Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
– Matthew 28:19
Combat Team Roots’ goal is to establish roots in the communities we partner with. Through collaboration, we hope to empower these communities to build up teams of their own to work at the local, national, and eventually international levels to spread the Gospel Message.
The local level is first achieved through equipping and establishing Martial Arts schools in the community. Often this is targeted in underprivileged areas and focuses mainly on children. We want children to have a safe space to not only learn the Martial Arts but to learn more about God. Students, young and old, learn to build and train their mind, body, and spirit.
The path of a Martial Artist is in line with the path of a Christian. There is a focus on self-improvement, discipline, respect, community-mindedness, self-defense, goal setting and achievement, honor, self-confidence, physical fitness, flexibility (mental and physical), as well as fellowship. These help the students build their minds and body.
Each class begins with prayer. We work with the local ministries or organizations to establish bible lessons and scripture memorization. Depending on the best fit for their needs, this will often involve a small portion of the class where scripture is worked on and often explained before physical training continues. A Bible lesson is then taught, often before or after the Martial Arts class.
We use a stripe system, where students earn colored stripes that can be put onto their belts as achievements. This brings everything together, as to advance in your belt rank you need to not only display what you have learned physically but demonstrate through actions you have learned mentally and spiritually. The amount and type of stripes may vary in different communities depending on what their needs are. These stripes tend to be:
When possible, we work to find people in the community that can make belts and even uniforms. This helps provide money to the community, and will often be a better solution to providing belts for rank advancement.
When there is a belt advancement ceremony, it is used as a chance to bring in the families of the students and to be a ministry time. Not only do they get to see the students perform some of their techniques, but they get to hear about the love of God and the Gospel Message. In some cases, food is even provided.
Combat Team Roots’ Members are instructors who teach instructors. We go into the communities and teach people, often with no prior knowledge of Martial Arts, to be instructors. This often involves going in for a week or more and intensively training individuals. Sometimes it may require more than a single trip, but once they are at a level and have successfully tested, they then begin the process of teaching students.
Instructors will continue to go back to these communities on a fairly regular schedule. We continue to teach, appraise, and improve the local instructors. In addition, check to see what other needs there might be, and how we can solve these needs.
A full curriculum is provided to teach from, as well as training videos that can be referenced for training between trips. Through various social media platforms, often WhatsApp, local instructors can contact a Combat Team Roots’ Instructor and often get feedback or a quick video to explain techniques if they are having trouble.
From Jonathan “JP” Potter:
During 2013 God had been working on my heart. He had brought to my attention how one Evangelist had a team member that went a week before and stayed a week after a big crusade. I felt God calling me to do something similar, though I wasn’t quite sure what at the time. It seemed clear to me that God was telling me I would be traveling more than the regular Combat Team did.
In October of 2013, we traveled to Ghana, Africa. It was a unique trip in many ways. During this trip, it was very apparent that they were very interested in the Combat Team’s way of presenting the Gospel and wanted to know more. I talked with Brian Bryan about it and we prayed, and then decided that I would come back in December for three weeks and train them.
This was when my travel schedule changed, and I started to focus on coming regularly to Ghana for two weeks at a time. That next year we met some people that had a children’s home in Belize. Soon after I was traveling there to start a program as well.
Now I plan to take 12 to 15 trips a year with a schedule where I am gone for 10 days and back home for 11 days. God is good, and I look forward to seeing how He will continue to grow this ministry and the new contacts I will make.
If you would like to team up with us please contact is at:
Combat Team Ministries
P0 Box 54515
Tulsa, OK. 74155