Send Golden Isles YMCA Karate students to Summer Camp!

Send Golden Isles YMCA Karate students to Summer Camp!

From Lonnie Kelley

We are raising funds to create scholarships as well as provide transportation for students who want to attend our association's annual summer camp and compete is local tournaments but may not have the financial means.

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Most students of Karate travel as far as their own home dojo to learn martial arts.  For most students it is around 10-15 miles.  They may train for 1-2 hours then go back home.  Their exposure of the martial arts world consists of their fellow classmates, their instructor, and the most recent martial arts cartoon or movie.  Sounds pretty boring right?  How exciting would it be to be trained by an experienced black belt from Germany, Australia, or even Japan?  Well for students who attend our associations annual summer camp this can be a reality!  Summer Camp is 3 days of intense karate training taught by our associations highest ranking black belts.  These instructors come from around the world to teach courses in traditional weapons, grappling, self defense, forms, kumite (sparring) Aikido, stick fighting, and much more!  Participants receive the equivalent of  3 months of training in just a few short days!  They will also train with students from these overseas dojos as well.  It is eye opening to see people whom you've never met performing the exact forms as you and even some you've never seen before. The cost for camp is $275 which covers housing, food, and training materials. When you consider a family of 2 or even 4 that train together and want to participate together that cost can add up quickly!  This is why a portion of the funds raised will go toward scholarships to students in financial need so that they can participate in this amazing experience!    

In addition to summer camp, we like to also expose our students to the competitive side of martial arts through local tournaments.  Tournament competition allows our students to test their skills against other styles.  They get to compete in a number of events including Forms, Sparring, Weapons, Breaking, Creative Forms, and even Musical Forms.  While tournaments are not the primary focus of our training, we cannot ignore their ability to develop character traits such as sportsmanship, fairness, respect, and comradery.  They are also a lot of FUN!  Meeting people of different styles and creating friendships that could potentially last a lifetime! Unfortunately many of our students do not participate not because they do not want to but because of a financial obligation.  Registration fees for tournaments vary from as little as $40 to as much as $100 per participant.  When you include the cost to travel to and from the event it can be a costly weekend.  A portion of the funds raised will go toward scholarships to help get these students on the mat competing for themselves and their dojo.  It will also go toward transportation costs.       

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