Interested in becoming certified and teaching Elemental courses? Learn more about becoming a Certified Elemental Instructor.

Elemental's first certified Instructor Johanna Kohout has studied martial arts for almost ten years. As a black belt in To-Shin Do, Johanna finally found a martial art that not only teaches very practical self-defense, but is an effective path to personal empowerment and the realization of ones own potential in the world.  A martial artist, an artist and art educator, wilderness skills instructor, person trainer/group fitness instructor, and resident life manager at a liberal arts college Johanna’s career has been varied, but the common theme is the role of catalyst for personal growth and self actualization in teenagers and young adults. Johanna brought Elemental to Antioch College, where she was working full time in Student Services, for two years before not only getting certified to instruct Elemental but committing to the spread of this program to high schools and colleges around the country.

Mellisa Holtzman is the Chief Instructor and Co-Director of the Elemental program. She has been part of the Elemental project from its inception. As a winner of four university and regional teaching awards and several teaching fellowships, she worked alongside Professor Chadwick Menning and his team of students to develop and refine the curriculum.  Professor Holtzman's dedication to the program is grounded in her research interests in gender and sexual orientation, sociology of law, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She also holds a black belt in To-Shin Do.