The concept of self-defense is itself both unscriptural and anti-Christian. Some believers may argue this point, considering self-defense both justifiable and “Christian.” But even they must realize that the violent spirit of karate is neither!

A. It violates the Golden Rule, Matt.7:12.

B. It contradicts the direct commands of Jesus. For instance, He said: 1) love your enemies (Matt.5:44) 2) turn the other cheek (Matt.5:39) 3) resist not evil (Matt.5:39) 4) bless them that curse you (Matt.5:44) 5) do good to them that hate you (Matt.5:44), etc.

In fact, the alert reader will at once realize that both in practice and philosophy, the martial arts directly violates not only all of the aforementioned, plus at least half of the principles in the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount; i.e., being merciful (Matt.5:5); being pure in heart (5:8); being a peacemaker (5:9); etc.

And how do the following statements of Christ line up with the practice of the martial arts: “Listen, all of you. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you; implore God’s blessings on those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, let him slap the other too! If someone demands your coat, give him your shirt besides” (Luke 6:27-29).

Without a doubt these are hard sayings, but this is how Christ calls His followers to live. Is this the philosophy you will learn in karate? Turning your cheek, or kicking your adversary’s cheek? Surrendering your goods to the robber, or harming the robber if you can? After all, did Jesus teach and set an example of self denial, or self-defense?