Rising Phoenix gave me a sense of belonging at a time when I was in need of becoming part of a community.
At the time I discovered Rising Phoenix and Master Olds, I didn't know how lucky I was and how much it would
impact my future in martial arts. In the time I trained under Master Olds, I was able to hone my skills and fully
understand my potential.
I met Master Olds after I had earned my second degree black belt and had been training for nine years, and I
don't think I would have been able to fully appreciate his skills and commitment to martial arts without my years
of training. Many black belts can impress white belts with their precision and power, but Master Olds would
leave me and my fellow black belts in wonder. In addition to admiring him for his physical skill set, I revered
Master Olds for his lifetime commitment to the arts. He spent years refining his base of Taekwondo, while also
exploring the applications of other arts. Master Olds is committed to imbuing all of his students with an internal
ambition to hone their skills, learn the rich history, and live the teachings of true martial artists.
In addition to sharing his fervor for the arts, Master Olds is devoted to building a community within his school.
The students within Rising Phoenix are not classmates; they're family. Some of my closest friends are part of
the Rising Phoenix, and I built life-long relationships in the few years I was part of Rising Phoenix. Master Olds
has an aptitude for identifying talent, and he surrounds himself with excellent people. His assistant instructors
are well-versed in their arts and are very competent teachers.
I can say, without a doubt, Rising Phoenix has changed my life. It fueled a life-long yearning in me to practice
martial arts; it introduced me to a community of admirable martial artists; and it instilled within me an philosophy
of confidence, perseverance, and indomitable spirit.
There truly is no better instructor than Master
Olds. I am very excited to see his dream come
to life. I credit Master Olds with making me a
well rounded person with a core set of values. I
miss training with you, my friend. Texas is
incredibly lucky to have you and your new
|I have experienced nothing like it since.
Some of the best times of my life.
Ali Anwar III
Let me start off by saying that I have had the pleasure of
knowing Master Olds for over a decade. Master Olds
wears many hats. First and foremost, he is undoubtedly
one of the most talented and prolific Taekwondo masters
in the United States! He has been a student of mine and
my instructor. We have been colleagues, brothers in
arms-training under the great Master Tadashi Yamashita
and Sensei Phil Sauer, and most importantly great friends.
His contribution to the growth of martial arts at
UW-Milwaukee was invaluable. He developed a program
from the ground up and in doing so shaped the lives of
many students not only physically, but mentally and
emotionally as well. Thus contributing to the value and
mores of the martial arts community. The breath and
depth of Master Olds' martial arts knowledge is vast. He is
one of the most innovative and exciting martial arts
instructors I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and
training with. But most importantly, even though we live
across the country from one another, I am proud and
honored to call Master John Michael Olds one of my best
friends. Thank you my friend, for the love and acceptance
of all who seek your teachings, training, guidance, and
friendship. A true MASTER in every sense of the word......
Sensei Aaron Kopish