Thousands Raised at TaeKwonDo Charity Event
On December 16th our schools raised thousands of dollars for charity & Master Spillmann breaks a concrete block breaking record... 200 blocks in 46 seconds and 411 Blocks in 17.45 Minutes...(stacked 8 blocks high) that’s an average of 21 blocks per minute or one block every 3 seconds:
The spectators, were treated with a gallant and magnificent example of the true spirit of TaeKwonDo. In order to raise money for charity and gifts of toys for the less fortunate, Master Konrad Spillmann 7th Dan Black Belt and Vice President of TaeKwonDo International, attempted to beat his previously held record in block breaking.
Master Spillmann’s first goal which is dear to his heart was to raise as much money as possible for St. Jude’s Children’s Cancer Research Hospital. Cancer took one of his staff member’s life in 2000, and because of such research two of his own students have survived cancer. His second target was to collect as many toys for the Toys for Tots organization as he and his California locations could, so that less fortunate children may have a brighter Christmas than they would have had otherwise. In both these endeavors, he was more than successful. The organization raised thousands of dollars for St. Jude’s (more than other previous martial art fundraisers) and hundreds of toys to donate to the children.
Master Spillmann’s third goal was more of a challenge within himself. In 1998, he broke his previously standing record in block breaking by breaking 200 blocks in 47.9 seconds. On December 16th, 2006, he was attempting to obliterate that record. After stating to all students and local businesses that the more money that was raised, the more blocks he would break, he ended up raising thousands; but the blessing could have been a curse as it would require him to break over 6000:lbs of concrete or over 400 blocks.
I, personally, was in awe when the local concrete company delivered 5 pallets of concrete. I then felt he must be foolish, no person could possible break that much concrete with his bare hands. I watched as it took several hours to set up all the concrete blocks and then as it started to rain on the matted flooring and drenched the blocks.
Master Spillmann walked as though he were worried, so I asked his Instructor why. He told me that Master Spillmann was worried for his demonstration team’s safety and that the wetter the concrete blocks got, the harder they would be to break. I heard other Masters tell Master Spillmann he was crazy and he needed to cancel the event for his own safety, but he would not back down or cancel because the less fortunate children needed the gifts for Christmas. His Instructor said “it is raining sir, and the temperature is dropping.” Master Spillmann’s response was “I am praying for it to stop.” I don’t know if it was luck or a natural phenomenon, but 5 minutes before the event, the clouds broke and the sun rays came through.
This challenge was where his true show of TaeKwonDo Spirit gleamed for more than 16 minutes of non stop action; you could feel the strength, power and pain as the blocks broke 8, 7, 6, 5 or 4 at a time. You could see how tough the wet blocks were. At times he would hit them with such a tremendous force, you could feel the ground around him move, but still they would not break, then suddenly he would focus his power and with a wave of inner strength he would shatter stacks at a time.
TaeKwonDo spirit encompasses perseverance, dedication, determination, integrity, honor and wisdom. Master Spillmann took each one of these noble qualities and displayed them throughout the event. After initially breaking his record by breaking the first 200 blocks in 46 seconds, his physical body began to lose his normally evident power. The spectators stood in awe and some including his children were even in tears, as his lips turned blue and he ignored his pain, bruised arms, bleeding hands and what was even feared to be broken limbs; he continually refocused his mind and found the inner strength to keep breaking long after most would have obviously given up. His final tally was 411 blocks. When the concrete clean up was finished it again began to pour with rain.
The support Master Spillmann received from his instructors and students was phenomenal in itself. The family oriented centers all pulled together to show their support by not only helping to raise funds and toys for the children, but also by emotionally supporting their Master through what had to be one of the toughest challenges of strength, perseverance and determination that I have seen in my lifetime. This inspiring event displayed the strength and unity of this positive family environment which is usually lacking in today’s busy world.
As a result of this outstanding occasion, less fortunate children benefited and students and other spectators learned the meanings of goal setting and never giving up. After seeing Master Spillmann’s hands and arms, I personally asked him why he did not give up. He stated, “it’s for the children; if they gave up, then where would they be today.” I gained so much respect for him and TaeKwonDo. Now I know why this respect runs so deep with his instructors, students and even Master Spillmann’s own family. It is evident that Master Spillmann even gained respect and appreciation from the many onlookers around him.
I feel anyone that learns Martial Arts and Self Defense from such a knowledgeable and wise Master is very fortunate, as are the less fortunate children in society.