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Meet The Team

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Hakim Isler

Sensei Isler is a 4th Degree Black Belt – To-Shin Do (Ninja Self Defense), 1st Degree Black Belt – FCS Kali (Filipino Combat Systems), 1st Degree Black Belt – Black Tiger Kali (Filipino Martial Arts), Wilderness Survival Instructor – The SOIL Foundation, Certified Protection Specialist – ESI (Executive Security International) Founder of The DOJYM at Elevo Dynamics a family martial art & 24-hour gym. Hakim has been involved in the martial arts for 30 years and the security field for 15 years. Hakim is a veteran of the Iraq war and an ex-member of the Army Special Operations community, where he received Arabic language training, survival training, evasion training, paratrooper training, etc. He holds a 4th degree black belt (Yondan) in To-Shin Do (modern Ninjutsu), as taught by world-renowned author and Black Belt Hall of Fame member Stephen K. Hayes. Hakim is a 1st Degree Black Belt (Manog) FCS Kali, and a 1st Degree Black Belt (Guro) in Black Tiger Kali. Hakim has also studied Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, American Jiu Jitsu, Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu. Hakim has served as a board member of Rape Crisis Volunteers of Cumberland County. He has served as a continuing education instructor of Defensive tactics and Fayetteville Technical Community College. He is an honors graduate and Certified Protection Specialist (Body Guard) through Executive Security International (ESI), where he completed over 600 study hours and practical training in principles of protection; human behavior; profiles of terrorism; counter surveillance and covert security; electronic security; bomb search and identification; etc. He is also a co-founder of Spirit Quest, a non-profit organization aimed at assisting at-risk. Hakim is a published author of “I Choose to Act,” a women’s self-defense book, and the newly released “Battlefield Proximity Combat,” a book (and DVD) on military and special teams combat tactics and philosophy (in stores everywhere). Additionally, Hakim has developed and instructed three curriculums: Assailant Countering Tactics (A.C.T.), a women’s self-defense system which he has taught at community colleges and Rape Crisis organizations; Battlefield Proximity Combat (B.P.C.), a military, and special teams combative system which he has taught to multiple military, special response teams, and emergency rescue teams; and Hands on Subject Strategies (H.O.S.S.), a law enforcement tactics course which he has taught to more than 400 law enforcement officers and Sheriff Deputies. Hakim is a Battling Ropes instructor. Hakim is also a NRA basic pistol and “Personal Protection in the Home” instructor. Hakim also appeared on the Discovery Channel’s “Unsolved History” television program featuring the ninja, in addition to several internationally distributed martial arts instructional videos.


Sean O'dowd

Professor Sean O’Dowd is the co-founder of the Responsive Actions and Integrated Disciplines (RAID System) style of Fighting. He retired from the United States Army Special Operations Command as a Master Sergeant after 20 years of faithful service. While in the Army, he participated in the initial invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq as well as 6 combat deployments. Sean served as Army Sniper, Master Gunner, Master Breacher, Reconnaissance Team Leader, Interagency Operations Officer, and a Senior Enlisted Adviser. He has deployed with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. Special Operations Command Europe, and Naval Special Warfare Unit 2. After retirement he served with the North Carolina Special Police. He is a Master Army Combatives Instructor, Special Operations Combatives Instructor, Subject Control and Apprehension Techniques Instructor, Krav Maga Level 5 Instructor, Certified Firearms Instructor, Muay Thai Practitioner, Basic Life Saver Instructor, and ASFA Certified Tactical Fitness Trainer. He holds 4 Black Belts is a 2016 and 2019 North Carolina State Champion, and the 2016 USASOC Best Warrior Runner Up. He has used his training in the real world as a two-time Bronze Star and Purple Heart Combat Veteran. He holds a degree in Emergency Management and Leadership Management.


Jessica O'dowd

Jessica O’Dowd is a 2nd Degree Black Belt, North Carolina State Champion and Southeast District Champion. She specializes in Womans Self Defense and Health and Wellness. She is the head coach of the Kids Martial Arts and Special Event Planner. She holds a Bachelor Degree from Chico State University in Recreational Planning.


Derick Williams

Derick Williams is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in To Shin Do (Ninja Self Defense) as well as a FCS Kali, Silat, and Kickboxing Instructor. Sensei Williams served his country by way of the United States Marine Corps.


Forrest Bronsen

Forrest is a Krav Maga certified instructor and head of the Kali and Kickboxing program. Forrest is from North Port, FL and served in the US Army for 6 years. He worked for the North Carolina Special Police where he now brings his real world perspective of the dangers that surround us to our Self Defense  program.



Micaiah Williams

Micaiah has been training in Ninjutsu since he was six years old. Although he moved around with his military family, his Ninjutsu training being incorporated in his homeschooling kept him training. After 12 years of dedication he received his black belt and now enjoys training and working with others at Elevo Southern  Pines. 


May Reardon

May is currently enrolled in the fourth grade at Sandhills Classical Christian School.  She enjoys piano, fashion design, and mixed martial arts in her free time.  With respect to martial arts, she has been blessed to be part of a community that fosters being strong, kind-hearted, and willing to stand for what is good.  However, her martial arts instructors have given May something that a typical fourth grader does not receive - a supportive environment to learn confidence and leadership!  She fluidly moves between her role a student, peer, and mentor.  To her instructor’s credit, May assumes a position of responsibility and good judgement when life challenges her with those hard right versus easy wrong moments.


Joseph Williams

Joseph has been training in ninjutsu for twelve years. He started training when he lived in Jacksonville NC. His mother would drive him all the way to Elevo Fayetteville every Saturday to train. He stayed committed to training with his father  when we moved to Virginia. When his family moved back to North Carolina he continued his training at ELEVO. He eventually earned his black belt. 

He is a dedicated member of the leadership program and is always enthusiastic about helping others grow.  

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