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Christian Martial Artists Series:

THE WEAKNESS OF THE WARRIOR (Part 1)

by Rev. Gary Findley

Copyright 2006 Soke Gray Findley; All Rights Reserved By Christian Kenpo Karate Association:

Call it pride or over confidence, or refer to it using a biblical phrase, "thinking more highly of oneself than he ought to " (Romans 12:3 ). The warrior becomes vulnerable whenever he thinks of and believes himself invincible. We have all witnessed it, someone gloating even before the battle or contest begins. If you think you can’t be beaten then you certainly can be.

Pride comes before a fall! The more puffed up with pride, the greater the fall. Is it not when fighters are at the top of their game that they are most likely to lose a contest through insufficient training or conditioning? In such instances they become over confident. Is it not as champion that they are most often taken by surprise?

Pride provides all the necessary conditions for the making of what the odds makers call an upset! For instance, take the heavyweight title fight (of some years ago) between undisputed Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis and middleweight Billy Conn. Surely Louis was over confident, after all, it would be easy for him to defeat Conn who was much smaller (lighter and shorter) than he himself was. However, for Louis the fight with Conn was anything but easy. Louis was decisively losing the fight which was extended into the very late rounds. As the fight was nearing the end, Louis struck out in desperation, finding and landing a knockout punch that made him the victor. But it was a hard fought victory at best. What’s more, Louis needed outside help in order to land that knockout punch. The help came from the over confidence of Billy Conn. The very thing (pride) that nearly cost Louis his title was the actual undoing of Billy Conn. Conn’s early success during the fight caused his confidence to increase. His confidence grew and grew with each successive round. This continued until an over confident (pride filled) Billy Conn decided that a victory by decision wouldn’t be enough. It was only during the execution of his ill advised plan to attempt to knock his sporting foe out that Louis was able to land the telling blow. We see this same kind of thing in the Karate studio. Ranked black belts become over confident during fighting sessions and are bested by their hungrier brown belt sparring partners.

There is still another reason why pride weakens the would be warrior. This is because ego gets in the way of a teachable spirit. Pride filled warriors figure there is nothing left for them to learn. They tell themselves that they have attained all they need to attain, and that there is no more need for improvement. This is contrary to most traditions of the marital arts. Most martial arts traditions consider martial development to be a life long process. The highest ranked practitioners know that they will be learning over the entire course of their lifetime.

It thereby becomes clear that the converse to what has been said is equally true. Humility is a great strength and adds to the success of the martial warrior. It leaves the warrior ever open minded to new strategies, principles, concepts and suggestions that which will add to his success. It elicits an attitude of dependency upon one another. The community of martial artists are thus enabled to share information in a mutual spirit of cooperation and exchange.


What is true of martial warfare is equally true of the arena of spiritual battle. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12) It is when we are most confident in ourselves that we lose most of our spiritual battles. The Christian life must be lived with a teachable attitude and with a great dependency upon God. As the children’s hymn so well illustrates, "little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but he is strong!"

Pride Filled-Christian is a contradiction in terms. Only as we humble ourselves will Christ raise us up. Then let us fight all our battles in humility and in submission to God. May his will be done in us. More will be written in Part 2 of THE WEAKNESS OF THE WARRIOR which will be coming soon.
 
 

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Membership  Inquiries may be submitted to CKKA; 887 Verde St; Shafter; CA 93263 or by email at chaplainfindley@yahoo.com.

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Christian Kenpo Karate Association Membership  Inquiries may be submitted to CKKA; 887 Verde St; Shafter; CA 93263 or by email at chaplainfindley@yahoo.com.