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Dec-13-2010 06:40printcommentsVideo

Karate and Kickboxing Training at Steele's Karate in Salem Part 1

Watch for part two which will be released Tuesday.

Steele's Karate photos by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore,) - Sensei John Olivera of Steele's Karate in Salem, Oregon, is unique even among the Northwest's top ranked martial artists.

Beyond his own accomplishments, which include being top ranked black belt in the Northwest, this Karate expert has a connection with students young and old alike that is a key asset in the student's development in martial arts, and also a strong reason behind his years of success.

Another black belt who has studied under John for twenty years; James Straight, says his time at Steele's Karate have allowed him to see great advancements in students.

"You get guys like our brown belt Connor, who has been here since he was really little. So you get to see some of these guys come in as really little kids and they grow into young people and it gives them a lot of confidence; it gives them a lot of things they take with them out into their lives, and hopefully some very good values."

John Olivera agrees completely, saying Karate provides essential tools for self-defense and he always reminds those in attendance that Karate does not exist for the sake of violence; but as an art form that allows a person to better perceive and deal with a threat, if necessary.

Over this four part series,you will watch his class transition from standard Karate training, to an aerobic kickboxing dance workout... to hard punches against heavy bags that represent the weight of a human body.

Part one and part two both focus on the Karate aspect.

You learn how students as young as three and as old as 70 are actively and successfully involved in John's program.

The approach to this martial art form is based on Japanese Karate and a great deal is respect is always reserved for the masters. John says some who are well into senior citizen status, can perform as well as youngsters.

Kickboxing is also very popular at Steels's Karate.

John Olivera and founder Tim King go back quite a few years, in fact all the way back to the summer of 1981. That is when they both arrived with their feet on the yellow footprints at Marine boot camp in San Diego.

Years later when Tim was working for Portland TV station KATU, he directed his camera toward John during a news story and they recognized each other about halfway through the interview. Considering that Tim grew up in Los Angeles and John is from the Detroit Lake, Oregon area; it was a lucky find.

One story and related video produced by Tim some years ago: Salem Ex-Marine May be World's Toughest Kickboxer; has led quite a bit of business to the Salem dojo over the years, John says. Here is the first part in this series, watch for part two which will be released Tuesday.

Here are the other videos in this series:

Dec-14-2010: Karate and Kickboxing Training at Steele's Karate in Salem Part 2 - Staff Report

Dec-16-2010: Karate and Kickboxing Training at Steele's Karate in Salem Part 3 - Staff Report

Dec-18-2010: Karate and Kickboxing Training at Steele's Karate in Salem Part 4 - Staff Report


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 65 writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can send Tim an email at this address:


Bonnie King has been with since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King


Jerry Freeman is part of a new generation of dedicated news photographers who are entering the Internet news industry as a second career. He shares in common with many people the dream of becoming a visual journalist. Joining the Navy at an early age, and the Oregon Army Guard a few years later, Jerry has a wide range of life experiences. He describes himself as “an old truck driver with a new found passion to bare witness on the world’s events.” Teaming up with he embarks on a new career as a video news photographer and reporter. Stay tuned, and see how it turns out. Jerry seems to exhibit natural talent and is already becoming a published member of the team. You can send Jerry Freeman an email at this address:


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Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsf December 13, 2010 11:41 am (Pacific time)


I love matial arts training for our youth (adults too). I loved it so much that I took the great deal of effort to train my children in one of its many forms, Tae kwon Do.

It took many years of perseverance, both, of the parents and the kids, to reach the first degree black-belt.

It helped my kids acquire many of the physical characteristics which martial arts teaches, summed up in the creed of the club they attended: "black belt excellence" in all walks of life.

I consider martial arts as teaching more than just kicking, and boxing, and even more than "black-belt excellence".

It is summed up in this short clip of Bruce Lee teaching the Tao of Reflection, the Zen of Martial Arts, to a younger apprentice in the movie Enter the Dragon:

“Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory”

Without inculcating that, that tao of reflection ( my own description) martial arts remains a physical endeavor leaving a lot of cash on the table.

So let me explain: how many martial artists, expert at all forms of "black belt excellence" in many walks of life, can trivially detect that '9/11 was an inside job' from just simple reflection, the the tallk WTC towers exhibiting such sudden catastrophic failures like collapsing into their own footprint so symmetrically points to controlled demolition?

Obviously, one does not need to be a martial artist to acquire such wisdom, the tao of reflection of martial arts so to speak.

But I do believe that martial arts training is eminently suited to in fact teach it as their ultimate goal.

This club sounds terrific. If it isn't already doing so, I hope it moves from teaching "black belt excellence" to the next higher goal, inculcating some zen in the students.

Without it, this will remain merely 'bread and circuses', i.e., another form of chasing the 'American Dream' - and as with any dream, one has to be fast asleep to achieve it.


Zahir Ebahim

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