Master Cooling began martial arts training in Judo at the age of sixteen. At 20, he commenced karate training as a student of Tom Lewis. Several years later, he became a student of Don Nagle and Joel Buchholtz.
In December 1969, he traveled to Okinawa to study with the founder of Isshin Ryu Karate, Tatsuo Shimabuku. Before his departure for home, Master Shimabuku promoted him to Roku-Dan (6th degree blackbelt) in March, 1970.
On August 11, 1971, Master Don Nagle promoted him to Shichi-Dan (7th degree black belt). Grandmaster Shimabuku and Masters Harold Long, Steve Armstrong, and Harold Mitchum honored him with a diploma also recognizing him as a Shichi-Dan.
On October 4, 1986 Master Nagle promoted him to Hachi-Dan (8th degree black belt). Master Long also recognized him as a Hachi-Dan with a diploma on June 21, 1987. In September of the following year, Master Cooling was inducted into the International Isshin-Ryu. Karate Hall of Fame. In 1991, he received the Spirit of Isshin-Ryu. award from the International Isshin-Ryu. Karate Association. This award is presented to the individual who best represented and promoted Isshin Ryu throughout the nation for that year.
On June 14, 1992 Master Cooling was promoted to Ku-Dan (9th degree black belt) by Master Don Nagle, Ju-Dan, and Master Harold Long, Ju-Dan. On February 6, 1995, the World Head of Family Sokeship Council officially recognized Master Cooling as one of the heads of the Isshin- Ryu family worldwide. The Council consists exclusively of martial arts instructors who are the acknowledged heads of their martial arts systems, and is a world-wide organization. Master Long honored Master Cooling by presenting him with the certificate personally in a ceremony on March 11, 1995.
Master Cooling has continued his martial arts education, becoming proficient in Chin-na, and Kyu-sho. He has been active as an instructor for municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. These include the FBI, the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, the Maryland Police Training Commission, and private security groups.
Master Cooling founded the Order of Isshin Ryu on January 15, 1971 in an effort to keep his word to Master Shimabuku, who asked him to ". . .go back to the States and teach good Isshin Ryu for me, make happy family."