“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 “He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
3 “A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 “He will not be disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”
5 Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk in it,
6 “I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
7 To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
8 “I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
9 “Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
Sing His praise from the end of the earth!
You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it.
You islands, and those who dwell on them.
11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices,
The settlements where Kedar inhabits.
Let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud,
Let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord
And declare His praise in the coastlands.
13 The Lord will go forth like a warrior,
He will arouse His zeal like a man of war.
He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry.
He will prevail against His enemies.
14 “I have kept silent for a long time,
I have kept still and restrained Myself.
Now like a woman in labor I will groan,
I will both gasp and pant.
15 “I will lay waste the mountains and hills
And wither all their vegetation;
I will make the rivers into coastlands
And dry up the ponds.
16 “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know,
In paths they do not know I will guide them.
I will make darkness into light before them
And rugged places into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will not leave them undone.”
17 They will be turned back and be utterly put to shame,
Who trust in idols,
Who say to molten images,
“You are our gods.”
18 Hear, you deaf!
And look, you blind, that you may see.
19 Who is blind but My servant,
Or so deaf as My messenger whom I send?
Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me,
Or so blind as the servant of the Lord?
20 You have seen many things, but you do not observe them;
Your ears are open, but none hears.
21 The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake
To make the law great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered and despoiled;
All of them are trapped in caves,
Or are hidden away in prisons;
They have become a prey with none to deliver them,
And a spoil, with none to say, “Give them back!”
23 Who among you will give ear to this?
Who will give heed and listen hereafter?
24 Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers?
Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned,
And in whose ways they were not willing to walk,
And whose law they did not obey?
25 So He poured out on him the heat of His anger
And the fierceness of battle;
And it set him aflame all around,
Yet he did not recognize it;
And it burned him, but he paid no attention.
This website was created to minister to God-fearing people who are deeply entrenched in the Martial Arts and may be questioning their involvement in this area. I pray you might browse through this website with a heart that is open to a greater desire to know, obey and love the Lord, Yeshua as your Savior and Master.
The ministry of this website is a labor of love toward my King and Master - Yeshua.
It is my privilege and blessing to encourage a thirst for truth among all who are serious about their journey toward the Kingdom to come...Our blessed Hope!
~ Donna Russert
MARTIAL ART TESTIMONY
This is the testimony of how, after 20 years of committed and rigorous training, practice and teaching, I left the Martial Arts and why.
That decision was based upon an opening of my understanding that required my loving obedience to the Savior and Lord of my life - Yeshua Messiah.
My prayer, is that the information found here would, by the power of the Holy Spirit of God,
cause those whom He is calling out, to hear and obey His voice.
This is my bio, for martial arts. I struggled with leaving it public and for a time removed it from the Internet. I pray now, that it will serve as a testimony to bring credibility to what I am about to share.
Sifu Donna Russert (Principal Instructor)
Martial Art Background:
I began my martial art studies in 1994. I started with Tai Chi Quan and over the course of approximately the next 15 years, expanded into a variety of styles including, but not limited to: Southern Shaolin Kung Fu, Five Animal / Five Family, Hung Gar, Taiji Quan (Traditional & Contemporary), Northern Wushu, Qin Na, Bagua Zhang & Wing Chun.
Beginning my studies later in life, my martial skills were honed by spending long hours with my instructors on a daily basis over the course of many years. Through diligence, a strong work ethic, intense study, hard training and an almost insatiable desire to achieve - I became a well-rounded, proficient and skilled practitioner and teacher.
I began my formal teaching career in 1998 and went through a rigorous training to first earn assistant instructor status. While teaching hundreds of classes and gaining immeasurable experience as a teacher, I continued to gain more skill in the art itself. After 8 years of intense training, I entered into an even more rigorous Black Sash Testing Cycle lasting 16 weeks. I passed the preliminary and final exams to achieve my advanced degree of Black Sash in 2002. Upon earning my Advanced degree of Black Sash in Shihe Quan Kung Fu, the Grandmaster of that system awarded me the coveted title of Sifu and the highest teaching rank in our school; Head Instructor.
Within only 3 months of this milestone achievement in my life, my Grandmaster and I had a very ugly and lasting falling out, that resulted in an immediate severing of ties. Shortly after this break, I was approached by two extremely well respected and renowned teachers, who adopted me into their fold. I continued my formal training, with an even deeper intensity than ever. I trained extensively with my primary Shaolin teacher, Sifu Louis Diaz, with whom I increased my skills in the traditional art of Five Animal/Five Family Kung Fu. I simultaneously trained diligently with my primary Taiji Quan Teacher, Sifu W.C. Bey, who provided complementary training in Shaolin Body Mechanics and diverse methods of breathing and flexibility training. This training built upon the basic foundations that I had previously attained through my former Grandmaster. I had also participated in numerous seminar trainings with several renowned and highly skilled martial artists such as: Dixon Fung, Raul Ortiz, the late Zhang Luping, Norman Smith, Jamal El and Christopher Viggiano, to name a few. I was also among those who met and trained at seminar with both T.T. Liang and Master Jou Tsun Hwa at the original Tai Chi Farm, prior to their passing.
