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Student Profile - Natalie Ng
By Vivian Armitage - The Hockaday School

Upon first glance, senior Natalie Ng, at just 5’0”, doesn't seem threatening. But looks aren't always what they seem: Ng can kick a six foot tall person in the head with ease.

Ng has been practicing martial arts for 12 years and is a black belt in Kobudo, a Japanese style of martial arts that uses weapons, and Tae Kwon Do. She currently trains at Vision Martial Arts Center in Plano.

Her parents introduced her to martial arts training. “They thought it would be a good idea for me to learn self-defense, since I am a small girl.” Ng said.

In an effort to make learning this new skill more fun, they made it a family affair. And, although her whole family didn’t continue practicing martial arts, her dad still trains and has a black belt.

“My dad has definitely kept me going,” Ng said. Soon after starting, Ng began to love the sport and joined the competition circuit.

Practicing martial arts became an outlet where Ng could express herself. “I am usually a reserved person, and karate is a place where you can’t be shy,” she said. “It has really helped me to become more confident in myself and in my abilities.”

When she began competing at the age of eight, Ng was very intimidated. “There were thousands of people in the stands that I didn't know,” she said. “It took a lot of courage to get up in front of them.”

At competitions she performed both forms and sparring: fighting with weapons and free form fighting.She thrived in both areas. Ng’s enjoyment of competitions didn’t come only from the karate, though.“My favorite part [of competing] is meeting new people that don’t train at my center,” she said.

With time, she proved to be a fierce competitor. However, her experiences taught her that every fight isn't always a fair one: “the field is just very competitive and the judges tend to be very subjective,” said Ng.

Competing required a large time commitment. While in the competition circuit, which she entered when she was eight, Ng would train three to four times a week and then have tournaments on the weekends. Sophomore year she had to give up competing and cut back on training when her school work became more demanding.

Despite her growing workload, she was determined to stay on top of her routine.

“Natalie is nothing but top notch,” said Diane Reeve, CEO of Vision Martial Arts, “she has a great spirit and is a superb athlete.”

She currently manages to find time to train twice a week for about two hours.

Her usual training regimen consists of a routine of blocks and kicks, forms, self defense and fighting.

Although no longer in the competition circuit, Ng maintains her reputation as a fierce competitor and continues to enrich her studio with her unremitting determination.

“[Natalie] is very dedicated to the practice and teaching of the art,” Ng’s training partner Bradley Gregory said. “Natalie pushes herself and those around her to do their best.”

Ng plans to keep up with martial arts in college by joining a club in the fall.