Home » About » About Stephen Oliver – Biography

About Stephen Oliver – Biography

Okay, so why am I qualified to share this information? Why would you want to listen to me?

A Little Background:

Maybe I was just born under a lucky star – but when it comes to running a professional martial arts school I was born with the proverbial “Silver Spoon.”
 
My training started in 1969 in the Texas/Oklahoma “Blood & Guts” era. I was with the at Jhoon Rhee Institute Branch in Tulsa, OK in the Jhoon Rhee, Allen Steen, Pat Burleson linage being directly taught at when I started by Jhoon Rhee Black Belts Gran & Greg Moulder, Bob Olinghouse, and David Harrelson.  

I started my first school (under Jhoon Rhee) in 1974 and, concurrently trained with Jeff Smith along with Roger Green (Joe Lewis’ first Black Belt), and a variety of others in Oklahoma and Texas.
 
In 1978 I received by Black Belt directly from Jhoon Rhee along with Jeff Smith and a wide collection of champion Kickboxers and forms competitors. I was offered a teaching position in Washington. I was a National Merit Scholar and A student and already was accepted for college at the University of Tulsa with a full scholarship for the first year and partial scholarship beyond the first year. I attended school there while applying for transfer to Princeton, Stanford, and Wharton along with Georgetown University. 
While attended college at Georgetown University I was a head instructor and branch manager for The Jhoon Rhee Institute, in Washington, D.C.

At the time the Jhoon Rhee Institute was the #1 martial arts business organization in the world. I sat through hours and hours of training sessions and meetings with a few notable figures in the martial arts industry: Jhoon Rhee (father of American Tae Kwon Do,) Nick Cokinos (Then President of the Jhoon Rhee Institute, now chairman and owner of Educational Funding Company,) Jeff Smith (the DC Bomber – first World Light Heavy Weight Kickboxing Champion and one of the top school owner’s in the United States,) Ned Muffley (then General Manager for the Jhoon Rhee Institute and now General Manager for Educational Funding Company) and many other’s.
 

When I graduated from Georgetown – I decided against moving on to big corporate America – and, put pursuing an MBA on hold.
 
I put together a very extensive business plan with Jhoon Rhee, Nick Cokinos, Jeff Smith and Ned Muffley’s help. Spent 12 months studying direct response, business management, and sales marketing at the Library of Congres and the SBA. Read everything that I could get my hands on about advertising – specifically direct mail and copywriting. I also spend several months at the Federal Trade Commission where I had an opportunity to read the sales manuals and management training materials for every major health spa chain in the United States and the other larger martial arts school organizations.
 
In a rather gutsy move I then moved across the country to Denver, Colorado and with $10,000 opened 5 schools in 18 months – and grew to over 1,500 active students and over a $1,000,000 in revenue by 1985.
 
Over the year’s I’ve continued to develop my schools and experiment with a huge number approaches.
 
In 1989 I decided to extend my management knowledge base and went back to school for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (ie. MBA) with a primary focus marketing.
 
At the same time I began promoting the Mile High Karate Classic – which for 10 years was a very successful and highly rated NASKA world tour event.
 
During these many year’s I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with just about every successful business person, teacher, and school owner in the martial arts industry. I’m lucky to count as close friends a range of leaders including Nick Cokinos, Jhoon Rhee, Jeff Smith, Andrew Wood, Tim and Dave Kovar, Steve LaVallee, Keith Hafner and just about everyone who’s accomplished anything in our industry.
 
These industry leader’s have taught me much – and, I believe often consider me a mentor and leader in the business of martial arts school operations.
 
During these years I’ve had many huge successes – and, some spectacular failures. As in all endeavors – the failures have taught me much more than the successes. What I consider by greatest strength is a willingness to continue to take risks and try new approaches to all of the challenges of school operation.
 
In the recent past – I decided to pursue what I think of as an informal Ph.D. in Internet and Direct Response Marketing. I’ve traveled around North America – and spent way over $250,000 on a variety of internet marketing, direct marketing, and sales training seminars and programs – and, have developed several internet companies – many totally unrelated to martial arts.
 
I continue to run a chain of schools that’s spread out from Washington, D.C. where we have a national training center, to Denver to Fresno and Miami along with New Zealand and Australia.
 
I’ve written a series of books on Marketing and Management for Martial Arts Schools and a series on Character Development and Leadership for kids and lecture around the world on School operations – and, continue to expand my knowledge of all details or running a successful martial arts business.
 
I’ve been a part of NAPMA since prior to it’s founding, I developed it’s Maximum Impact Program, Inner Circle, and Peak Performers and took over as CEO and Publisher in 2007.
 


WANT MORE BACKGROUND?

 
Grand Master Stephen Oliver – 8th Degree Black Belt

 
 
Academic Background
 
1992 Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
 
– 1982 Bachelor's Degree (AB.) With Honors Georgetown University. Washington, DC;
 
– 1978-1980 University of Tulsa – two years, as a University Scholar, National Merit Scholar.
 
