The Daily ReTORt

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Are Witchcraft and Karate Similar???

Check out OUR family's
karate photos below!!!
Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to earn a black belt in some kind of martial art. I think it all stems back to the early 1970’s when Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee was still alive, and I saw a TV commercial for his movie titled “Enter the Dragon.” I remember being 4 or 5 years old begging my parents to take me to see the movie, which they refused to do.

It wasn’t that they necessarily were opposed to the violence but they were rabidly opposed to the inter-mingling of Eastern religions with the various martial art styles. My parents (God love ‘em) were staunch, fundamentalist Christians who were rigidly against any type of exploration, discussion or questioning of our particular faith tradition.

So, no spinning back kicks for me. Again, all I can say to that is God love ‘em. And with that, my childhood dreams of karate mastery went down in flames – or hellfire to be more precise. A similar situation occurred when I was about 15 years old. We had returned to the states after living in the Middle East for nearly two years where we were exposed to all the major world religions firsthand.

Once we were stateside, one of my first trips was to a bookstore where I bought a bunch of books on Eastern faiths to better educate myself. Again, my parents flipped out when they found out stating that I was tempting fate, potentially jeopardizing my immortal soul and opening myself up to spiritual confusion by entertaining such ideas that were patently contrary to the truth of Christianity.

Their rationale and justification was that they knew of several families who had let their teens read whatever books they wanted – including texts of other faiths and corresponding commentary – and those kids ultimately abandoned the faith and their respective families altogether.

Who knows if those apparent correlations were the general causation, but what could I say? I didn’t know any better at the time, and I chose to “honor my mother and father” in that regard and stopped my study of other religious beliefs.

In hindsight, I believe that was a bit of a mistake.

When I went to college I was not adequately prepared to defend my own beliefs which came under seemingly endless sorties from visiting students from around the globe who modeled other beliefs as well as from a pantheon of professors whose only belief was in secular humanism. When I shared these trials with my parents during my weekly phone call home they simply told me to “…believe harder and read the Bible more…” - again, God love ‘em but I was already trying to do that.

I made it through those trying years with my Christian faith in tact and stronger than it had been. But I wish my folks would have enabled me to pressure test those beliefs earlier in life under their guidance and direction. That’s typically how kids learn virtually every other type of life skill, value, behavior and morale norm is within the societal confines of the familial test tube. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t know any better but I'm still grateful they were the ones who raised me.

Having said that, last night my wife and I took our two daughters ages 9 and 7 to their first karate class at a great studio that allows parents to train with their kids – I’m taking the class with them twice a week and we all want to earn our black belts, so I've answered the title question of this post that I don't believe that karate or any martial art form is dark or evil. [see photos below].
After our 1st karate class!

Don't mess with these girls!

Check out their focus

The girls and I getting our white belts after the 1st class

However, my intent is to actively talk about what we learn together in class and answer their questions to the level of their understanding. Using that as a model, I will also take a similar approach if they have questions about differing beliefs and views of other faiths. I firmly believe that we as parents shouldn’t fear such questions, but rather be prepared to answer such queries when asked and why we belief what we do – especially when the inquisitors are our own kids.

You can check out similar content from me at HubPages Are Witchcraft and Karate Similar???


  1. I love your pictures, Tor. Martial arts is both a great practical discipline and an excellent family activity when you can train together.

    I've been taking martial arts with our kids and we love it. We practiced Tae Kwon Do for a few months in Virginia and have been taking Karate and Jujitsu from a Christian instructor at Elim Bible Institute, with ranks certified through Black Belts of the Faith.

  2. My son was in a Christian martial arts group when he was young. He loved it.

  3. High-ya! Loved watching you all and the looks on their very focused faces while taking the first class!
    The girls have been wanting to do this with you for a long time..yea! The time is now! :)

  4. @Bill, agreed on all counts! Just out of curiosity, was there a particular form that you personally liked more than others?

  5. @Luana, I would have killed to be part of that type of group as a, but I guess murder would violate one of those pesky 10 Commandments and would have gotten me kicked out ;-) Thanks for the comment!