Sunday, June 8, 2014


I found a post that I posted last year for Lent. And the message applies today. Especially now that my blog is on black belt spirituality: I've gone and updated it as needed but I hope it does what I hope to continue doing with this blog: Incorporating martial arts, spirituality and Christianity.  Enjoy:

My therapy this week was great. Physically painful, but great. But what  therapist would inflict physical pain on their clients you might ask. Not many. And for me, therapy is actually my training at my Tae Kwon Do dojang. It was painful tonight because on 8 months ago while doing take down drills I fell improperly and rolled my shoulder, and this week I aggravated it. Oh well, I love it, and pain just reminds me I'm alive. (Twisted, right!?)

Tae Kwon Do has been a part of my life for the better part of 25 years. It has been a valuable source of discipline and structure. Also it instills the values of honor, self respect and respect for others and perseverance. ( How do these translate to our Christian life? To pastoral care?)

As of late, it has taken on more of a spiritual meaning for me. Martial arts have always been rooted in spiritual thinking and practice. I found this time of physical training has also become my spiritual discipline as well. In the moments of silence as i preform my hyungs I finds moments of meditation and prayer. Time to reconnect with self and with God. In sparring and defense drills I find connection and intimacy with my training partner. I put trust in another human being.

So as I train and having just received my 3rd Dan black belt, I take solace in my (re)new(ed) spiritual discipline. This may be the one discipline that maintains me through this Lenten season and beyond. And in that, I will seek comfort.

"But as for me, afflicted and in pain-may your salvation, God, protect me." Psalm 69:29

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Create your art

Recently while helping teach a children's martial arts class I was reminded of something.

For those who don't know, I am a third dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Hence the name of my blog.  

At one point, to encourage the kids, the head instructor stopped everyone and said the following.  "You are martial ARTISTS! I want to see you create your ART!"  

Kicking and punching as art?

Yes! Art. We are living breathing contradictions. We learn the martial. The mechanics of defense. 

But we also train in a spiritual mind and body art. We strive to sync the emotional, the physical and yes the spiritual. A constant journey of self learning and self actualization.   

Now did the kids fully understand that.  Probably not.  But I almost did.  It reconnected me with the artistic(read spiritual) side of my work out. 

I gave a talk to a group of Chaplains about this this afternoon.  I hope it was effective.  Keep moving on the journey of self knowledge and spiritual enlightenment.  They are more closely tied than you might think.