Chinese Martial Arts in the
Why support Chinese martial arts?
Martial arts are more than an effective means of self-defense. The practice of martial arts can improve health and physical fitness, increase mental focus and clarity, and even cultivate spirituality. The practice of martial arts enriches the overall quality of life for the individual and the community.
Many people practice martial arts recreationally – a couple of times a week, but few pursue martial arts as a way of life. The martial artist's way of life means hours of training everyday, private coaching on a regular basis, studying classical and modern texts, seeking out other high-level masters to supplement their primary instruction, and attending competitions to test their skill and earn recognition. All of this is in addition to a full-time job in order to make a living.
Intense training is expensive. An athlete who attends class four nights and one private lesson every week could easily spend more than $300 each month just on tuition. Add to that figure three special workshops with visiting masters ($1,050), four competitions with travel expenses ($1,400), and equipment ($500), and a serious athlete could spend more than $6,500 on training expenses each year.
Support and sponsorship
frees an artist to focus on perfecting their art. How much more could an artist
achieve and give back to the community if he or she could put more time and
energy into their art? Jet Li (Once Upon
a Time in China, Fist of Legend, The One) was a state sponsored martial
artist. From the age of eight he put all of his energy into training and has
become one of the best martial artists of the late 20th and early 21st
century. Jackie Chan (The Tuxedo,
Understandably, most people do not choose to pursue martial arts with such a single-minded focus, but such dedication and learning yield benefits to the community as well as to the martial artist. The school where I train and assist, The Chinese Martial Arts Center, enriches the community by offering classes every week at local senior and community centers and holding special workshops for the public with visiting masters. Recreational students benefit from the experience of teachers who have dedicated their lives to practicing Chinese martial arts. Students come to class to improve balance, flexibility, and strength, lower blood pressure, learn to manage stress, study cultural traditions and arts, cultivate discipline, patience, peace, and focus. Returning what we have learned to the community is a central part of Wude (martial ethics).
How can you help?
Your local martial arts school and the competition circuit need people of all backgrounds and experience levels. Your time and enthusiasm are welcomed.
Handy? We could all use a hand. Put your skills to use. Nothing is more appreciated than your time and sharing.
Here are just a few areas of expertise that are always in demand: communications, graphic design, computer skills, grant writing, knowledge of non-profit organizations, management, secretarial, and customer service skills. Do you run (or work at) a business that could offer services, products, gift certificates, or sponsorships to athletes or events? Good examples are grocery stores, restaurants, athletic suppliers, automotive repair, and health care services.
If you want to help, we can find an application for your skills.
Nurture your body, mind, and spirit. Take a taiji, qigong, or other class on a regular basis.
Attending competitions and demonstrations just to watch shows your support.
The United States Wushu Union is the only Chinese martial arts organization working to implement judges training, national athlete ranking, and representation of athletes at the national level.
Financial donations are always welcomed.
If you would like to help out in any way, please contact me. I will direct you to the most appropriate venue for your help.
I am only one small part of the martial arts community, but if you'd like to help support my training and competitions contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All donors will be listed among my sponsors (unless you request to remain anonymous). Sponsors receive personal thank you letters, a photograph of me that may be shown in a place of business, and annual updates on training and competitions that I have attended. Sponsors are also mentioned in press releases following competitions.
Sponsors donating $250 will receive a certificate of participation, two copies of the annual newsletter, a listing in the newsletter, and an optional speaking engagement with Andrew Smeltz – 2002 Men's Internal All-Around National Champion.
In addition to the benefits of a Red Belt sponsorship, sponsors donating $500 will receive an optional 2 hour workshop on your choice of topics including: Taiji (T'ai Chi), Qigong (Chi Kung), basic Daoist philosophy as related to taiji, or strength and flexibility training.
In addition to the benefits of Red and Brown Belt sponsorships, sponsors donating $1,000 will have their logo embroidered on the warm-ups worn by Andrew Smeltz during the competition season.
Those who wish to make a larger donation may negotiate how I can best thank them. I am grateful for all contributions and support of any kind. I'd especially like to thank my wife, my family, and my friends who provide me with the most important kind of support.