Matthew and Harrison Merritt are brothers who have worked alongside their dad in order to obtain their first Black Belts in Mixed Martial Arts/ Tae Kwon Do. Matthew is a fifth grader at Bethany Christian School. Harrison is a graduate of Bethany Christian School and is now a freshman at Valley Christian High School in Chandler. The two of them have each worked nearly seven years to become members of the elite Black Belt group.
Q. What is the biggest take-away that each of you has learned from training with your dad and brother?
A. Matthew: My biggest take-away from training with my dad and brother was learning determination and mental toughness.
Harrison: My biggest take-away from training with my dad and brother was to set goals and to stick with it until my goals were achieved.
Q. Now that you’ve each obtained a Black Belt, what comes next?
A. Matthew: We could hone our skills and learn new techniques.
A. Harrison: At some point, possibly obtaining additional black belt rankings beyond 1st degree.
Q. How often did you train?
A. Matthew: I trained twice a week for two hours each class. I am currently taking a break in order to do some other activities like baseball.
Q. Now that you’re in high school, is it more difficult to balance your academics and martial arts training?
A. Harrison: No, because I received my black belt right before high school started. I am presently competing with my cross-country team at Valley Christian HS.
Q. Do either of you play any other sports or involved in any other extracurricular activities?
A. Matthew: Yes. I am learning how to pitch and I’m also the lead role in Bethany Christian Schools upcoming Christmas school play.
A. Harrison: Yes. I am currently on the Valley Christian High School cross country team and I’m finishing up my 1st season at high school level. I am also on the Valley Christian Rhythmic Team, a drum ensemble.
Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Matthew: I like pitching, hiking, swimming, playing with my dogs and playing the game ‘Battleship’.
A. Harrison: I like running, hiking, swimming, riding my dirt bike when I can and playing with my dogs.
Matthew is a fifth grader at Bethany Christian School and Harrison is a freshman at Valley Christian High School.
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