Danny Solache was filled with excitement when he won gold in 2016 at the World Karate & Kickboxing Commission USA National Championship in Detroit, Mich.
Just when Solache thought it couldn’t get any better, he got the news.
The University of North Georgia freshman Solache’s gold medal performance earned him a spot to compete in Dublin Ireland for the WKC World Championship. “I felt really good. I could not believe it then they told me that I had the chance to go to Ireland,” Solache said.
When he was younger, he probably would not think he would accomplish the accolades he has collected in American-style karate. Around the age of 5, Solache decided to give up karate. Little did he know, at the time, he would eventually become one of the best in the nation, while competing alongside world-class athletes in his form of martial arts.
Solache’s father, Juan, first introduced him to the martial arts as a toddler. Juan, a second-degree black belt, picked up karate back in 1994.
Danny lost interest shortly after picking up karate at an early age. But at 10-years-old, Danny’s father asked him if he wanted to give it another shot. Danny accepted, though did not want to continue his fighting career alone.
“I told him that I’ll join, if you join,” Danny said. “He is the one who watches over me whenever I am training.”
From that point on, Danny took classes with Jim Haymore at Haymore’s United Karate, in Gainesville. His skills improved over time, and eventually earned his black belt in 2014.
In October, 2016, Danny competed in a regional tournament, where his performance earned him a trip to The World Karate & Kickboxing United States Championship in Detroit, Mich.
“I was extremely nervous,” said Danny of the moment before the championship.
He has put innumerable hours of training in order to reach his maximum potential. He routinely ran hills for three miles to be in tip-top cardiovascular health. He was hoping that everything that he did to get to this moment would pay off. His nerves were getting to him.
Although he was nervous at the start of the competition, Solache fought through the emotions on his way to becoming a gold medalist at the U.S. National Championship.
Danny’s gold medal performance earned him a spot to compete in Dublin, Ireland for the WKC World Championship.
Traveling to Europe came at a steep price. Solache had help from the company CorTrans Logistics, which sponsored him. His mother, Flor, knew of this company for a while, and told CorTrans Logistics what Danny accomplished.
As a result, they paid for his trip, according to Danny.
A restless Danny killed time on the seven-plus hour flight across the Atlantic by watching movies. Once he landed, it hit him. Solache was nervous. He was constantly thinking about what he could do to prepare more the last few days before his first match.
“I really did not think about it much until I was there,” Danny said. The weigh-ins were the next day.”
He did not meet the weight requirement when they weighed him in.
“I was a kilo(gram) over,” he said. “So I put on a sauna suit and went running, then I went to a sauna with my sauna suit on and a hoodie.”
The weekend before the first round of the WKC World Championship Danny had trouble sleeping. He was thinking that he should just train and work on his craft.
His cousins eventually calmed his nerves and told him that he needed to go to sleep and get rest before his fight.
On Nov. 1 last year, he met his match, coming up short in the opening round. That experience making it to the biggest stage, even though he didn’t win a medal, has made him hungry to get even better when training begins in April.