View Full Version : Christians using the MA's to draw in the "unsaved"

8/01/2003 2:49pm,
Christian Black Belts mix POWER and PRAISE

July 31, 2003

The Marion Star

James Miller
Black belt instructor Dr. Nivar Rafael helps J.C. Shelp correct his stance during Taekwondo class at Trinity Baptist Church on July 23.

Edward Sell breaks bricks with his bare hands in this undated promotional photo.

If You Go ...
The Sell Team will hold a public demonstration at 6 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Baptist Church, 206 S. Main St. No charge will be sought at the door but guests will be asked for a love offering that will assist the Sell Team as it ministers in prisons, youth detention centers and military bases.

Area churches are finding it takes many things to draw people to their congregations. At least one Marion church is finding out it may be as hard as breaking some bricks. House bricks, that is, and concrete slabs, boards and anything else to which the martial arts team of Edward and Brenda Sell lay their hands. The couple, Taekwondo grandmasters and founders of the Christian black belt demonstration team the Sell Team, will take their mixture of power and praise to Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday. Ken Vincent, who started a martial arts class at Trinity, is a member of Edward Sell's U.S. Chung Do Kwan Association and arranged to have the team come to Marion. The team will meet with a class on Saturday and hold a public demonstration on Sunday.

Along with other Sell team members, Edward and Brenda Sell travel around the world breaking boards, concrete slabs and solid house bricks and swinging a samurai sword that is used to cut a watermelon off someone's stomach.

Both ordained ministers, they started using the martial arts in the early 1980s to draw unsaved people to Christianity.

Edward Sell tells about miracles in his life such as when he survived paralyses and near death experiences. "Many find the Lord who may not be reached in any other way," said Wilma Begley, Brenda Sell's mother and a member of the team's administrative office. Edward Sell became a 9th degree black belt in 1997, becoming the highest ranked non-Oriental to achieve the rank in Taekwondo. His wife is one of the first females in the United States to rise to the rank of grandmaster. Along with schools and churches, they recently received assignments through the U.S. Pentagon to perform at military institutions throughout the world including West Point military academy in October and Afghanistan in November. Heather Minnich, who will be in seventh-grade at Pleasant Junior High School, said she enjoys taking part in Trinity Baptist's program and looks forward to seeing Edward Sell.

"I think it's really creative, because people think if you're doing something in martial arts you're doing it to hurt somebody. That's not the reason he's doing it." Trinity Baptist Church has also been using Taekwondo to attract people to the church, though belonging to the church is not a prerequisite to taking part. Instructors said it goes beyond just learning how to fight. "For the kids it's a lot of self-confidence," said instructor Roger Archambault. "It teaches them discipline, respect for not only us but for one another, for rank." While it teaches self-defense, he said that's probably last of the principles to be stressed. "In the movies it's nothing but fighting," Archambault said. "Aggression is the last thing I have when teaching. If nothing else it calms the body. It doesn't teach aggression; it actually subsides it."

Vincent said the church has only had two minor incidents with anyone in its program being involved in fights outside of the church. He said the program teaches to strike and run. However, Vincent added, the world's not always a perfect place. "Biblically the world is not ruled by the good guys. It's ruled by the bad guys," he said. "As soon as all the churches guarantee everyone's safety we'll only do it for exercise."

Reporter Kurt Moore: 740-375-5151 or [email protected]


Edited by - kungfoolss on August 01 2003 14:51:29

4/01/2006 8:18pm,
Doubtless Edward Sell is a fine martial artist. But it seems his org is less than totally honest about its history. Back in the 1970s all the org's literature described Edward Bud Sell and Hyong Suk Sell (his first wife, a Korean) as co-founders.

Now his org's official history pretends she did not exist. Rumor says he got that marriage annulled in his church. But I'll bet it was a divorce as far as the State of Michigan is concerned. Personally I don't care either way. But it always irks me to see history tweaked in any slightest way whatever.

My instructor of that time, one Kent Bole, then a 1st dan, was very impressed with Hyong Suk. When the Sell's got divorced, the org split into unequal halves and our group stayed with the Hyong Suk contingent for a bit. Then I joined the US Navy and lost track of events.

Anybody know whatever became of Hyong Suk? Just curious.

Gan Starling
Kalamazoo MI