Competing in dozens of tournaments over my years on the competition circuit, I gave many gold, silver and bronze medal performances at both local and international tournaments. These included empty hand forms, fighting sets and weapon forms at some of the more renowned competitions on the East Coast, such as: The Wong Fei Hung Tournament and The US International Kuoshu Tournament.
I held membership in a number of professional organizations such as NAPMA (National Association of Professional Martial Artists) and ACMA (The Cooper Institute’s, American Council on Martial Arts). I was certified in a number of genres including CardioKick through NAPMA, Primary Group Fitness Instructor through AFAA, as well as advanced certifications in Taiji, and certification in TaiChi for Arthritis through Master Paul Lam. I was a certified Speaker and Level II Instructor with The Arthritis Foundation having delivered the Discoveries Program and The Tai Chi from the Arthritis Foundation Class as an outreach to hundreds of people in the community. In 2010, I was inducted into the United Fellowship of Martial Artists (UFofMA) Hall of Fame and recognized as Southern Shaolin Instructor of the Year.
I was co-founder of The Phoenix Academy of Martial Arts (name changed to Christian Academy of Shaolin Martial Arts in 2012). The academy was founded in 1998 as a commercial venture until 2005, when it became a Private/Semi-Private Studio. During my tenure as Sifu & Head Instructor at the Academy, I was responsible for curriculum development and implementation, as well as maintaining instructional staff standards of proficiency. Over the years, I gained even more diverse teaching experience in numerous outreach programs for kids and teens in a variety of venues such as summer camps, gymnastics clubs, and public school recreational programs. My resume included teaching thousands of classes with students of all ages and levels, from beginner through advanced ranks. I also served as the primary coach to members of the school's National Competition Team and the academy also hosted the Annual Kung Fu Training Retreat, held at Wildwood Crest, NJ for 10 years.
From 2004-2014, I enjoyed a prolific career teaching and promoting Tai Chi and QiGong within the Fitness and Wellness environment. I worked for 10 years in that industry and taught many hundreds of students from beginner empty hand skills to advanced weaponry.
In early 2014, the Lord abruptly and violently shook my world, using the most creative, shocking and even painful ways necessary, to open my blind eyes to see and deaf ears to hear the truth about that which I had dedicated the last 20 years of my life learning, practicing, teaching and promoting.
At the end of this page, I will share the resources that the Lord brought to my awareness to show me His truth and rescue me from an idolatrous and occultic ensnarement that had been smoldering in my life.
Once again, I want to say that I struggled with leaving these photo's up, because I did not want to appear as self-promoting or draw attention to myself. But, the fact of the matter is that in my desire to share with other advanced martial artists, I am compelled to show my resonance with their situation. This is why I feel it is important for any serious martial artists to know that I am the real deal and can empathize with their own struggle with this decision. In my own quest to know if my involvement was displeasing to Father, I could only find well-meaning people who could not speak the language of a martial artist, nor could they adequately convey a logical or biblical argument for the stand that they were trying to prove. any serious martial artist reading this, will want credible evidence that my training and skill in the Martial Arts was authentic. My hope is that the quality of my postures and accuracy of line, will give some indication as to the depth of my training and demonstrate that I was a serious martial artist, dedicated to a system of training and teaching that I had fully intended to practice and teach for the remainder of my life. The photos are limited to a lineage, a few postures and some group shots with my teachers and a few local martial artists with whom I was friendly. I do not have any photos of my certificates or any of my ceremonial activities through the years, as I have eradicated them from my life, prior to making this testimonial page. I am no longer in possession of my certificates, medals, weapons, uniforms or credentials, of any kind.
I have not compiled a full testimony about how all of this came about (and I'm not sure yet, whether I will or not), because this is not a story about me. I have only shared what I have about myself, to provide credibility about my participation and commitment to martial arts, for those who would require it (just as I did when I was seeking the Truth).
At the completion of the year 2017, I decided to add the more detailed testimonial for those who are interested: CLICK HERE
My journey from entry into martial arts to renunciation was long and riddled with doubt. Over the twenty years pf practice and teaching, I periodically questioned whether my involvement in the martial arts was acceptable to my God. Sadly, I searched and searched, but never found anyone able to truly explain to me Biblically, why it was displeasing to Father. So I did what many of you are possibly doing - I ignored the nudging of the Holy Spirit and continued to justify my involvement because of a lack of adequately persuasive people who could provide Biblical evidence to direct me to the contrary. That is - until February of 2014. Within the course of 1 week, the Lord brought me from being completely entrenched and steeped in the martial arts to a complete and utter renunciation of them.
These are links to resources that were very influential in my own journey out of the Martial Arts. I hope that the Lord may use any one or more of these to speak to your heart about the truth of what is included in the seemingly honorable and well-accepted practice of the martial arts.
I mean no disrespect to anyone that I know who is still involved with martial arts, I only pray that you too might be given eyes to see and ears to hear what the True God may be trying to tell you about this dangerous and captivating activity.
This resource was the MOST influential of all, which is why I am placing it first:
This is a link to a very powerful movie by a treasured brother in the Lord
and the author of the previous article:
This is an article that broke the ice for me:
CLICK HERE FOR PDF
I will add more resources to this list as the Lord provides and leads.