Martial arts event succeeds on 2 levels

The event had a dual purpose.

The Martial Artists SMASH Juvenile Crime and Break the World Record event Saturday at Lampe Park was a fundraiser for Project Action as well as an attempt to break a world record.

"We had 53 students show up and they broke 1,800 boards in only 18 minutes," said Northwest Martial Arts instructor Brandi Gibson. "We had an hour to break, but ran out of boards way too fast."

It was a board breaking frenzy.

Gibson said the 4- to 6-year-old group broke 200 boards in five minutes, and the adults ended up holding all the boards for the teens who broke both the boards allotted for them as well as the boards the adults were supposed to break.

The Project Action Foundation is a national award-winning children's charity with the mission to prevent juvenile crime by providing disadvantaged and "at-risk" children the opportunity to become involved in physical and cultural arts programs, working with martial arts, dance and gymnastics schools, according to information provided by Northwest.

"We raised $3,454 to benefit local children," said Gibson.

The other goal was to - world-wide - break the record for how many boards could be broken between 10 and 11 a.m. The 2005 record stood at 95,901 breaks executed in one hour, with thousands of martial artists participating simultaneously across the U.S.

Results are pending on the outcome of Saturday's event - whether a new world record was set.

The pile of wood the children stood proudly by went to a retired man who makes crafts and to participants' parents to use for fire wood.


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