Martial Arts Background
 
Stephen Oliver began martial arts training in 1969 in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Bob Olinghouse and Gran Moulder – Black Belts teaching for the Jhoon Rhee Institute based In Washington, DC. He began actively teaching 1974 and founded his first school in 1975. In 1976 and 1978 he traveled to Washington, DC to train with Jeff Smith and others at the Jhoon Rhee Institute Headquarters, completing his Black Belt in 1978 t with one of the highest scores ever given on the Jhoon Rhee Black Belt Exam. In 1980, he moved to Washington, DC and worked first as a head instructor then as a branch manager for the Jhoon Rhee Institute while attending school at Georgetown University. He has continued to train and contribute to the Martial Arts and was promoted to 6th Degree Black Belt in 1994 by Jhoon Rhee (Father of American Tae Kwon Do) and, then in 2001 was promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt by former World Champion 9th Degree Grand Master Jeff Smith and.. More recently he was promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt by Jeff Smith. He has trained in Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, Goju, Judo, Escrima and several other styles of martial arts.
 
Stephen Oliver's Mile High Karate ® 
 
In 1983, Stephen Oliver moved to Denver, Colorado and founded Mile High Karate. He opened 5 locations in the first 18 months. In the many years since additional Mile High Karate locations have been opened throughout the world. (Mile High Karate is the #1 martial arts school for Character Development Education in the World.) and has promoted 1,000’s Black Belts ranging in age from 5 to 76.
 
The Mile High Karate Classic and The North American Sport Karate Association
 
In 1989, he began the Mile High Karate Classic international martial arts competition which merited the highest rating possible – NASKA's World Tour designation from 1989 until 1999.. Through his work in Sport Karate, he has was appointed to the Board of Director's for the North American Sport Karate Association and served on that Board and as that organization's national sanction director from 1989 until 1999.
 
International Speaking, Consulting and Writing
 
Since opening Mile High Karate, Stephen Oliver has been a sought after consultant for marital arts schools internationally first as Board of Director's member of Educational Funding Company (serving on that Board from inception until 2001) then as the lead developer of the NAPMA Squared program (currently “Maximum Impact”) for the National Association of Professional Martial Artists and the founder of the first high level coaching program for martial arts school owners. He has been recognized as the U.S. Martial Arts Association’s #1 multi-school operator. Additionally, he was recognized as one of the top 200 school operators by Andrews International and was inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Association Hall of Fame in 2000. He has been featured on the Cover of “Martial Arts Business Magazine,” “Martial Arts Professional Magazine,” “The Eagle Express,” “the EFC All Stars,” and “Martial Arts Business” among others. He also served on the Entrepreneurship and Venture Management Board for the University of Denver.  
 
National Association of Professional Martial Artists & Martial Arts Professional Magazine:
 
He became the CEO and Chairman of the National Association of Professional Martial Artists (NAPMA.com) which he has had a consulting relationship with since prior to it’s founding in 1994.   He has been a columnist for over 10 years for Martial Arts Professional Magazine which is distributed to 23,000 professionals in the Martial Arts Industry.    He became the publisher of Martial Arts Professional Magazine in 2007 (www.MartialArtsProfessional.com.) Additionally, he hosts “Bootcamps” and “Mini-Bootcamps” and, the “NAPMA Extreme Success Academy” and “Quantum Leap” Event for instructors and school owners throughout the world to teach them professional teaching and management skills for martial arts schools.
 
 
Charity and Community Outreach
 
Master Oliver and the staff and students of Mile High Karate have been very active in charitable activities and community outreach since 1983.   Mile High Karate has been the #1 contributing school to Chuck Norris’ Kick Drugs Out of American program, actively supports The Children’s Hospital Foundation, and has volunteered in 100’s of area schools while raising well over $100,000.00 annually for local Elementary Schools. Mile High Karate throughout the United States contributes to our Educational Foundation Outreach as well as “Fostering Leadership” Program.

Stephen Oliver's Mile High Karate
®
The History and Evolution of our Martial Arts Style
 
The style we teach has evolved from ancient and traditional Korean styles that grew to be called Tang Soo Do in the early 1900's. Won Kook Lee who taught the Chung Do Kwon system (Chung Do Kwon is an actual school in Seoul, Korea), was the original teacher of Jhoon Rhee, who became the first Korean instructor to professionally teach Korean Martial arts in the United States beginning in 1956.
 
When Jhoon Rhee first arrived in the United States, he referred to his style as Tang Soo Do and as karate (a Japanese term that means "empty Hand"). In 1957, the South Korean government at the urging of Choi Hong Hi adopted the term Tae Kwon Do to encompass all Korean styles of martial arts and gradually Jhoon Rhee and others in the United States incorporated that term to reference their art (officially Jhoon Rhee's art was often referred to as Chung Do Kwan – Tae Kwon Do). Tae Kwon Do is loosely translated from Korean as way of breaking and smashing with hands and feet.
 
In the United States Jhoon Rhee first started teaching in Texas. His first two Black Belts were Allen Steen and Pat Burleson who went on to become early tournament champions and the premier instructors in the Texas-Oklahoma region. Many early students evolved from the Jhoon Rhee – Allen Steen/Pat Burleson schools in Texas including Pat Worley (who would become the #1 point fighting champion in the United States). Jeff Smith (who would become the #1 point fighting champion then evolve into the World Light- heavyweight full-contact champion). Larry Carnahan (who would become a highly rated lightweight full- contact fighter, then President of the North American Sport Karate Association), Gran Moulder and Bob Olinghouse (who would in 1969 become Stephen Oliver's Instructors in Tulsa, Oklahoma).
 
