Author Topic: Kajukenbo Prayer  (Read 53388 times)

Offline Rob Poelking

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2004, 10:36:08 AM »
I have read enough of Mr. Lee's "opinions" and I apologize to my community for the affront and disrepect I have seen. So until further notice I am locking this board as I wait for a response from Mr. Lee.
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Offline Rob Poelking

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2004, 02:40:04 PM »
Regretfully, Mr. Lee has refused to comply with my request which was simple, supply me with the name and phone number of his instructor. Therefore I had no other choice but to put him on the banned list.

I want to be clear that Mr. Lee was not banned for his opinion but for the attitude and manner of speech toward the black belt community represented on this forum.

This is a grave action and it is one that I really do not like to exercise but I believe his actions are not in line with the ohana philosophy. I also would believe they are not in line with his instructor whose name he would not share.

The original posts that led up to this decision have been removed. Please excuse the confusion.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 03:38:05 PM by Rob Poelking »
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Offline Kaju Bear

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2004, 03:32:32 PM »
I find nothing offensive about the prayer reciting in class but I am a Christian. I know this thread came up before and I was amazed then at how many schools in the KAJUKENBO system were actively using the prayer as part of their curriculum.

When I taught I hung a printing of the prayer on the wall. I also included it in the historical information about the system in my schools advancement study guides. It is a tradition so I thought from that point of view it was relevant to students.

There are two things that strike me as really interesting about this discussion thread. The first is the underlying idea that a religious balance (in this case a Christian one) is possibly necessary. Perhaps the founding members thought their morale values were so influenced by the Christian religion that they thought it wise to infuse it into the martial system they were developing? The question then would be why? I think it a natural leap to say because the eastern combatives, which the majority of KAJUKENBO techniques come from, are balanced with eastern religions. I think that balance is a good way of describing it because I am sure that early warriors had to strike some balance between the destructive nature that was found in their arts and its applications and a mental coping skill. When the eastern martial arts are taught in the west, the western religious influences simply replace the eastern but for the same logical reason.

I think the reason we obviously have religion of any sort in martial arts is because religions are a spring board for ethical, just, and morale value teaching. That is not to say they are an excusive way to learn morale and ethical behavior because they are not. However these religious influences are a way to balance or another way of thinking about it is “insure” students are given morale compasses for dealing with appropriate uses of their skills. I think our prayer is a perfect example of this.

The other interesting idea that I find posed by some of these postings is the notion that we aren’t practicing and encouraging the Christian faith when the prayer is recited in class. Is it not a religious prayer? Is it not a Christian prayer? Is it part of the class? If they answer is yes to all these questions then aren’t we practicing the Christian religion in class? I know it is a very subtle practicing of religion but still it is practicing isn’t it? If you agree, then the logical question then, is that reality necessarily bad? Not if you’re a Christian but what if you’re of another faith?

If you have read my postings before on this subject you know I believe that it isn’t as long as you know as a student your going to be exposed to the Christian influence, although subtly as it is, through the prayer and that as a teacher you are up front with that fact from the start of your involvement with a student. If you’re religious beliefs are going to influence your teaching then you have an obligation to let potential students know that prior to the start of their instruction with you. At least that is what I think.

Bottom line is there is a big difference in understanding how religion influences an art and asking students to practice pratice a particular religious faith.
Sifu Morg Olsen
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Offline Sifu Sin Bin

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2004, 05:30:33 PM »
To me it is not a question of freedom of religion, it is a quetion of whether you practice what you preach.
  In the prayer there is a reference to "to keep others mindful of thy commandments"
 If we believe that then we believe that there is an objective standard to which all humans are amenable to.
   If we believe that the reasons we are teaching include the reasons found in the prayer then we have an obligation to teach form that view point.
   I have no obligation to change my standard or my beliefs because a prospective student does not agree with who I am praying to. It is my "house" and if said prospective student does'nt like it he need not train with me.
   As far as trying to teach others who do come into my school, the Christstian faith, I am under obligation to. For me not to do so would be sin.
 Matthew 28:19-20  Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
   So if you are not a Christian and want to train in my school you will be exposed to the teaching of the Bible. If that is not something that you would not like, then you probably won't like training there any way, and therefore you should keep looking. I don't force my beliefs on my students but I do teach them my beliefs and only one has converted to christianity, the rest still enjoy the crash and bang style of teaching I employ.
  It really all comes down to this, find a school you are comfortable with and who's objectives coincide with yours and then there will never be a problem of something not agreeing with your perspective.
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Offline Mitch Powell

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2004, 12:16:03 AM »
Kajukenbo was founded by people who were Christians. Grandmaster Ordonez, so much so, that his faith became a major part of his life.

Sijo loves Jesus. He knows the bible like the back of his hand and can quote scripture with the best of them.

The Christian faith was part of the thought process in the creation and development of Kajukenbo. If Sijo and others were Shinto priests those beliefs would be part of the art. They were not. They were Christians.

Kajukenbo Adopted Prayer

     Almighty and eternal God, protector of all who put their trust in Thee, accept the humble homage of our faith and love in Thee, the one true God.
     Bless our efforts to preserve the integrity of our United States, a nation founded on Christian principles; enlighten our rules, guide our law makers and protect the sanctity of our homes.
     And bless our efforts in these exercises, whose sole purpose is developing our bodies to keep others mindful of Thy commandments.
     Give us perseverance in our actions, that we may use this as a means to keep closer to you, the one true God.
     In the name of Thy beloved son, Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Amen.

