Over the past several years my family and I have witnessed lives being changed, souls being saved through faith in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, and personal commitment being strengthened to live a Christ-honoring life through the use of Taekwondo as a Christian ministry.
These statements may seem contradictory to those who see martial arts as a mixture of a means to physically dominate, intimidate, and inflict harm on others, blended with various elements of Far Eastern religion. Although a commonly held misperception largely perpetuated by the movie industry and embellished by “tall tales”; it bears no resemblance to reality.
Taekwondo originated in ancient Korea approximately 37 years before Christ as a means of self-defense, practiced by peasant farmers, to repeal invading armies. Over the centuries, several schools (“Kwans”) evolved to emphasize various aspects of the art. As a result, many variations in applying the techniques of Taekwondo emerged. Yet, the core values of this martial art remained consistent – humility, obedience, respect for others, perseverance, discipline, self-control, and avoidance of violent behavior. Such values were, and are, counter to the negative
image outlined above.
Acknowledging that I am a Christian at all times, and in all settings, it is imperative that all of my activities bear a consistent witness to the saving work of Jesus Christ. As such, Taekwondo is not an end unto itself and its principles do not emphasize a belief system counter to biblical Christianity. Rather, through personal testimony, acts of worship, and evangelical outreach, it has been my joy to be one of many martial artists called to use this art to proclaim boldly the gospel of Jesus Christ.
May God continue to use this dynamic ministry to draw people to Jesus!
William Cromwell, MD
Master Instructor, Open Door Taekwondo