ways unstable... It is only in and through the Name of Jesus Christ only - that we can overcome the adversary.



SirDent on March 21, 2008:

This is an awesome testimony that the power of darkness is very real, but as real and powerful as darkness is, the power of the name of Jesus is more than sufficient to push it back.

This is a great hub!!!

In The Doghouse from California on March 21, 2008:


Again, this was an amazing HUB. I was rivoted with the interesting stories about Kung Fu. I was also taught and reminded, as you explained that simply using the name of Jesus Christ has more power than any natural offense. Your life stories are simply just fascinating and faith promoting. Thank you for sharing.

Related Articles