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JowGaWolf

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For me people will do what people will do. The only thing that causes concern for me is this from the website:
"Many martial arts including Hapkido were created in the far east in the near or distant past. The people that invented these arts primarily practiced eastern religions and studied eastern philosophies. In reality learning a combat art like Hapkido has very little or nothing to do with religion, in fact many successful schools are completely secular."
Here it it states that learning a combat art like Hapkido has very little or nothing to do with religion. Then it follows ups with comments below. If a martial art has nothing to do with religion then how can it lead to religion?

"The trouble is, we have found that Martial Arts that are steeped in eastern thought and sometimes religion can act as a gateway to mislead Christians into eastern religions. We have instead chosen to root our martial arts firmly in the belief system of Jesus the Christ. Although it is not a requirement for membership, we believe that the Way, as taught by Jesus of (the books) Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, provides the best path for any caring martial artist to walk."

It then goes into explaining the purpose of bowing. It also describes what my school has to go through. Even though our shire has nothing to do with religion when don't use one where we practice because it's a Christian School. Use not using one is out of respect to the school. He mentions that the dojang is treated in a similar manner when they are training on church grounds.

The eastern philosophies in regards to martial arts is more about understanding one's self instead of religion. Things like energy moving through the body is not a religious concept, it's a scientific one and has already been proven through doctors, scientist, and for some unlucky people, tasers, and lightning.

I also think that the type of meditation he is referring to is not the same type of meditation that martial artist should be doing. Terms like clearing your mind in martial arts is so other thoughts don't interfere with you controlling your body. From what I understand the meditation is a focus on your body, the muscles, the tendons, balance, and the breathing. It's not the same as spiritual meditation where you are trying to reach a spiritual level.

When I meditate when doing Tai Chi or Jow Ga kung fu, I'm not trying to reach a higher spiritual level. I'm trying to gain a better control and awareness of my body.
 

JowGaWolf

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By the way
This statement is also wrong:
"'Do' may be the single most uniquely Asian quality of all martial arts. In China a kind
of religion has grown around the idea of Do (Tao) or the Way. It is called Taoism and it does have deity worship and thus is taboo to Christians."
Kung Fu martial arts that don't grow around (Tao). Jow Ga, Wing Chun, Hung Gar, Choy ga, Praying Mantis, Tai Chi both Yang and Chen styles, Sanda, Mongolian wreslting, Shuai Jiao, The majority of Chinese martial arts only cared about one thing. Improving body physically and mentally, healing bodies with medicine and destroying someone else's body. The only people that have any definite spiritual connection is at the Shaolin temples.

If someone is teaching martial arts then they should not make general statements about martial arts especially chinese martial arts, which is extremely diverse. When martial arts is practiced correctly then one will find that it actually help strengthen one's existing religious belief (provided that the person had one to begin with). As a Christian, I can see where eastern philosophies are the same a some Christian philosophies. To me it just proves that sometimes people from different cultures and beliefs think about the same thing.
 

Chrisoro

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Then you should neither go there to train, nor recommend it for that reason.

Otherwise, he is up front about it, and obviously doesn't share your opinion-that should kind of be the end of it.

Which is pretty much exactly what I said above, as I cannot see that I have in any way said otherwise. As far as I can see, I have just explained my position on this, and stated clairly that if I want to buy the service that is martial arts training and instruction, I would prefer to not have religious propaganda mixed in with it. Interesting to see how it seemingly is not as acceptable for me, as an atheist, to share my concerns regarding mixing of religion and martial arts, as mixing religion and martial arts is in the first place.

Ya know-opinions are like penises: it's fine if you have one, but that doesn't mean you should whip it out and wave it around.......

I´d reckon that´s your opinion on this matter? The one you just whipped out and waved around? Yeah, I would love to see a discussion forum where everyone lived by that rule. Or not.
 

