Stephen Oliver Taekwondo

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Stephen Oliver

Stephen Oliver began training in martial arts in 1970 with the Jhoon Rhee Institute in their branch in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His instructors were Bob Olinghouse, Gran Moulder, and David Harrelson – all Black Belts under Jhoon Rhee.

Master Stephen Oliver - 1975
Master Stephen Oliver 1975
Jhoon Rhee
Jhoon Rhee

In 1976 he first started training at the Jhoon Rhee Jhoon Rhee Headquarters with Jeff Smith, Larry Carnahan, John Chung and other Jhoon Rhee Institute Black Belts. In 1978 he returned to train for the summer with Jeff Smith (World Light-Heavyweight PKA Champion) and then tested for his Black Belt with Jhoon Rhee and the entire Jhoon Rhee Institute Staff of Black Belts (which included Charlie Lee, John Chung, Jeff Smith, Michael Coles, and many other well-know martial arts celebrities). He then returned in 1980 to attend Georgetown University and to work full-time as a head instructor then branch manager for the Jhoon Rhee Institute.

Master Stephen Oliver 1978
Master Stephen Oliver 1978

Upon Graduating with Honor’s (Cum Laude) from Georgetown University in 1982 – with a degree in International Economics he moved to Denver – with Jhoon Rhee’s blessing and support to open the first Mile High Karate school – in August of 1983. Mile High Karate began a meteoric rise in the industry – and, grew to five schools within 18 months and Stephen Oliver 1,500 active students.

Master Stephen Oliver
Master Stephen Oliver Front cover of MA Professional Magazine

In the mid-1980’s he was invited to join the Board of Director’s of Educational Funding Company – and, began teaching and consulting for schools throughout North America on school operations and teaching methods. He continued to serve on the Board of Director’s of Educational Funding Company until the fall of 2001.

In 1989 he founded the Mile High Karate Classic martial arts tournament – which was one of the highest rated (NASKA “AAA”) events in the Western United States and one of the top martial arts competitive events in the world. He went on to serve on the Board of Directors of Steven Oliver & Chuck Norristhe North American Sport Karate Association and became Sanctioning Director – responsible for rating World Tour and National Tournaments and for quality control of the martial arts events. He promoted the Mile High Karate Classic for 10 years from 1989 until 1999 and served on the Board of Directors of NASKA for that same period of time.

Stephen Oliver and EFC Board
Stephen Oliver and other internationally recognized
martial artists on the EFC Board of Directors
Stephen Oliver and Chuck Norris
Master Stephen Oliver and Master Chuck
Norris at the Arvada Mile High Karate School

He has also been a key supporter of Chuck Norris’ Kick Drugs Out of America Program and Mile High Karate has raised over $50,000.00 to help fund their program – and through Educational Funding Company’s efforts has been partially responsible for over $500,000.00 for Kick Drugs Out of America. Chuck Norris visited the Arvada Mile High Karate school during his national tour for the movie “Sidekicks.” Master Stephen Oliver – 1981

Stephen Oliver and Chuck Norris
Stephen Oliver and Chuck Norris

Subsequently Master Oliver trained with Master Norris at his ranch in Texas then helped coordinate his efforts with Educational Funding Company.

Stephen Oliver was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt by Jhoon Rhee in August of 1978 and to 6th Degree Black Belt by Grand Master Jhoon Rhee in 1994. More recently he was recognized as a 7th Degree Black Belt by his instructor Jeff Smith in 2001.

Master Oliver has been repeatedly recognized internationally for his contributions to the martial arts industry and continues to grow the Mile High Karate organization while teaching schools internationally to be more effective in their teaching and management practices.

Master Stephen Oliver and Grand Master Jhoon Rhee
Master Stephen Oliver receiving his Black Belt from Grand Master Jhoon Rhee

Stephen Oliver was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt by Jhoon Rhee in August of 1978 and to 6th Degree Black Belt by Grand Master Jhoon Rhee in 1994. More recently he was recognized as a 7th Degree Black Belt by his instructor Jeff Smith in 2001.

Master Oliver has been repeatedly recognized internationally for his contributions to the martial arts industry and continues to grow the Mile High Karate organization while teaching schools internationally to be more effective in their teaching and management practices.

Master Stephen Oliver and Master Jeff Smith
Master Stephen Oliver and Master Jeff Smith
Captains of the U.S. Team - Geneva 2001
One of the Captains of the U.S. Team – Geneva 2001

In his travels, Master Oliver has had the opportunity of meeting a myriad of people. In the past month of September 2002, Master Oliver and Master Jeff Smith have become good friends with Bernard Kerik – the 40th Police commissioner of NY. They recently spent two days in New York City, where they had the pleasure of visiting the office that Mr. Kerik shares with former mayor Rudy Giuliani, and with former fire commissioner Thomas Von Essen. Master Oliver and Master Smith then had dinner with Thomas Von Essen, Bernard Kerik and their publisher Judith Regan.

Stephen Oliver & Bernard Kerik
Master Oliver and Bernard Kerik taken at Yankee stadium. September 23, 2002

After that Commissioner Kerik escorted Master Oliver, Master Smith, and Master Joe Corley on a VIP tour of Yankee stadium where they enjoyed a game at home plate.

Bernard Kerik has a fascinating background that one can explore in more depth by reading his autobiography – “The Lost Son” Master Oliver’s connection with Mr. Kerik is that he is a legitimate martial artist – and an enthusiastic contributor to the martial arts community.

Bernard Kerik dropped out of High School at 15 – and, shortly thereafter began martial arts training – which he credits with helping turn his life around. He later joined the military – and due to his martial arts skills soon became the martial arts instructor for the elite forces, including the Rangers and Delta teams.

After working in Saudi Arabia for the Royal family, he returned to New York, first as a street cop, and then as the policeman with the task of cleaning up Riker’s island (and the rest of the New York prison system).

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Stephen Oliver

Stephen Oliver is an 8th Degree Black Belt, MBA. Martial Artists since 1969. Has been operating martial arts schools professionally since 1974. Founded Mile High Karate in Denver, Colorado in 1983. Previously Board Member for Educational Funding Company, and World Tour Promoter for NASKA. Currently CEO National Association of Professional Martial Artists (NAPMA,) and Publisher of Martial Arts Professional Magazine as well as CEO of Mile High Karate schools internationally.