Jhoon Rhee in 1962, moved to Washington, DC to establish The Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do, which would become world famous as the #1 institute of its kind in the world. In the Mid-1960's, Jhoon Rhee developed a friendship with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris (both would later become internationally famous as actors.) Bruce Lee was an early innovator in modernizing martial arts instruction in order to become more effective in Self-Defense application as well as an advocate of high level athletic conditioning for martial arts. The Jhoon Rhee Internationals was one of the first major tournament events in the United States – and, became a hub for budding champions and famous martial artists such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, Jeff Smith and many others.
 
Through Jhoon Rhee's association with Bruce Lee and through the many sport and contact karate champions that developed at the Jhoon Rhee Institute, our style gradually evolved to what we now refer to as American Freestyle (others refer to similar arts as Jeet Kune Do.)
 
These early associations led the Jhoon Rhee Institute to flourish in the Washington. DC area and led Jhoon Rhee to develop a curriculum that combined three key and distinct elements:
1. Practical Self-Defense without adherence to impractical tradition.
2. Personal development through positive self-esteem, goal setting, and personal discipline.
3. Artistic content through martial ballet (musical forms).
 
In the early 1970's. Jhoon Rhee developed padded sparring equipment that allowed students to practice without injuring on-another and concurrently added to the realism of practice (a joint goal with Bruce Lee), while creating a flourishing sport through both point tournaments and full-contact karate. Additionally, he invented musical forms to add to the beauty of martial arts performance.
 
Through the 1970's, Jeff Smith became an internationally recognized and respected fighter and Instructor. Jhoon Rhee taught Mohammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and other world-famous boxers, and Jhoon Rhee students flourished on the international tournament scene. Jhoon Rhee's schools gradually became more oriented towards teaching children and Jhoon Rhee rapidly saw the self development advantages of Tae Kwon Do instruction. The curriculum orientation evolved toward personal development with emphasis on educational excellence, community values, and personal excellence with practical self-defense and competition opportunities as a valuable by-product.   Jhoon Rhee since the late 50’s has taught many internationally respected and famous students including Tony Robbins (a Jhoon Rhee Black Belt,) George Allen, Jack Valenti, and many, many, many Senators and Congressmen.
 
Although Jhoon Rhee through his style: Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do, gradually abandoned the more traditional roots with the traditional hyungs or katas (Chonji through Chung Mu under Black Belt), Grand Master Oliver and Grand Master Smith at Mile High Karate have accelerated the personal development aspects of the program through implementing the nine qualities of Black Belt and many associated goal-setting and personal development aspects. Master Oliver continues to expand our curriculum to keep it "state of the art" and continues to implement new teaching techniques which accelerate a student's progress while reinforcing the traditional philosophies of honesty, courtesy, integrity, perseverance and self-control. Additionally, at Leadership levels, Master Oliver has continued the Jeet Kune Do philosophy by adding Philippino weaponry, traditional Ko-Budo (traditional Okinawan weaponry), modern boxing, kick-boxing basics, and grappling curriculum from jujitsu and judo.


Are you Confused? Who is Stephen Oliver and Why Should I Listen To Him???

 
Gee – in our industry it seems like everyone has popped up to offer advice – how do you tell fact from fantasy? Value from Fraud?
 
Unfortunately in our industry most of the really successful people are spending their time growing their staff, students, schools, and especially their net profit not sharing their secrets with you. I am different from most of those sharing information in a variety of VERY important ways that are important to you and will help you dramatically grow your school – and, your income.
 
Many of the “gurus” in our industry fall into one of the following categories:
 
1.  Never been there – never done that.  
 
That’s right – there’s a BUNCH of people trying to sell you advice who have never sat where you sit – and, dealt with the problems and opportunities that you face every day. They often are excellent speakers – and, persuasive purveyors of their own products, programs, or subscriptions but really never did it themselves. Their ideas are unproven. Their perspective limited to that of an outsider.
 
How am I different?
 
Well – I opened my first school in 1975.   And, have been continuously operating my Mile High Karate schools in Denver since 1983.   Mile High Karate currently has successful locations throughout North America. I’ve operated a large school operation – have taught 1000’s and run every aspect of a school. And, can teach you step by step, item by item how to replicate my success – without the “brain damage!”
 
2.  Not even a martial artist!
 
Believe it or not – there are “experts” in the martial arts business who aren’t even martial artists. They don’t understand the training, mindset, and love for the martial arts that we share – then dare to tell real martial artists how to run a school teaching real martial arts skills and curriculum.
 
How am I different?
 
I began studying martial arts in 1969. Trained in Tae Kwon Do with the Jhoon Rhee Institute along side the likes of World Champions Jeff Smith, John Chung, Charlie Lee, and the most awesome stable of kickboxers ever assembled. More recently I was promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt by Jeff Smith. Mile High Karate includes some of the top martial artists in the World from former World Champion Jeff Smith to the top people in the “Parker Kenpo” lineage, the top instructors in Kung Fu, Traditional Karate, Tae Kwon Do and, event Thai Kick-Boxing & BJJ.
 
