Many kids and their parents know the benefits of martial arts. But at one central Iowa school there`s an extra lesson being taught.
Norman Wrigley started studying martial arts in the 1990s. In 2010, he landed in Iowa and started East Coast Tae Kwon Do.
“There`s so much with any martial art; discipline, focus, control, concentration,” says Wrigley.
They`re the qualities every instructor tries to instill in students but here, there`s one more.
“As a school, we wanted to be very community based,” Wrigley adds. For these kids, that means year three of a fundraising effort called Fitness for Food.
“You can buy full meals; turkey meals at HyVee so we thought, do a fundraiser to purchase thanksgiving meals and donate them to the food bank,” Wrigley explains.
Last year they raised enough money to purchase twenty meals. But there`s a twist. Every dollar a student raises translates to one pushup, sit-up, squat or jumping jack.
“Instead of asking people to hand over a bunch of money, the kids earn it. One of the best ways to earn it is exercise.”
Matthew Wade says he struggles with doing one push-up let alone 200 but he says he’s still going to do his best. It`s for a good cause, afterall.
“I think it`s really good to give food to people who can`t afford it,” Matthew says.
Parents say the combination of fitness and fundraising is a great experience.
The lessons learned here aren`t just about martial arts, they`re about life.
The kids are collecting pledges through November 7th. To donate go to EastCoastTaeKwonDo.org.