Chrisoro

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That said, I´m not really surprised at the reaction I got. It´s not the first time I´ve seen american martial artists with no respect whatsoever for atheists, or for the secular basis of the their own constitution:

"If I´m elected president I will Tattoo an American flag with the words, “In God we trust,” on the forehead of every atheist. " - Chuck Norris

The only good atheist is a silent one, it seems.
 
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elder999

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Which is pretty much exactly what I said above, as I cannot see that I have in any way said otherwise. As far as I can see, I have just explained my position on this, and stated clairly that if I want to buy the service that is martial arts training and instruction, I would prefer to not have religious propaganda mixed in with it.

You also said this:

Because if he is mixing hapkido with christianity (which I am not saying that he does or doesn't) he isn't just teaching Hapkido, but is also using Hapkido as a way to push his religion and all it's baggage(which was neither ever a part of, nor relevant for teaching Hapkido) onto others. I

WIthout any thought about the people who just might want something like what he's offering.

It's sort of like saying, "I love vanilla ice cream. I hate nuts. People who sell vanilla ice cream with nuts are forcing people to have nuts with their vanilla ice cream, instead of getting their ice cream somewhere else, where it doesn't have nuts."

Pretty goofy, right?

Interesting to see how it seemingly is not as acceptable for me, as an atheist, to share my concerns regarding mixing of religion and martial arts, as mixing religion and martial arts is in the first place.

As well as ironic in that most martial arts have some foundation in religion, as well as religious symbolism inherent within. You likely wouldn't have blinked twice if he'd said "Buddhist meditiation."

Hey, I respect your atheism. It's likely I even have a more negative opinion of "Christian martial arts" than you do, one based on actual contact with them. I just think it's a pretty petty thing to criticize from thousands of miles away, when there's so many other things there to offer an opinion on.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Which is pretty much exactly what I said above, as I cannot see that I have in any way said otherwise. As far as I can see, I have just explained my position on this, and stated clairly that if I want to buy the service that is martial arts training and instruction, I would prefer to not have religious propaganda mixed in with it.

Nothing wrong with that. I have the same preference and probably most other folks do as well.

Interesting to see how it seemingly is not as acceptable for me, as an atheist, to share my concerns regarding mixing of religion and martial arts, as mixing religion and martial arts is in the first place.

I'm not sure what you mean by "not as acceptable." It's been pointed out that some other people do prefer their martial arts with a side order of religion. I might think it's silly, but there are a lot of other things practiced in different martial arts schools that I find silly besides religion. I don't have to attend those schools and neither do you.

That said, I´m not really surprised at the reaction I got. It´s not the first time I´ve seen american martial artists with no respect whatsoever for atheists, or for the secular basis of the their own constitution:

"If I´m elected president I will Tattoo an American flag with the words, “In God we trust,” on the forehead of every atheist. " - Chuck Norris

The only good atheist is a silent one, it seems.

Speaking as an American atheist martial artist, I don't feel like I've been particularly silenced.

As far as Chuck Norris goes ... I've got a ton of respect for him as a martial artist. As a speaker on political issues, he is what I might politely describe as a complete nutcase. In fairness, though, the bit you quote was part of a "humorous" column in which he also promised to "Resurrect Bruce Lee and appoint him head of homeland security (OK, the CIA and FBI too)" , "Turn the Rose Garden into a new fighting ring for the World Combat League, in which liberals and conservatives will fight for legislative leadership and priority", and "Increase jobs in America by sending ninja teams to sabotage and steal them back from other countries."
 

jks9199

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That said, I´m not really surprised at the reaction I got. It´s not the first time I´ve seen american martial artists with no respect whatsoever for atheists, or for the secular basis of the their own constitution:

"If I´m elected president I will Tattoo an American flag with the words, “In God we trust,” on the forehead of every atheist. " - Chuck Norris

The only good atheist is a silent one, it seems.
Personally, I was just curious why you took such exception to a simple statement. Would it have been a problem had the statement been "we are a non-religious /atheist/agnostic/secular martial arts school."?

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

TSDTexan

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I think it's more correct to talk about the difference between religious training and secular training, and the difference would be that the last kind of training would focus only on training the art in question , and not try to convert anyone to ones own set of believes, which is what one is in fact doing, although by implicit means, if one is inserting references to it during the training.

