Our Student of the Month for November is Stephen Marshall. Stephen has been training with us for about a year and a half, and he originally started after his nephew (Justin) began training at Plus One. Stephen was looking for a way to work out and learn a new skill. While he had done some martial arts training as a kid, he stopped his training when he got into other athletic activities. Now, as an adult, he was ready and excited to get back into the arts… and that’s exactly what he has done!
Stephen trains in Aikido, Muay Thai, and Capoeira. He also works out in our fitness center between classes. His training ethic is quite strong, and he’s a great uncle, too- always here and supporting Justin in his training.
When asked about why he enjoys the martial arts, Stephen expressed that it’s more than just exercise. There’s a whole philosophy and ideology behind it. He says that martial arts training helps him stay fit and keep his mind active. He really enjoys training in the different disciplines, and he notes that it gives him the opportunity to see how the different styles meld together. Stephen appreciates the mental aspects, the focus, and the elements of strategy that are involved with the martial arts. He expressed that this is greatly different than the traditional sports. With the martial arts, Stephen says, you always have to be thinking ahead.
Stephen also likes the different cultural influences that are involved with his training. Sensei Mike, he notes, makes them learn some Japanese in the Aikido classes, and the Capoeira class, Joel (Suave) teaches him about the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. Then, in Muay Thai, he gains insight into the Thai culture. You learn a lot more than just punching and kicking, Stephen notes. It’s more than just “doing moves.”
When not at the dojo, Stephen enjoys hanging out with his nephew. He also likes traveling and going to different amusement parks. (His favorite park is Six Flags Great Adventure, in New Jersey.)
A thoughtful and intelligent man, Stephen does a great job of individualizing his training, while at the same time being incredibly helpful to his training partners and fellow students. He is a very humble guy who is not afraid of hard work. Stephen consistently attends class, and he approaches his training with a fervor that is second-to-none. This is why he was chosen as our Student of the Month.
On a final note, Stephen wanted to express his gratitude to his nephew, Justin. Stephen says, “If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have joined.” We’re sure glad that you are both here, and we look forward to continuing to train with you!