Christianity and the Martial Arts - The First Martial Artist
"Martial Arts" is simply defined as the art of war. It consists of any technique designed and practiced for the purpose of combat with or without a weapon. Karate is a form of martial arts.
Basically karate is any form that does not employ a weapon, an "empty handed" martial art. We will explore this more later in this study.
A martial artist is one who practices martial arts. A karateka is one who practices karate. Each case it is a regimented practice with a proper focus and purpose. But what makes a true Martial Artist?
Cain was the first farmer, Genesis 4:2 and apparently made his own tools to "till the soil".
And he was the first murderer. He committed the murder, maybe, using one of his tools. But there is no indication that he practiced his technique. Nor is there any indication that there was any resistance on the part of Abel indicating a knowledge of fighting skills. Therefore, we can rule out Cain as the first martial artist.
Approximately eight hundred years, (supposition based on given ages and given history) and fourteen verses after the first murder in the Bible, a man called Tubalcain is born.
Genesis 4:22, And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
Tubalcain came the eight generation from Adam in the line of Cain.
The population of the earth had probably expanded markedly by then, but to what extent no one knows. Yet consider these numbers; Jacob went to Egypt with sixty nine (69) other family members, Genesis 46:27. Four hundred thirty (430) years later, the Exodus from Egypt took place. The Hebrews counted six hundred thousand (600,000) "men." This does not include their wives, children, servants and servants off-spring, Exodus 12:37-38.
Next, people lived longer in the days of Tubalcain. And, consider also, the ages of the men in that day became fathers. Genesis 5 indicates most were around one hundred (100) years of age.
At the time of the Exodus, and that period, the life span had been reduced. Jacob's total life span was one hundred forty seven (147) years, Genesis 47:28. Moses was one hundred twenty (120), Deuteronomy 34:7.
And last, at the beginning, people were not as prone dying by disease. Genetic problems had not come into play from inter-marriage as yet. But now man was being affected by his "environment."
These points are made to show several important facts. First, there were more than just a few families wandering around at the time. Second, when large groups of people get together, there is a power struggle. Look around you today.
As much as we try to teach our children not to fight, physical fighting has always been the end result when men do not agree.
By the time of Tubalcain, men had learned to "beat their plowshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears," Isaiah 2:4.
Tubalcain was a blacksmith, as is one meaning of his name. He worked in the metals of husbandry and war, brass and iron. A comparison of secular history with the Bible would show that man conducted his first wars in and around Tubalcain’s time period.
He came from a family acquainted with fighting. (His father Lamech was a wildman which his name implies.) Coming from this background and knowing his vocation, we may conclude that he made "weapons." And being from a fighting family, we may conclude he was taught and did teach others the use of the weapons he manufactured. It is our position martial skills were being taught at this time. He and his family are an example of good gone bad.
Tubalcain is recognized as a manufacturer of tools and weapons. He is the first person associated with these manufactured items. He is associated with fighting and fighting skills.
Tubalcain was the first martial artist named in the Bible. But, taking in the family and setting, we must assume he was not a proper martial artist. No where does it say he used what he knew for the work of God.