Martial arts students at Premier Karate Unlimited in Richmond helped Saturday in a nationwide effort to break the world record for the number of kicks to be done in one hour.

The “Kickin’ in the USA” Kick-a-Thon was organized to commemorate World Martial Arts Day, which was created to call attention to the mental and physical development encouraged in martial arts.

During Saturday’s Kick-a-Thon, the martial artists around the nation helped raise money for A Hopeful Tomorrow, “... to help provide scholarships for our nation’s at-risk youth to participate in physical arts programs that their families would normally be unable to afford,” said Lee Caswell, A Hopeful Tomorrow representative.

Caswell contacted Jon Tevis, owner of Premier Karate Unlimited at 2008 Merchant Drive, and asked him if he would like to involve his martial arts school students in the world-record attempt.

The previous world record for the most martial arts kicks to be done simultaneously in one hour was over 8.3 million, according to Caswell.

Tevis said he not only was excited about having his students be a part of Saturday’s event, but also to be working with an organization like A Hopeful Tomorrow because they work hard to make sure all contributions made in a certain area of the United States stay in that particular area, he said.

A Hopeful Tomorrow is a national children’s charity that helps provide at-risk children with an opportunity to explore physical, cultural and fine arts programs such as dance, gymnastics, martial arts and music.

A group of about 11 students gathered Saturday to help beat the existing world record. The amount of kicks made by each student is tallied, and then Tevis passes along the information.

It should only take a few days to find out if they beat the world record, he said.

Visit www.ahopefultomorrow.org for more information or to learn ways to donate.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.

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