Sophia Bartosiak

I have always known sports, health and fitness is important to me. I have been going to family self-defence since I was seven. Who would have thought that six years ago when joining I believed that only wrestling and sparring were involved, but I learned so much more.

During my six years, I have learned many lessons and achieved many of my personal goals associated with self-defence. I have learned how to deal with challenging exercises by pushing myself little by little to eventually be able to run further and faster than previously impossible distances and speeds. I have learned over 100 individual techniques, self-discipline and control. I now have the confidence that I will be safe in situations.

When it gets hard learning the techniques and the names, I take I breath and keep practicing. People always say that practice makes perfect, but no one can be perfect so instead I think practice is key. Which is true, practice is helpful in Hanmudo and if I didn’t practice obsessively before every grading, I wouldn’t even have gotten my yellow belt. Sometimes I fall, lose or fail, but when I do, I get up and keep trying because I know that if I stop and stay down then I will never grow from that and I will make the same mistake twice, as well as not live up to my own potential. Making mistakes is a part of life but when not taking any feedback the mistake is going to be repeated a few times.

I will continue at family self-defence because each lesson I learn more about myself and my limits. I love the environment there because when I am there, I feel comfortable and happy like I am a part of a family community. I have made some great friendships and I now have amazing habits from self-defence. I know these important lessons and skills will be with me for the rest of my life. I have achieved so much, and I know I can achieve so much more. I am proud of what I am doing, and all this has driven my passion to continue Hanmudo.