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Principles and practice of physical and spiritual defense

By Janiah X -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Aug 3, 2017 - 9:04:59 AM

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Members of the Nation of Islam nationwide attended the 22nd annual National Training seminar in St. Charles, IL.

Members of the Nation of Islam traveled from near and far to be part of the 22nd annual National Training Seminar held in St. Charles, Illinois, situated 40 miles west of Chicago.

Organized by Grandmaster Anthony Muhammad, the Nation of Islam’s National Trainer and Student Assistant Supreme Captain, and founder of the United Schools of Survival Federation, the seminar aimed to teach participants about  various fields of security and get them onto the path of training in self-defense. This year’s theme was “Protecting the Houses of Worship.”  The weekend also included an enlightening and powerful message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. 

Anthony Muhammad said he was blown away that this year marked the 22nd year. “I have been almost every year considering the possibility of not moving to the next year,” he said. This year’s conference was held on July 22 -23.

“Even though I go through the motion, but I just have had this spirit that I’m operating off of him [The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan] and how he moves and what his intention is for us,” said Student Captain Anthony Muhammad.

During the two-day conference, participants enjoyed various workshops ranging from topics such as spiritual readiness, conflict resolution, health and wellness, and extraction. F.O.I. (Fruit of Islam) Captains in the Nation of Islam also gathered at the seminar and conducted individualized workshops.

Student Assistant Supreme Captain and National Training Director Anthony Muhammad. PHOTOS: HAROON RAJAEE

On Friday, Student Supreme Captain Mustapha Farrakhan brought three pioneers of the Nation of Islam from New York who have been followers of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad since the ‘60s. Brother Khalid Ali, who used to be known as Louis 17X, was the former Dean of Boys at Muhammad University of Islam in New York. He also used to take Brother Mustapha and his brothers back and forth to school. Brother Aziz Munir who used to be known as Norton X became  lieutenant in New York. Brother Wali Sharief who used to be known as John 81X was an instructor of the martial arts.

“It was a joyous day, it was wonderful,” said Brother Aziz Munir. “To see the faces of people I hadn’t seen in about 30 or 40 years. It was just a beautiful time.” Brother Sharief, when addressing the seminar could not hold back tears. “It was an honor to train among the people of this generation,” he said.

On Saturday, Min. Farrakhan visited the seminar and addressed participants with a timely message. “Since the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who cared about Western man and what he did to the Indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere?” said Min. Farrakhan. “When Western man came out of Europe and found North and South and Central America, Native people were here. They didn’t discover this for the Indigenous. They discovered it for themselves. Would a merciful God forget about us?”

Minister Farrakhan told of his experiences when he last visited Mecca and how the Muslims treated him like royalty.

“They sat me where the king sits,” Min. Farrakhan said. “And the young people, like you, who saw that Farrakhan was there, they broke down a barrier to get to me. Not to harm me, but just to touch me. Should a merciful God overlook our suffering and allow Arabs who did not think much of us to be our teachers? Would a merciful God look over Arab hatred for the dark-skinned people of the earth and allow them to be our teachers and a false master for us? No, a merciful God, the most merciful of those who show mercy would come Himself.”

Minister Farrakhan said he was grateful to be at the seminar. “I’m so grateful to Allah to be here with you, young warriors. And some older ones who have not lost the spirit and mind of a master and a warrior,” Min. Farrakhan said. He also spoke about the spirit to defend ourselves.

“We can’t be milquetoast Christians, or milquetoast Muslims, or milquetoast Hebrews and you don’t have the spirit to fight for what you believe!” he said.

The weekend also included an appreciation and awards banquet. Martial arts experts from around the country provided in-depth training in various self-defense techniques.  Men, women and children were provided with an experience to remember.

A large focus during the weekend was placed on the younger members of the Nation of Islam and training them to take over various forms of security.

Mark Muhammad from Louisville, Kentucky, had the opportunity to work with the E-Team and said that was his favorite part of the weekend.

“It’s like … words can’t even explain it,” he said. “They really prepare you for you to really dig deep down into yourself and become more than what you already are, but from a spiritual, from a loving standpoint, so that’s one of the greatest benefits about that.”

This year was Sabbath Muhammad’s second year attending the training and she said she saw much self-improvement. “This training truly is amazing,” she said. “It’s improvement, self-improvement, the basis for community development. So it’s pushing you to really improve your own being, your personal being and once you get that, you got your brother. It’s really the starting of a new Nation. That’s what I see in this year of the training. This training, I really see improvement of each individual.”

Charlotte Muhammad traveled from Milwaukee, Wisc., to be part of this training.

“Of what I did experience, it was very informative, very uplifting, very educational. It gave me some renewed spirit and hope,” she said.  “The women’s only seminar stuck out to me the most because it really gave me a chance to release things that I’ve been trying to hold on to unnecessarily. It put me in the right frame of mind to accept the actual training and getting on the mat, hitting the mat, getting up. I’m like, I made it. So, it was wonderful and I would recommend to anyone to come out. I’m not as, I want to say, an experienced seasoned sister, and being around all of the younger sisters let me know there’s still hope for me.”

Yaterah X from Tampa, Fla. said this year’s training helped her to see what she wanted to do.

“I loved it. I mean, it pulled so much out of me I didn’t even know was inside of me,” she said. “I’ve had this desire to work and do for my Nation but couldn’t really find or figure out what it is that I should do, but coming to this training, I know that my work is with the women, and however Allah sees fit to use me, I just know that I am ready to commit and strive hard in the way of Allah that I may be successful in the training that I have gotten here to bring it back to my city and to help in the cultivation of the women.”