Why did you begin teaching the martial arts?
I always wanted to be a teacher, and nothing seemed as rewarding as teaching martial arts. The martial arts combine many different disciplines: history, philosophy, kinesiology, wellness and more.

What is your school name and how did you choose it?
My school name is Rising Phoenix Martial Arts. I chose this name because my students, like the phoenix, ascend from their former conditions and become stronger than before.


What is your school's motto or student creed?
"Those born in the fire fade not in the sun." It's very similar to an ancient Indian proverb, which my grandmother gave me to read at my grandfather's funeral. I remember reading it and thinking how well it captured the spirit of my fledgling school.

What is your personal teaching philosophy?
I try to meet people where they are and encourage them to be the best that they can. I love teaching all ages. With the 3- to 5-year-olds, you can radically change their trajectory. With the older folks, you can give them a feeling of physical accomplishment they haven't felt in years. I also really enjoy the unique challenges and rewards of teaching those with ADHD, autism and behavioral issues.

How long have you taught?
I started assisting with classes when I was 12. When I was 15, I started running classes for my head instructor. When I was 18, I went off to college and started my own program. After college, I went to Korea and taught over there. Coming back, I started my new school in Kyle, Texas, and that's where I am right now. In total, I have been teaching for about 20 years.

Who or what inspires you?
My father and mother, of course, but also my grandfather Glenn A. Olds Jr., who was both an intellectual and a professional boxer; my great grandfather Glenn A. Olds Sr., who was a bare-knuckle boxing champion and, for a time, coached Jack Dempsey; and my masters throughout the years, in particular grandmasters Ki Moon Kwon, Jin Sup Hong and Bong Soo Ko.

What is something unique that your school or your student body does well?
We have a very strong community, especially among the teens and adults. The class atmosphere is very positive and warm. I teach my leadership team to be the best friend of anyone that comes through the door. My school feels like my family. When I see my students becoming best friends, it makes me feel like I'm using my life well.

What do you find most rewarding about working in the martial arts?
Bringing people together to share in a journey that has profoundly affected my life. I believe strongly in the benefits of the martial arts, and I think the most rewarding aspect of this business is when I see that same passion ignite in the eyes of my students.

If you could give one bit of advice to fellow martial arts school owners, what would it be?
Start small. If you are persistent, you will eventually get there. In the game of life, the turtle beats the hare.

School Owner
John Olds

School Name
Rising Phoenix Martial Arts

Location
Kyle, Texas

Styles/Disciplines
Taekwondo and Oneway

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