Profile: Annika Wang

Annika Wang recently stopped taking Kung fu to focus on her studies.

With a series of kicks and punches, Annika Wang flies across the room, weapon in hand. A black belt is tied at the waist over her white uniform. What may come as a surprise is that Wang recently stopped taking Kung fu classes.

“I didn’t really want to stop,” Wang said, “but my parents thought it would be a little bit too much for high school since high school is usually a lot of work.” At 15 years old, Wang started as a Freshman at Lincoln this year.  

“The time contributing to doing Kung fu is roughly an hour and a half, so that means going there, doing it, and then coming back, so it was a little hard to do some homework sometimes.” 

Wang thinks taking Kung fu was a good experience and helped teach her self-defense.  Doing martial arts “is [helpful] because Kung fu trains your body in different ways than a regular exercise or workout would.”

Her master trained with Jet Li, a Chinese actor, producer, and martial artist, when the two were young boys in China.  Jet Li won a Wushu championship when he was only 11 years old.  

Though Wang may not have been inspired by the greats, like Jackie Chan or Jet Li, she says she was “more motivated if [she] knew someone in the class.”

In her last class, Wang tightens her black belt.  She puts her fist to an open palm in front of her chest and bows a proper salute. Her twelve-year commitment of learning Kung fu has served her well, but it’s time to move on.  

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