Brent Hartwig is one of many sports instructors in the Health and Physical Education Department at Bellevue College. Throughout his entire life, he has grown up with sports and has competed in a diverse variety from football to competitive handball. While being well versed in a diverse range of sports, Hartwig has one particular activity that he treasures the most. Ever since his youth, Hartwig has always had a unique passion for martial arts. “Martial arts are my thing. They have been such a huge part of my life. It is my favorite activity to do. To teach, it depends on the students for the martial arts. If my students are serious, then that is my favorite thing to teach. If I get good, serious students that want to learn, then that will probably be one of my favorite classes.”
When Hartwig first joined the Bellevue College staff in 1985, he began teaching a karate class. Shortly after becoming more comfortable with teaching martial arts as a foundational course, Hartwig found it easier to branch out and teach other subjects. In addition to teaching martial arts, Hartwig started teaching basketball and football classes. After getting those approved to the curriculum, he then began both of his self-defense classes. “When looking back, everything was all pretty much interrelated. Once you get down one foundation in sports, it is all pretty much connected. Everything blossomed from that karate class.”
Hartwig has since taught a large variety of sports classes at Bellevue College. He currently teaches two sections of self-defense, two sections of badminton, a course combination of football and basketball and one section of archery. If there was a sport Hartwig would want to learn and teach that he has never been involved with before, it would be hockey. “As far as sports I have never been involved with, one that jumps out at me, especially now with the Olympics, is hockey. If I had to pick one, that would be it, and I think it would be an absolute blast!”
In addition to teaching at Bellevue College, Hartwig also teaches martial arts in his own karate school located in Bellevue. Hartwig’s primary motivation for teaching at Bellevue College was his passion for sports. “I wanted a chance to stay engaged in these activities that I like.” Having a deep love and understanding for the various sports he teaches at the school, Hartwig has made it a goal to continue developing the programs he has been involved with and in doing so, help benefit the students as much as he can.