3. Only run a school in their memory.
Some of those who consult or run organizations or even “fake franchises” only run a martial arts school in their memory – in some case distant memory. Some of those recollections seem more like a distant dream (or, in some cases vivid nightmare!) Many of these people operated in very different circumstances and times.
 
How am I different.
 
I am still totally immersed in the daily operations of martial arts schools – up to doing 527 enrollment conferences in the past 3 years personally – nose to nose, belly to belly. Every Friday I meet (by phone & webinar) with our Regional Develoers from around the world. Every Wednesday I meet with our school owners, school managers and instructors – and, solve the everyday problems that you face in the real world (albeit at possibly a higher volume.)
  
4. Never ran a successful school.
 
Even those advise givers who really are Black Belts – and, run or have run schools – usually never ran a particularly successful operation.   Many got into offering advice about running a school or, put together an organization (license, association or other fake – often illegal – franchise) since they really couldn’t figure out how to make much of a living running a school or schools of their own.     
 
How am I different?
 
Right now – several Mile High Karate schools will do over $500,000.00 in gross revenues (in some cases much more) we will add many more locations with owner-operators like you, and with regional developers who develop multiple schools in their protected region. I broke the $1,000,000.00 a year barrier – way back in 1985 – and continue to operate a hugely successful operation. I’ve made a six figure + personal income for over 26 years strictly from schools.  
 
 
5. “Flash in the Pan”
 
Often this comes in the guise of – gee I just started figuring this stuff out and had a great year last year.   What if you pay me to tell you about my short-term successes. I did $ (pick a number $100,000 net, $400,000 gross, etc., etc.) will do more this year – and, would love to show you how I did it.
 
How I am different?
 
Well – I’ve already covered this for you – but, let’s just say that there are many people who have a good year of two. Let’s see if they can weather the ups and downs of our industry – and, boom years and recession. 
 
 
6. Personality driven – not duplicatable.
 
I think we’d both be able to draw upon a few examples of Magnetic Personalities – who’s personal success is exciting – but, really not something that could EVER be replicated in your operation.
 
How am I different?
 
I’ve run a large school operation since 1983. In that time nearly 100% of our teaching, marketing, and sales were accomplished by employees (or, now franchise school owner/operators) who had to implement my systems.   They are not dependent upon charisma or unstoppable energy. I have spent years studying operations and marketing – including formally achieving a Master’s in Business Administration – that included having a literal bevy of MBA’s and Ph.D.’s analyze the martial arts school business – to help me create powerful duplicatable systems for school operations.
 
7. Have lost touch with what works in the 21st century.
Unfortunately the industry is full of dinosaurs and leaders of the past – who’s time has long since passed, but who’s friends and associates are unwilling to say “the emperor has no clothes.” Systems that may have been revolutionary in 1970 or 1980 (even 1990 and beyond) may be out of date or just plain insufficient in the current environment.
 
 How am I different?
 
In a variety of ways I continue to explore the “leading edge” of new technologies, teaching techniques, marketing strategies, and technological enhancements. I explore the latest approaches not only through my own school implementation but through an unmatched “master-mind” team of industry leaders that I network with and share ideas with constantly. The latest strategies and tools are immediately available to all of our franchisees.
           
You should only use ideas and system that have been PROVEN to work through extensive testing – in the real world of daily school operations. And, no short-term “fixes” only long-term success strategies  

What other leaders in the industry saying about Stephen Oliver

“Stephen Oliver is one of those highly competent, hard working, visionary people who can literally make things happen by bringing all the resources he has to a project and by inspiring those around him to work synergistically in the effort. He consistently sees what is possible and works tirelessly for powerful results.”
Joe Corley, Pres, Joe Corley Karate | worked directly with Stephen at Martial Arts Professional Magazine
 
 
“The Maritial Arts Industry is my second career, and I came into it full time about 4 years ago, with a good business background…..but was 'clueless' when it came to doing business in the martial arts community. Shortly after taking my part-time hobby and making it a full-time endeavor after retiring from the Medical Device Industry, I partnered with NAPMA and Martial Arts Professional Magazine (advertising my trademark registered BJJ program for Kids and Adults) and my Kid-Jitsu/Team Wolfpack BJJ program has skyrocketed!! We now have about 150 schools licensed with Kid-Jitsu/Team Wolfpack, with over 300 traditional Martial Arts Instructors Certified to teach a Fundamentals of BJJ program for children and adults in their own schools.. My own personal school, Jacksonville Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Inc. grew from about 40 students to just under 200 students in less than two years, and we are still continuing to grow. Stephen Oliver, in my opinion, is a business and marketing genius, and I am pleased with the results I have achieved by using his services, implementing a lot his ideas, and putting into play the ideas I have gleaned from his meetings and publication. Thank you Mr. Oliver!!” 
Larry Shealy, hired Stephen as a Publisher in 2007
 
 
 
