Illusion Apparel: What’s your favorite thing about your craft?
Jeremy Cheung: My favorite thing about my craft, or crafts, depending on who you ask, is the fun, fitness, and creative expression that’s available through exploring movement. Especially in the art of breaking or b-boying, in which finding one's own style and creating unique patterns is encouraged by nature.
IA: How long have you been working on your craft?
JC: Though I only partially practice it now, I started martial arts at the age of 12. I’ve been breaking for 11 years. And I started practicing calisthenics as a core discipline at the beginning of 2019. Though I had already practiced several conditioning exercises and skills related to it in my approach to dance. My main focus now in combining all these disciplines is body weight fitness and overall health through movement.
IA: How did you get started?
JC: I grew up watching a lot of Hong Kong Kung Fu movies by the Shaw Brothers and Bruce Lee. I picked up a bit of fencing when I lived in London as a kid and started studying other martial arts when I moved to America and met a friend in middle school who was learning Kung Fu from a Shaolin Monk. I then started training Wushu and Taekwondo at the same time after finding a dojo that was founded by a Grand Master who had moved over from Korea. I first saw breaking after I attended what I later found out was the 2001 UK Bboy Championships when I lived in London, and started training it when I moved to America and met friends in high school who were also interested in breaking. I got started in calisthenics after I met up with one of my friends from Instagram and was instantly hooked when I saw all the cool tricks and feats of pure strength that they could do.
IA: Who or what are your current inspirations?
JC: Currently, instead of an individual person or persons, I’m inspired by detailed complex movements that can be found in all the disciplines that I practice. Especially those that combine strength, skill, mobility, and flexibility all at the same time. I can honestly say that I have an appreciation for all the different styles and approaches that can be found within these disciplines. I’m also inspired by movements found outside of the disciplines that I focus on such as those in the Brazilian Martial Arts Capoeira and have picked up some of the basics as a result.
IA: What are your other interests?
JC: Some of my other interests include creating content through photography, videography and editing, influencer marketing, social media marketing, e-commerce, internet entrepreneurship, and cooking. I can also make some pretty good cocktails.
IA: What advice do you have for others who want to pursue movement as a craft?
JC: My advice to those that want to pursue movement, would be to start out with one discipline, get really comfortable in that discipline, but then acknowledge that you still haven’t fully mastered it and keep going at it. At the same time, consider experimenting with other movement arts that you personally find interesting and always pursue movement patterns that you genuinely and authentically are interested in. Seek advice from others who have practiced the crafts that you’re interested in for a long time but always take their advice with a grain of salt and make sure that whatever you do take in aligns with your own personal goals. Because at the end of the day your movement is your journey in the same way that your life is your own story. Always remember that no matter how good you think you are at a certain skill there is always someone better and there are always people who are masters at other disciplines that you have not yet ventured into. So there is always much more to learn.
IA: What was your best moment / most memorable event in your craft?
JC: I’ve been very intentional with the way that I’ve presented myself online over the years, along with in every venture and every effort that I pursue in my life. One of the most memorable events in my craft and in my life were when I achieved financial independence through Instagram sponsorships and my other collective hustles and was able to become a homeowner and tell my parents that I could take care of them and pay them back correctly for everything they had done.
IA: How do you define ‘illusion’?
JC: If I’ve learned anything over the years, it's that perception is everything, and other’s perceptions of you, and most importantly, and starting with your perception of yourself, are what form your reality. Your perception can either be positively or negatively influenced by illusions. Any future goals that you set for yourself are essentially illusions that you choose to take on until you achieve them and turn them into your reality. But in order to do so, you first have to overcome any negative illusions you may have of fear, doubt, or others telling you that you can’t achieve what you want to. You need to choose your illusions carefully because your illusions develop your reality.
IA: How do you break illusions in your craft?
JC: I break illusions in my craft by being fully and authentically myself in my movements. Creating variations and adding details wherever possible to try to create moves that are uniquely mine, while still building up and maintaining the foundation in whatever movement discipline that I’m studying. Through my online presence, I also hope to showcase a lifestyle that’s a little different than the traditional bboy narrative just to encourage people to think differently, try new things, and maybe even discover something that will help them towards everybody’s overarching goal of becoming the best version of themselves.