Colour Blindness No Barrier for INTI’s Kickboxing Champion Ethan Cheng

November 3, 2023

Ethan Cheng Seng Wei is no ordinary 20-year-old. A student at INTI International College Penang, he is chasing academic success in Mechanical Engineering and, at the same time, has triumphantly clinched the 75kg Kickboxing title at the Hybrid Cage Boxing event organised by Octagon Asia MMA. However, what sets Ethan apart is not just the title on his shelf; it’s his exceptional ability to navigate and dominate a sport that relies so much on visual sharpness, all while grappling with Deuteranomaly, a colour red-green deficiency.

Ethann Cheng Seng Wei, despite visual impairment and flat feet, secured the 75kg Kickboxing title on July 11th at Hybrid Cage Boxing hosted by Octagon Asia MMA.

Originally from Alor Setar, Kedah, Ethan was drawn towards kickboxing due to his deep passion for martial arts. His unwavering determination and ceaseless efforts to attain perfection can inspire anyone facing adversities, demonstrating that persistence and hard work are the keys to achieving greatness.

“Kickboxing has sharpened me both physically and mentally. It has taught me about inner strength and the resilience required to overcome life’s adversities,” Ethan shared. He admits to facing another physical challenge: flat feet, which cause him considerable pain in his shins while running or skipping.

Ethan balances academic responsibilities with intense training thanks to support from INTI International College Penang. The college’s flexible schedule and the lecturers’ willingness to help outside the classroom were crucial to his success.

(Right) Ethan, pursuing a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at INTI International College Penang, spends his weekdays and weekends coaching clients.

“The well-planned classes give me enough time to rest before training, and the lecturers have been incredibly patient in reviewing their lessons outside of class hours,” he said with gratitude.

His achievements have garnered praise and well wishes from his teachers and mentors at INTI, who consistently motivate him. Ethan’s journey is not solely about his triumph; it is an inspiring tale for others who encounter obstacles in their own lives.

Ethan’s determination helps him bravely face and overcome every challenge on his path to success.

“The flaws we are born with are not within our control, but we can decide how much they hinder us. True passion always leads the way to progress,” he said.

Ethan looks forward to using his journey to motivate others to discover and regularly engage in a sport they are passionate about. “I want to show people how discipline in sports can be transformative, not only physically but also mentally,” he stated.

He remains dedicated to furthering his education in kickboxing, hoping to secure additional titles to pay tribute to his supporters. Additionally, he is driven by a desire to coach, aiming to assist others in reaching their fitness and martial arts aspirations.

Outside of kickboxing, Ethan enjoys photography, using it to express himself. Despite the hurdles his colour vision deficiency brings, he remains undeterred. “It’s tough to get the colours just right in my pictures, but over time, I’ve learned to adapt and deal with it,” he states, exemplifying his characteristic determination.

Ethan’s life shows us how strong dedication, the supportive environment at INTI International College Penang, and the power of determination can lead to great achievements. His story reminds us that with the right attitude and help, anyone can get past tough challenges and achieve their highest goals.

Samples of Ethan’s artwork which showcase his interest in photography.