Give Yourself the Gift of Knowledge

Power Over Hardships

A respected teacher once taught me that, “Knowledge is Power”. It is something that has stuck with me through the years as a mother, as a leader and as a business owner. It struck me then and I often think of it to this day when I feel powerless or ineffective in a situation.  Education = knowledge, and knowledge is the key to gaining control. In martial arts I quite often work with women who have been abused in some way. So many times, I have heard in their training, “If I had only had this information, then.” or “Now that I know this, I will never let this happen, again.” Most women become “empowered” by learning and gaining knowledge in self-defense and this gives them power to overcome. This principle is true with anything, however. Your job, your family, your finances, your health. When something in your life seems to be overpowering you, look to educate yourself. Increase your knowledge in the matter and therefore increase your power over it. Give yourself a gift today and take some time to educate yourself in an area of your life you would like to have more control of. Being powerful is a good feeling.

Master Character Lessons
Grand Master Amanda Illescas

Life Lessons to Compliment the Jr. Leadership Program Guide
A culmination of lessons learned as a Martial Artist and Instructor.
True stories of a life well lived, so far.
Grand Master Amanda Illescas

Amanda Olson-Illescas is an award-winning author and co-owner of Olson’s Martial Arts Academy in Johnson City, TN. She has over 40 years training and teaching in Martial Arts and has raised a team of instructors and leaders to continue her vision.  She teaches weekly in her studio and is passionate about equipping students of all ages to reach their full potential.

From the Olson Family

We would first like to say, “Welcome!”  It is our goal to provide the best martial arts training in a safe and encouraging environment.  As a family we have devoted our lives to not only training the physical aspects of martial arts to thousands of people but the mental and emotional aspects, as well.  Our goal is to help each student achieve Black Belt and Beyond.  The reason for this is that we know from over 40 years of experience teaching martial arts that when a student experiences the awarding of a Black Belt, they soar with confidence. 

What it Takes to become a Black Belt

It takes commitment, perseverance, goal setting and a strong work ethic to earn that belt.  Even at a young age people know that a black belt in martial arts means something important.  It shows you don’t quit, you don’t give up.  That you have what it takes!  Once you’ve done that, you know you can do anything you set your mind to; like getting into a great college, starting a career, making the team, anything you want.  We love to hear the success stories of our students after they have gone off to college and started lives and families of their own.  However, we are not surprised by their success.  We already know they have what it takes to live their dream. 

Character Development

Another goal we have as a family is to support families and help reinforce the qualities of character you desire for your child to have.  Our proven character development and leadership program includes lessons from making eye contact to handling conflict.  Also, speaking up and showing confidence ,as well as, standing strong for what you believe is right.  Our desire is to train black belts who are not only highly skilled in the art of self-defense but who are kind, compassionate, confident citizens of our communities.  People who have a strong work ethic and will show “Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Respect”, everywhere they go.

 Let us Partner with You!

Because of this, we want to partner with you, the parents and families, in helping give your child a strong foundation in values, to be able to stand up for themselves and others, to make good choices, and to live a healthy lifestyle.  Please don’t hesitate to speak with us if there is ever a point where we can help with question or concerns from motivation to troubles with bullying.  We are committed to helping each of our students live a happier, safer and more confident life.


Grand Master Amanda Olson-Illescas, Master Keith Olson, Ms. Katie McKinney

Copyright 2024 by Grand Master Amanda Illescas
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by
any means- electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,
or other- except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without
the permission of the publisher.

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