" First, I did not want to enroll my children or myself in a martial arts school that promoted the use of violence as a good in-and-of-itself. There are some folks who take a martial art because they're motivated by an inordinate pride and love for violence, and I suspect there are a few martial arts schools that cater to and cultivate that kind of cocky and aggressive mentality. I want my children to be able to defend themselves from bullies but don't want them to become bullies. Hence, I was impressed the first day I visited Shihan Beckham's dojo and heard him explain that the first and wisest method of self-defense is, when possible, to avoid a fight rather than to engage in a fight. Walking, or even running, away is not necessarily a sign of cowardice, but it may be a demonstration of wisdom and self control. This agrees with the reading of scripture where we read, "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city" (Prov 16:32, NIV).
Secondly, I did not want a school that simply provided a commercialized version of a martial art where students are gained and retained by keeping the standards low and making advancement from one belt to the next quick and easy. In my mind, the art of self-defense is more than a tournament sport or a friendly game of sparring. It can be a matter of life or death. So I wanted me and my children to be prepared for more than winning a "trophy". I want us to be as prepared as possible against real threats against our life and the life of others. As King Soloman notes, "A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences" (Prov 22:3, NLT). With this in view, I chose the Aikido School of Self Defense because Beckham Sensei takes his calling and the art of Aikido seriously. He maintains high standards and does not allow his assistant instructor or students to think too highly of their skill. Consequently, promotion must be earned on the pathway of hard work, perseverance, and humility.
Thirdly, I chose Aikido because, in keeping with the teachings of Jesus, I wanted my children and myself to learn a martial art that teaches us how to use lethal force if necessary but allows us to apply a softer form of self-defense when warranted. If someone is trying to take my life, or the life of another, I may need to use that lethal force. On the other hand I may not.
Fourthly, I chose the Aikido School of Self Defense because Shihan Beckham loves and respects his students and his students find it easy to reciprocate. He's not only a competent martial artist, he's a principled Christian man who seeks to develop not only the physical skills of his students but who endeavors to cultivate in them inner qualities as well. He doesn't push his Christianity on others. Neither is he ashamed of Christ nor afraid to encourage his students to live lives that are pleasing to God."