“Master Oliver is one of the most knowledgeable martial artist business owners I know, but he also is very down-to-earth in how he approaches business. While he is very educated he is also very practical and focuses on results, not theory – usually in our field it's one or the other!”
Greg Moody, Owner, KarateBuilt L.L.C | worked with Stephen at Martial Arts Professional Magazine
 
 
“Stephen Oliver knows the martial arts profession as well as anyone. He brings with him an amazing intellect and a unique perspective honed from years in the trenches.”
Dave Kovar, CTO, Kovars Satori Academy | worked directly with Stephen at National Association of Professional Martial Artists
 
 
“Master Oliver is one of the most forward thinking, innovative, and systematic men in the martial arts industry. He, and his organization, will definitely get your school going in the direction you need it too.”
Ron Achenbach, hired Stephen as a Business Consultant in 2004
 
 
“For fighters, their claim to greatness is determined by who and how many people they have defeated or knocked out in the ring. For martial arts business educators like Stephen Oliver, it is how many martial arts millionaires they have created. Based on this criterion alone, Stephen Oliver would be considered the greatest champion of all time. His martial arts school operations have been running at a high level for decades, and have yielded time tested answers to the questions of how run a successful business. His leadership and determination have helped his clients, be they Mile High Karate students, schools owners, franchisees, coaching clients or NAPMA members, place a laser focus on the best Operational, Marketing and Sales practices that lead to quantifiable results.”
Mark Graden, Dir. of Martial Arts Curriculum/ Video producer, The National Association of Professional Martial Artists | reported to Stephen at National Association of Professional Martial Artists
 
 
“Stephen Oliver is a walking business success system. Anyone who taps into his knowledge will be positively affected. He is able to see the weak spots in any business and give instant feedback on how to quickly correct key problems and enhance business operations.”
James Theros, hired Stephen as a Business Consultant in 2003
 
 
“Master Oliver is the best in the martial arts field.”
Art Mason, Owner, Art Mason's Peaceful Warriors' Martial Arts Instituteworked directly with Stephen at National Association of Professional Martial Artists | hired Stephen as a Martial Arts in 2004
 
 
“I was in Master Oliver's Coaching for about 9 months in 2004. He is an amazing marketer and martial art professional.”

 

Stephen Oliver – Master-Mind – Elite Coaching Program

“Master Oliver is a great resource and help in the martial arts business!”
Greg Moody, Owner, Karate Built L.L.C worked directly with Stephen at Stephen Oliver – Master-Mind – Elite Coaching Program
Founder – CEO
Mile High Karate – Franchising
“I have many chances to work with Steven and I can recommend him highly. If you need marketing or sales traing for your staff do not miss the chance to worrk with Steven. He has been a major reason my skills and staff have been greatly improved.”
Shannon Staats, Sales, General Steelwas with another company when working with Stephen at Mile High Karate – Franchising
 
 
“My experience of Master Oliver has been – and continues to be – of a man who is focused on the overarching theme of ‘the rising tide raises all ships.’ His dedication to developing, communicating, teaching, and inspiring professionalism in the martial arts is obvious to all who meet him. Master Oliver has both breadth and depth – within the marital arts community as well as in the realms of leadership development, sales, accountability, systems design, marketing, and communication (just to name a few!). One of the greats, and able to both talk the talk and walk the walk, he also has the confidence to explain the situation and let you come to your own conclusion and follow your own path as you see it, always the hallmark of a great teacher. Finally, I’ve also seem him give credit for who, how, when, and where the various systems, processes, and ideas have been developed that he uses today. A true innovator, I look forward to our continued relationship.” 
Jeremy Roadruck, Franchiese Owner, Centerville OH, Mile High Karatereported to Stephen at Mile High Karate – Franchising
 
 
“Stephen was my mentor in the late 80's and helped me take a brand new martial art school and helped me enroll 180 students in 90 days and open 4 schools and gross over 1 million dollars in 18 months, and that was back when a million dollars was real money.:) Terry Bryan, President www.warriorwiz.com”
Terry Bryan, Owner, Any Offerworked with Stephen at Mile High Karate
 
 
“Stephen has become the leader in the Martial Arts Industry for Marketing and Developing Franchises! He is the modern day Guru of how to run a successful Martial Arts School!”
Jeff Smith, National Director of Training, Mile High Karateworked directly with Stephen at Mile High Karate
 
 
“G.M. Stephen Oliver has been a master at marketing for over 25 years. He has helped promote many martial arts films over his many years as the owner of the top martial arts schools in the Denver area. Recently he has helped with promoting Kung Fu Panda and the Hidden Kingdom nationwide, while assisting martial arts school owners build their business through his company NAPMA. He has devoted a great deal of his time in preparing a grass roots marketing strategy for our film the Red Canvas, which is scheduled to release 9/11/09.” 
Les Connard, Owner, Red Canvas LLC | was with another company when working with Stephen at Mile High Karate
 
 
“I give direct credit to Master Oliver for my success as a multi-school owner and operator. Given his systems for every aspect of the martial arts business – IF you will implement them – you will have MASSIVE success with your own business. One big recommendation: Master Oliver has "been there and done that" so please implement the systems A to Z… don't pick what you think are the "sexy" systems or the ones that are the easiest. Do them ALL!”
Rob Tucker, hired Stephen as a Business Consultant in 1992, and hired Stephen more than once
 

