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									Punch and Kick-a-Thon

The punch and kick-a-thon are certainly standard fundraising events for martial
arts schools. Part of the beauty is that they are so easy to organize. You have
the facility to hold the event (your school) and you have a built in group of
volunteers and fundraisers (your students).

A punch or kick-a-thon also provides an opportunity to invite the public into
“your house”, raise the profile of your school, show your community
involvement, raise some serious money for Defeat Diabetes Foundation and,
maybe, get a few student prospects by demonstrating what the martial arts is

For those of you who might happen to be unfamiliar with the concept, it goes
like this:

Students will be the primary participants in the event, though there is an
opportunity to incorporate the community a few different ways into your
fundraising effort.

Each student will commit to completing a certain number of punches or kicks
in an allotted amount of time – usually an hour.

For example 4-7 year olds (or lower ranked students) may be responsible for
doing 500 punches and 500 kicks; 8-16 year olds (or higher ranked students)
may be responsible for doing 1000 punches and 1000 kicks; the highest ranked
students may do 1500. Also, the students could do a speed challenge –
completing a certain number of punches or kicks in half or quarter the
normally allotted time; or they could lead a “community drill team”. (More on
the drill team later)

Students will also be responsible for obtaining a donation from friends, family
and small business owners for each punch or kick they complete to support
Defeat Diabetes Foundation.

Ways to coordinate donations

Students will ask friends, family, peers and business owners to support their
efforts by sponsoring each punch or kick they complete. Students are asked to
raise $100 and, of course, more is encouraged.

For example

    1 cent per kick or $10 (ten dollars) for 1000 punches or kicks
    10 cents per kick or $100 (one hundred dollars) for 1000 punches or
    A flat donation $25, $35, $50, $100 could be given regardless of the
     number of punches or kicks actually completed by the student (though,
     of course, we want the student to complete what they have committed

You can do it the “old-fashioned way” and carry around a pledge form and take
pledges as you go. The only problem with that method is you have to collect the
money from the person.

Some donors are also reluctant to pay until the participant has accomplished
their goal. Because of the extra step involved in getting back to the donor,
statistics show that waiting until after the event reduces the collection rate by
nearly 40%. So, it’s best to collect the donation at the time the individual agrees
to make it.

You also have to keep track of what you’ve collected and you need to keep it
safe. One way to make that process a bit less stressful would be to have donors
write a check, which can be made out directly to Defeat Diabetes Foundation.

Fortunately, there are a wide array of organizations that have been established
just to help individuals and non-profits raise funds to support their programs.

Defeat Diabetes Foundation has developed relationships with many of these
organizations that can help do it all online.
In addition to being paper free and environmentally friendly; it makes it really
easy – for you and your donors.

The sites allow you to create a special page that describes what you are doing
to raise funds: in this case a punch and kick-a-thon. You can include
information about Defeat Diabetes Foundation, including links to our website
and online Defeat Diabetes®Screening Test, your fundraising goals, a picture of
you in your gi “in action.”

Many of the sites have a graphic that shows how close you are to reaching your
goal. Some also provide a way for donors to send you messages of
encouragement or challenge visitors to step up to the plate.

Use one of the letters provided to send to the people in your email address
book. Be sure to include a link to your fundraising page. You can even ask them
to forward it to their friends who might be interested in preventing diabetes.

Now, here’s the cool part – if a person wants to donate they can do it right then,
online, with their credit card using the site’s secure server.

The donation is processed and sent directly to Defeat Diabetes Foundation.
Your donor receives an electronic acknowledgement and thank you for the
donation and you never have to handle the money!

Be sure to use your normal social networking sites to let friends know about
your participation in the fundraiser. FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs or any
other social networks you participate in are all appropriate for announcing your
fundraising event and keeping donors posted on the results.

Listed below are some of the online donation tools you can use to collect

Firstgiving is an amazing site. Just click on the link provided and that will take
you to DDF’s page at Firstgiving. From this page you can build your own
fundraising page in just a few minutes and it will be linked to DDF’s space at

Your fundraising page includes space for your own personal message, it
includes your fundraising target and how you are doing toward reaching your
goal. There is a space for individuals to pledge to support your cause and give
you messages of encouragement. The site allows you to quickly and easily add
photographs, the event name and date, share the page with people in your
address book and invite them to help be a solution to the problem. You can
also add special FirstGiving badges to your Facebook, Myspace or blog pages.
Donors can use the secure online service and their credit card to make a

GiveForward is another online donation site which also focuses on building a
community of people who want to give, people who need funds, and matching
the interests of both. Any group or individual can set up a fundraising profile in
a category, such as: Education, Entrepreneurship, Community, Non-Profits, or
Friends & Family. Anyone who joins can browse different fundraising profiles
and make donations as small as $1.

As for your fundraising profile, on GiveForward, you can add videos, photos,
and more, to show who you are (or what your organization is all about) and
why people should give to your cause.

Look them over and pick one that has the features you like best.

Of course, you can always use online tools and paper tools. After all, you never
know when you will meet a potential donor and want to strike while the
donation is hot. But again, if you use paper tools you need to keep track of the
donations and the money.

Ways to add interest and more funds for the event

The punch and kick-a-thon is a fairly straightforward event and the amount of
money you raise for Defeat Diabetes Foundation is dependent on the effort you
make to find donors and sponsors.

One great way to add participants and interest to your event is to invite
members of the community to participate as “punchers & kickers”, too! It could
be your neighbor Joe, or Aunt Sally - but you should also be sure to invite the
political, educational, business leaders and media celebrities from your
community to participate and help raise money for Defeat Diabetes Foundation.

