by Christine Braun
Karate Kids from Central Alberta Martial Arts & Wellness Centre (C.A.M.A) applied the true spirit of the martial arts by displaying service and compassion during October and November.
Part of this involved the Karate Kids, ages 4+, collecting and donating sunglasses to the children of Nepal to help support their cause in preventing cataracts — a clouding of the eye, which in severe cases can lead to blindness.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and does not have adequate access to proper health or eye care.
Therefore, the karate kids embraced this important mission and collected over 100 sunglasses and created “kindness cards” of hope, peace, and love, to send to the Nepali children. This very special “care package” was sent to the Namaste Children’s Orphanage.
In addition, the Karate Kids raised $724 and completed 3,000+ push-ups to support JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and to find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes, as part of the Centre’s annual “Pennies for Push-ups/Karate Chops Diabetes”.
On the weekend, Sensei Dennis — one of the school’s instructors — presented these funds in Toronto, to JDRF, also acting as a spokesperson speaking of his own recent diagnosis of Juvenile Diabetes, Type 1. This took place in conjunction with C.A.M.A.’s affiliated organization, Kaizen-Do/Academy of Martial Arts, who were also involved in supporting this cause. Kaizen-Do/AMA raised just over $85,000 by initiating a 12-hour kata marathon, which made it into the Guinness Book for World Records!
In sum, a large part of a student’s martial arts growth and overall personal development at C.A.M.A. is to partake in various community events that create positive social change, as the ultimate aim of the martial arts is the perfection of one’s character. A large aspect of this is developing and displaying acts of kindness, compassion, and acceptance for all.