Martial arts - a way of fighting cancer together
Since 2010, Martial artists around the world have been joining forces for an annual fundraising event like no other.
From Australia to Switzerland, each year martial artists conduct Fight for Life seminars across different fighting countries to raise funds and awareness for the battle against cancer.
Kick-starting one of the Melbourne events was an introductory dinner where 320 people were invited to a three course-meal, traditional Japanese entertainment and an auction which saw a number of items, such as uniforms from Japan, up for the taking.
Usually held over two days, the seminars provide hundreds of participants with many different types of martial arts training opportunities to choose from including Jujitsu, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Aikido, Judo and Tai Chi.
"Martial arts are a way of fighting cancer together. It's something that hasn't been done before," Sensei Ramon Aperia from Idokan Australia says.
"It's not only for physical wellbeing but it's a fun way to spread awareness of cancer."
The inspiration behind Fight for Life is Wendy Carroll, Ramon's wife, mum to Kim and Thomas and Shihan (Master teacher/instructor) at Idokan Australia.
In 2007, Wendy was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Refusing to be beaten she had a mastectomy, underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy and survived the ordeal.
Sadly, the cancer returned in 2010.
Kevin Walsh, close friend to Ramon and Wendy, started Fight for Life that same year.
"He didn't know how he could help us, so he started something that involved martial arts," Ramon says. "He kicked it off and we all joined in."
"Fight for Life is not only for martial artists, it's for anyone who wants to get involved, participate and learn about the differences in martial arts - all while raising funds for cancer research."
"We know Cancer Council is a solid organisation nationally and would help us achieve our goals properly."
To find out about upcoming events and to buy tickets, visit the Fight for Life site. If you're unable to attend, you can still make a difference by donating.
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