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Biblical Examples of the Five Codes of Tang Soo Do

by Melissa Ackerson

1. LOYALTY TO COUNTRY — Moses / Numbers 14


Moses was chosen to lead God's people out of slavery in Egypt through the desert and into the Promised Land. He presents a clear example of the first code of Tang Soo Do, loyalty to country.


Moses sent 12 men to spy out the Promised Land. When the spies returned, two of them men, Joshua and Caleb, rejoiced at the great land that was about to be theirs. Ten of the spies were fearful of the current residents and managed to spread their fear to all of the Israelites. After God had sent plague after plague on Egypt, parted the Red Sea, defended them from the Egyptians, made water come from a rock and food fall from the sky, they chose to believe the ten fearful spies rather than all powerful God.


God was angry at their unbelief and wanted to kill all the people and make Moses a great nation. But Moses was loyal to his country and did not look to promote himself over their well-being. He pleaded with God to forgive the people for their unbelief because of God's mercy. He pleaded that if God killed all of the Israelites, the Egyptians and all the other nations would hear of it and would say that God was unable to bring His people to the land He promised them.


"And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, The LORD [is] long suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing [the guilty], visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation]. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to my word: But [as] truly [as] I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD."

(Numbers 14:17-21)


God listened to Moses and did not kill the Israelites. Instead, He made then wander the desert until they died of old age. Their children and the two believing spies went on to claim the land that God had promised.


Moses is such an example of the first code of Tang Soo Do as he did not seek his own promotion but cared more for the well-being of his whole country and God's reputation among the other nations. An aspiring Martial Artist would do well to never allow the pursuit of her personal goals to ever take precedence over the well-being of her family, community, or country.


LOYALTY TO COUNTRY — Esther / Esther 7


Esther is another great example of the first code of Tang Soo Do. She was an Israelite living in Persia. She was chosen to be queen for King Ahasuerus. Her Uncle Mordecai found out that the king's aide was plotting to kill all the Israelites living in Persia. Truly, Esther had been placed in that palace for such a time and yet, it was dangerous. In Persia, no one could approach the king unless they are called and Esther had not been called to see him for thirty days. She urged her uncle and all their people to fast and pray on her behalf.


She approached the king, not having been called. If he did not extend his golden scepter, she would be killed. But, if she did not approach the king, all of her countrymen would be killed. The king did extend his scepter and listened to Esther relay the plan against her people:


"Then Esther the queen answered and said,

If I have found favor in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king,

let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:

For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish.

But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen,

I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage."

(Esther 7:3-4)


The king granted her request and saved her people. She is a great example of a woman who is loyal to her country. She could have stayed silent and lived the life of a queen but she put the lives of her countrymen ahead of her own and God was able to use her to save them from a wicked plan. An aspiring Martial Artist could be committed to remaining loyal to her country and allowing God to use her.


2. OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS — Jesus / Luke 2


Jesus is a perfect example of the second code of Tang Soo Do, obedience to parents. He was born to Mary and his earthly father Joseph. In Luke 2, we read that when Jesus was twelve, He and his family went to Jerusalem for the Passover as they did every year. Unbeknownst to Mary and Joseph, Jesus stayed behind as the rest of the family journeyed home. After they went a day's journey, they realized their Son was not with them. They returned to Jerusalem. After searching for Him three days, they found Him in the Temple talking with the leaders and demonstrating His amazing understanding of Scripture. They did not understand why He stayed behind or how He could have such a command of the Bible:


"And he went down with them,

and came to Nazareth and was subject unto them."

(Luke 2:51a)


Here is our Lord: fully God—omnipotent,, omniscient, omnipresent, and sovereign and yet, He chose to submit Himself to His parents because that is the protective, instructive, and loving environment that He designed for all children and young adults. Any aspiring young Martial Artist would do well to follow Jesus' example and to submit to her parents and any aspiring adult Martial Artist should treat their parents with honor and seek opportunities to serve them for even Jesus, as He was hanging on the cross, arranged for John to look after His mama after He was in Heaven:


"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother,

and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved,

he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple,

Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home]."

(John 19:25-27)




Ruth provides another example of the second code of Tang Soo Do. Ruth was from Moab. She married an Israelite who had come to Moab with his brother, father, and mother. In the course of time, Ruth's husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law all died. Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi urged Ruth to return to her father's home and his gods. Truly, in those days there was little opportunity for a young widow to care for herself. She could return to her father's home, re-marry, or be a prostitute, yet Ruth refused to leave Naomi. She insisted on returning to Bethlehem:


"And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, [or] to return from following after three: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people [shall be] my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there I will be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, [if ought] but death part thee and me."

