“But now, he said, “take your money and a haversack. And if you don’t have a dagger, sell your cloak and buy one!”
Jesus warned his disciples that they would be labeled as criminals after his resurrection (Luke 22:37), and again, we find Jesus preparing his followers beforehand with a preparedness tip. Defensive weapons will be essential to all living in the last days before Christ’s arrival. In world affairs, we see increasing encroachment upon the right to bear arms in the United States. Despite what many desires to believe, it is not unthinkable that arms could be outlawed altogether in a fashion similar to what we see in Europe. Plenty of firearms will remain in the wind, but the majority may no longer have ready access to them.
Some other things to consider are that firearms make noise. So, in an urban environment, they are not always the best course of first action for defense. Guns require ammunition, which is heavy. While crossing dangerous areas on foot, a minimal loadout is your best friend as it permits swift movement as you progress toward your primary or alternate safe locations. A capable defensive pistol with a few spare magazines should be sufficient. Knives and stabbing weapons offer discretion and relative silence and are easily crafted from the urban landscape from various materials. But before delving into the creation of improvised tools for self-defense, let’s talk about your body as a weapon.
Self-Defense is a classification of martial arts. While all martial arts can claim they are a form of self-defense, not all self-defense systems can claim they are martial arts. Martial or military arts have come down through primarily Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Those influences come from cultural expressions and religious aspects that formulate each discipline’s artistic expression. Because of this influence, you will not find authentic Christian martial arts. Traditional martial arts risk the spiritual development of the serious Christian. I am a member of the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame. As a lifelong martial artist with black belts in multiple styles, I can attest that a godly person has no business immersing themselves in traditional martial arts.
Christian martial arts associations have popped up over the years many of which implement Bible study in their teaching curriculum. Still, they fall short of actually practicing an authentic Christian Martial Art. Such organizations merely sanction traditional arts, including their theories, traditions, and occult practices so long as they include religious modifiers in their programs. For a martial art to truly be a “Christian Martial Art,” it must not reproduce any of the worship methods hidden within the original traditional system, and it should not reproduce anti-Christian worldviews, traditions, or ceremonies.
One danger in traditional arts for example comes from Taekwondo. Many Taekwondo practitioners learn Tae Guek Poomsae (kata/ forms). The Tae Geuk patterns, according to the Kukkiwon Training Manual mimic the eight divination signs as represented upon the Korean Flag. Upon examining the Tae Geuk, you will discover it is a religion hidden within Taekwondo in honor of the Korean war god. Therefore, by moving through these worship patterns, it is taught traditionally that you summon the war god’s energy and power (divination). The Bible provides dozens of examples of divination and sorcery, and in every one, it is condemned. This type of teaching is pervasive in all Asian martial arts and many of Europe. So please be cautious of Christian martial arts groups that endorse traditional Asian arts as they have always been taught, touting ranks and lineage from the “source” of the art, for you are not getting a Christian art at all.
Christianity as a lifestyle is by and large marked with acts of non-violence and pacificism. The fact is, that God does not want us to initiate violence, but he wants us to train ourselves to master our emotions. He wants us to prepare our hearts to respond humbly when we are tempted with feelings of anger, jealousy, and rage. I believe studying self-defense instead of martial arts provides this kind of training. When you study the scriptures, you will find hundreds of examples of combative applications. These applications range from Cain murdering Abel with a rock (Gen. 4) and Jacob wrestling with Jesus (Gen. 32) to the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16). There are also many cases of Biblical self-defense, such as in the book of Nehemiah. As Nehemiah was rebuilding Jerusalem and tribal neighbors were seeking to carry out vigilante attacks on the Jews, he instructed his people: “Don’t be afraid of them. Put your minds on the Master, great and awesome, and then fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” (Nehemiah 4:14 MSG).
In this manner, we’ll examine self-defense so that we may fight for our brothers, sons, daughters, wives, and homes.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends
You do not need to achieve a black belt level in self-defense to be effective. The average person does not have much if any, self-defense training. If you can reach a paltry 20% efficiency, you can overcome 80% of the threats you will ever face. Meaning, you only need to have a solid foundation of basic skills. Strikes, kicks, grappling, and weapon usage are what's needed. Because it's not likely you will be able to train with me personally, here are three programs you can access nationwide or online to attain these skills.
Krav Maga, the Israeli self-defense system, is useful for the average person. It will teach you strikes, kicks, and defenses against common attacks.
Gracie Combatives, the 36 lessons up to Blue Belt, will allow you to dominate almost anyone in the average street fight. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is related to but is not competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but any grappling training is better than none at all.
Libre Knife Fighting or Filipino Combatives. Filipino-based combative start students out with sticks and knives. Once you gain a solid understanding of how to move your body concerning such weapons, you quickly realize that nearly everything is a weapon and can be manipulated in much the same way. Libre Knife Fighting offers a more direct and purposeful connection to self-defense and can be understood quickly.
This training pursuit will also help you get into better physical condition. Fitness plays into survival as much as anything, so train to be as functional and capable as possible and be at peace with that.