Powerful punches. Killer kicks. Flaming fireballs. (Fireballs?) What if you could fight like a video game character? Enter Sofia Mathilde.
The Danish stunt woman, martial artist, and YouTube creator has a catalog of videos exhibiting her prodigious abilities to emulate signature moves from characters in video games such as Mortal Kombat, as well as dynamic fight scenes with weapons, punches, and kicks. After seeing her imaginative videos, I wanted to find out more about her martial arts background, those wild video game videos, and what the future holds for the stunt performer.
Sofia Mathilde’s channel is called Sofia Stunts, and viewers can watch scores of videos showcasing her acrobatic skills, martial arts abilities, and stunt work. Mathilde tells how her martial arts studies and stunt career began almost simultaneously, “Karate was the first that I did, and then I moved on to FMA, which is Filipino martial arts, because the person who got me into stunts, it’s JP Stunts, his name is Joon (Joon Poore), he does mainly FMA.
It’s one of many forms of martial arts that he can do. He taught me this (FMA) and I just fell in love with it. You can use it with weapons, you can use it without weapons, you know: hand-to-hand combat, and it’s always the same movements. You just have different things in your hands. It’s very useful, and you get a really good flow from it.
That’s been my main form of martial arts for the past two years now.” Mathilde is not limited to Karate and FMA though. “I do a lot of other kinds of martial arts as well, dabble in it, like wrestling. Lucha Libre wrestling, I love it…and Tae Kwon Do as well.” In short order, Mathilde went from training in martial arts to working as a stunt person, which she’s been doing for the past three years, “I have done a little bit of stunt coordinating as well, but mainly as a performer.”
In addition to her stunt gig, she has carved out a special niche making videos of flashy moves from characters in video games such as Tekken, Street Fighter, and especially Mortal Kombat.
While the martial arts techniques portrayed in video games are often unrealistic, Mathilde has made a study in bringing them into real life and turning the sequences into a kind of short kata performance. By recreating the signature fighting moves of such characters as Kitana or Sonya Blade, Mathilde has found an inventive approach that crosses over to both martial arts and video game aficionados.
Although the videos take dedication to create and perform, for Mathilde, they are a labor of love, “It’s really fun. I love doing them.” And the videos have attracted some noteworthy fans, as Mathilde explains, “It definitely has gotten my name, quite a bit, out there. The creator of Mortal Kombat recognized it (Ed Boon), and Sonya Blade, herself (Kerri Ann Hoskins), recognized the Sonya Blade videos, which has really gotten my name out there to a lot of people to see. It has really expanded my possibilities, and my career in general. A lot more people know about me, also here in the Danish film industry. I have a little bit more of a reputation now, at least, from doing those videos.”
Anyone looking to build their online presence should take some pointers from Mathilde’s use of social media to create more likes, shares, and engagement with followers. She is on multiple platforms, (Twitch, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.) and though there is a lot of martial arts content available online, Mathilde has found a way to distinguish herself from the crowd by displaying her abilities in a context recognizable to many viewers. If readers want to level up their social media game, whether to bring awareness to their school, or fighter profile, or just to gain followers, they may want to study her example. What if your hero shared your video? A lot has happened in a short time. What’s next for Mathilde?
The Next Big Thing
Mathilde’s teacher, Joon Poore, has been important in her training and her career. Mathilde elaborates on how meeting the right person at the right time can make a huge difference in a person’s life. “Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to be the superhero in the film or something like that, and I never knew where to start with that. So, that he just kind of showed up in my life, and gave me exactly the dream I’ve always wanted, is incredible. Yeah, a big shout-out to him.
With a growing online presence and seemingly endless possibilities, the versatile martial artist and performer spelled out her future goals, “What I really want to do, is not just double, I love doubling actors, but I’d also love to have my own role, maybe, and play a part, because I also do a bit of acting. So, being a character that can fight, and doesn’t have to have a stunt double to do these things would be really cool…to be the character, instead of doubling it.”
Is there a secret to creating great content, studying martial arts, and working as a stunt performer? You have to have a vision and you have to have goals. “I always have goals. It’s how I live. Everything I do. I always set mini goals, and a big goal, so that I stay disciplined with it. With stunts, I’d love to get to work on something bigger than I’ve been on now.” Who knows where the intrepid Mathilde will be seen next, but it could be at a theater near you.