Shalom to one and all...
Oriental Martial Arts Are Totally Kosher
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2007 by Ariel Bar Tzadok.
All rights reserved.
Do not be deceived by the attempts of uneducated extremists who are
perpetuating a deception only to advance their own hidden financial
I find myself in the very uncomfortable position of having to confront
a dangerous deception being presented under the guise of a legitimate
expression of Torah Judaism.
The study of Oriental Martial Arts has come under attack and falsely
condemned as being forbidden by Torah because of its alleged origins
in unclean and idolatrous sources. Such a claim is not only ridiculous
and untrue; it is offensive, racist and prejudice. Those individuals
perpetuating this falsehood are exposing their own ignorance of Torah
Judaism and are in violation of numerous Torah laws. It is forbidden
to speak slander and lies. It is forbidden to falsely condemn
something as illegitimate.
Unfortunately most Rabbis today, unlike their counterparts in previous
generations, have no education or exposure whatsoever into the belief
systems and philosophies of other cultures. Therefore, they have
absolutely no ability to recognize what is idolatry and what is not.
Many modern-day Orthodox Rabbis have no education in comparative
spiritual systems and therefore have no legitimate right to comment
Unfortunately, many modern-day Orthodox Rabbis will condemn anything
and everything that is ethnically different or foreign as being
“idolatrous,” regardless of whether or not it truly is. The old saying
holds true, little knowledge is greatly dangerous. When prejudice
rules, truth suffers.
Many of our Rabbis are guilty of being uneducated and prejudice
against that which they know nothing about. To make matters worse,
many are even proud of their ignorance and prejudice and boldly
proclaim their wanton beliefs like vomit, condemning everything
outside of their own little feeble points of view. It is so sad that
this perversion is done under the name and banner of Torah Judaism,
when in truth Torah Judaism teaches the opposite of what many of these
misguided teachers proclaim. This is a blemish upon our holy Torah and
a disgrace to the good name of Judaism and Jews.
This prejudice and outright violation of Torah laws does not reinforce
Judaism and protect Jews from foreign influences. On the contrary, it
only makes those Rabbis speaking such look like fools and they only
serve to flame the fires of anti-Semitism and Jew- hatred already
running rampant in our world.
Indeed, when these so-called Rabbis speak about things, which they
know nothing of, their transparency becomes almost immediately
apparent, and their legitimacy is quickly dismissed by anyone and
everyone who knows the subject at hand better than they do.
When Rabbis speak like fools, they are treated as fools. There is no
greater Hillul HaShem (desecration of Heaven) more than this. Only
when one speaks with wisdom and truth is one respected for what one
says. There is no greater Kiddush HaShem (honoring Heaven) than this.
Please take this admonition to heart. I do not want to enter further
into disputes. Nevertheless, the truth must be told, especially a
truth that is so very vital to our national and personal mortal
I condemn ignorance in all its forms. I condemn the ignorant that
perpetuate ignorance. If one has a legitimate statement of
condemnation about anything, then let the evidence be brought forth
and discussed in the open forum of truth, exposure, investigation,
analysis and intelligence. This is the Way of Torah and the honor of
Heaven (Kavod Shamayim).
Oriental Martial Arts are not only completely kosher and acceptable
for Torah observant Jews to study and practice, I would go so far as
to say they are an obligatory course of study and should be viewed as
part of Torah study itself.
I have already documented my sources to validate my opinions on this
matter. My online essay can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
I also have a audio CD lesson on the topic that is available in our
Shalom, Ariel Bar Tzadok