Look at what our creators wanted:
a United States with integrity. Lawmakers who would create just laws and protect them. As for their training, they asked God to bless their efforts to develop their bodies to keep others mindful of God's commandments. They asked for perseverance in their actions (training and keeping others mindful of Gods commandments) so that they could keep going to use this as a means to be close to God.

No where does it say, make be the baddest guy to walk the earth. It says, make me a good person so I can help you, Lord, help others to become better people. Kajukenbo is about becoming a better person.

If I went to the Shaolin temple to become a monk, would they not teach me their faith-to make me a better person-in their eyes?

Is the teaching in their temples more important than the teaching our temples?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 12:14:15 PM by Mitch Powell »
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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2005, 08:45:30 AM »
Good morning Professor Powell/Sifu Sin Bin/C1162IN and all others as well,

I have been reading the various comments regarding the Kajukenbo Prayer.  As a fellow believer in Christ, I also wish to put my total support for the Prayer, those who stand behind it and humbly say "Thank You" to all the schools that continue in the tradition, especially during these days of "political correctness" where the mention of God or Jesus is frown upon

I also wish to mention that our school opens & closes each & every training session with the Kajukenbo Prayer invoking the Name of Jesus Christ

-Paul
A student of Grandmaster Alan M. Reyes  

Offline slowkick

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2005, 12:53:16 PM »
Funny how the mentioning of one name can cause such a stir...
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Paul Peter

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2005, 11:51:20 AM »
No kidding Slowkick,

Does Philippians 2:10 come to mind?

Offline Old Fat Kenpoka

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2005, 12:35:46 PM »
Thanks to everyone who responded to my question about the prayer.  I think Kajukenbo is a wonderful art.  But, because of the prayer, and it's obvious importance in your training, it is not the art for me.  

May I ask the Christians what you would do if you were looking for a martial arts club to join and lived in an area with many excellent choices.  Would you choose to join a school that opened and closed each class with a prayer that ended with "Give us perseverance in our actions, that we may use this as a means to keep closer to you, the one true God. In the name of thy beloved avatar, Lord Krishna."

I suspect that most of you would be very uncomfortable with this prayer and would choose a school that did not require it.  I personally would be very uncomfortable with this prayer.  And this is the way I feel about a prayer invoking Jesus and the reason why I am personally more comfortable in another school.
Alan Wortman aka Old Fat Kenpoka

Offline Mitch Powell

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2005, 02:40:12 PM »
If your spouse was of a different religion than you and wanted to pray as a family before dinner, would you get up and leave while your spouse prayed, stay seated, or find another spouse?
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Offline Rob Poelking

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2005, 03:10:58 PM »
To answer both the question of Alan and Prof Powell.

I did not particularly seek out a school that fit my Christian background. However, if the one I was interested in did such a thing, or perhaps require I bow before a buddah statue, I don't care if it was the best darn martial arts school in 100 miles I would not train there. Simple.

If my wife was of a different religion than me, I woudn't be married to her. :) Scripture warns about being unequally yoked to a partner. It can be parallelled to many circumstances but its most direct interpretation is in regards to one's personal religion. In the context for which that scripture was written, a Jew did not marry a Gentile.  So as a Christian, I would not marry someone who did not share my beliefs.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2005, 07:49:48 PM by Rob Poelking »
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Offline Old Fat Kenpoka

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2005, 03:58:37 PM »
To answer both the question of KenpoMama and Prof Powell.

I did not particularly seek out a school that fit my Christian background. However, if the one I was interested in did such a thing, or perhaps require I bow before a buddah statue, I don't care if it was the best darn martial arts school in 100 miles I would not train there. Simple.

If my wife was of a different religion than me, I woudn't be married to her. :) Scripture warns about being unequally yoked to a partner. It can be parallelled to many circumstances but its most direct interpretation is in regards to one's personal religion. In the context for which that scripture was written, a Jew did not marry a Gentile.  So as a Christian, I would not marry someone who did not share my beliefs.


Yes.  My point exactly.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2005, 03:59:26 PM by Old Fat Kenpoka »
Alan Wortman aka Old Fat Kenpoka

Offline dastars

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2005, 06:31:17 PM »
I'm an atheist, but I have no problem being respectful while others practice their religion.  I'm aware enough of my choice to know that it is itself virtually a religion, so there's no snobbish high ground.  In my training with kajukenbo (tragically cut short by an ankle injury, and only recently re-started), we were not required to say anything we were uncomfortable with, as long as we remained quiet and respectful.  A little tolerance goes a long way, and I'm glad I didn't let anything so trivial prevent me from getting involved in a fantastic martial system.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2005, 06:31:44 PM by dastars »
Geoff Hurd - Student of Professor Walt Andrae (SGM Halbuna) - Augusta, GA

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Offline Rob Poelking

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2005, 07:51:07 PM »
An excellent attitude to maintain, Geoff.
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Offline dastars

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Re:Kajukenbo Prayer
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2005, 07:54:08 PM »
Thank you.  A little tolerance goes a long way, as one of my undergrad professors once said :)
Geoff Hurd - Student of Professor Walt Andrae (SGM Halbuna) - Augusta, GA

University of Pittsburgh Kajukenbo