(Ruth 1:16-17)


The women arrived in Bethlehem and God guided Ruth to the field of a man who was kin to Naomi. Ruth worked hard gleaning barley that the harvesters let fall to the side for poor people to gather. Ruth took care of Naomi and herself and married a godly man and had a son who was grandfather to King David and was in the lineage of Jesus!


Ruth provides a stirring example of obedience to parents. She could have taken care of herself and Naomi would have to fend for herself but Ruth loved her and stayed with her. An aspiring Martial Artist must care for their for their aging parents and trust that God will guide them and bless them.


3. HONOR FRIENDSHIP — Jonathan and David / I Samuel 18-23


The third code of Tang Soo Do is illustrated by the friendship of David and Jonathon. David was a shepherd who battled the giant Goliath, went often to the palace to play his harp for King Saul, became a mighty warrior for King Saul, and was anointed future Kind of Israel when King Saul disobeyed the prophet Samuel. Needless to say, King Saul was jealous of David:


"And Saul spake to Jonathon his son,

and to all his servants,

that they should kill David."

(I Samuel 19:1)


His son Jonathon, however, was best friends with David. The two young men became close friends after Jonathon observed David's faith in action when he defeated Goliath. The Bible commands us to walk with the wise:


"Then Jonathon and David made a covenant,

because he loved him as his own soul."

(I Samuel 18:3)


And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways

and the Lord was with him."

(I Samuel 18:14)


As King Saul's jealousy grew, his attacks on David's life increased from an "accidental" javelin throw to an all-out chase in the wilderness. Yet each time, Jonathon honored his friendship to David and warned him and spared his life.


Jonathon could have allowed David to be killed and then he would have been the next in line for the throne but he honored his commitment to his friend. An aspiring Martial Artist may look to this example to inspire herself to choose godly friends and honor those friendships.


HONOR FRIENDSHIP — Rahab / Joshua 2-6


An unlikely woman serves as another example of the third code of Tang Soo Do. As Joshua led the people of Israel to the Promised Land, they came upon Jericho, a walled city. Joshua sent out two spies to sneak into the city and scope out possible ways of attack. The two spies came to a woman in Jericho, a harlot named Rahab. She allowed the spies to stay at her house.


The king heard that she was harboring spies from Israel and demanded that she turn them over. Instead she hid them on the roof and told the king that the spies already left by way of the Jordan. She let the spies down through a window and they escaped another way, to the mountains. When Israel conquered Jericho, Rahab and her family were spared.


Rahab honored her friendship to the two spies, recognizing that God was with them:


"And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land,

and that your terror is fallen upon us,

and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you."

(Joshua 2:9)


The spies honored their friendship with a harlot who had spared their lives:


"But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country,

Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath,

as ye sware unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out

Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had;

and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.

And they burnt the city with fire, and all that [was] therein; only the silver, and the

gold, and vessels of brass and of iron, they put in to the treasury of the house of

the LORD. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household,

and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel [even] unto this day;

because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho."

(Joshua 6:22-25)


An aspiring Martial Artist must choose godly friends and remember that God can and often uses those who may not be the strongest, the greatest, the wisest or the purest so that He is gloried:


"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God

hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

(I Corinthians 1:27-31)

4. NO RETREAT IN BATTLE — Young David / I Samuel 17


A young shepherd boy provides a rich example of the fourth code of Tang Soo Do. David was the youngest son of Jesse. His job was to care for and, if necessary, protect the sheep. He often passed the time playing his harp in praise to the Lord.


One day, his father told him to bring supplies to his older brothers who were serving in King Saul's army, battling the Philistines. When David arrived on the battlefield, he was appalled at the situation, for a Philistine giant named Goliath stood mocking the Israelite army and God. The men in the Israelite army were all scared to fight Goliath but not David:


"And David said to Saul,

Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine."

(I Samuel 17:32)


The king could not believe the courage that this boy could have but David explained that as a shepherd, God had allowed training opportunities such as fencing off attacks from a lion and a bear:


"Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, the LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. and Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee."

