Teaches at Voyage, & TLC
Contact Barry at 269-808-6484
Head Instructor - 2nd Dan
I remember specifically when I accepted Christ as my savior. I was 12 years old and had tried to pray that prayer for 3 weeks in a row after hearing the message at church about Jesus. I had heard it ever since I was about 4 years old but it took some time to sink in. The first 2 Sundays I came home from church and closing my door to my bedroom and praying and I tried to get the words out to ask Jesus into my heart but something was holding me back. At the time I didn’t know what that was but of course today I know it was the evil one trying to stop me. That 3rd Sunday however was different. I actually blurted the words out audibly and at that moment had an enormous feeling of something flooding over my body. There was a sense of Goodness and a sense that I knew that I knew I had made a really good decision that day. That was many years ago. About 3 years later when I was 15 I had the nagging feeling that I really hadn’t made that decision and so committed my life to Christ again. I know today it was just a doubt that the enemy had tried to get me to believe.
I first began training in martial arts in 1974 while working on my MBA degree. One of my associates who I sat next to in one of our classes was teaching Taekwondo and he urged me to come out and try it. I had always enjoyed watching martial arts movies as a kid and had an interest in the smaller guy making the big bully leave him alone. I had also had an experience as a 3rd grader being picked on by a 6th grader almost every day at recess when the teachers weren’t looking. It was a scary experience and I really liked the idea of learning self-defense.
The martial arts training has helped me to maintain physical strength and stamina as well and more importantly pushed me to continue spiritual training. Maintaining physical strength, balance, and coordination is of utmost importance as we age. The training that comes from the spiritual aspect from Bible verse memorization to preparing short devotionals helps keep our minds on the most important things in life. As one of the parents of one of our students said “when I was his age there is no way I could stand in front of a group of people like this and do a devotional.” To me that is one of the more important things we can do to help others.
When I was asked to take over the teaching of these classes I was very reluctant to do so. However, after seeing the results of some students whose attitudes have been dramatically changed for the better and to see students who really are enjoying the activities, and to see them strive to do better and push themselves has been a great reward for me. I would hope that all of our students find our program one that will push them to do their very best.
One of my favorite Bible Scriptures is Proverbs 3:1-7 which states “My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments; 2 for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you. 3 Let not loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.