“Stephen has an incredible vision in developing business owners to achieve their dreams. Being a MHK franchisee has enable me to stablize my income and to set a course for the future. I would recommend Stephen and MHK to anyone interested in having a long and financially prosperous life.”
Mark McGee, Franchise Owner, Mile High Karateworked directly with Stephen at Mile High Karate
 
 
“Stephen Oliver is a person who can see the big picture and help lead others to reach the goal(s) of the company. He also has a way to not only motivate employees, but to inspire them to lead others.”
Frank Brown, National Training Director, Mile High Karatereported to Stephen at Mile High Karate
 
 
“Stephen Oliver is an amazing businessman. I am a new Franchisee and I am SO glad that I joined his organization. With his help and guidance I am on my way to realizing my financial and business goals.”
David Dow, Owner, L.A. Budo Mile High Karate | was with another company when working with Stephen at Mile High Karate
 
 
“To whom it may concern I have known Stephen Oliver personally for close to a decade. He is an exceptional individual and business leader who I have learned to emulate over the years. His expertise is in the field of child development, and he is clearly one of the best in the industry, offering an unparalled character and leadership development curriculum for children and families. Currently, aside from being the founder of the very fast growing Mile High Karate franchise (by most considered to be at the forefront of martial arts program development for children), he is also the owner of NAPMA, the industry's leading support association (since 1994), and the publisher of MA Professional Magazine, the industry's leading magazine. Sascha Williams, Fresno, CA.”
Sascha Williams, Owner, Mile High Karateworked indirectly for Stephen at Mile High Karate
 
 
“I've worked with Stephen for more than eight years on a variety of marketing and publishing projects for Mile High Karate and his other business interests, and found him to be a savvy businessman and effective manager. Through those projects and contact with Stephen, I've also learned many things about direct response marketing and management techniques that have helped me with other clients.”
Gary Smith, Owner, Wells-Smith Partnerswas a consultant or contractor to Stephen at Mile High Karate
 
Promoter, National Sanction Director, Board Member
NASKA – National Sport Karate Association
 
“Steve and I worked together as members of the NASKA Board and fellow World Tour promoters. He is an exceptional businessman whose true love of running martial arts schools let him toward franchising and away from the competition promotion business. I believe Steve to be the premier martila arts school business adviser in the world today. He is someone I trust explicitly and always come to when I want advice for anything. I still regard him as a great promoter and it was a huge loss when NASKA lost his considerable skills. He still offers many great ideas to help promoters and events across North America. As promoter of the US Open, I value his advice and ideas to grow our sport.”
Mike McCoy, CEO, Pro Kick Productionsworked directly with Stephen at NASKA – National Sport Karate Association
 

"During the last decade at NAPMA, I've worked with many of the top martial arts professionals in the world. Few have impressed me as much as our NAPMA Squared developer, Mr. Stephen Oliver. Though I've worked with Stephen for many years now, my brow is still constantly being raised by his extraordinary level of intelligence, his rapid fire creativity, his over-the-top marketing genius, his total understanding of our industry, and his proven ability to help owners – of every style – take their schools to the next level and way beyond. Folks – believe me when I tell you that Stephen Oliver is brilliant and he will do wonders for your school as long as you apply his teachings. This guy can show you the way and I strongly encourage you to learn all that you possibly can from him!" Yours in Success,
Rob Colasanti
 
“I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your efforts to develop a long-lasting relationship between EFC and KDOOA……. I can see why Nick has you on the Board.”
Chuck Norris
 
 
 
"Steve was the most help of anyone in the country in promoting our movie – Side Kicks – I want to recognize and thank him”
Chuck Norris
Note: His visit was covered by CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX Affiliates here in Denver and Interviews filmed at our martial arts school – with the school mentioned by name were aired city-wide. We also ended up on Entertainment Tonight and a host of radio shows. Additionally, we had so many people there that we had 14 Arvada, CO police men there directing the traffic!. Quite a PR accomplishment!
 
 
"Steve is going to take many school owners with him to the next level of running a school.
Don’t get left behind – his program will show you how to save thousands of dollars – And increase your gross – big time!
SEE YA AT THE TOP!
JEFF SMITH…AN OLD DOG AND STILL LEARN NEW TRICKS!!!"
Jeff Smith Retired PKA World Champion
Internationally Recognized School Operator
 
“Steve Oliver knows what he's talking about. There are few people in our industry today that have the educational background and the practical experience that Steve does. He's also way, way ahead of his time. Buy this program – read it —and profit from its ideas.”
 Tom Callos
 

“When it comes to combining Martial Art marketing genius with the latest technologies. Stephen Oliver is the proven authority. Whether you are ‘technology-handicapped,’ like me, or have a strong technology background…..you need this program! Thanks, Stephen for presenting a Masterpiece to the Martial Arts community. I plan to recommend your program everywhere I go.”
Keith Hafner
#1 Martial Arts School operator in the United States
EFC Hall of Fame – and, Board of Directors
 
