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Kim's College of Martial Arts raises funds for USO

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    Students from Kims College of Martial Arts show their skills Saturday during the 38th annual Peacemakers Charity Exhibition at Medina High School.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — A board was no match Saturday for Mayor Dennis Hanwell’s martial arts prowess.

Hanwell broke a board in front of about 350 people during the 38th annual Peacemakers Charity Exhibition at Medina High School.

The event — a demonstration by students at Kim’s College of Martial Arts in Medina — raised thousands of dollars for United Service Organizations of Northern Ohio, which serves military families and veterans.

Hanwell is no board-breaking novice. He’s splintered wood at previous Peacemakers Charity Exhibitions, even though he has no formal training.

“I just do it the way they tell me,” Hanwell said afterward. “The only training I get is a 10-second overview.”

The money raised Saturday came through donations at the door, raffles and bake sales. Local businesses bought advertisements in the exhibition program. And students of Kim’s College collected money so they could buy their own boards to break. Why should Hanwell have all the fun?

The event also featured a U.S. Army team demonstrating self-defense maneuvers.

The Peacemakers Charity Exhibition has helped several charities since it began in 1979, but for the last six years it has focused on the military, raising about $75,000 for soldiers and veterans.

It’s an important cause for Grandmaster Sung H. Kim, founder of Kim’s College and a ninth-degree blackbelt in taekwondo and hapkido.

“He’s a survivor of the Korean War, and he was born in South Korea at that time,” said Kim’s son, Master Paul Kim. “It’s a matter of showing his appreciation to his adopted country.”

The charity exhibition also lined up with Veterans Day, which is Saturday.

“Sometimes military people are forgotten,” Paul Kim said. “They really don’t want to get attention, but they really need it.”

Kim’s College of Martial Arts was established in 1977 and today has two Medina studios, one on South Court Street, the other on Medina Road. The school teaches taekwondo, hapkido, yudo, or Korean judo, and kumdo, which is Korean swordsmanship. Each art form was on display Saturday.

The college follows what it calls the “Peacemaker Philosophy,” believing that martial arts not only improves one’s physical, mental and emotional self but also helps create a more peaceful world.

Messages may be left for Bob Sandrick at (330) 721-4060.

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