Dear elder sister in the faith Arlene, thank you for sharing your sincere and stimulating article on your experiences with Tang Soo Do! Your undertaking is quite exciting and unusual, considering your age, family background and decades of faithfulness as a member of God' Church.
Since I have a background in kickboxing and Wing Chun, I can relate to the benefits, challenges and emotions you feel from practicing and advancing in a martial art, Arlene. There's pain and there's gain! Some aspects and feats of martial arts like Karate and Aikido are simply astonishing!
Gichin Funakoshi, one of the fathers of Karate-do, said this: "Martial arts is not about winning or losing. It's not about competing or defeating your enemy. It's about the perfection of character of its participants". So there's definitely a spiritual element to the martial arts...
At the same time, considering that "martial arts" literally mean "arts of war" and roots of certain martial arts styles originate in Eastern mysticism, I believe that there are certain hidden dangers for Christians that come along with the clear benefits you wrote about in your article. In fact, I am not too surpised that as you were entering the realm of martial arts you felt "like a fish out of water".
Asabbath-keeping Christian named Eric Wilson, who achieved several black belts in different Kung-fu styles, made a fantastic lecture series on what he learned from his many years of practicing and instructing martial arts. It was fascinating, eye-opening and also sobering for me personally...
The lectures can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/KCg93yOaEzA?list=PLlCB1paD_KAQ74qSNXaCVr34MPDplBZVi
I'd appreciate to hear your opinions about Mr. Wilson's martial arts lectures. What do you think?
Warm greetings from your brother in Europe,