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Martial Arts Ministry Kicks, Jumps and Sweeps for Christ

Martial Arts Ministry Kicks, Jumps and Sweeps for Christ

Atualizado: Sexta-feira, 28 Janeiro de 2011 as 3:43

“Wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off” are just a few words that come immediately to mind whenever the word “karate” is being tossed around, no pun intended.

For all of us beltless newbs, karate might as well be just another aggressive, hurt-each-other-till-we-die-kind-of-sport, with a lot of “hi-yah’s” and grunts in between. A more organized “Fight Club” if you will. But for one group in particular, martial arts is an opportunity – to witness and testify in an... explosive way.

“Martial arts isn’t about fighting. We learn martial arts so we don’t have to fight,” explains Scott “Brickhouse” Brown, co-founder of Wansai International, to The Christian Post on Tuesday.

The schoolteacher by day, sensei by night, leader explains, “We get a lot of kids who are insecure, picked on, and bullied, and we build their self-esteem and teach them how to walk on in life without having to use martial arts” – insert another Miyagi-Daniel Karate Kid moment here.

Brown adds, “The bottom line is we want to improve their soul and their relationship with God. If they don’t have one we want to help them find one.”

Weapon displays, self-defense moves, and board breaking aren’t the traditional tools of evangelism used to reach people for Christ. But this is the method that’s working for the Texas-based Wansai International group.

Wansai International is a nonprofit organization, which believes that “the King is Jesus Christ and the sword is the Word of God.” “Wansai” stands for “King’s Sword.”

Using a variety of avenues to build God’s kingdom locally and internationally, Wansai looks for needs and attempts to meet it through benevolence, evangelism, and relationships.

Founded by Scott “Brickhouse” and Theresa Brown, who both hold fourth-degree black belts in Bushido-Kai karate, the permanent members of Wansai include their two children Erin “Champ” Brown, Kyrié “Fireball” Brown, and “The Rev” Matthew Williams.

Erin has a second-degree black belt while her younger sister Kyrié is currently ranked at a first-degree brown belt.

What usually would scare people away –flying fists, swords, and boards, oh my – is drawing many towards the unique ministry set to build people in physical and spiritual self-defense while developing meaningful relationships through prayer and bible study.

Bushido Kai, the type of karate the Browns teach, means the way of the warrior. “The way I teach it means at the heart of every warrior is the cross. Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody comes to the Father except through me,’” remarks Brown.

“The goal of our karate is not to hurt people, but to have nobody be hurt at all.”

Wansai’s unique Bushido Kai karate classes always begin in prayer, end in prayer, and occasionally feature a message spoken by Brown himself in between the dachi kata’s and uchi waza’s – if you get my karate-lingo drift.

A recognized dojo of the American Bushido Kai Karate Association (the missions-minded nonprofit parent group), Warrior of God Bushido-Kai is just one dimension of their dynamic organization, which includes providing food or supplies for those in need, helping the elderly, distributing translated Bibles, equipping pastors and bible students, and performing martial art shows all over the world that present the gospel and address real life situations from biblical viewpoints.

One of the dramas, “Breakthrough,” deals with a protagonist, usually played by the oldest daughter Erin, who is trapped and dragged away from her family by evil desires like rebellion, strife, and pride – all of which are written on a wooden board, translated into the language of the specific country.

Finding herself stuck and alone, she realizes she must turn to God and pray for wisdom to help her overcome the desires. God empowers her to “break through” the boards and find restoration with her family.

In the Philippines, where families are constantly under attack, “Breakthrough” resonates powerfully throughout the people. Demonstrating Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection through nonverbal means, their “Redemption” skit is also able to transcend language barriers and reach straight into the heart of the audience.

“This Christ-centered martial arts group brought far more than the typical broken boards and shattered cinder blocks. They brought with them a passion for reaching people using their unique skills and talents,” said Dr. Darin Wood of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Texas.

All the funds raised through classes or shows support different missions overseas: an orphanage in Mozambique, a school in Guatemala, and currently a half-way house on the border of Texas and Mexico, ministering to immigrants who have no place to turn. “We try to be as Christ-like as we can in our everyday lives. We know what’s worth protecting, and we know what’s not worth protecting,” concludes black belt sensei Brown.

Though Brown is no Mr. Miyagi, he and the rest of the Wansai team teach everyone that the “secret to karate lies in the mind and the heart” of Christ –“not in the hands.”   Christian Post

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