CHILDREN PRACTICE karate in Lod..
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Budo for Peace – a nonprofit organization that brings together youths from diverse social, religious, ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds amid martial-arts training – has been named a regional finalist in the 2018 Peace and Sport Organizations’ annual awards.
The winner will be announced at the Peace and Sport Regional Forum in Rhodes, Greece, on October 18.
Budo is a Japanese word that describes modern martial arts.
The Peace and Sport Organization was founded in 2007 by French athlete Joe Bouzo, who competed in modern pentathlon contests in four Olympic Games, winning bronze and gold medals.
Prior to his Peace & Sport global initiative, he founded a similar French organization, Rassemblement par le Sport, whose mission is to use sport as a platform for socially integrating young people who live in areas where conflict and violence are rife.
Budo for Peace was founded in 2004 by Danny Hakim, an Australian-born businessman, philanthropist and martial-arts champion. Before making his home in Israel in 2002, he represented Australia at the Maccabiah Games
and twice won the silver medal in the World Championships. He subsequently represented Japan, where he lived for 10 years, and won gold and other medals in various international tournaments.
He holds a 7th degree black belt in karate and is a dan master.
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Soon after making aliyah, Hakim realized an urgent need to create a framework for the implementation of Budo values of self-control, harmony and respect within oneself and in relation to other people, coupled with character-building.
Budo conforms to the true definition of sport, teaching that it’s not winning that’s important, but how you play the game.
Hakim works throughout the country with secular and religious Jews, Arabs and Druze, including religious Muslim girls and Palestinian youths.
As an offshoot of Budo for Peace, he also runs Kids Kicking Cancer, where children with cancer are taught martial arts to help them believe in their inner strength, their ability to overcome pain, and the possibility that they will recover. It also helps the youngsters to allay fears and boost self-confidence.
Budo’s nomination as a finalist in the 2018 Regional NGO of the Year category is in recognition of the positive outcome of a February 2018 event – the Budo for Peace Martial Arts for Peace International Seminar – which it hosted in Ra’anana, attracting some 80 participants from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Greece, the Palestinian Authority and, of course, Israel.
Pleased at having hosted an event that included representatives of countries that are not exactly well-disposed toward Israel, Hakim said, after learning that his organization was on the short list for an award: “We are proud to be part of the peace through sport movement, and to have brought a group of senior martial arts athletes from diverse communities across religious, cultural and political boundaries to promote peaceful initiatives, and to lead children from all these diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds by example.”
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