COLUMBIA — Strength in the body, honesty in the heart, knowledge in the mind. These words are spoken before every martial arts class at Hockman’s ATA Black Belt Academy.
About 45 martial arts students participated in the first Board Break-a-Thon on Dec 3. Students gained sponsorships and broke 1,000 boards in about 30 minutes.
Jade Hockman, owner and instructor at Hockman’s ATA, is a sixth-degree black belt in taekwondo and is working to become a master. As part of his training, he must do community service. He turned to the University of Missouri Women's and Children’s Hospital because he said he has known children who went to the hospital and knows the hospital needs new stuff.
With the opportunity to make a pledge of either $5,000 or $25,000, Hockman pledged to raise $25,000 over five years to pay for a new nurse’s station.
“Five thousand dollars was too low,” Hockman said. “I thought we could do more.”
Hockman and his students raised $12,000 — just under half the total amount pledged — for the first fundraiser. Hockman’s ATA, on Corporate Lake Drive near Rock Bridge High School, has four more years to raise the rest of the money.
“This is the best thing I’ve ever done as far as charity work,” Hockman said.
He has practiced martial arts for 25 years and has students as young as 4.
Hockman emphasized the importance of discipline and carrying the philosophy of martial arts into everyday life.
Parents of younger students said the fundraiser was a great opportunity to teach the importance of doing community service and to have fun doing it.