Religion VS.Art

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by terryl965, May 17, 2010.

  1. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    In the thread Christian Martial Arts somebody said should religion be a part of TKD, well leys go a head and ask this question should any religion really be a part of any art? I know for me religion should not be in the Dojaang, my beliefs are just that mine and should not be dictated to my students. I know alot people believe it should be, but lets ask why? What give you the right to pearch your views about religion to the student you are training? I do talk about Tenets but do not fell them being the same.
     
  2. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    It's surely up the individual. Both one's practice of religion and art (even the drawing type) are very personal expressions. So there is no right or wrong answer.

    That said, the idea that martial arts and religion are separated to begin might be a fallacious statement to start with. As stated in the other thread, many martial arts/physical exercise forms were either designed by their creator to have religious aspects to them or they acquired them over time.

    aikido: Omoto
    Japanese karate: Zen Buddhism
    Shorinji kempo: Buddhism
    yoga: Hinduism

    Granted, many today practice these arts without the religious aspects, which indicates it is a personal thing as I first stated.
     
  3. FearlessFreep

    FearlessFreep Senior Master

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    I've often said that people train in martial arts for one or more of five reasons

    1) Self Defense
    2) Fitness
    3) Sport
    4) Spirituality
    5) Art

    Each person has their own reason or reasons and all that really matters is that your school meets your needs in that area.

    I happen to be a Christian. I happen to train with a Christian instructor. A lot but not all of the students happen to be Christian, but it doesn't really come up in the class
     
  4. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Religion can be something that brings people together at a gathering place, I don't have much of an issue with adding martial arts to the mix any more than I would have an issue with a sightseeing tour.

    However, there are some aspects to such an arrangement that bother me. Many churches have been talking about attracting men and bringing men back to the church...some are doing so in a way that excludes, or even denigrates women. I do not care for exclusionary practices.

    If the martial arts group was outside of a church environment, personally I am fine with how openly a person practices their faith, as long as everyone's expectations are set in the beginning. If the MA school is just a front for a hard-sell in to the instructor's religion, then I have an issue with that. If the instructor is devout and says people of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome that is fine with me. If the instructor's actions don't match the words, that's not so fine with me.

    Its not a big concern of mine. I think most people are quite reasonable with this kind of thing.
     
  5. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    Whether you like your art straight or with a side of spirituality and/or religion should be up to you, and the menu should specify how the art is offered at each school.

    Some people mix their religion into their academic education by choosing religious schools, and many attend public schools where religion is separate. I don't have a problem with either as long as the religion-free version is available. I don't believe in compulsory religion.
     
  6. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Personally, I like to think Religion is private. But I have been burned by the fakes abound.

    Unlike most religions bhuddism does not exclude other teachings. It is more spiritual. Now spiritual, that I can dig.

    Martial arts are just not born out of religious spirit - of the Western type.
    IMHO, to inject that into the Arts is really overdoing it.
     
  7. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Granfire, that depends entirely on which version of Buddhism you're talking about. Some are very doctrinaire and exclusive.
     
  8. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Terry,

    If a Master wants to have a Christian Oriented Dojang that is his/her right. I am a firm believer that everyone has the right to choose and attend a Dojang that exposes certain religious beliefs. This is a personal choice. My personal choice would be not to attend a religious based Dojang. I agree with you! I do not want to push my religious beliefs on people and I really don't like it when they push their beliefs on me.
     
  9. AndrewKFM

    AndrewKFM White Belt

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    As I said in that thread,

    "The Sell Team of the USCDKA teaches the importance of developing into a “Whole Man.” This “Whole Man” consists of strength in body, mind, and spirit. The Sell Team philosophy is that when a person becomes enraptured in the conditioning of their mind and body, they grow much stronger than by training just one or the other. However, with all of their strength they will soon notice a void in their lives, an emptiness that all the physical conditioning and education in the world cannot fill. This is where the strength in spirit comes into play. The only thing that can fill the spiritual void in our lives is Jesus Christ. To reach our full potential in any area, we must condition our body and mind, as well as our spirit."

    Sr. GM Sell says no one in his classes are forced to believe anything, but the teaching is a part of it.
     
  10. igillman

    igillman Purple Belt

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    As long as they advertise what they are I see no problem with it. If someone wants to be a Tae Kwon Do, Knitting and Ditch Digging school I have no issue with it just as long as I know before I sign up what we will be doing.

    Mixing religion with anything is always touchy, you tend to turn off more people than you turn on and I would worry about where the focus of the class lies. Is it Tae Kwon Do with Religion or is it Religion with Tae Kwon Do. You could call it the "Kick to Prayer Ratio".
     
  11. Brother John

    Brother John Senior Master

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    What allows an "art" to exist?
    It's artists that give it expression.
    Should religion be a part of the 'art'? No.
    But every facet of the individual need not be truncated from their every endeavor. So I think at times we see religious sentiment or beliefs expressed within the expression of the artist's art. ( hope that made sense )

    I don't think that religion should be an integral part of any martial art.
    But with many people, religion IS an integral part of THEM...so you may find shades of it in their art.

