I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine - Peter Seth. Peter is a 4th Dan in Aikido and runs the University of Sunderland Aikido club. Peter is also the person who organises the The Great Northern International Festival of Martial Arts, which is the festival that I have recently reported on in a blog post. He has organised this festival for 10 years now and as you may recall, one of its primary functions is to raise money for the charity Cancer Research UK. Here is Peter in action (he's the one with the beard acting as tori):
To enable more money to be raised Peter is setting a challenge to other martial arts clubs. Here in Peter's words is the challenge:
I have been trying for the past 10 years to spread the word to every martial arts club in the country. Hopefully this blog will help bring all clubs together to organize their own ‘event’, big or small to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. You could call it a ‘fight for life’.
More than 1 in 3 of us will be directly affected by this terrible disease so let’s get together and try and knock Cancer for six!
After many years participating in demonstrations at the odd Fete to raise money for local charities. I often thought, that a more positive and organised approach for martial artists to become involved with raising funds for charities and also promoting the many positive benefits of the ‘Martial Arts’ was needed. So in 2001, I contacted friends from various Martial Arts groups in my area (some national, international and world champions included) and organised the first ‘Sunderland International Festival of Martial Arts’.
We demonstrated our arts, - Aikido, Aikijitsu, Judo, Karate, Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, Jojutsu, Kenjutsu, before an audience of over 300, raising nearly £1000 for Cancer Research. (A friend of mine is Hon Secretary of the local area volunteer fundraising group). (In the past few years thanks to everyone involved the event has raised thousands of pounds for Cancer research UK).
From this start I have organised an annual festival at which many artists/groups from all over the UK, Europe and even from China, have demonstrated their varied arts, including: Capoeira, Gung Fu, Kung fu, Shorinji Kempo, Jui Jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Escrima, Fencing, Kobudo and Wrestling. To find out more about the aims of Peter's martial arts festivals click here...
I recently organised the Tenth newly named Great Northern International Festival of Martial Arts, which was held at Seaburn Leisure Centre, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear on Saturday May 8th 2010.
I would like this festival of martial arts to become a catalyst for future events of this kind. But why not make it a much larger effort on the lines of ‘Children In Need’ and similar focused events? Where, on a nominated day every martial arts club/group/organization in the UK, participates in a sponsored event to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
I am sure your local Cancer Research UK coordinators/committees would be willing to advise and even possibly assist in any fund raising event you may wish to organize. The many martial arts publications/magazines with their many contacts and sponsors could possibly get involved in some way. If a properly coordinated, media/TV publicised event was prepared I am sure a tremendous amount of money could be raised to help in the battle against Cancer.
In my experience, martial artists have a natural generosity of spirit and are by nature positive people who are usually only too willing to get involved in life. What better way than to ‘get involved’, raising money to help in the battle for life against what is now the biggest killer in this country.
Next step ‘THE WORLD’. Every martial arts group in the world could get involved, cooperating, to remove the curse of cancer. Now that would be a thing! If anyone could do it Martial Artists could! (Though ridiculously optimistic, I am serious about this paragraph). If you are up for this challenge, get weaving, contact your local Cancer Research UK people and get organizing.
Please spread the word – you can contact me for information etc. firstname.lastname@example.org "
So, is your martial arts club up to the challenge of raising some money for this very worthy cause? Do you have any good fund raising ideas that a martial arts club could do?
To find out more about fundraising for Cancer Research UK visit their website.
To find out more about Peter visit his club's website: Zanshin Aikido
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