Tiger Paw Martial Arts: Breaking Boards to Build Community Bonds

Chuck Stuart of Tiger Paw Martial Arts at the Kraft Celebration Tour Rally

Chuck Stuart of Tiger Paw Martial Arts at the Kraft Celebration Tour Rally - Photos by Ian Kennedy

In small towns like Wallaceburg, it’s not uncommon to find people helping their neighbours, and clubs helping other clubs. Last week, one local club stepped into the spotlight not only by demonstrating their town spirit at the Kraft Celebration Tour Rally in Wallaceburg, but also during the vote.

Tiger Paw Martial Arts, one of more than a dozen sports and recreation clubs in Wallaceburg, led by example during the Kraft events, and is teaching their students that lending a helping hand is one of the most important things someone can do to support their community, and other athletic organizations,

“There is a need for volunteers and willing bodies to help out these clubs when they have special events going on,” said Tiger Paw Assistant Instructor and Demo Team Manager Henrie Timmers about why Tiger Paw stepped up to help Wallaceburg Lacrosse and their community during the Kraft Celebration Tour voting events.

“If the coaches and board members have to do everything by themselves, the burnout rate would be devastating. When other clubs can help, it is incumbent on them to do so if Wallaceburg is to keep all these teams viable and energized. Small, non-profit groups especially need the help since the larger groups get the most media attention and the most donors.”

Among others, Timmers pointed to community volunteers such as Randi Hull, president of the Wallaceburg Skating Club and Wallaceburg Minor Baseball, and Tiffany Cadotte, who is heavily involved on the boards of both Wallaceburg Lacrosse and Wallaceburg Minor Hockey, as shining examples of those within Wallaceburg who are working hard to help multiple organizations.

Although volunteerism does cross throughout organizations in Wallaceburg and other communities in Chatham-Kent, according to Timmers, Tiger Paw, and the teachings of karate are leading their students to understand and appreciate the value of helping others. At Tiger Paw, the principles of lifelong study, respect, striving for constant improvement, and particularly, putting others first, are everyday messages being taught to students,

“While some of our students are in it for the sport and the physical fitness, many of our club members are learning Karate-do, or in simple English, “the way of karate life.” Long before Lord Baden Powell formed the “Boy Scouts,” students of karate-do were taught to live life fully, to be humble, to be respectful of all things, to defend the weak and to help where they could. When we encourage our students to participate in “a worthy cause” we are simply teaching them the basics of the life they have chosen.”

That’s why, when the time for the Kraft Rally and vote came, dozens of Tiger Paw member arrived, dressed in full Karate Gi (uniform), to break boards in support of their town, and Wallaceburg Lacrosse’s proposal for a new outdoor lacrosse facility, followed by several Tiger Paw families spending upwards of 20 hours in front of their computers on the day of the vote.

This isn’t the first time Tiger Paw has used their board breaking abilities to help their community. In May, the club raised $2005.60 by breaking boards at their first annual Tiger Paw Martial Arts Tournament for the Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Centre.

Although no one from Tiger Paw showed up, or voted for personal recognition, the Wallaceburg martial arts organization does want to encourage volunteerism and the support for other organizations in youth and area residents,

“We would like to encourage residents of Wallaceburg and Chatham-Kent to give a little of their time for worthy causes,” said Timmers. “This is especially true if all that is needed is a little of your time.”  

In reality, although Tiger Paw was a shining example of what one organization can do for another, and how youth in Wallaceburg and Chatham-Kent can reach out to help others, many hockey, baseball, and soccer players and families, to name only a few, were voting last week during the Kraft Celebration Tour festivities. It was a complete community effort that culminated in more than a half million votes for Wallaceburg in only 24-hours, and a spot for Wallaceburg on TSN’s Kraft Celebration Tour.

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