Professor of Mathematics
At first glance it may appear that a combat sport and mathematics have little in common, but COC Professor Charlie Johnson thinks otherwise. A champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Johnson has found that his in-depth knowledge of inertia, momentum, trajectory and angles have been instrumental to his success in this mixed martial art.
“The way that math and Jiu Jitsu fit together and support each other is truly symbiotic,” said Johnson. “While math is considered a cerebral discipline and Jiu Jitsu a physical one, the reality is that martial arts are a practical application of mathematical concepts.”
The commitment required to achieve a blackbelt in Jiu Jitsu has also made him a better instructor. “I have high expectations for my students, but never higher than those that I have for myself,” he explained. “In my experience this elevates students to a greater level of success than they knew possible.”
Johnson began teaching in COC’s mathematics department in spring 2000. Today most of his classes are offered online. “Online education is the perfect way to reach students where they are in a way that works for them, and it underscores the importance of self-discipline and focus” – two qualities that are central to Johnson’s philosophy.
His commitment to sharing his knowledge extends beyond teaching math to adult students COC and into a martial arts academy where he primarily instructs children. “I genuinely love teaching! Whether it’s math, Jiu Jitsu or a combination of the two, it is pure joy to help others discover new talents, think in new ways and reach new heights.”