 
“Stephen Oliver has taken aim at a tough target–internet marketing–and has once again hit the bull's eye! He's made it a no-brainer for you. I strongly suggest that you learn from his rich experiences and follow his leadership into this next level of effective marketing. You'll be glad you did!”
Joe Corley
Joe Corley American Karate SchoolsOwner –Founder PKAPromoter of the Battle of Atlanta
 
“Long recognized as one of the sharpest marketers in the industry, it comes as no surprise that Stephen Oliver is the first to publish an excellent how to manual on marketing your school on the internet. It's Stephen's typical fashion, while the rest of the industry is just discovering the web, he has already written a book on it”
John Graden
 
 
 

Comments and reviews about Stephen Oliver’s Book
“Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22”
 
 
Essentual Skills for Life, Not Just Martial Arts Schools,
By  G. Smith (Lilburn, GA USA) –
This review is from: Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22: Essential Skills for Martial Arts School Owners (Paperback)
I've known and followed Stephen Oliver's career and ventures for more than 10 years, and admired his intelligence and creativity, especially when applied to marketing. Reading "Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22" makes me realize I wish I had this wealth of knowledge in my life when when I was that age! Even though I've never owned or operated a martial arts school, his common-sense, experience-based advice is useful regardless of the industry you're in. And if you do run a martial arts school, well, just follow his recommendations and watch success walk through your front door, ready to shake your hand and settle in. His knowledge, so readily shared, has helped me in my business over the years, as I think, during times of decision, "How would Stephen Oliver handle this?"
 
 

This review is from: Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22: Essential Skills for Martial Arts School Owners (Paperback)
This is a must have for any current or future martial Arts school owner. This manual is filled with no-nonsense valuable information. I can't say enough great things about this book.
Amanda Christensen
 
 
This review is from: Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22: Essential Skills for Martial Arts School Owners (Paperback)
This book is an invaluable resource for martial art business owners. If you want to avoid mistakes that will cost you thousands, you've got to have a copy. It's a quick read,to the point, with ton's of great insights on the business of teaching, marketing, and running the business itself.
Master Scott
 
 
This review is from: Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22: Essential Skills for Martial Arts School Owners (Paperback)
Grand Master Oliver has written a book all martial arts school owners and intsructors should read. It is clear, consise and to the point. GM Oliver is acknowledged as one of the leading teacher of teachers and teacher of school owners. His resume' is unsurpassed for the martial arts lineage, his academic achievements easily place him far beyond the elite in the martial art world, his business-marketing knowledge is quite simply the best. Buy this book, read it, read it agian, have every professional martial artist you know read it.
Sascha Wiiliams
 
 
This review is from: Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22: Essential Skills for Martial Arts School Owners (Paperback)
I have been operating martial arts schools for over 30 years now, and I wish that I would have read this book back then. The information inthis book is valuable to anyone who truly wants to improve their rate of success and financial situation. Oliver has a way of making his points very easy to understand. He's on point (keep in mind that this is the guy who owns and operates one of the most professional and successful chains of Karate schools in the US).
To put this in perspective, I have read, listened to, visited, and learned from many of the top leaders in our industry (many of whom are top seminar consultants with the top two Martial Arts business associations, MAIA and NAPMA)
If you want to be successful with running a Karate school, I would recommend get this book and read it and apply it. It works
Changed my outlook AND my school.
By Martial Artist (Washington, DC)
 
 
This review is from: Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22: Essential Skills for Martial Arts School Owners (Paperback)
Everyone in the Martial Arts business knows Master Stephen Oliver as the genius behind bringing true business marketing techniques into schools in a large scale. His success in the martial arts business is unparalleled- from his rocket ship start to his remarkable recoveries. This book is a no-brainer must read for every martial artist starting out with their own school; already-school owners reviewing their own progress, and anyone looking for an interesting and in-depth look into the martial arts business for real. I highly recommend the read!
 
 
This review is from: Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22: Essential Skills for Martial Arts School Owners (Paperback)
"Gee – I don't know how you're able to study and come up with this much great material! I was just AMAZED at the content and the exciting ideas in this system – it's Really given me some great ideas – every school owner must have it – now.
Joyce Santamaria
Empire State Karate
 

"I enjoyed your book "All the Things I Wish I Knew When I was 22", especially the part about firing students and staff. At least now I know I am not alone when no matter what I do that I cannot please everybody.All the books you have authored I have looked over and they all seem very informative and relevant. There are several new concepts that I have not seen before as well as many that I have seen but need to see over and over again anyway. Thank you for providing all your information."
Glenn Finke
Traditional Karate-Do Center
http://www.warwickkarate.com/
 
 
Chris Rappold of Personal Best Karate (3) locations, 250 East Main Street, Norton, MA Writes:
"Your genius is the ability to see things from a perspective that virtually no one else does. Your combination of an MBA and 20 years pioneering ideas for professional martial arts instructors is a valuable treasure for school owners such as myself.

School owners have a choice of either spending 20 years in the process or trial and error coming up with new ideas, all the while wasting precious time and energy, plus thousands of dollars or they can get the "Cliff Notes" to success which are your "EVERYTHING I WISH I KNEW WHEN I WAS 22" section of Extraordinary Marketing. That's a starting point to standing on the shoulders of your wisdom!"
 
