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"It matters a great deal who is going to win, but not at all who won"

Willie John McBride, Irish Rugby player

Taekwondo and Christianity

Taekwondo and Christianity, Christopher Hughes, Private publication 2013 Copies available free from Verite Sport.

Christopher Hughes’s booklet is an apologetic for Christian involvement in the Martial Arts, with particular reference to Taekwondo. His starting point is that some Christians have been persuaded on the basis of false assumptions that involvement in Taekwondo is inappropriate. He describes this as “an overriding assumption that Martial Arts are demonic and should not be practiced (sic) by Christians”.

The booklet sets out the history of Taekwondo and notes that church members in South Korea practise it without qualms. He describes his own experience of involvement in Taekwondo and how it changed his life positively. He also states his belief that Taekwondo makes a valuable contribution to world mission and it adds to the beautiful mosaic of God’s glory - bringing pleasure to God in the same way Eric Liddell’s running did. He also documents how Taekwondo has increasingly been used as a vehicle for evangelism.

The false assumptions that give Taekwondo a bad press include a tendency to misunderstand its routines and rituals of TK as religious or to see practitioners as relying on a supernatural or demonic power to perform their feats of strength. Hughes states explicitly: “Taekwondo does not lead or teach anyone to try and contact any supernatural power” and “It is regular training that enables participants to jump, kick and punch effectively and powerfully and nor some supernatural power or demonic influence”.

The booklet gives a clearly argued Biblical answer to the question of whether or not a Christian may, with a clear conscience, participate in Taekwondo and other Martial Arts. As someone in full-time Christian ministry who is himself a practitioner, Christopher Hughes is well qualified to provide an authoritative answer.

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