Michael Poole was born in 1963, and grew up in Hilliard, Ohio. Mike began his karate training in 1992 under Sensei Jan (Parton) Hansen at the Hilliard Karate Club. He was an Ikkyu (1st Kyu Brown Belt) when work life started taking him around the country. Mike continued to train with a variety of people and a variety of styles, but he still tried to remember the kata and drills he learned at HKC. In 2011, Mike and Jan found themselves in the same area and began training together again. In 2012, they both attended the annual Beisho Summer Budo Camp. Mike was shocked and surprised when they called his name to promote him to the rank of Shodan! It had been 19 years as a brown and 17 as an Ikkyu, but it was a proud moment.
Mike was promoted to Kobudo Deshi in 2013. In 2014, Mike was promoted to Nidan. In 2015, he was promoted to Shodan in Kobudo, Assistant Instructor teaching grade and Taiji Intermediate grade. In 2016, Mike was promoted to Taiji Advanced grade.
When Mike and Jan began training again, Jan introduced him to Grandmaster Tony Brown. Sifu Brown began to teach them Yang Style Taiji and Hung Gar. Mike continues to train with Sifu Brown when he has the opportunity. In 2013, Mike began training in the Tai Chi for Health system, and Dr. Paul Lam. In 2017, Mike was selected as one of the scholarship recipients to attend the annual weeklong Tai Chi for Health Workshop, where Mike spent the week learning the Chen 36 form. Mike holds instructor certificates through the Tai Chi Institute for Health in Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi for Fall Prevention, and Tai Chi for Energy.
In 2015 Mike, along with his wife Tracy, co-founded Earth and Cup. Mike teaches karate and tai chi and Tracy teaches yoga. Mike is retired from the Hilliard (Ohio) Police Department. He also served 10 years in the Ohio Army National Guard as a Military Police Officer. Mike received his AAS in Law Enforcement (Magna Cum Laude) from the Columbus State Community College; his BA in Sociology/Criminology from Capital University; his Master of Divinity and his Master of Sacred Theology degrees from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Mike spent two and a half years studying theatre at The Ohio State University. Mike's sons both have black belts: Chris in Karate and Sean in Tae Kwon Do. Mike's wife Tracy, and Daughter Rain, train with Earth and Cup in SKKAA karate.