On Friday, November 16, Donna Harris, vie president of Charlotte, NC-based Grice Showcase & Display, received her 1st dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
In order to be eligible to test for this level in martial arts, you have to complete numerous requirements. Harris entered a 10 week testing cycle during which she had to run 105 miles, do 10,000 pushups and 10,000 sit-ups, complete 210 sparring rounds, 210 rounds of jumping rope, 10,500 kicks, 1,000 burpees, 350 pull-ups, acquire letters of recommendation, write 9 essays, perform a variety of community service, receive mentoring, and more to be eligible to test.
After the 10 week cycle she was locked in the dojang starting at 9:00 pm and required to perform all her curriculum in front of the Masters till the next morning with no sleep. Harris says her class “did great and finished at 6:45 am so we were able to go home and relax for a few hours before we had to perform at our public test at 1:00 the same afternoon.”
Harris stated: “Currently, I train with Master Chin & Master Evins at King Tiger Academy in Charlotte, NC. This experience was very challenging, and pushes you to limits you never knew you had, but is so rewarding. Our class ranged in age, and everyone was testing at different levels, some 1st dan and others 2nd, 3rd, even Master. You bond with individuals of different backgrounds and ages, yet everyone is part of the family with a common bond of disciplined fellowship and martial arts training.
“My goal is to continue training and be eligible to test for my 2nd dan by the end of 2013. This experience for me relates to the true meaning that if you put your mind to it you can do anything.”