‘You learn confidence’: Calgary teen with limited use of arms excels in martial arts

CALGARY – Sixteen-year-old Maria Tourani has been facing tough odds all her life, and she’s confident she can handle her latest challenge.

Tourani was born with limited use of her arms and hands, but that hasn’t stopped her from getting involved in martial arts in a big way.

She’s been studying Hap Ki-Do since she was eight years old, and now, at 16, she’s hoping to earn her black belt soon.

Tourani’s been taking home championship medals from tournaments for years.

She says attending Yoon’s Martial Arts School has helped her in many ways.

“Because of my situation, a lot of tension builds up inside, so when I come here it’s like a sudden relief,” said Tourani. “You learn confidence. It’s a life skill.”

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Her mom, Betty, says she finds her daughter’s success inspiring.

Tourani’s success also inspires her instructor, Bobby Triantafillou.

“She gives 100 per cent effort,” he said. “She doesn’t give up.”

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