Nicholas // Age 17 // Wushu Adults and Teens // February 2022
Nick is a student very much after my own heart. He is the kid that loves everything, wants to do it all, and will do everything he can to make it happen. His hobbies are numerous, from music to cooking, languages and of course, the martial arts, and he is one of the most well-rounded young people that I know. For a long time, he has been the “baby” of our adults and teens wushu group. Although young, he is mature and has never fallen behind in a tough group, even when it means trekking in the mountains! Not only can he hang with the big kids but he is wonderful with the little ones as well. His kind, humble, and polite nature makes him someone that everyone likes to be around. Since his arrival as east cloud, I have seen him come out of his shell and grow immensely in all directions of his practice. Much like myself as a student, he enjoys and participates in all of the styles at our school, appreciating each of them for different reasons, shaping his perspective of all of them for the better.
Nicholas, I am so proud to be your teacher. Thank you for being such an ambitious and persevering force in our school!
(Imari Laoshi) You are one of the most ambitious young men that I know. Can you tell me about all the things you’re involved in outside of school and kungfu?
(Nicholas) I really like to give to people, not just material but there’s something about cooking for family that I really feel is a good connection because the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. I also love to give time to those in need, whether I know them or not. That is something very satisfying.
(I) and what other hobbies do you have? I know you sing…
(N) A little bit. I have also been practicing a lot of music and specifically classical piano. I find that really relaxing and a really good way to spend my time. Learning new languages, it is very…almost wholesome to speak to someone and that they already know your language, it’s like a warm hug.
(I) Languages, music, you play something other than piano….
(N) I tried violin but its not my forte anymore. I have some experience in most instruments and will help people if they need basic fundamental help, then I can do that.
(I) and then you also work out extra outside of kungfu classes?
(I) and I know you do well at school and are also involved in different styles of Kungfu that we have here at East Cloud. Can you tell me about the different styles you practice and why each of them appeals to you?
(N) So let’s start with taichi. I really like the philosophy of the art, I really admire it. The calmness and fluidity is what appeals to me the most and the fact that you can develop actual strength even by doing something that would simply be brushed off by so many people. Wing Chun, I actually really enjoy it, even though I don’t show up to as many classes as I would like to. It opens your eyes, you get to see a whole new different set of practice for things you may already know. Even things that seem so basic are a staple and you can’t underestimate it and that’s what it really taught me.
(I) and wushu?
(N) Wushu is really interesting, that’s where, as you mentioned earlier, ambition…just being able to see people do aerials and butterflies and it makes you feel like it is a tangible goal, maybe I can do this at some point and I just have to keep on working on it.
(I) *chuckles* I actually have the same story from when I was a student here. Out of all of them, which is your favorite and why?
(N) I honestly can’t pick a favorite.
(I) *smiles* yes, I know this feeling well.Do you have any interest in participating in competitions?
(N) Like i said, whenever I get to that goal..I mean time will tell.
(I) I mean, that is tangible.
(N) that is very tangible.
(I) So that’s a yes?
(N) Sure! *both laugh*
(I) How do you feel about the upcoming performance?
(N) I feel like it is still tangible despite the limitations that are presented but you just gotta roll with it and I just gotta give it my best and at the end of the day that’s really the point of the performance, people presenting their best.
(I) Well and adapting, because adapting is one of the biggest lessons that we learn in our training, right?
(I) And speaking of lessons, what is the biggest lesson you have learned from your martial arts training?
(N) That’s hard. I’d have to say that there really is no small feat. It took me a really long time until I got a split and I’ve never really been able to do that. Even the slide splits, it is still kinda hard and eventually whether I knew it or not, small training after small training I was finally able to do it!
(I) So, persistence?
(N) Yeah, even if you don’t know it, you’re still making progress in some way, shape, or form.
(I) Yeah, that’s a good lesson. Do you have any specific goals in your training for this next year?
(N) I’d like to start working a lot on my acrobatics. I feel like I have opened a new door with my flexibility and now I can really start getting in to some other stuff and maybe by the end of this year I can get to the ground consistently in all the splits, sides and middle, and at the same time that can open up a door for me in acrobatics. Because I didn’t think I could do a cartwheel and now I can do a cartwheel and it wasn’t just a cartwheel, I did a one-handed one.
(I) That’s a good accomplishment. It can get really scary when you take away even one hand. To psychologically overcome that is a big deal.
(N) Yeah it’s a barrier.
(I) Anything else you’d like to add?
(N) I couldn’t do this without a good set of teachers. I mean, all of you here, it is just such a wholesome community to be here and the fact that they can encourage you to keep going, I really appreciate it.
(I) We also appreciate you 🙂 Thank you Nick!
(N) Thank you.