“Finally, an instructor with real credentials, that knows what he is doing.”

Our Instructors & Staff

At Polaris Taekwondo we use the martial arts to improve ourselves, and our lives. For a child being bullied, it’s an opportunity to stand up for them self, and gain self-confidence and pride. For an adult lacking passion and drive, it’s an opportunity become more focused. Polaris Taekwondo is committed to offering the highest quality training available, for kids, adults, Federal Agents and Law Enforcement Officers. We are proud to say that we provide a positive learning environment in which individuals of all ages and fitness levels will benefit.

Certified Master Taekwondo Instructors

Lots of studios can claim impressive credentials like ‘world champion,’ ‘certified law enforcement instructor’ and more. But are these titles verifiable? And are these titles applicable to the world of martial arts? Just be certain that the studio you choose isn’t overstating their credentials and that they have the quality instructors you need and expect.

Polaris Taekwondo Master Instructor, Doug Baker, has the credentials and the experience – he’s been working with children and adults for the past 30 years to get them street-wise and tournament-ready. Is your child, or are you, next?

Nationally Renowned Instructor | Master Doug Baker

Master Baker’s Credentials

  • 6th Degree Black Belt
  • Hall of Fame inductee
  • Olympic alternate
  • Pan American Champion
  • 6 National Championships
  • Nationally Renowned Instructor


Master Baker has trained Olympic finalists, national team members, Pan-American champions and 16 U.S. National Champions and medalists and remains in professional standing with the National Athletic Training and State Athletic Training Boards.

He earned his BA from the prestigious Otterbein University with a degree in Sports Medicine, and is a certified CPR instructor. For nearly 30 years, Master Baker has remained one of the most renowned personal fitness trainers and martial arts experts in the greater Columbus area.

He has also served as “corner man” for Gladiators of the Cage welterweight champion Rocky “the number” Edwards and hopes to continue his journey in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and MMA.

Bill Backstrom | Instructor

As a 2nd degree Black Belt, Bill is an enthusiastic instructor with a focus on building self-confidence, character, and skill in students through mental and physical discipline. His encouraging, yet challenging approach allows all participants to progress at their own level by setting and achieving individual goals. Bill has an authentic dedication to the art and sport of Tae Kwon Do, and has been with Polaris Taekwondo for over 5 years.

Originally from Columbus Ohio, Bill brings experience as a power lifter with The Ohio State University Weightlifting Club.  In addition, he has experience in the safety and security fields and is CPR certified through the Columbus Division of Fire and Safety.

Bill lives in Lewis Center, Ohio with his wife Stephanie, and two sons Cameron and Jacob – who both earned their black belts at Polaris Taekwondo. Bill is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of his students.

Rocky Edwards | Instructor

From rural Sunbury OH, Rocky grew up as the middle child between his two brothers. He is a champion wrestler and in a remarkable 3 years, he earned his brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu under Carlos Carvalho in the school of the renowned Carlson Gracie Jr.

Rocky has an immaculate amateur MMA record of 7 wins and no losses. He now fights the best as a professional fighter with a record of 7-3-1 (as of 9/19/14). His humility and happy-go-lucky attitude provides students with a safe and challenging team environment.

Rocky has been cornered twice by UFC fighter and training partner Matt Brown. He counts a handful of household names in his arsenal of friends and currently holds 3 belts and is a champion in 4 weight classes.

Michelle Brinkner | Instructor

Michelle (Brickner) Bugayong began her training in Tae Kwon Do in 1993 while at Purdue University.  She trained from 1993 through 1998 with Master K. Young Chai,  an 8th Dan Kukkiwon Certified International Instructor and First Class WTF Certified International Referee.

Michelle earned her 1st Dan in 1997 and assisted with training other students at Chai Tae Kwon Do in Lafayette, Indiana.  In 1998, she ranked 3rd in Indiana for the featherweight class of women black belts and qualified for national competition.

In 1998, she completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Purdue University and began her career with Abbott in North Chicago, Illinois.  While in the Chicago area,  she also instructed self-defense classes at the YMCA of Grayslake, Illinois.

Michelle has held several positions at Abbott during her career in technical support, operations and quality, and relocated to Columbus in 2012 as part of Abbott Nutrition’s line of business, and is the current Director of R&D Quality Assurance for Abbott Nutrition.  Michelle lives in Lewis Center, Ohio with her husband Paquito and two sons, Aidan and Carson.  The whole family trains together with Master Doug Baker at Polaris Tae Kwon Do.

Jessica Prather | Instructor

A westerner at heart, Jessica grew up on the border of Mexico and Arizona practicing Taijitsu and Ninjitsu in the Bujinkan Yamaneko Dojo under her father. She was trained at an early age under in the foundations of Budo and was educated in women’s self defense, meditation, family protection, and disarmament.

A casual athlete for years, Jessie finally found her passion in MMA and BJJ and competed as an amateur with a perfect record until a heart defect led to a surprise halt in her career. She is a 3-stripe blue belt in the school of Carlson Gracie Jr. and teaches the foundations of stand up striking, kicking, conditioning and nutrition to fighters while supporting them cage-side.

The best instruction. The right price. Safe, effective self-defense training based on extensive experience and a solid reputation for excellence. Come to Polaris Taekwondo and experience the difference… the best martial arts training in town.

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