(I Samuel 17:36-37)


David had confidence in the training that God had given him and he trusted that God would help him defend His name among the Philistines. David did battle with bravery and incredible wisdom for though the giant chose to fight with an up-close weapon—a sword—David chose to use a weapon that could be effective from a distance, a slingshot. David easily killed the giant and brought God glory.


He is an excellent example to an aspiring Martial Artist of no retreat in battle. An aspiring Martial Artist would do well to practice proper techniques regularly so that like David, she will trust in the skill God has developed and not be tempted to retreat in battle.


NO RETREAT IN BATTLE — Deborah / Judges 4


It is assumed across most cultures that a man should defend and protect and a woman is to be

protected. What if the men are not willing or available to defend and protect? We see this very situation in the life of Deborah and she provides an excellent example of the fourth code of Tang Soo Do, no retreat in battle—even if you are a woman.


Deborah was a wife, judge and prophetess during a time of rebellion in Israel. The people of

Israel had rebelled against God and God allowed the king of Canaan to enslave them. God told

Deborah to send for Barak and to charge him to lead the battle for freedom against Canaan.

Barak, however, did not want to lead the battle. He pleaded with Deborah:


"And Barak said unto her,

If thou wilt go with me, then I will go:

but if thou wilt not go with me, [then] I will not go."

(Judges 4:8)


Deborah did go with Barak but had to tell him what to do:


"And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this [is] the day In which the LORD hath delivered

Sisera Into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from

Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him."

(Judges 4:14)


Deborah exemplifies no retreat in battle because she saw a need for a leader to battle the

Canaanites but the chosen leader was reluctant to lead. So she took the lead and won the battle for the Israelites. An aspiring Martial Artist must never expect others to always be available or willing to defend and protect her. She must strive to train in the proper techniques of Tang Soo Do so that if she must battle, she will not retreat.




David provides yet another example of a code of Tang Soo Do, the fifth code. David has faithfully served King Saul from defeating a giant to playing the harp to soothe the king's frazzled nerves to leading his army to many victories. King Saul was jealous of David and sought to kill him.


He tried to get his son Jonathon, then his servants, and then his daughter who was David's wife to kill him but all recognized that God was with David and they refused. So King Saul and his army pursued David and his supporters through the wilderness. David had to rely on the kindness of others for food and sought refuge in caves.


One night during the pursuit, unknowingly King Saul spent the night in the same cave as David and his men. During the night, David snuck over and cut a corner off the king's robe even though David's men urged David to kill Saul.


In the morning, David confronted Saul:


"David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and [some] bade [me] kill thee: but [mine eye] spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he [is] the LORD'S anointed. Moreover, my father, see yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that [there is] neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I nave not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee."

(I Samuel 24:8-12)


David could have listened to his supporters and killed the king and since God had chosen him to be the next king, he could take over the throne. But in fighting, he chose with sense and honor. He trusted that God would protect him and avenge him against King Saul and promote him to king in His time.


An aspiring Martial Artist should take note of David's response and remember that she is being trained to, if she cannot walk away from a fight, block first. If necessary, she must choose a defense that is sensible for she is being trained on how to attack all the vital points on an opponent's body. With her knowledge comes great responsibility and in fighting, she must choose with sense and honor.


IN FIGHTING, CHOOSE WITH SENSE AND HONOR — Mary Magdalene / Matthew 27-28


Mary Magdalene is a great example of the fifth code of Tang Soo Do. As Jesus performed his earthly ministry, the Bible tells us that many women traveled with them caring for their needs. After Jesus healed Mary Magdalene of demons, she, too, traveled around with our Lord.


When Jesus was arrested, most of His disciples fled from his side. Even Peter, when asked if he was one of Jesus' disciples, vehemently denied it. As Jesus hung on the cross, His disciple John and the group of women that traveled with Jesus were near the foot of the cross. When His body was taken down, the women took note of where His body was laid. They went home and began preparing the spices for his burial.


When it was just beginning to dawn, we read that:


"In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead [men]. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and , behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him; lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word."

(Matthew 28:1-8)


To be sure, there was a battle raging, a spiritual battle. So many fell away when our Lord was crucified but Mary Magdalene stayed in the battle by remaining at the cross, preparing for the burial, and going to the grave as soon as it was light. In fighting, she chose with sense and honor and was blessed to be able to spread the good news that our Lord had risen from the dead.


An aspiring Martial Artist must emulate Mary Magdalene and choose with sense and honor, never forgetting that an unseen spiritual battle rages and she must fight in a way that is wise and brings glory to God.

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