In the realm of martial arts, the spirit of combat often extends beyond the arena, resonating in the hearts of those who seek to make a difference. Selma Li, the visionary force behind Kombat Cares, embodies this ethos. Founded with a steadfast commitment to serve the less privileged within the Kombat Taekwondo community, Kombat Cares emerges as a beacon of hope, illuminating paths of compassion and empowerment.

In this exclusive interview, we delve into Selma Li’s motivations, aspirations, and the transformative journey that led to the inception of Kombat Cares. With profound insights and unwavering determination, Selma Li invites us to embrace a mission that transcends boundaries and fosters enduring change. Join us as we explore the essence of charity, resilience, and the boundless potential of collective action.

Hello MASTKD!  I am Selma Li, the Founder of Kombat Cares, a non-profit organization based in the U.S., established to serve the less privileged within our Kombat Taekwondo world.  It is a pleasure to connect with you.

What is your motivation behind charity work?

Ever since I was a little girl, I have carried within me a profound belief that I would one day contribute meaningfully to the world.  My purpose in life is to be of use to people, particularly to those who are facing adversity and less fortunate circumstances.

We are surrounded by people who are blessed with thriving careers, robust health, remarkable talents, and unwavering support from their loved ones.  However, alongside this abundance, countless others endure the harsh realities of starvation, sexual exploitation, physical and psychological disabilities, displacement, and the strains of political instability.

Each morning, I awaken with gratitude – thankful for my freedom from physical pain, appreciative of the scent of fresh air, and simply glad to be alive.  With each grateful moment lingers a nagging sense of inadequacy, a sense that I’m not leveraging my blessings to their fullest potential for the betterment of humanity.

Why did you create Kombat Cares?

The inception of Kombat Cares stems from the stark reality that despite the generosity of many, it’s disheartening to realize that resources will always fall short of alleviating all sufferings.  After years of serving on the Board of Trustees for a UN-affiliated NGO, and witnessing the inefficiencies in charity distributions, I resolved to take a more proactive approach by establishing Kombat Cares.  My mission is to rally the power of our Kombat Taekwondo communities beyond their love for the sport, empowering them to lead charitable endeavors.  Together, our goal is to mobilize resources effectively, ensuring aid reaches those in need within our Kombat world, even if it means impacting just one life at a time.

Are you confident about your abilities to serve the world?

Absolutely!  Building upon my extensive experience in orchestrating charity movements and peace conferences through GCS International, founded by the father of World Taekwondo President Dr. Chungwon Choue, I learned quickly how to successfully bring the world together to serve the underprivileged.  My previous charity endeavors spanned a wide spectrum of initiatives, from peace conferences to hosting world peace walkathons and community outreach programs worldwide.

Even amidst the challenges posed by COVID-19, I adeptly utilized online platforms to conduct multiple food drives and fundraisers to address starvation and poverty in countries such as Venezuela and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  Additionally, I organized numerous Zoom meetings, annual conferences and free leadership and Taekwondo seminars involving close to100 international chapters through the Zoom platform when traveling was not feasible, ensuring that charity efforts continued unabated between 2000 and 2022.

I pioneered the world’s inaugural first real-time virtual Taekwondo championships in collaboration with masTaekwondo and a team of dedicated World Taekwondo Certified International Referees who generously donated their time to judge in these online tournaments.  The six virtual online events during the COVID years brought live competitions to audiences and participants together without leaving their homes, from the backyards of North America to the valleys of South America, to the rooftops of Nepal, to the parking garages of Asia.  In a time marked by uncertainties, these livestreamed events served as beacons of hope, keeping the passion for Taekwondo alive worldwide.  All proceeds from these events were directed towards scholarships and support funding throughout the world at a time when it was much needed.

What is your vision for Kombat Cares?

The art of charity lies upon achieving the fine balance between aligning resources to promote efforts that resonate with our communities, and the efficacious delivery of essential services to those who could benefit from what the organization has to offer.  The vision of Kombat Cares is rooted to thoughtfully recognize the voids within the countries we serve, and mindfully fostering charity endeavors that are relevant and purposeful, offering activities that enrich the lives of our supporters; as well as to responsibly allocating hard-earned funds to the appropriate populations, spreading love and nurturing hope across the globe.

Do you have a plan in how you will make this vision come true?

I founded Kombat Cares with the vision of transforming lives, for both our supporters and beneficiaries alike.  With seasoned leadership and meticulous planning, along with the unwavering support of our extensive Kombat Taekwondo family, Kombat Cares is devotedly ready to serve and ignite inspiration.

The mission of changing lives is by no means a simple task; but with hearts dedicated to walking the road less traveled, the future rightfully belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams (quoting Eleanor Roosevelt).

Do you have a message for the audience?

I extend a warm welcome to all who rise each morning with gratitude, for the precious gift of life, to join Kombat Cares.  Through joint efforts, no act of kindness is ever too small.  For those who are fortunate enough to have experienced the transformative power of Taekwondo, Kombat Cares stands to draw strength together which unite us in our quest to making a meaningful impact together beyond the fighting cages.

Thank you for the opportunity to lend my voice today, representing Kombat Cares.  I invite each and every one of you to embrace a new mission that matters, a mission that holds significance.

As the Dalai Lama wisely said, “In order to carry out a positive action, we must first develop a positive vision.”  Let us come together behind this vision and strive towards a brighter tomorrow with those who share our dreams.