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Niki Hughes jiu jitsu

Nikki Hughes

Specialties: Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai
Location:

Hometown
Boulder

Current Rank
4-stripe white belt, “blue” thai shirt?

What year did you start training?
2014

How did you get started?
I started this journey of Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu with Easton but have been exposed to Martial Arts since a kid with my mom.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your training, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge to over come was my uncontrolled emotions, which are a key part of Martial Arts in my opinion. It is not to cease having them or bury them away, but to know and understand how to control them and how they affect you. People have emotions for a reason, they are our warning lights. In the beginning of Muay Thai, I would allow my emotions to constrict me and hold me back, causing me to shut down in some cases. Now, having a new understanding of them, I am able to know that when I feel a certain way, I should allow myself a moment to reflect why I feel that way and what it means in my life. Determining how I can use that emotion to grow into a more confident and loving being has been a challenge and I continue to reflect and learn from it.

What’s your favorite thing about training or teaching, and why?

My favorite thing about training and teaching is the family I have gained while being at Easton. Both the students and teachers have influenced my life in ways I could not have imagined. I have become a more complete individual with the help of my friends and teammates. Each time I bow onto the mat I experience this energy that enlightens my spirit and shows that we are one. I am safe on the mat while outsiders look at it being a “dangerous” space. I feel most secure on the mat while being comfortable with the uncomfortable and growing into the person I am each day.

What are your personal goals on and off the mat?
The personal goals I have both on and off the mat are to be more interactive with people and places around me. As a teacher at Easton, I am forced to step out of my comfort zone and interact with students and coaches even if that is not my strong suit. I have noticed that by doing so, I am more confident in my ability to lead as well as being able to meet new people. I want to utilize this trait more as I travel the world an interact with different cultures. I find that more and more, I am able to step out of my personal space and begin to learn about others and how we all perceive the world and the space around us.
I also have found that the more I teach and help change peoples lives, the more I want to be involved in making a positive difference around me. I am able to look at my life objectively and see that there is more I want to accomplish. I want to create an environment that will promote well-being and an enlightening that will continue to ripple among the people it touches.

What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I am a very skilled avocado picker.

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