Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Martial arts enthusiasts from the U.P., to the Dakotas, were at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth Sunday kicking up a storm for a good cause.
More than 15 schools from the region participated in the event, which was part tournament and part benefit, with the proceeds going to Gillete Children's Specialty Healthcare.
It's part of the Children's Miracle Network that raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America.
The event featured form —or non–contact—competitions, traditional sparring and also a "Courage Competition" designed for martial arts students with special needs.
"We do have a large division and class weekly for just special needs kids and the martial arts, which helps quite a bit with their discipline and developing their balance and strength," said Dr. Kevin Murphy, with Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.
"It's not easy to stand in font of people and show them what you can do, and show your weaknesses," said Mattevi Martial Arts Academy Owner Stefan Stein, "they learn to deal with the stress of competition and can translate that into their life."
After a brief lull in enrollment, the Northland has seen a rise in Martial Arts participation over the past five years.