Sifu Tsou


Sifu Quintsai Rong Zhou was born in the Da Dao Cheng District of Taipei Taiwan. This Old historic District was famous for its medical arts and herbs. Sifu Zhou grew up in a family of medical doctors mixing herbal formulas at a very early age. This District also housed some of the top level teachers and officials gathered in Taipei by Chang Kai Chek (1950’s) after the Cultural Revolution in China threatened their survival there. Sifu Zhou was born into this lineage of great teachers and began studying internal martial arts and top level culture with extreme enthusiasm. He became so adept that at the age of 16, he was invited to Japan to perform for the Imperial Palace. He taught in the Hong Family School heading the District and representing Taiwan internationally. He flourished in this rich area of serious practitioners of Eastern medicine, internal and external Martial Arts, deep cultural traditions, Buddhism, Daoism, Zen, and some Western medicine and philosophy.

As he grew older, he became a doctor himself and continued serious studies, becoming world renowned for his martial abilities, his diagnosis and healing (especially nervous system disorders, stroke etc.), and for his understanding of the classic texts of Daoism by Lao Tzu, Confucius, Mencius, Li Po, and others. Sifu Zhou achieved deep levels by practice SAMSUNGand study, constantly applying theory to practice and testing the herbs, acupuncture, movements, or ideas himself so that he could teach through his own rich experience.  He is one of a very few in the world who have a comprehensive understanding in all these areas combined. He moved to Japan and taught for nine years at the top levels of society while continuing his healing. From Japan, he moved to the United States in 1992 living with his wife’s family in San Francisco. In 1993 he started a professional teaching program through which he met Kevin Holthaus and Lydia Ossorgin.

Kevin Holthaus

Mr. Holthaus studied martial arts from an early age, but was always curious about how it could be a “Way of kevinLife” for some people. After coming to Alaska in 1977 he attended UAA and ACC and practiced Japanese Karate. In order to pursue his deeper interest in classical studies and philosophy, he went to St.John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M. and graduated in 1983. While there, he studied Tae Kwon Do seriously, and helped operate a center for a variety of martial arts and other practices to enlighten oneself. At St.John’s College (a Western Classics Program including Ancient Greek, French, and Latin), he participated in their first Eastern philosophy electives (preceptorials) and worked on translating classic texts from China. He continued his Tae Kwon Do through Black belt level at the same time. He always looked for underlying principles and ways to practice that allowed for many applications from a few fundamental ideas or movements. After St.John’s he came back to Alaska to open his own martial arts school and at the same time started evening adult education programs for studying classic texts both East and West. He co-founded the Alaska Paideia Project and introduced St.John’s style  “Socratic Seminars” in many schools around the state and throughout Anchorage. After starting to study and work with Sifu Zhou in 1993, he and his wife, Lydia Ossorgin, started the Atheneum School. Atheneum is a private secondary school focusing on classical studies and dialogue. In 1995, Sifu Zhou and Kevin Holthaus founded the Great Learning Program at Atheneum School, designed especially for middle and high school students. Mr. Holthaus also continues to support the public school programs and teach evening graduate level courses for teachers and others interested in classic texts. Mr. Holthaus continues his personal study and practice with Sifu Zhou from the past 20 years with great enthusiasm for this new program for adults.

Sifu Tsou & Kevin Holthaus Together

We have been developing the Great Learning Program for middle and high school students at the Atheneum School in Anchorage for the past 14 years. Atheneum is a private independent secondary school featuring SAMSUNGclassic texts from around the world, music and fine arts, cutting edge sciences such as the Renewable Energies Program, The Great Learning Program of Internal Arts, and Socratic seminar discussions.

Since the Anchorage school provides a model for similar schools nationally, we have worked on expanding the Atheneum School to other areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area in California, and we are in the process of locating a suitable building site.

We continue to develop and plan  a graduate level college called the College of Tao Science and still look forward to attaining funding for this school in order to complete these studies for people of all ages at the highest levels.