Our Student of the Month for May is John Sundt! John trains in the Kung-Fu and Karate program. He has also taken the tournament circuit by storm this year!
John has been training with Plus One for a little over a year now, and he originally started training with us because he wanted to build upon his already solid workout routine. He likes the dichotomy involved with the training of both Kung-Fu and Karate. After training for over a year now, John is really digesting the material – not only quickly, but at a really high level of understanding. In his interview, John notes that he enjoys the flowing and fluid motions of Kung-Fu and how they interact with the more structured movements of Karate. He enjoys the specific regimen required for learning and gaining the martial skillset, and he also appreciates how we combine the two styles of Kung-Fu and Karate. He feels “that a martial artist should learn both [Kung-Fu and Karate] (like we do at Plus One with Sho Biyn Jiu) because there is a time and a place for each… knowing both helps to prepare you for any situation.” (Well spoken, John. We do our best to make the curriculum as holistic as possible. Thanks for recognizing that!) By the way, John noted that he chose Plus One after searching around for the right school. He likes our philosophy and attitude, and he expressed that he was “hooked” after the first lesson.
In regards to his training, John really likes interacting with his classmates. He also enjoys the sense of accomplishment he has after he works through a defense or a form. He enjoys the educational journey that is involved in learning. He says the martial arts have helped him in his life by helping him to understand that all things and experiences in life are connected. He says that, a year after he started, he is now able to see something that was first taught to him a year ago with a whole new understanding. He says that the training has helped him look at problems (in general) with the understanding that there are many different solutions to those problems. Specifically related to self defense applications, John says that people get out of their training what it is they put into their training. That is, he says training at the dojo isn’t enough. You have to train and practice daily at home, too. He is always working to gain the deepest understanding possible of the material that he is taught.
When not working out at the dojo, John enjoys anything related to football. He is a self-proclaimed “football fanatic.” He says he loves to “watch football, read about football, talk about football… basically anything football.” He also expressed that his daughter is on the Boston Massacre Roller Derby Team, and he enjoys travelling around to watch her bouts. (He actually said that he likes being that “obnoxious dad in the audience with the huge sign and yelling like a maniac.”) However, if you are caught at one of the games and want him to stop yelling like a maniac… apparently… you could ask him a question about football. 😉
John is a fantastic student. He trains hard, and he wants to do things correctly. I am very glad that he is with us. He takes his training very seriously, and he devotes a significant amount of time to doing things correctly. This makes him a great martial artist.
Once every few years we have a student who hits the Karate tournament scene with such a fervor, that their presence is undeniable. John is that guy. In the past decade we have produced three national champions. (One of them is Sihing Travis, who is the coach for our tournament team.) Under the tutelage of Sihing Travis, John is on his way to becoming the fourth national champion from Plus One. (No pressure.) Seriously, though, John’s tournament performance is really worth an article in and of itself. After a year of training, John is consistently fighting against brown belts, and he is beating them. I would have been remiss if I did not ask John if he had any advice to give for others who may want to participate in tournaments. John gives this advice:
Just do it! Don’t worry if you feel you’re not good enough or you don’t know what to do…. Everyone else feels the same way. There is a tournament almost every weekend… enter one and try it. Be trusting of what you have learned at Plus One and go for it at a tournament. After you start going to tournaments, talk to others at Plus One and get tips or hints… work together to make each other better… we are all on the same team!
John, thanks for being a part of the family, and keep up the great work!