by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
A religious young man asked:
I just wanted to ask your opinion, I found this on online, I don’t know if you ever heard of him, but he claims to have the techniques of the time of the avos (Hebrew Fathers). Do you have any idea if it comes from somewhere else, or it is true, if there are any problems with his teaching... “Biblical Warrior Arts”
Surely you have better things to do with your time.
Without commenting on this man or his system, know that when you spend your time involved in martial arts, you gain a militant headspace, and you walk around all day long looking for trouble to strike. You will have to watch out for yourself!
When you spend your time remembering G-d, you gain a spiritual headspace, and you walk around all day long looking for Jews to help…and G-d watches out for you!
Which way would you rather spend your day?
Reb Akiva adds:
Speaking purely as a system, martial arts are generally ok. They rarely involve any form of spirituality. (Some do involve methods of “focus”, generally in a non-spiritual fashion, though sometimes at the highest levels they suddenly switch to calling on entities for power.)
BUT…people often become obsessed with them. They delve into the surrounding culture and seek out moral principles related to them. They work to get into the martial head space and stay there.
Every Jew should learn the skills to defend themselves. But turning it into life’s focus is the path of Easav.
Tora DoJo offers a Jewish themed karate system in the U.S. and Israel, and Krav Maga is the Israeli designed mixed martial art with a focus on facing an armed opponent and now taught world wide.
The “biblical warrior art” you’re referring to is called Abir and is taught in Jerusalem, Israel. In specific answer to the question asked, “Do you have any idea if it comes from somewhere else, or it is true, if there are any problems with his teaching”, our blog commentors speak very well of the founder and as I said above, there’s generally no problem with martial arts and we have heard only good things about Abir.