Just in from the UK:
 
 
"Stephen I have to say that I would have paid the fee just for your "Everything I wish I knew when I was 22" – it was absolutely brilliant and really forced me to think about my own set up in the UK. I sat there reading it thinking "This is me"! Many of the problems you highlighted I am currently dealing with myself, and your views were certainly a balanced and well thought out comment on my current situation. Keep up the good work."
Stephen Cowley Steve Cowley's Martial Arts Academy
Unit 4B, Desborough Industrial Park
United Kingdom
 
 
"I do want to thank you for marketing such an extraordinary package of materials. Awesome is the only word I can use to describe your package at such a low cost. I have had an academy (six days a week) open for the last twelve years and before that worked for one of my instructors for about six years in his five schools. The reason that I say low cost (and you know what I am talking about) is that we have paid out thousands of dollars over the years for business ideas and teaching ideas! The software is super! We have over the years tried everything that came along. Master Vision beats them all. The little book "All the things I wish I knew when I was 22" was worth the cost of your program. Anyway, it has been the shot in the arm that we needed and we thank you for the dose of medicine. Anyway, thanks for your program. Keep the faith and keep plugging "if you never give up, never quit and you never surrender you will never fail".May the Lord God Almighty continue to bless and keep you and you family always, amen" Gordon Dixon
Tupelo Martial Arts Academy
Shannon, MS
United States
 
 
"I heard of Stephen Oliver in 1983. He was getting press everywhere for his incredible marketing efforts in Denver. He gave me great advise. We became friends and associates.

In my opinion he's one of the premier marketing experts in our industry and has been for over 20 years. His ideas contributed greatly to huge and rapid growth my experienced. His Extraordinary Marketing program is phenomenal! Get it now you will not be disappointment."
Will Maier
Martial Arts America
Former EFC Board Member
NinjaSeminars.com
 
 
"After buying your book: I've increased my schools gross tuition for my adult and children's program by thousands with one statement that I received from your program.

I've also increase my monthly income by almost $4200 by following the same principle with my After School Program.

I remember 4 years ago when my school was only doing about $8000 a month total with all of my programs. I've now made that much extra a month just from following one of your principles, although I was nervous at trying it at first but I listened to what you were saying and found out that I was in the situation that you were talking about, after that I did it.

It's probably the best thing I've done financially for my school since starting my after school program and summer camp.

Thanks"
Lloyd Irvin Jr
Lloyd Irvin's Martial Arts
Camp Springs, MD
United States
 
 
"Well, I have to admit. This is one of the first times I have read something from the many people who try to tell us how to run a school where the advice is obviously coming from someone who has.

We have been running a small group of successful schools for almost 25 years, and after that kind of experience, it is easier to tell the good advice from the bad."
Doug Adamson
 
 
"In 1989, I was the head karate coach at the Air Force Academy and was looking to maybe open a commercial school in Colorado Springs. I had heard of Stephen Oliver and took a drive to Denver to visit him. I soon learned that he was grossing around 1.5 million or something like that and was totally surprised that he was open to letting me see how his operation worked..

Using some of his marketing tips, I signed up 160 students in 90 days when I opened my first location in 1990. I went on to follow in his footsteps of the multi-school operation having 4 commercial schools with a 1 million dollar gross in two short years.

Having just read this bookl, I can see that his ideas are once again revolutionary and he is going to lead many schools down a profitable path with his concepts. Any serious school owner, whether traditional or eclectic, should invest in his book and reap the rewards."
Terry Bryan
 
 
"Our currency (Rand) is very weak in comparison to the Dollar. You can multiply the price with 8 to have an idea what I paid for the product! I am still very happy that I had bought the program!Although we are worlds apart, the similarity of our markets is absolutely scary! I am currently reading through the "Things I wish I knew………" for a second time and really enjoy your aproach. I am (was) a technical fighter and teacher all my life and only loved Karate-do, I am now rapidly changing to become a marketer, seller, business person etc.It had been an eye-opening experience to read the material you had sent. I am eagerly awaiting to apply nearly every single suggestion in the program. The similarity in our markets are really amazing! Although we are continents apart! I enjoyed the line, "I have not found even a single advantage into entering my students into the external tournaments". I am currently working through all the material and will have my web site etc in place for the beginning of our academic year which is January. I will keep you posted!"
Soon Pretorius
Karate Academy of South Africa
 
 
“Few martial arts professionals have impressed me as much as Stephen Oliver.”
"During the last decade at NAPMA, I've worked with many of the top martial arts professionals in the world. Though I've worked with Stephen for many years now, my brow is still constantly being raised by his extraordinary level of intelligence, his rapid fire creativity, his over-the-top marketing genius, his total understanding of our industry, and his proven ability to help owners, of every style, take their schools to the next level and way beyond.
Folks, believe me when I tell you that Stephen Oliver is brilliant and he will do wonders for your school as long as you apply his teachings.  This guy can show you the way and I strongly encourage you to learn all that you possibly can  from him!"
Rob Colasanti