Martial Arts, and faith


Executive Member
Apr 8, 2006
This is something, i have encountered on a number of Martial Arts forums, and i was wondering what you all thought.
Does the practice of a Martial Art interfere with, or oppose the underlying basis of a practitioners faith, and if so in what manner?
Or is it simply that due to the inherent Oriental, or Far Eastern background, or roots of these arts, that they are seen as problematic, and in opposition to Western style faiths?


Karmic Sangoma
Jan 17, 2005
I didnt know it had problems with faith, I thought it was pretty secular.


Honorary Master
Apr 6, 2005
Eastern fighting arts tend to be tied up with their philosophical outlook. This is seen as a religious practice by some religious nuts. I remember some rubbish about it opening you up to Satan. Or some other equally moronic drivel.


Expert Member
Sep 19, 2006
Martial Arts is one facet of a way of life. Martial arts training however tries to achieve a balance between the mind, the body and the soul.

Martials arts offers a way to exercise and strenthen all three the abovementioned facets of the human. Being quite an old body of knowledge the way of life of martial arts practitioners have evolved in such a way that strengthening the body (martial arts practice) strengthening of the mind (meditation) and strengthening the spirit (prayer) have all merged. Its one system.

Western practitioners of Kung Fu tend to focus only on the physical and the mind with many of the practices being similar to religious exercises. Many aspects of Budhism are merely principles to apply in one's life, rather than religious principles. These tend to get incorporated into kung fu practice and can be seen to be religious. IMO there is no incisistency with applying budhism not as a religion but as a school of thought, used to maintain well being and balance in one's life, while being a devoted member of another religion. Kung fu is undoubteldy a spiritual experience, but the way it gets taught it is not a religious one. IMO if you are serious about your Kung Fu and your religion, you could incorporate your religion, whatever it is, into your kung fu practice.....

The pose for meditation is the same pose for prayer. this is because hte position in question is said to promote the best flow of chi. Also, some internal strengthening techniques involve closing your eyes in the bhudda position and makign certain noises. These could be confused wiht prayer, while they are not.
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Court Jester
Sep 27, 2005
my take on it:

Mind body and spirit (easterners don't have souls in the original believes and connection with chi/ki/prana)

in martial arts related to list a few:

.to train your mind so that you have total control over your body
.to learn stradegies and maners to entrap you opponents
.sharp and alert, being read for action
.to know how to adapt to in any given moment
.to see situations as they are before they develop

.correct muscle / reflex training for proper techniques

.correct intent
.training resolve
.not give up

martial arts only becomes a religious experiance if you make it one by living as the easterners or where it comes from - there is a uge difference in just praticing martial arts and fully living the martial way as well.

anyone can start swining something around which evolve into a fighting art and then start to
enrich it with stuff.

in the end most of the cultures have their own figthing style which they add their believes to...
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Software Communist
Aug 3, 2005
Been doing qigong tai chi for a while now. For me it's a mind/body thing that does not interfere with my religious beliefs in the least bit.


Court Jester
Sep 27, 2005
hehe how do we know that it wasn't all one thing - just training, which then became 3 things (mind/body/spirit) so that training then was made easier as it was categorized ?