Skip to content

Martial arts students break boards to prevent suicide

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) — Lincoln martial arts students put their skills to the test for an important cause on Saturday. They asked their friends and family to donate money by sponsoring them at a special suicide prevention event.

Longoria’s fifth annual Break-A-Thon was held on Saturday morning. Students lined up to break boards and break the cycle of suicide.

Longoria martial arts students each threw 10 boards for their Break-A-Thon fundraiser. The event was created after one of the academy’s students committed suicide on Christmas morning 2017. Longoria’s family and members were all taken by surprise.

“It was really difficult for us as a school and we knew the family so well,” said Daniel Longoria, owner. “My first thought was ‘I should have seen this, I should have done something, I should have noticed’, and I realized that was almost everyone’s reaction when this happened. .”

Money raised from each kick goes to Leadership Harbor, a Lincoln organization that provides training for schools and businesses to better spot the warning signs of suicide.

“Bullying and suicide are issues we need to continue to talk about to raise awareness of the resources available in our community,” said Chris Hansen, youth director at Leadership Harbor.

Leadership Harbor adapts its training according to the age groups it targets, whether adults or children, in order to better transmit its message of prevention.

“What if they or someone they know is struggling with bullying or having suicidal thoughts and just to have some kind of protocol,” Hansen said.

For Longoria’s owner, the cause, suicide prevention, can be compared to the martial arts themselves.

“What I preach is don’t wait until you have to learn how to protect yourself when the fight is on, it’s more preventative. you have to know yourself in defense, so hopefully you don’t ‘ll have to use it,” Longoria said. “It’s kind of my suicide thought process, I never want to have to go back and say ‘I should have seen this or I should have had to do this “with one of our students or one of our clients.”

If you or someone you know needs help, contact the new National Suicide Helpline by calling or texting 988.