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Miguel Gonzalez wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been practicing martial arts and as one increases in rank, one becomes more aware of (his/her) spirituality. There are several practices which are related to Buddhism, mostly the breathing techniques.

  • Is there anything wrong with this?

I'm doing this for physical fitness and no other reason.


  { Is there anything wrong with the Buddhist breathing techniques in my martial arts classes? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Miguel —

I think the answer we gave Nicole will answer your question; if not just follow up.

This dialogue from the Catholic Answers Forum may help as well.

Any Catholic Martial Artists?

I personally empathize with funkyhorn's reply. He a junior member and his reply is the third one down from the top:

I've studied several martial arts (Jiujutsu, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Kick boxing) and have found it very rewarding in ways. If you learn for the right reasons, I think that anyone would find it rewarding. You develop traits such as discipline, composure, humility, confidence, etc. There are those who join up just to learn how to beat other people up . . . They usually drop out fairly quickly. The higher ranks usually hurt their ego enough that they don't want to come back.

The thing about martial arts, that is somewhat deceiving, is that it can give you a false sense of confidence or control. The spiritual part of the martial arts is based off a Godless religion, so the focus is on you, not God. You start to believe that you have abilities apart from God's blessings and grace. I started doing martial arts long before I started practicing my faith. I still practice martial arts, but not as much and not with the false belief that I am in control. There's also the chi or ki aspect of martial arts too, for those who are actually taught these concepts. I'm afraid that I don't find the practice of developing and exercising your chi a very Christian thing either.

Martial Arts, aside from the spiritual aspect, is a good thing to get into. And as long as you are strong in your faith and aren't liable to get caught up in the whole spiritual side of it, you'll be just fine.


Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Miguel —

I would like to add that Clare Merkle's article goes a bit further in delineating the dangers of even the exercise part of yoga.

If you read the article, Yoga - Health or Stealth?, at Our Lady's Warriors, you will see. Others say that the yogic poses are ideograms for the names of gods. I wouldn't know about that.

I do know that Stella Davis warns against yoga in her book, "Spiritual Warfare".

Mary Ann

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