The 3am Challenge


On Saturday, March 16, 2019 two students from The Dojo accepted “The 3am Black Belt Challenge.” Alaina Spears and Brian Lemus faced this journey together at 3am on a breeze Saturday morning. These two young students were ready, willing and able to face the physical, mental, & spiritual challenge for their black belt test journey.

The 3am challenge is divided in two parts, phase I and phase II.

Phase I of the Black Belt test is extremely physical in nature and it can last between 3-4 hours. Between those hours each student must complete a 5 mile run, 500 hundred push-ups, 500 jumping jacks, 500 crunches & much more. This part of the test is about physical endurance, mental readiness and the spiritual will not to quit. Students must work together as a team in order to make it through this grueling task.

Phase II of the “Black Belt Test Challenge” is given in front of a masters panel. This panel consists of high ranking Black Belts from 7th degree masters to 10th degree Grand-Masters. Students must perform individually in front of the Masters’ panel and each one is tested on the following criteria: character, attitude, focus, balance (not just physical balance but mental, spiritual and emotional balance), speed, power, timing, rhythm, breathing and ki (internal power).

Students must demonstrate these 10 elements of skill and aptitude performance. On Saturday 3/16/2019 Alaina and Brian demonstrated these exceptional qualities and were granted the rank of “Shodan,” 1st Degree Black Belt, by Grand-Master Keishun Kakinohana from Okinawa, Japan.

Congratulations guys, you proved that you have what it takes to be an exceptional Black Belt. May you continue to always share the true Spirit of Karate-Do.


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