When Nicholas Luciano, Leadership Class of 2015, was around seven years old, he always had a dream of becoming a power ranger and learning how to fight. That small childhood dream sparked a passion and that inspiration lead him to the South Korean martial art of Taekwondo in 2001, where he began training in Raritan, New Jersey. After training for four years of training, he obtained his first degree black belt in 2005 at age eleven. At the end of 2007, he earned his second degree black belt at the age of fourteen. In 2009, he was selected as the only student to be promoted to become an instructor. By 2011 just before his high school graduation, Nicholas achieved the highly honored rank of third degree black belt and continued to teach students of all ages, levels, and ethnicities. Nicholas is certified by Kukkiwon, the National Taekwondo Headquarters of South Korea and under the World Taekwondo Federation.
Additionally, Nicholas served as captain of the demonstration team of his school for seven years and has performed in numerous tournaments, local fairs, schools, cultural festivals, for the WNBA Indiana Fever halftime show on ESPN and for former Governor Corzine. The demonstration team won third place in the 2009 ATU National Demo Team Competition in New York. Nicholas has received eighteen trophies and medals combined from competing in different divisions of Taekwondo including forms, breaking, Olympic style sparring, and weapons. As of August 2012, Nicholas decided to change schools and continue his training in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. He aspires to become a master, and will achieve his fourth degree black belt in 2016. At his new school, Nicholas is captain of the demonstration team and continues to teach as an instructor. His long-term goals in Taekwondo are to focus on improving his skills in Olympic style sparring to hopefully win a national championship or even compete in international competitions such as the World Championships or the Olympics.
Nicholas knows that Taekwondo is more than just kicking and punching, it is a lifestyle that guides him every day. He has learned respect, discipline, perseverance, how to relax under pressure, and how to always help others. Taekwondo is a martial art that strengthens both the body and mind to maintain a balance in one’s daily life. Nicholas hopes to continue his success and strive to be the best with the hopes of opening a school of his own. Below is a video highlighting some of Nicholas’s many achievements: