Clint Wu, eighteen year-old from Houston, TX, is one of the 2011 Helen Gee Chin Scholarship recipients. He started his martial arts training since age 13 at the advice of his parents Master Ernie Wu and Chien Li. He has been studying with his parents and Shaolin Master Shi Xing Hao on various martial arts. He was a straight-A student in high school and now is attending University of Texas at Austin. He majors in computer science and inspires to be a computer engineer of video games. Below is my interview with him on his martial arts experience:
Violet: Did you like Kung Fu when you first tried it?
Clint: Not really, it was really different compared to what I used to practice, gymnastics.
Violet: Which styles and forms have you learned?
Clint: Traditional Shaolin, Eight Step Praying Mantis – which is also his father Master Wu’s specialty — and modern Wushu.
Violet: How many Kung Fu classes did you take on a regular base?
Clint: 3-4 times a week.
Violet: How often did you practice and on an average for how long each time?
Clint: Right now, I practice at least once a day for about 1 to 1.5 hrs
Violet: What are the benefits of practicing Kung Fu?
Clint: Good physical exercise and helps me clears my mind and focus; has also taught me many virtues and skills
Violet: What does your family think about your practice?
Clint: My parents are proud of what I have achieved but always push me to do better because I’m still no match for either of them.
Violet: What type of support do you get from your family?
Clint: They always push me to train more and harder and pay attention to the little details but at the same time they never push me past my breaking point
Violet: What do your friends think about your practice?
Clint: They think I practice too much.
Violet: What is your favorite style or form? What is your favorite weapon?
Clint: Favorite style has to be traditional Shaolin and favorite weapon is staff.
Violet: How many tournaments have you participated and since what age?
Clint: 5 or 6 tournaments since I was 15 or 16.
Violet: What are the tournaments you have been to? Did you have to travel out-of-town for them?
Clint: The New Tang Dynasty, ICMAC, and US Wushu Team Trials/Golden State Competitions are the main ones, and yes, I’ve traveled to Dallas, Orlando, San Jose, and New York.
Violet: How many medals/trophies have you got?
Clint: Many, I’m honestly not sure how many I have received
Violet: What is your goal of learning Kung Fu? What is the next step in your own practice?
Clint: I just want to get better and learn how to use my body in my fighting and I guess one part of it is wanting to learn self defensive skills; just to continue training in college.
Violet: How many siblings do you have? Do they practice Kung Fu?
Clint: two older sisters but they don’t practice Kung Fu.
Violet: Who is/are your role model(s) both in and out of the Kung Fu area?
Clint: In Kung Fu would be my masters and a boy named Gordon Tsai; out of Kung Fu would have to be my parents and an acquaintance of mine.
Violet: What is the toughest part in your journey of learning Kung Fu?
Clint: Self-motivation to try harder.
Violet: How do you overcome your obstacles?
Clint: Re-realize how much Kung Fu has changed my life and that I can always be better.
Violet: What would you say to other young people about learning Kung Fu?
Clint: It’s hard, but it’s well worth it in more ways than one.
Violet: What do you think about winning the scholarship?
Clint: I’m very grateful for the scholarship and for the scholarship committee granting me the opportunity to get closer to my goals.
Violet: How did you hear about the scholarship?
Clint: From My master Shi Xing Hao.
Violet: How are you going to use the scholarship money?
Clint: Pay for tuition and dorm costs.