UKC supports Chuck Norris Charity

July 17th – 19th at the Congress Hotel in Chicago IL, many of the worlds top martial arts luminaries came together to help the Chuck Norris charity "Kick Drugs out of America Foundation". The event included seminars from world famous martial artists, a celebrity auction and a banquet, to raise over $115,000.00 for the Kick Drugs Out OF America Foundation. The weekend also produced a pledge from Paul Vallis, CEO of the Board Of Education of the City of Chicago, to have the board fund the KDOOA program at 12 Chicago public schools for three years at a total cost of approximately $1,800,000.00.

The Chicago KDOOA program is currently in place at only one public school, the Hans Christian Anderson Community Academy at Honoree and Division. Like all the other KDOOA school programs, this Chicago program exists solely on private contributions, such as fundraisers like the Chuck Norris Martial Arts Expo. The Chuck Norris Expo was originally started three years ago by Scott & Linda Kifer, owners of USA Karate in Carol Stream, Fred and Katie Degerberg, owners of the Degerberg Academy and Tom and Rosemary Letuli who run the Midwest Circuit of Martial Arts Tournaments.

This year’s event also included Robert Mason, President of the IFKA and Chairman of the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA). Mason has been involved for three years running martial arts programs to coincide with the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) World Sports Expo held annually at McCormick Place in Chicago. The NSGA World Sports Expo attracts over 80,000 people from the Sporting Goods, Fitness and Martial Arts industries.

This year the Chuck Norris Martial Arts Expo ’98 brought together, the largest collection of Seminar Sensations ever assembled. Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Christine Bannon Rodrigues, Richard Branden, Carlson Gracie Jr., Dennis Brown, Keith "The Giant Killer" Hackney, Grandmaster Han Jae Ji, Willie "Bam" Johnson, Dr. He-Young Kim, Larry Lam, Eric Lee, Arlene Limas, Kathy Long, John Pellegrini, Jhoon Rhee, Cynthia Rothrock, Karen Shepherd, Dan Magnus, Ken Knudson, Duke Roufus, Al Tracy, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and John Valera all donated one hour seminars to raise money for KDOOA. Over 1,100 seminar hours were taken by anxious participants. Many were learning from the Seminar Sensations even after the seminars were over, as the enthusiastic teachers offered tips and insight to their fans in the hall outside the seminar "Gold Room".

The sold out banquet featured Tom Dressen, who has over 500 TV appearances and 59 "Tonight Show" spots, as well as "Mickey & The Memories", Mayor Richard Daley’s inaugural band. Chuck Norris was there of course and spoke of how, earlier that day, there had been a demonstration by the KDOOA kids at Hans Christian. He told of how much discipline, self-esteem, self-control and self-confidence all the students had gained in only one year. Norris related that Paul Vallis had heard of the program and come anonymously to watch from the back of the hot, crowded gym. Vallis was so impressed by what he saw that he immediately offered to fund the program for 12 Chicago Public Schools. Norris offered special praise to Scott Kifer, who has spearheaded the Chicago program and topped the fundraising efforts, for bringing together and coordinating the efforts of fellow producers Fred Degerberg, Tom Letuli and Robert Mason.


Philosopher, scholar, and martial artist Bruce Lee wrote, "To see a thing uncolored by one’s own personal preferences and desires is to see it in its own pristine simplicity." For martial artists ancient traditions steeped in principles have made truth and honesty fairly concrete notions. Being honest means rising above our lower human instincts and taking oneself-one’s needs, fears, agendas-out of a situation, then looking closely and clearly at what is left.

No examination of honesty would itself be terribly honest if it didn’t acknowledge the role of dishonesty in our lives. Dishonesty can protect us from pain, whether it is the pain of seeing a loved one with hurt feelings, or the pain of acknowledging our own imperfections. Dishonesty, particularly when a trauma has been suffered or a difficult concept presents itself, can seem to help us minimize potential damage to our psyches. It can seem to help us weather emotional storms.

The danger comes when we are unable to let go of the protective subterfuge of dishonesty, when the fear of what we are shielding ourselves from becomes so strong we must remain hidden in deceptions. There we are trapped, not only have we misrepresented things to others, but we must now work to maintain the illusions we have created.

So how can we get closer to embracing the ideal Bruce Lee speaks of? How do we embrace honesty when it may hurt? How do we reap the benefits of knowing that we have been truthful, and have nothing to hide from others or from ourselves?

Here are some points to consider.

Be objective: Look at the bigger picture. If you don’t think about your opinion of something, what changes in the way you perceive it?

Think critically: Ask questions about you see, hear, and feel. Dare to dig a little more deeply into the question of why events have unfolded as they have.

Be responsible: Be sure to examine the role you have played in things, whether passively or actively. There is no quicker way to doom yourself to repeating mistakes, or missing out on triumphs, than failing to consider the consequences, positive or negative, of your actions and attitudes.

Be proud. Remember that your time, energy and gifts are too valuable to spend hiding from realities.


How would you handle these challenges to your honesty? Discuss these scenarios with your family and decide the right way to react.

You are walking across the parking lot after martial arts class. Suddenly you catch sight of a green slip of paper. It is a five dollar bill. You look around, everyone has already gone and the school will be closed for a few days for the holiday. What would you do?

You are amazed to see your best friend cheating during a math test. The next day the teacher announces that he has found the cheater’s crib sheet. If the guilty party does not confess, everyone will have to stay after school. You and a few others have belt exams that afternoon and you can not be late. Everyone groans but the teacher stands firm. Your friend tries her best to look innocent. What would you do?