Keith Olson comes from a family of martial artists. His parents are owners of the Olson’s Martial Arts Academy in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Olsons opened their gym in 1997, and are a staple of the Tri-Cities community. Keith began his MMA career in 2016. In his amateur debut he fought Logan Neal, (who I now is on a four fight win streak and on November 1, makes his professional debut) and submitted him in the second round, handing Neal his first loss. At the time Neal was 2-0. Keith then began his own four fight win streak. Keith competed in the UMMAF Tournament before turning pro and has amassed a 3-1 record as a professional.
Notable ranks in martial arts:
“I am a Purple belt in BJJ under Pedro Sauer and a 6th-degree black belt in Taekwondo under Glenn and Amanda Olson.”
Record: 3-1 professional MMA
What’s your favorite strike or submission?
“I prefer leg kicks, body kicks, and triangle submissions.”
When was the first time you realized you wanted to do Martial Arts?
“I was born into a martial arts family. I started when I was 4. And I decided to make it my profession when I was 18 years old.”
Walk us through a normal day in your shoes.
“I always eat a good breakfast! Favorite meal of the day. I like to get a training session in the morning before teaching and working (could be cardio, strength or BJJ). I teach classes at 11 am and 12pm. Then I eat lunch and prepare for the evening classes. We teach and run a school of over 450 active students with over 200 people training per day so it’s a busy evening. Sometimes I train at night as well. Then I eat dinner and spend some time at home winding down and spending time with my wonderful wife. Go to sleep and do it all over again. 6 days a week for the last 13 years.”
What was it like your first professional fight?
“I was confident and very nervous at the same time. I won first round via armbar against a game opponent. I enjoy the professional side much more. The competitors take (fighting) much more seriously and you know you’re going to have a good fight and that they are going to show up.”
Who inspires you?
“My parents, my family of martial artists and my wife. Also, all of the students and training partners that support me and help me every day to be better.”
Where’s your favorite place to travel?
“I love traveling out of the country and seeing new countries. I have been to Ireland, Canada, Carribean, Germany, Dubai, Trinidad, and Brazil. Looking forward to much more.”
What does fighting mean to you?
“Fighting is my outlet. I love the competition and pushing myself. The thought of someone punching me in the face motivates me . I teach so much and fighting makes me make time to train which I also love. Martial arts is all I know and I love the constant learning and unending journey.”
What is your favorite hobby outside of MMA?
“I don’t do much outside of martial arts. It is my career and my hobby. I love to travel and spend time with my family.”
Do you have any shout outs?
“I love my sponsors. 1. Olson’s Martial Arts. 2. Smash Meals 3. Massage by Tara.
Thank you to all of them.”
How can people follow you on social media, and what platform are you using the most?
“I am on FB at Keith Olson. Instagram at @Keith_ko_olson and I am on Tik Tok.”