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The risks and dangers of martial arts practice - Page 3

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 5- False security, ego boost and arrogance

Many school claim that martial arts practice will enhance self esteem and self confidence in the practitioner, which is not a bad thing with a timid person but what about the arrogant and delusional one?

Self worth and self confidence can be enhanced by being good in any discipline; the difference with martial arts is that the skills backing up the practitioner’s arrogance can easily be misused. If someone brags about their skills in a game, sport or activity and meet another braggart, the worst that can happen is that they get beaten in that discipline. Getting beaten in chess, baseball or video games may hurt the ego, but won’t leave any lasting consequences.

When someone brags about their fighting abilities or otherwise feel confident enough to go pick fights over trivial matters, the consequences may sometimes be fatal. We all heard of the anecdotal tale of the black belt that got into a street fight only to get seriously beaten up. Word around the Montreal Karate community talks about a case where a karate champion*, used to beating people in bars, once fought and severely beat another patron of the bar, only to be ambushed by the victim and his friends, all armed with baseball bats. Needless to say, the karate champion lost this fight and along it, his life.

Would naturally arrogant people have the same level of confidence needed to pick fights had they never learned how to fight? Perhaps, they would since it was already in their personality traits, but there is no denying that martial arts helped them develop their in-born arrogance and self confidence.

* In respect to the deceased champion, his family, friends and Karate associations, his name was not used in this article.


6- Greed

The commercialization of martial arts opened the door to all kind of scams and money traps. To the uninitiated, identifying honest instructors from money hungry ones is not an easy task.

All those extras may help the instructor buy a new house.
picture taken from

Most martial arts schools legitimately require students to pay a fee for instruction. Tuition is used to pay for school expenses and to provide the instructor with financial compensation for his time. Profit oriented instructors may ask extra fees for uniforms, examinations, training gears and material, seminars, competitions, etc.


7- Self proclaimed masters

Identifying a good instructor is not an easy task. The lack of standards, teaching skill requirements and the lack of information about martial arts from the general public all facilitate the work of self proclaimed masters.

Could Rael, the self proclaimed prophet, claim himself as a master and create his own style of martial arts?
photograph taken from

The fact that an instructor created their own style and organization does not necessarily make them dangerous or fraudulent. It is correct to say that most great instructors were once novices who may have had to self proclaim themselves worthy of instructing people.

The problem arises when one questions the real motive behind the instructor’s self proclamation. More often than not, analysis of their organization’s structure and tend to lead to the conclusion that the instructor does not have the proper credentials to teach and that the sole purpose of the creation of his organization is to make money.

In order to differentiate themselves from other schools, some masters may use esoteric form of training they invented themselves, even if sometimes unknowingly harming their students in the long term.


8- Sexual predators: pedophiles


Just as in any activity or sports where an adult is in the position of authority and has unsupervised access to minors, there will be risks of abuse. The risk can be compounded with some standard activities associated with martial arts, such as out of town seminars and competitions. If you have children practicing martial arts, the safeguard against pedophiles is the same as in any other sport.

Image on the left: Pedobear: popular Internet meme, he is a symbol of pedophilia

  • Do not leave children alone and unsupervised. Go to the classes and bring some reading material or any other quiet hobby that can occupy you
  • If the children have to go out of town, accompany them or have a trusted adult accompany them.
  • Run a background check with the local police department or consult database listing sexual predators.


9- Martial arts may impede on religious beliefs.

Religion is always a sensitive subject which is often best avoided. Neither the author nor wishes to endorse or discredit any religion. It is every person’s right to believe what they choose to believe. We simply want to point out this aspect that may be the reality for some people.

picture taken from

According to Mike R. Taylor, a Christian pastor, martial arts training are indeed unsuited to his religious beliefs. Here are the main incompatible points.


    • The philosophy associated with martial arts (Zen, Taoism, Buddhism etc.) all has meditation common. According to M. Taylor, meditating is not something God meant to have human beings do and relegates it to occult practice.
    • Ki/Qi/Chi which he describes as a power does not come from God, so the power is necessarily “from the only remaining available source… the devil and the demonic spirits…”
    • The “one inch punch”, the “vibrating palm”, the ability to anticipate the opponent’s movement and the ability to control opponents the way Aikido masters do, must come from Alien sources that are actually controlling the practitioner.
    • Quoted from a text Mike R. Taylor wrote about self defense: “If you are a Christian and regard the Lord as your very present help in trouble, you will obviously bring the problem of self-defence to Him. As you ask Him to renew your thinking on the subject you will find your attituides revolutionized as your thinking becomes more conformed to God's. Regarding this particular attack-situation, in the split-second following an initial threat, the Christian will cry out to his Heavenly Father for help.”


Disclaimer: Hao Wong, the author of the present article does not care to comment on Mr. Taylor’s beliefs. There are others, like Russell Tardo who shares the same opinion. It is the author’s (Hao Wong) opinion that Mr. Taylor expresses his point of view with clarity, coherence and most important of all, respect.

Please note that not all Christians share this point of view and many embrace the practice of martial arts.

The inclusion of his point of view is only used to illustrate an example of how martial arts may be perceived as contrary to religious beliefs.


In the martiallife’s spirit of respect, openness and learning, please do not judge people based on their beliefs and opinions.


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Most photographs were taken from Wikipedia under the creative commons agreement.




Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:36  

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