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I am saved but do karate. Are martial arts sinful?


Thank you for this interesting question. I am no expert in martial arts, or their history. I do understand that some of them have very heavily religious affiliations. I hope that these three questions can help you to identify if martial arts are against God's will:

Question 1. Does it involve any other form of spiritualism or worship of false gods?

"You shall have no other gods before me.
"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them". (Exodus 20:3-5)

The scripture above teaches that worshipping any other gods is wrong. However there are also times when we create a god in our life; anything that replaces God as number one in our life is idolatry.

Question 2. Does it encourage you to be angry / violent in an inappropriate way?

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. (James 4:1-2).

If the practice causes you to be angry, unkind, aggressive or hurt others then these verses would suggest that it is wrong. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Question 3: Does it take up so much of your time as to distract you from other things that God would like you to participate in?

If your art or anything else becomes a bigger focus than God, or to our responsibilities to family, community, church or work, then we may be idolising it and need to consider laying it down.

In summary I would encourage you to consider praying about it. Does your conscience before God allow you to participate? Perhaps the reason you are asking this question is that you know it is wrong? I do not know enough about the details of specific martial arts to answer you fully yes or fully no. I would also like to encourage you to speak to a local Church leader about this issue.

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at

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