I'm a secular atheist myself, and I know I would never send my kids to train at a school that flaunts its religious base, however, I wouldn't send them to a Hapkido school branding itself as "Atheist Hapkido", and run by Richard Dawkins either. My point is that there is a time and place for all, and in my view (which I know others doesn't neccesarily share), martial arts practice isn't the place to try to convert other people to ones own believes(whatever it is), using implicit means or otherwise.

Martial arts should, in my opinion, be something that brings people together despite differences in beliefs and politics, not something that devides them along those same lines.

Again, I'm not saying that this is what Instructor does at his school, as I don't know to what degree(if any) he lets his his personal faith(which I have no problems with him having) come trough in his trainig. But I have seen examples of such things as Christian Karate and Muslim Wing Chun, in which one had a lot of references to the religions in the training, and where non believers would be met with pretty cold shoulders. Which is ofcourse their right, but not something I have to like either.

Why should it even matter, if no tax dollars are being used to fund it? It essentially is a private sector school, not a public sector one. Who cares what belief systems they have?

What if someone was an athiest who sold books at a book store? Does his personal beliefs keep him from selling the best selling book of all time?

Or does he realize that what consenting adults fill there head with for knowledge, or inspiration doesn't really matter as much has putting food on the family dinner table, and keeping the bills paid?

In the market place of thought, ideas and beliefs... The thing called Christianity or whatever has been proclaimed dead, and finished many times by many folks... Yet for the last 2000 years or so.. Humanity can't seem to let it go. Seems pretty viable in the market of ideas.

And it seems that it flourishes most strongly under the most severe of oppression.

And it does what it is supposed to do quite well I reckon. Or it would have gone extinct some time ago.

It seems to me... Its track record for developing brutal persistence in the face of strong adversity it might have something to teach an Martial Artist about intestinal fortitude.

My advice, that I reconend to you is for you to get over your notion that a student of MA has to be protected from religious beliefs in a private sector school..
 
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Tez3

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The thing called Christianity or whatever has been proclaimed dead, and finished many times by many folks... Yet for the last 2000 years or so.. Humanity can't seem to let it go. Seems pretty viable in the market of ideas.

Too much money in it for people to 'let it go' which comes back to the martial arts school idea...that one makes it a 'Xtian school' to make more money from those who want religion with their martial arts. Xtianity is a religion that actively looks for converts, using means that are often morally wrong Xtians want people to join them, hence so much shouting about being a Xtian martial arts school or a Xtian club, is it with the idea of recruiting people to the religion as well as martial arts? It's true people like to stay close to those who believe the same as them, nothing wrong with that but if it's actually for actively recruiting converts it's dishonest.
 

Chrisoro

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You also said this:



WIthout any thought about the people who just might want something like what he's offering.

It's sort of like saying, "I love vanilla ice cream. I hate nuts. People who sell vanilla ice cream with nuts are forcing people to have nuts with their vanilla ice cream, instead of getting their ice cream somewhere else, where it doesn't have nuts."

Pretty goofy, right?
Yes, and it would even have been a valid analogy to my views if christianity were just another martial art. As it stand now, however, is is a strawman. A more valid analogy would be the following:

"I love vanilla ice cream. I don't like religious proselytizing. For some reason, this shop refuses to sell me vanilla ice cream unless I also accept to sit and listen to religious proselytizing while eating it."

And if that ice cream shop is the only one in town, I have problem.

As well as ironic in that most martial arts have some foundation in religion, as well as religious symbolism inherent within. You likely wouldn't have blinked twice if he'd said "Buddhist meditiation."

That may be so, but it is completely irrelevant as to my feelings for mixing hapkido with christianity, as christianity was never a part of hapkido itself or it's fundamental base.

Hey, I respect your atheism. It's likely I even have a more negative opinion of "Christian martial arts" than you do, one based on actual contact with them. I just think it's a pretty petty thing to criticize from thousands of miles away, when there's so many other things there to offer an opinion on.

