The Sparring Fundraiser

Fight For Others

This post is a little outside my usual topics, but I felt like sharing it anyways. I just participated in a very special event and am happy with how it turned out. It was a mixed-style martial arts sparring session for a good cause – raising support for a fellow martial artist’s family.

Mixed Sparring

I’ve practiced a few different martial art styles over the years, so I’ve been to different kinds of tournaments or expos. In my current style – Kyokushin Karate – we spar only within our school. So the fundraiser was unique because we met up at a new place with another school and all jumped in the ring.

The other school’s style is Tae Kwon Do. Not only do some of their techniques differ, the way they spar is different too. Kyokushin does full-contact, no protective gear. But at the fundraiser we had to wear some gear. Even something that seems simple, standing sideways more than using a front-facing stance, was kind of challenging.

The session was focused on cardio endurance rather than hard fighting or point scoring. The cool thing was this let us be more loose, have more fun, and try different techniques without the concern of getting our faces kicked in!

Several folks from my school showed up to spar along with a whole lot of students from the other school. I think there were about 30 people all sparring at the same time in a round-robin style set-up.

Each round of sparring was 2 minutes long. Once over, half the group would rotate to the next fighter for another round. We did 10 rounds like this, then had a 5 minute water break. After that, we did two more 10-round sessions. So altogether we sparred for about an hour.

It was hot. I think I sweated all my fluids out. My face matched the red gloves and foot pads I was wearing. And I opened up three blisters on my tender feet. But I had a great time!

It was both fun and challenging to fight so many different martial artists with a different style. Some of the students I had never met before. Everyone was kind and cordial and respectful. I would attend this kind of special sparring session again.

Not Just For Kicks

The cherry on top of this whole event was that it raised funds for a former karate student from the Tae Kwon Do school. She recently passed away and her family is in need of support. So that’s what all the proceeds went to.

But the support was more than monetary. It was also about people showing up and saying, “We’re here for you.” It’s a small way to help, but I’m sure it means a lot.

Something as simple as presence can have a profound impact.

What’s on your mind? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

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