Imagine the Mayor or local city council member, weatherman, morning zoo
crew from local radio, head of the Chamber of Commerce, or prominent
business person punching and kicking with the other students of your school?
It will provide an extra incentive for people to donate – just seeing these
celebrities sweat on the mat – and you will certainly generate additional
spectator and media coverage as a result of their involvement.

Community Kickers

Ask advanced students or instructors to lead special community “punch and
kick teams”. These special teams will be required to raise at least $250.00. They
will also be responsible for soliciting individuals from the community to team
up with participants from your school for the event. These could be people with
previous experience with martial arts or no experience at all – but, in addition
to regular folks, be sure to include some of the local notables mentioned above.

We’ve included a talking points sheet to guide you through asking people to
participate. Face-to-face or on the phone is the best way to ask people you
know to participate. If you have a personal connection with your local celebrity
targets you can do it the same way.

If you don’t have a personal connection you will probably need to send them a
more formal invitation to participate in the event. We’ve provided a letter that
explains the event, provides information about the problem of diabetes and
explains a bit about Defeat Diabetes Foundation. You will probably have to
follow up with a phone call, or two, to get a commitment. If they can’t attend
the event for whatever reason – don’t forget to ask them for a donation!

When you get a community kicker send them a welcome package which
includes information about the event and everything they need to get their own

Send a reminder two weeks before the event, again - one week before the event
and, once again - a few days before the event. Each community kicking team
should consist of at least 4 people (including the school’s member).

On event day the school member will be responsible for meeting with their
team 30 minutes before their scheduled appearance. They will be responsible
for warming them up and teaching them one basic punch and one basic kick
that their community kicking team will perform for the event.

During the event the team leader will be out front providing a continuing
example of the correct form to strive for – we know they won’t get it, but we
want them to get as close as possible.

Board Breaking

The whole idea of the board breaking is to provide a demonstration of the
techniques and raising a few extra bucks for Defeat Diabetes Foundation – not
scoring it as with a traditional board breaking competition.

Just like individuals ask others to sponsor them for each punch and kick they
complete – donors sponsor individuals for each board they break.

Sponsors can purchase a board to have broken at the cost of $5/board and may
specify if the board is to be broken with a punch or a kick. Participants can
determine if they want to attempt multiple breaks on an attempt or a single

The idea is to break all your boards so, don’t attempt to “oversell” your


While this component won’t add any money to the coffer it will add interest
and excitement to the event. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your martial
arts discipline and the excellence of your students.

Possible demonstrations include:

      Forms or katas
      Sparring
      Self-Defense
      Punches
      Kicks
      Weapons


You will need volunteers for event day. Though, advanced, older students and
staff can play multiple roles with careful planning, it’s still a good idea to have
some volunteers on hand with nothing else to do.

    Door Person to distribute Defeat Diabetes® Screening Test brochures as
     spectators enter
    Kick/Punch Counter/Observers -- the number needed will be dependent
     on the number of participants and the number of rounds
    Record Keeper(s)
    Time Keeper (1)
    Group Wranglers – making sure the various participants are checked in
     and staged in their proper place
    Donation/Pledge Takers -

You are doing an event for a good cause, to raise awareness about diabetes which has
reached epidemic proportions. If the event is timed within November – Diabetes
Awareness Month - the media will be looking for local stories to cover.

If you can include local celebrities you increase your chances of gaining media
Use the press materials supplied to outreach to the traditional media (newspaper,
television and radio). Don’t forget to post to local community boards and blogs, your
social networking pages and school website.

Kick-a-thon day

On event day your studio is all cleaned up – no cobwebs in the corners, clean
bathrooms, and fresh posters are on the walls. The mats are in place, chairs are
set at the edges for spectators. Make sure there is a good spot for the press to
set up if they should cover the event.

You ordered and received Defeat Diabetes® Screening Test brochures for
distributing to spectators.

Your students have been working hard to obtain donors; they are trained and
ready to take on the challenge.

On the day of the event participants will arrive at the studio at least 30 minutes
before they are scheduled to participate. They will sign in with one of the
volunteers and turn in their pledge sheets and already collected donations.

Participants will warm-up and prepare themselves for their event.

There are multiple ways to coordinate the flow of the event – one way is to
break the event up into groups according to age or ability, and the number of
punches and kicks they are going to attempt.

For example: the juniors may go first and complete their 500 punches and
kicks; then, you may follow up with a demonstration, another group of
punchers and kickers doing their thousand punches and kicks; another
demonstration, community kickers each doing their 250 punches and kicks,
ending it all up with board breaking.

When it is time for their event an instructor, or volunteer, should make sure
that the participants for the group are in position.

To make things interesting for the participants and the spectators you could
have the students use several different punches and kicks…

For example: Select 4 different Kicks – Front ball kick, Front in-step kick, side
kick, back kick, round house kick, crescent kick, reverse crescent kick, or
others of your choice.
Same with the Punches – select four for them to complete: front two knuckle,
back two knuckle, hammer, spear hand poke, etc.

A volunteer will be responsible for keeping the time. Each group will have an
hour to complete their attempt.

Other volunteers will be there to count out the punches or kicks. And still other
volunteers will be there to make sure that each participant completes their
punch or kick as pledged.

Best form must be used for all punches and kicks!

Here is an approximate break down of the time that can be allocated for each
punch or kick based on the number to be completed.

500 Punches or Kicks
1 every 3.75 seconds

1000 Punches or Kicks
1 every 1.8 seconds


Encourage sponsors, family and friends to come out and watch! Plus, it’ll
probably set up a means for people to donate before or after the Kick-a-thon.


So, you can’t compete at World Championships, yet, but you can compete with
each other to raise the most money! The top 3 fundraisers will win the
following prizes:

    1st and 2nd place: a private lesson each with either lead instructor
    3rd place: a t-shirt, hat or other small prize.

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