Over the weekend, Swift Current Christian Taekwondo students showed their fists of steel.
On Saturday, the Open Bible Church provided its gymnasium to the Christian Taekwondo School so they could showcase their skills during a presentation that helped raise funds for the International Justice Mission (IJM).
IJM works to counter and eliminate slavery and human trafficking worldwide. The Swift Current Christian Taekwondo School is their largest contributor in Canada, having raised over $75,000 to date.
Head Instructor and Owner of Swift Current Christian Taekwondo, Gary Voysey, has been able to build a very positive relationship with IJM over the years since he was first introduced to them.
“About eight years ago, one of my master instructors from British Columbia was working with Rwanda and came across Gary Haugen’s book,” Voysey recalls. “He just wanted to work with genocide victims in Rwanda and asked me if I would like to participate here at Swift Current and I thought ‘what a great idea!'”
To raise funds this year, the students put on a show that included flying kicks, plank breaks, and lots of courage from those doing it in front of friends and family for the first time.
“A lot of kids, like these little guys, it’s about that tenacity, isn’t it,” Voysey explained. “They’re scared and they come and they break the board and that says a lot because the lesson isn’t just that ‘I can break a board’ but when they get over those obstacles, like that fear that just continues in the life like, ‘I’m scared in school.’ So there was a lot of fear there, so they’re great little kids who are just brave and brave.”
There were boards of different sizes and thicknesses so kids of all sizes and skill levels could participate. They were then instructed on each break, making sure to practice their striking at least twice before breaking their piece of pine.
Kids weren’t limited to punching alone. They had the option of choosing between ax strikes, punches, and forearm strikes.
During the event, the final tally of this year’s donations has yet to be tallied. The ballpark estimate would be north of $15,000, which would put them in the ballpark of $90,000 raised in total during their time at IJM.
“It’s really humbling,” admitted Voysey. “It speaks to the community that we live in because the other schools in Vancouver, Toronto, with 300 or 400 students, are going to raise $1,500. Here we are, we have just over 130 students right now and we’re at $15,000 and we count. That says a lot about the character of the people we have as martial artists.”