Students ‘break’ for justice

Victims of violence are what martial arts students will be fighting for Saturday at Kees Tae Kwon Do

Kees Tae Kwon Do is joining forces with martial arts students across Canada to break down the chains of modern day slavery.

“Did you know there are actually more humans in slavery today than in any other time in history?” said Trevor Warkentin, Okanagan region head instructor.

Victims of violence are what martial arts students will be fighting for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the studio (4704-29th St.).

The fundraising campaign is called Breaking Boards Breaking Chains or BBBC. BBBC is a high-energy break-a-thon involving martial arts students and a public display of board breaking.

“We hope to raise an impressive amount of money for the cause,” said Warkentin.

Students collect pledges for each board they break and 100 per cent of the proceeds are sent directly to International Justice Mission Canada, an organization that seeks justice for victims of violent oppression (www.ijm.ca).

There are approximately 36 million slaves in the world today. But by working hand in hand with International Justice Mission, martial arts schools are literally making and “breaking” a difference in the world.

Breaking Boards Breaking Chains started three years ago right here in Canada and is managed by Martial Arts for Justice, a movement founded by Master Dean Siminoff. The idea started small, but it quickly gained momentum on a national level and has now grown to an international level, with schools participating this year from as far away as Rwanda, Africa (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xfx_OUleBBk).

Many martial arts schools include statements such as being ‘Champions of Freedom and Justice’ in their student oaths, or creed, making participation in the Breaking Boards Breaking Chains campaign a natural fit.