Them Yu Hong

Nilai U student uses martial arts training to inspire academic endeavour.

“To become a Tang Soo Do master, I must pass a series of tests. These involve breaking of bricks or putting out the flame of a candle with wind force from a punch,” says Them Yu Hong, a student in Nilai University’s Foundation in Business programme and a 3rd Dan Black Belt in the Korean martial arts of Tang Soo Do. “Such feats may sound physically difficult but my master told me it is a case of mind over matter. I firmly believe that when a person’s mind is focussed, anything is possible.”

Yu Hong has applied many of the precepts from his martial arts training to his studies.  “Tang Soo Do teaches a person to be determined and focussed. I have my training to be very useful in helping me concentrate on my studies and applying myself to problem solving, which is very much like finding a way to beat an opponent in a bout,” smiles the 19-year-old lad. The former student from SMK San Min, Teluk Intan says that he chose to enrol in Nilai University (Nilai U) as he had heard a lot of good things from his cousin sister who graduated from the BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance programme. “She told me that the environment is very peaceful, unlike the campuses in the city where there are plenty of distractions. Also, she told me that the cost of living is much more affordable compared to the big cities,” he says.  “Another reason I chose Nilai U is that it is quite far from my hometown allowing me to be more independent.”

Another persuasive reason was that Nilai U administrators awarded Yu Hong with an Extra-Curriculum Excellence Award which entitles him to 30% discount on tuition fees.  Students who have achieved outstanding extra-curricular achievements at state, national or regional level events can apply for this scholarship. Yu Hong falls into this category given that he has been actively participating in Tang Soo Doo championships at state and national level since the age of 12. He recently bagged one gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the 19th National Tan Soo Do Championship in Kuching in December last year.

“I chose to do the Foundation in Business programme as it offers the fastest route into the Accounting and Finance degree programme,” says Yu Hong, who intends to be an entrepreneur when he graduates. Although a science stream student in school, he says he is enjoying the Foundation in Business programme immensely. “I am learning new things everyday and I now understand subjects like economics better,” he smiles. Yu Hong also cites his cousin sister as an influence in making him opt for Accountancy and Finance degree as the next step. “My cousin sister strongly recommended the programme saying Nilai U’s School of Business programmes are very solid with good lecturers. I actually have no plans to be a Chartered Accountant. I want to be an entrepreneur but I believe that the ability to understand accounts is vital if I am to succeed. Also, maths was one of my strong subjects in school, so it makes sense that I pursue accountancy since I am good with numbers. ”

In the meantime, Yu Hong dedicates his spare time and weekends to honing his skills as a Tang Soo Do exponent. “Training after class is a great way to relieve stress and there are plenty of open spaces at Nilai U’s campus for me to practice. I encourage everyone to find out more about this martial arts. Join me at Nilai U and we can start a Tang Soo Do club!”

Nilai U was established in 1997 and is located in the picturesque suburb of Putra Nilai, just 30 minutes south of Kuala Lumpur City Centre. It gained full ‘university’ status last year and is rated Setara 5 by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. For more information on Nilai U programmes as well as the scholarship and financial aid schemes, please go to or call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336.