Robert Bussey - founder of Robert Bussey’s Warrior International and "the king of combat"

Robert Bussey: "When I was 9 years old, I became fascinated with the concept of being able to use my hands and feet as a means of self-defense, after reading a martial arts magazine from cover to cover.

I was small for my age and frightened of the world that surrounded me in the turbulent 1960s. When I was 11, my parents enrolled me in a martial arts class along with my brothers. In less than a month, I was not only hooked, but knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to dedicate my life to the study of the ancient arts.

I was instructing at 14, and opened my first of several commercial schools at the age of 15, along with a business partner and best friend. Over the course of years, I gained some notoriety by venturing into numerous styles, and achieving black belt degrees, while literally fighting my way to the top of the game.

I lived and breathed the martial arts and vowed to myself to be the best that I could be. There seemed to be no remedy for my obsession for skill and knowledge. After travelling overseas in search of the ultimate master, I survived dark alley fights in South Korea, and rigorous training and hardships in Japan. On one trip to the Orient, I was hospitalized and almost died. I mastered ancient techniques and became licensed in systems never before taught to non-orientals.

In fact, by the age of 24, I was running the largest Ninja training facility in the world. I was chastised by martial arts' masters in my community because of my youth, and at one point, was challenged to a death match by an Okinawan Sensei.

Through all of this, including numerous broken bones and surgeries, this search for knowledge and technique never quenched the hunger I felt for things deeper than tangible battle skills. Beyond basic attainable attributes associated with rnartial arts like selfdiscipline, confidence, and fitness, I wanted more. Years of practicing Eastern methods of enlightenment and warrior philosophy gave me inner peace and power.

At least, it felt like peace and power at the time. Little did I know that I was in bondage to the deception that martial arts could somehow bring about a true spiritual change in my life. As religious as martial arts can be, this prospect was not going to transpire.

After further endeavors in Japan, I found myself on the brink of joining the Buddhist priesthood, when I began to read a Bible written half in Japanese and half in English. To me, Christianity was merely one of the many religious pathways to get to heaven. Not really an original thought, now that I look back on it. In fact, that New Age ideology is more popular than ever these days.

Several members of my family had accepted Jesus into their hearts, but I didn't feel the need to do it myself. I was doing just fine without it.

When I returned to the States, I got into several discussions with members of my family about spirituality. Every time I would make a case, they would open the Bible and read a Scripture which caused me to rethink my viewpoint. "Was the Bible full of half-truths?" I thought.

"Was Jesus who He said He was or just a liar?" Was Christianity just a hoax? These questions weighed on my heart. It was the truth that I was after, and I decided that it was going to be "truth" that deserved my allegiance.

Being honest with myself, I knew I had a void in my life. I knew deep in my heart that something was missing. I began to think about the deliberate contradictions of my masters and the shallowness of their claims of peace and inner harmony.

I had no subversion of authority and yet the reality of their flawed perspectives seemed to jolt me. I asked myself, "Why are so many of these masters so empirical, so vain, and so rooted in a degenerating tradition?" In addition, question marks hung over the techniques themselves, and I thought, "if martial arts is for selfprotection, why are a majority of the techniques and forms handed down so unrealistic and unworkable in a real fight?"

Although I loved martial arts, my perfection of it did little to extinguish my spiritual yearning. One martial arts magazine branded me the "King of Combat", and soon I found myself trying to live up to that image every time I beat an opponent, someone else would take their place.

Whenever I mastered a new technique, I would invent a counter. The diversity of my talents as a warrior greatly expanded. Yet I was in a cycle and could not find closure in my journey to find real purpose in my life.

There was no doubt that martial arts had a lot of excess baggage, and there didn't seem to be any alternative. On the upside, I believe God was preparing me in some way. I began to redefine martial arts, not by combining ideas, but by creating new ones.

One night, after denouncing the validity of Christ to my sister, she offered to lead me in a simple prayer that would change my life forever. "Why don't you let God prove it to you?" she asked. "What have you got to lose?" I was very skeptical, but thought, "I´ll give it a shot" My words were short and sweet. "Jesus," I said, "if You are real, forgive me of all my wrongdoings and come into my life right now."

Well, He did ... in a big way. Instantly, I felt like I had become a new creature. His Spirit washed over me and changed my heart. I had never felt anything like it before. His free gift of salvation was the truth that completely set me free. I became free indeed. lt was like someone had lifted a heavy load off my back and I could stand up straight for the first time.

Finally, I realized that a Christian is not someone who claims to be perfect. A Christian knows that he can't be forgiven by being religious, humble, or by trying to be a good person. A Christian is someone who trusts in Jesus alone as forgiver of sins and giver of eternal life. No longer would I place my soul in the hands of intellectualism or warring practices.

From the get-go, some issues within the martial arts seemed unfruitfill and I tossed them out right away. Issues such as channeling universal powers using finger weaving, bowing to the spirits of deceased grand masters, and meditative chanting, all had no place in my life anymore.

But there were gray areas. What about the practice of fighting itself? What about the use of weapons? Perhaps the practice of any kind of martial arts was an abomination in the eyes of God. Well, that was definitely the view of almost every Christian I came in contact with, and they seemed to have Scriptures to back it up.

I decided to give the whole affair up to God and to do my very best to do the right thing. I began to read my Bible and study. Because my only allegiance was in finding out the truth, I had already decided to give up martial arts for Jesus, if need be. I did not, however, want to undo a work that God had ordained in my life, nor discard the talents that He blessed me with.

Early in my Christian walk, I learned to discern between "religious pressure" (to follow what the church deemed acceptable), and what seemed reasonable and Biblical. As realistic as my tactics of personal protection had become, my faith was mirrored with the same pragmatism. Through prayer and persevering study, I came to an understanding that skills of self-defense and life preservation are not only valid, but necessary in our sinful world.

There is a biblical difference between being persecuted and simply being victimized. The dangers of martial arts, I found, are in the abuse of physical skills, the false sense of security people gain after mastering noneffective tactics, their limited view of the scope of personal survival, and most importantly, in the indoctrinations of adverse spiritualistic practices.

I eventually came to the conclusion that I would continue to pursue the development of my skills, void from any comparisons from other martial arts. 
This pursuit led to the formalization of "RBWI" (Robert Bussey's Warrior International). I credit God for giving me the vision to formulate something never before attempted in the long, centuries old, history of martial practices.

To my knowledge, no book has been written about the martial arts from a Christian perspective. The prospect of doing so has been complex, rewarding, and of course controversial. In writing it, I have no avowed intention of changing anyones philosophy.

Because issues of personal morality are evident in every responsible individual, I wrote this book to attempt to explore an alternative perspective on martial arts in what is a growing ascendancy in selfprotection training. I myself, am not a religious man, as such, although I do indeed believe that I have found a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want to make it clear that I am not a Biblical scholar, nor am I any kind of theologian.

I am simply a believer not unlike millions of others, who desires to be bold enough to find truth in a cruel world. I have found the one true Master.

He is not a mystery, or a legend. He is a living God who has liberated me from the bondage of a counterfeit warrior lifestyle. Despite my many faults and flaws, I will continue to best serve Him and to stand tall in my attempts to present the most powerful form of realistic, personal defense the world has ever known."

You can visit Robert Bussey on his homepage.

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