Grasshopper, this is not your average classroom professor


Jason Kruse

Law enforcement offi cer, Sociology professor, taekwondo teacher: Cole does it all.

Jason Kruse, Staff Writer

  Professor Michael Cole is not your average college professor. Like most professors at Hillsborough Community College, he lives a double life. Some professors may have other occupations, others may partake in certain recreational activities. Cole, teaches Sociology at HCC Brandon, and practices and instructs taekwondo.

  Cole, every Tuesday and Thursday evening, after a long day of working on duty as a deputy, takes taekwondo classes at the Planteen Recreational Center in Plant City. His normally there from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  He was introduced to taekwondo when he began taking his daughter to classes. Cole says, “I became interested in doing taekwondo because of my daughter. I would take her to practice, and every time I would watch her do it, it made me realize that was the same kind of stuff I did on the Jail SWAT Team.”

  Cole currently holds a third degree Black Belt, and will be testing for fourth degree and is one of three chief instructors at the Recreational Center. Cole has been practicing the art for almost 12 years. His favorite techniques is practicing forms with the Bo Staff, and the Extreme Open Hand Form.

Professor Cole in the middle of a lesson with a young pupil.
Jason Kruse
Professor Cole in the middle of a lesson with a young pupil.

  Cole’s organization, the United States Chung Do Kwon Association, was founded by Edward B. Sell, and it is very family oriented facility. It shows because he and the two other instructors at Planteen expect the very best from their students.

  The relationship between the students and instructors is very open, which makes the bonding very effi cient when it comes to practicing this form of martial arts. This shows when students are preparing to test for their next colored belt; from writing a college essay to having students being sharp in their forms and their ability to spar, even with their instructors.

  His student’s reaction to him practicing taekwondo has been positive. He says, “They are actually impressed. It’s even great to see some students reminisce about the days they practiced any martial art.” One of his students, who openly reminisced to him about his old days when he used to practice taekwondo said, “Out of all the professors I have met and attended classes with, when professor.

  Cole brought up him doing taekwondo not only brought me back to the old days when I used to do it, but I appreciate the man even more.”

  For students who are interested in taking classes at Planteen, they can go to the Planteen Recreation Center at 301 Dort Street, Plant City, and fi ll out a card to take taekwondo classes. For more information, contact (813) 659-4256 or visit