by ALEX PEREZ//Feature Editor
Honor, dedication and practice is the life motto of one student fighter.
Most of the world has been a spectator for multiple MMA fights, but imagine training for half of your life, and now being able to compete in the Taipei 2017 Olympics. This fantasy has become a reality for Bruce Wang.
Wang, a freshman who attends classes at South Plains College’s Reese Center campus, and many other students from around the country were selected to try out or and compete at the 2017 29th Summer Universaide Olympic Games in Taipei.
Wang will be representing SPC as he goes to compete in his home country and fight in a style called Wushu. Wushu is new to the Universaide Olympic Games. It is a mix of all Chinese traditional martial arts, and soon, Wang will get the honor of competing in the sport for Team USA. Wang is an experienced fighter who says he is ready to take on the new challenge in Taipei.
In order to be a part of Team USA, Wang and seven other fighters performed to their best ability and were judged by a panel of six, who then chose the final four. One was Wang.
The young fighter moved to the United States in 2008 with his uncle. He played basketball in high school for a bit, but soon began his training in martial arts with his uncle.
“I kind of don’t like doing team sports, so I chose fighting,” said Wang of his introduction to martial arts. Wang’s uncle runs his own gym in Lubbock, the United Martial Arts Training Center, and is a USA national team coach. With his past experience, Wang’s coach and uncle is an excellent source for training.
Wang’s first big fight being coached by his uncle was one of his interesting fights.
“I was nervous and kind of freaked out a little bit, but still really calm,” recalls Wang.
Wang was 17 at the time when a promoter came to his uncle and asked for a fighter to go against another fighter. Since three fighters were either injured or could not do it, Wang stepped up to the challenge. After deciding to take the fight, it was later revealed to him that he was going up against a 27-year-old black belt in Tai Quan Do. At the time, he was still being introduced to the fighting scene.
“My uncle told me to just take the fight, because I had nothing to lose,” said Wang.
“I tried to throw some crazy punches, but the guy got me with a lucky punch,” he added. “So I got knocked down, in the first round.”
Fortunately, the bell saved Wang, and his coach talked to him. In the second round, he came back with a vengeance and ended up winning by TKO in his first fight.
“I told myself, I have to finish this round,” says Wang about his fight.
With the Universaide Olympic Games coming up, he trains with his coach for about three hours a day and as much as he can on weekends. A full-time training schedule would be six hours a day. But since Wang is a part-time student at SPC and has a part-time job, he has a dedicated schedule to fit everything in.
Wang, who plans to pursue graphic design in the future, only has three fights in Wushu but has been successful in the sport. His event will be from Aug. 26- Aug. 30.
Wang is a very humble fighter who keeps to himself and trains hard to get the championship. He has been given the opportunity to go to the Universaide Olympic games before, but let a senior teammate go before he did. Wang says he holds himself to a high standard, but does not believe in flaunting his talents.
“Everybody has to lose at some point,” says Wang.
[Photo by ALEX PEREZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS]