February Alumni Spotlight!

Brandon (Jimmy) Fleck!

[Photo retrieved from Facebook]

How did you find out about UO Wushu?

I found out about UO Wushu and Brandon Sugiyama back in high school from my friend Kats.

How long were you involved with the club?

I was involved off and on for five years.

What were the most difficult and most rewarding factors of being on team?

The time commitment was difficult, particularly when the club grew larger, but pulling off something successful with your friends was very gratifying.

Did you specialize in something?

Yeah, but it was a part of the team instead of a weapon or style. I focused on group cohesion. We hadn’t ever seen a team that large before (50 regular members), and it was unstable. I wanted to see if I could help hold everyone together.

How did you balance all your activities during college?

I didn’t (I’m not a great role model). I had always been good at school, but not at socializing. When I found myself surrounded by so many good friends, but not enough time to balance work, school, and wushu, so I prioritized my friends.

Can you describe the mental and physical progression you experienced from your first competition to your last competition?

Well, at some point Nathan and I started lifting together, and that got me much stronger. Mentally, the stress dropped off as I grew more comfortable being around and talking to people.

How did the Wushu community impact your life?

The impact was huge. Most of the people I met through wushu I still consider family.

How has Wushu impacted your life?

It kept me active during late high school and through college. It was always fun to jump around, and I learned how important it was to injury-proof your body.

Where are you now in life?

This year I bought a house in Beaverton and my girlfriend Madison moved in with me (both firsts for me). I have been traveling internationally once a year for the past couple years, and professionally I do systems analytics and SQL for IBM. My goal this year is to become a fiduciary and pay off my student loans.

Do you still practice?

I don’t practice wushu anymore. But I do still use feiyus as my workout shoes :p

Do you have any advice for current team members?

Pushing yourself to try something new or challenging will provide perspective, and listening to other people provides understanding. Mix in a bunch of random education, shake well, and presto! New adults!

Do you have any advice for the general public?

It might be worthwhile to invest in parking lots.