Counsel of Chalcedon
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The Christian and the Martial Arts

Over the last two decades, the Martial Arts have captured the imaginations of our children and the interest of millions of adults. And Hollywood is one of the reasons. Martial Arts choreographers supply the motion picture industry with almost endless ways for the hero to take revenge on the bad guys (since revenge seems to be the current box-office money-maker). The skills and abilities of the movie Martial Artist are therefore greatly exaggerated for maximum effect, as the hero defeats a dozen weapon-carrying attackers using the flashiest flying, spinning, jump kicks possible. The outcome is usually the same -- the underdog wins -- and wins big, as attackers find themselves being kicked through walls, and flipped off the edge of buildings.

As a result of the mental image of Black Belts painted by the motion pictures, some of the audience seek out the nearest Martial Arts school in hopes that they will learn some of what they have seen at the movies -- "just in case". But, in real life, does the karate student (perhaps your child) always win like the "karate kid" eventually does? Are the Martial Arts as harmless as they are made to appear, or is there something potentially harmful to us or our children? Can they simply be placed in a category of good exercises such as running or swimming? Should the Christian allow h1s children to enroll in a Martial Arts school? Should the Christian adult become involved in Martial Arts and to what extent? Does the Bible give us any guidelines?