    Good thing to think about though.

    your Brother
    John
     
  12. Miles

    Miles Senior Master

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    Wonderful way of expressing how I feel about this topic. Thanks!
     
  13. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    There are many things that are an integral part of me but you won't find broadcast in a Dojang.
    They might find an expression in what I do there. But it won't make me a 'soandso' martial artist, I'd still be a TKD person.

    But as experiences vary so does one's expression...
     
  14. Brother John

    Brother John Senior Master

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    I think I understand where you're coming from granfire..
    but I'm not saying the by finding shades of ones religious beliefs w/in their art that anything gets 'broadcast' persay...
    but as a for instance, I know a fine martial artist who declined to train with bladed weaponry based on their religious beliefs. He said "As a Christian, I don't believe I should take another person's life. Blades make it difficult to avoid death as a result, so I choose not to train in or use them."

    So if anyone asked why THEY don't participate in the 'knives' section of the training time and instead use that time to hone their empty hand OR blunt weapons...they would learn their 'Christian" rationale. It's not that anything was broadcast, but neither is anything 'hidden' or removed. It's just a fact that his religious beliefs play a large role in what he chooses to do. I don't think that's too uncommon. The congruity is refreshing.

    It doesn't make him a "Christian-Martial Artist" or his art a "Christian Martial Art"...but it does make him a Christian who is a martial artist.

    Hope you see what I'm saying.
    Have a GREAT day...

    your Brother
    John
     
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  15. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    You make a great point.

    I realized after readin and re-reading what I wrote that I might need to practice more discipline with myself when I am tired and irritated and maybe step away from the keyboard.

    I really think my believes have been tainted by living in the Bible Belt and being bombarded with 'good Christian people' everyday. Sometimes the gag reflex is really close by.

    Now on the other hand, in other areas you let somebody know you are a Christian, where it not as common as shopping at Walmart, it carries more weight IMHO, somewhat of the warrior spirit, to do what you think is right even if it's not mainstream or easy.

    But I guess I just need to excuse myself from discussions were my rebel urges to light a bonfire and dance around it under the light of the Full Moon just because it would cause a shock in my dear neighbors. ;)


    I really don't mean to offend people (not here in this context, anyhow) but some people just don't get it how sticking their religious believes into other peoples' faces is rude and offensive. Not to mention they decry it when others do it, but see nothing wrong with themselves now...
     
  16. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    One thing is I do not believe religion belongs in TKD, with that being said G.M.Sells does incoporate alot of religion into his art and that is fine it works for him and his people. I have meet him and can appreciate what he brings to his brand of TKD. I believe religion belongs in Church and you home, no job or receational events should have that as part of it. Yes I am very religous but know where and when it should be.

    Let the comments begain.
     
  17. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    I believe, that many of the aspects of most TMA's parallel aspects of many religions. The tenants, principles, virtues, and personal development create room for a spiritual spark. I think that from this aspect, some are drawn to make parallels from their own religions. Albeit that many of these TMA's were originally taught with Asian religious overtones (Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, etc.. .), ALL religions strive for a similar 3 goals: 1. resolution of grief over ones past 2. understanding how to live ones life in the present 3. Overcoming FEAR of death. The principles of TMA's lead a person towards an honorable path to deal with #2, which IMHO, is where many people draw this parallel.

    I believe this parallel between the principles of TMA and #2 are great, and they may bolster ones faith. However, it is entirely different to draw conclusions of #1 and #3 from martial arts, that is overstepping what TMA is, IMHO.

    As stated in previous posts, IF a dojang is upfront about how it conducts itself, I see no problem with a "religous dojang," but it is not my cup of tea. I do, however, touch on the Confucian and Buddhist philosophies that alot of the Moo Duk Kwan tenants and traditions are based on in some of my black belt classes. If my students wish to draw comparisons to their own spiritual path, I believe that is a powerful thing (just not my job).
     
  18. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    I don't think so. That's not based solely on my agnostic, anti-organized religion views, but on practicality.

    For example, in my school, I have learned from casual conversations that I have at least one agnostic, two devout Catholics, a family of Muslims, a Protestant and a Baptist, among others. If I tried to throw religion into that mix, I'd have my own version of the Crusades out on the floor and I don't need that.
     
  19. Steven Craig

    Steven Craig Yellow Belt

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    Personally I like to keep my belief and my TKD separate. I have steered away from other forms of MA that incorporate other beliefs/religions that are different to mine.
    I would be happy for religion to be left out of where I train. Even if the person I train under is of other is of a Christian belief, there could be significant differences in practice between say Catholic and Prod. However, if an organization offered it to a youth group or ran it from the Church and was open and honest about incorporation of their beliefs into the teaching, then those who choose that option, particularly if there are clubs that don't incorporate religion into it in their local area, then that is the individuals business when they join-isn't it?
     
  20. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    How many people here are completely comfortable with an American school that makes Islam part of its martial arts?

    Honest show of hands, please.123
     

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