Guang Kui and Daniel Sun are members of the 2022 Class, Course 6.3 (Computer Science and Engineering) major, former classmates, close friends — and now, graduates of the long-running TV competition “American Ninja Warrior.” For the first time, contestants have recently been featured on NBC (Chapter 13, Category 4 filters) and in many streaming services. Talk recently about what it takes to be a ninja.
Question: How did you decide to pursue this goal – were you both “American Ninja Warriors” supporters?
Daniel Guang and I met at CPW [Campus Preview Weekend] And almost immediately. We shared a lot of common things, and one of them has been watching “American Ninja Warrior” or ANEN since we were kids. When we met, we were both 18 and asked, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could try to attend?” We thought. However, the minimum age to apply was 21. We spent our first year together in Chicago, participating in an internship in Akuna Capital. While we were there, we picked up some rocks. Many of the skills involved in earthquakes will be transferred to ANH, so we have decided to apply when you lower the age limit from 21 to 18. Linn We applied for the 2020 season and were rejected, but we tried again the following year and ended the show.
Guang: Personally, I remember seeing the first Japanese version of “Sasuke” in the lobby of my apartment building, I remember it was about 5 years. We all saw ANW grow, so when Dan and I met in the new year and immediately thought about all the big name ninja and we thought we were great, we knew we were going to be close.
Daniel My parents always punished me for trying to do things that were rude in the house: an adult was pulling on the door frames. My parents were always upset that I was going to break the door, but now I see that I started training relatively early.
Guang-I didn’t think I could make towels on the door frames until high school, but it was the same for me. But when I was 9 years old, I could climb a spider’s web, and like Daniel, my parents were angry with me.
Question: Athletics training is hard at any Boston summer – but it should be twice during VV. How did you stay safe while training?
Daniel: We were both at home in the early days, and we realized there was still no way to go to the gym safely. The first thing I ordered was a drag bar to do exercises like calcifications and weightlifting. Trying to come up with practical exercises can be challenging.
Guang: At home, I did a lot of calibration and other random exercises using temporary materials. While I was working and doing ninja things at home, I made a random YouTube video. After we were allowed to go to the gymnasium, I put on my mask and went to the gym. By the end of the summer, I did a lot of research. We kept each other updated with training; I would send Dan to the hard rocks I was having. In the spring, when we returned to campus, we received a surprise call. After that, we would go to Ninja Gym several times a week and train at the Z Center. We found Zipcar and went to the ninja gyms in Boston and Wellsley, trained for two hours in the evening, and then returned home to rest. We Zipcar spent thousands of dollars… but it was worth it.
Question: What was it like to go behind the scenes of the collection – were there any surprises?
Daniel One memory comes to mind when we are on the bus to get to the right race. I did not know any of the ninjas on the bus, and then someone in my stomach and bini was sitting next to me drinking tea. He starts talking to the person behind me about obstacles, like “What do we have?” So I approached the conversation. When I introduced myself, the man pulled his hat back – and it was David Campbell, the “Godfather” who literally competed in every ANW contest. I’ve seen it from time to time since I was a child. He gave me a lot of advice because I was in my early teens. It is unrealistic to see the people you see on TV right now, and I say I really love the people in the Ninja community – they are really friendly and open to talk, and they lead happy lives.
Guang: I totally agree. It is crazy to interact with people we have known for a long time. Realizing that we are running the same route is still a disgrace to me. We played instruments in that office, and [retired NFL player] Andrew East walked over to him and said, “You’re good!” it has. There are people from all walks of life who participate, and because we are usually surrounded by other college students, it was a great opportunity to learn from them.
Question: When did you learn what challenges you will face, and how do you prepare yourself? Emotionally?
Guang: They do not learn obstacles until the day of recording; It was probably an hour or two before we ran. They took us and told us the rules, and then we were just thinking about how to engage in mental vision and strategy.
The first and last obstacle of the spectators, they are often the same. The last hurdle is always a bent wall, so we practice that much. Recently, the first obstacle was the trembling steps, followed by the ropes to the stage. I was incredibly scared of the first hurdle! The day before we left for Seattle, I put five books in the corridor and walked over to them just to get ready. Daniel came out and laughed at me. I was dumb, but it was a good practice.
Question: Tell us about the actual, physical experience in the lesson.
Guang: I say it creates a lot of nerves, because you only do it once a year. I took a deep breath, tried to enter the zone, and tried to live instantly. Personally, I think my training was very helpful. I never felt so tired after all. It’s like a roller coaster ride but much better. Instantly, it’s fun – it’s like a game.
Daniel I remember that on stage, in the heating area, these were bars for infrastructure to pick up some posters, and other ninjas were dragging and warming up on those bars. They set up some crash pads, so after a while we looked at the obstacles and tried to imitate them by swinging on the support bars.
Question: Do you think being a scientist is good for being a ninja – and if so, how?
Daniel Certainly there are things to carry, The discipline and training it takes to become a ninja is very similar to the discipline you are learning. To achieve anything in life, you need to set aside time, effort, and training to get where you want to go. You need to eat healthy and work on your body to achieve maximum performance. Mental preparation is also well translated; We both did a lot of academic competitions in high school, and that translates to a lot of thinking. To improve on the problem, you need to be completely in the zone and focus on the question. That feeling in the “zone” is very similar in both cases.
Guang: One area where the experience is not interpreted is when advertisers say things like, “As scientists, you have to be able to calculate the direction of movement.”… Well, no. Knowing the Physics of Obstacles There are a few ways to help – for example, if you stretch your legs, knowing that you have a better chance of completing the obstacle. But the real experience of being on the block makes more sense. I am delighted to have the opportunity to address this challenge, which is completely different from either computer science or electrical engineering. It’s good to play with obstacles when I burn text code. It balances my life.
Question: How has this experience changed you?
Daniel The first thing we both said after the meeting was, “We have to go back next year; We will be back. ”The floor level was great for learning how TV works. We know hundreds of times that many things can be written or recorded until they are corrected. Also, it was a great learning experience for me to learn how to work under high pressure: “The American Ninja Warrior” was the biggest milestone I have ever achieved, which is strange because of the strengths I feel I have, and I was waiting to show those! Ninja is my weakest side, but it was great to be able to show that athletic side on that big stage.
Guang: I learned a little about what I could do. I was amazed when you asked me if I was on the show three years ago. According to Dan, we would not be surprised if we did something wonderful in science. I don’t think the experience has fundamentally changed us as people; We’ve seen this once on TV. It is just the right time in our lives. Dan and I also had great friends before ANA, but this experience brought us closer, which was really great.
Question: Are you planning to start a ninja community at MIT?
Guang: Really, yes! We are talking about starting the ANW club, applying through MIT and making it official soon.