Then let me elaborate a bit about why I am concerned about Instructor's statement that his Hapkido school has a christian base. Currently, and for the foreseeable future, my own Hapkido master lives in Spain, and is only visiting Norway a few times each year. After he graded me to second dan, he told me to look at other sources for Hapkido instruction in addition to what I receive from him, in order to gain a broader perspective of the art, and to further develop my personal understanding of the principles and concepts underlying the art, especially since the curriculum after second dan in our organization is pretty loose, and it is expected that higher black belts develop their own personal variant of the art as they develop as martial artists.

As Hapkido is not a very common art in Norway, me and a few other black belts are confined to learning from our master when he is visiting Norway, and then train based on other sources of instruction the rest of the time, such as instructional DVDs and seminars abroad. When I saw Instructors online Hapkido school, I thought that this might be a good additional source of instruction for me, but as a secular humanist that has experienced quite a bit of trouble for my views by my generally quite religious family, I have a very low tolerance for any kind of unasked for religious proselytizing.

This is the reason I was a bit worried about Instructors statement on his site that his school has a christian base, since he seems like a very proficient instructor, and someone I would love to receive hapkido instruction from, if it does not come with christianity baked into it. However, as I have stated numerous times, I still don't know to what extent, if any, his religious views are mixed in with his hapkido instruction. If the instruction itself includes no references to christianity, I have no problems with it at all.
 

Dirty Dog

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Here's an idea... if you think his training would be useful, go sign up for a month and try it.
 

Chrisoro

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I'm still considering it. However, I would like to hear Instructor himself address my worries in this thread first.
 

Dirty Dog

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Some people go months without connecting to the forum (I know, that sounds crazy, but they do!) so you might well find your answer quicker and more easily if you just go sign up.

I've not taken any training with him, but I've seen a few of his instructional videos, and it seemed completely secular to me.
 

Tez3

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Chrisoro, there is a Hapkido club advertised in Newcastle UK. This may be of interest because of the ferry between Norway and Newcastle :) though flying is quicker.
 
OP
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Sorry for my very late reply Chisoro,


The military recently moved me to a new unit and I've been swamped learning my new job and haven't had a chance to frequent forums much lately.


I am still completely dedicated to Hapkido Online and help students regularly.


I apologize if the Christian slant in my program is troubling for you.


To be brutally honest the reason I do this is because as a Christian I occasionally am compelled to pray for others and do other Christian things that might be offensive to others if they didn't know. It isn't just me but also my teacher is a Christian who occasionally helps out with the site and the organization as well which is Christian.


99% of the time I mainly just teach Hapkido... But if a student tells me something like "my wife is sick" I usually pray for their wife and them and their family etc. I am not an atheist so I don't really know how that would go over, but for a Christian it's a logical thing to do. If you as an atheist find that offensive, I would still pray but I would just do it quietly so as not to disturb you.


We are open and welcoming of people from any background or viewpoint. So long as they don't start trouble, they are welcome. I have taught Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, etc. If they are willing to put up with me I work very hard to help them out. I love God and I love freedom. I use my freedom my way and I allow other people to use their freedom their own way, without judgment.


Would love to have you try out Hapkido Online and would be happy to explain our program in greater detail.


God Bless,
Jon
 
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I would be intrigued to know what difference it makes on a practical level. How is Christian training different from Atheist training? Personally I don't believe in God, but that has no bearing on how I train martial arts.

The art itself is unchanged by my faith. I guess the biggest difference is just the people who are practicing. We have a huge friendly family kind of environment. Our Hapkido Conferences and seminars are like big family reunions, lots of hugs and jokes. We prize humility and meekness in addition to strength and courage. It's just Christians doing Hapkido! We have people from many walks of life. Other religions, other sexual preferences than hetero, and etc.

Once I had an online student with some car trouble. I let folks in our org know and we passed the hat and managed to get his car fixed. Like I said it's just us doing our thing.
 

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