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      Battling breast cancer one karate chop at a time

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- For the entire month of October students at the Karate Dojo in West Columbia are decked out in pink karate belts.

      Sensei Brian Pena and other karate instructors are teaming up and selling pink belts.

      Sensei Pena also dyed his beard pink.

      For every belt sold nearly $50 goes to breast cancer research.

      ??We are also combining with two other karate schools in the Columbia area, Life Force Karate on Garners Ferry and Fortress Martial Arts in Lexington. Combined we're looking to rise about $10,000 for breast cancer,?? says Pena.

      Sensei Pena says breast cancer hits close to him and his dojo.

      One of his instructors passed away from breast cancer.

      He says the pink belt gives the students an opportunity to learn an even bigger lesson.

      ??The idea of helping others, seeing when others are in need what we can do to help others,?? says Pena.

      A pink belt is not a traditional color for karate.

      So when folks come to the dojo and see the belts it gets the conversation started.

      That conversation brings more awareness to martial arts lovers and parents who want to know what they can do to help with breast cancer research.

      ??Our plan is to show up November 6th with The American Cancer Society were going to be doing a relay for life. We are going to be presenting a big check with all the students from my school and all the other schools decked out in pink,?? says Pena.

      Sensei Pena says one hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to the South Carolina Oncology Association which is one of the local chapters of the American Cancer Society.