The Christian Black Belt Association was founded in 1970 by Soke Clement G. Riedner for the purpose of equipping Christians in using the martial arts to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Soke Riedner (or simply "Soke" to those who personally knew him) saw an opportunity to utilize the martial arts as a vehicle for evangelism recognizing that the martial arts community represents an unique sub-culture that can be best reached by other martial artists. While other Christian Martial Arts ministries and organizations exist, the CBBA is unique in that it has continued to operate since its founding without regard to specific denominational beliefs or structures. All Christians who accept basic orthodox Christian beliefs are welcome. We understand that the word "Christian" can mean many things to many people. For the purposes of evangelism and fellowship we believe that in order to be a "Christian" one must:
a) Admit their sin and acknowledge their need for salvation b) Accept Jesus Christ as the slain and resurrected Son of God and the only means of the Holy Spirit c) Experience the change brought about by that salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
It is with this understanding that the CBBA seeks to bring people to Christ and support Christian Martial Artists in their evangelistic efforts. We recognize that our individual members may employ differing methods to achieve this end and we embrace this diversity.
Soke also envisioned that the CBBA would bring together highly trained instructors to provide high quality education and training to its members. In its ongoing efforts to provide these services the CBBA has grown and expanded over the years. In 2002 the CBBAM (Christian Black Belt Association Ministries) was incorporated to provide a tax exempt canopy for all the various sub-divisions that have developed out of this original vision.
Founded in 1982, the Shiho Karano Kai International represents the first major expansion of the CBBA. During Soke's career traveling and teaching his own personal style (Nippon Shiho Karano Ryu®) he came into contact with many martial artists who could potentially benefit from the training and networking provided by the CBBA but who for various reasons did not desire CBBA membership. Seeing an opportunity to expand the potential reach and impact of the CBBA, Soke formed the Shiho Karano Kai International. The SKKI name was chosen since many of those individuals first impacted by the SKKI were students of Nippon Shiho Karano Ryu. Individuals holding a SKKI membership are free to transfer their membership to the CBBA at any time.
Though the CBBA and SKKI utilize different membership applications and maintain separate membership databases, they share in common services and resources housed under the CBBAM. Most notably, CBBA and SKKI members join together annually for the Koinonia Martial Arts Conference (“Koinonia” for short). Training and promotion for both the CBBA and SKKI are provided through the the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Martial Arts Divisions.
Individuals interested in applying for membership are invited to utilize our new online registration which you can access here: