Eat, Sleep, And Drink Karate….


Dannika Harris writes, Who ever said Karate is not a sport, never participated in a Black Belt test.

Who ever said Karate is not a sport, never participated in a Black Belt test. On October 23rd, 24th, and 25th, my brother, Tommy and I went to Breckenridge to test for our high brown belt. It was my first time participating in such a large leadership retreat. I was a little scared, because I had heard all the horror stories from last years testers, and I hoped it wasn’t true. All the fun got started on Friday at 6:00 pm with the Bow-In and introduction of Masters and special guests from all over the country. It was time to warm up and go over all our forms. Nothing like a two hour workout to get the heart going. Next we had to spar. We all put on our protective gear and went at it. It was so nice to see the Black Belts out there showing us under belt students new techniques and how to be faster. After getting all sweaty, it was time to listen to Grand Master Smith on the proper techniques of jump roping. To end the night, Mister Snider worked with us on kicking and using proper chambering. I didn’t even notice it was after midnight when we were excused for the night. All I remember was someone saying see you at 6:00 am for the morning run. The next morning, I ran as fast as I could. If we got done early with the run, it was more time I could take a nap and eat breakfast. Bow- In was at 9:00am and everyone was ready to go. Mister Wren started us off with an hour of sprints and I felt my legs burn. After that, Master Johnson taught us how to judge tournaments and how to make all students feel important. Grand Master Oliver and Grand Master Smith taught a leadership class and invited all belt ranks to participate in the lesson. It was time to do our formal testing to see if we would make it to the next belt rank. I was getting very nervous, if my brother or I failed, we would have to wait until next year to advance belt ranks. (I wasn’t going to let that happen). All the brown red belts (thats me) got in front of everyone and did their forms, and we looked great. We all stayed together and looked like we knew what we were doing. It was so nice to see all the parents and other students cheering us on. The masters and high belt s said we did a good job and we could go to bed early. I was back in my room by 11:30 and didn’t waste any time falling asleep. I found out later the black belts had to stay till 3:00am practicing so they could be the best. It was now Sunday, the last day of this event, and 7:00 am came very fast. We all warmed up to dancing the YMCA song and doing the Electric Slide. Some of the students got on the tables to show off their great dance skills. My mom got it on her camera, so I have proof of it all. Ha, Ha, Ha. While the high ranked masters deliberated in the other room to see if we passed to the next belt, we had masters from other karate schools teach us self defense, grappling, take downs, and stretching. It was time to see if we passed and if all our hard work paid off. I DID IT!!!! And my brother did too. I think this whole retreat was about never GIVING UP and no matter how bad you hurt or you think your brain is not there, you can do it. YOU CAN DO IT!!! I am very proud of my karate school, Mile High Karate. We have so many wonderful teachers and students. I would like to thank Grand Master Oliver, Grand Master Smith, Master Lewis, Master Tucker, Master Johnson, Mister Mooney, Mister Wren, Mister Snider, and all the other wonderful Masters and Misters from other schools. YOU ROCK… I also need to thank all the parents and family members who put up with all of us. For more info about Mile High Karate check out or call 303-986-5468.


  1. Awesome article, Dannika!
    Awesome article, Dannika! Very informative, and I’m glad you told us what you think the competition was all about. Now all I need to do is join karate and get a uniform…. 🙂

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