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John Olivera

John Olivera

John Olivera started his martial arts as a young boy. Growing up in Detroit Oregon, John would spend most of his Junior High and High School years working out in football, basketball, or track while constantly doing karate. Classes were lead by Shihan (Master) Vance Steele. The training was very hard. Full-contact sparring was the norm. John made it to green belt (half-way to black-belt) by the time he was a Senior in High School. In May 1981 John graduated from High School. Eleven days later he was in San Diego for Marine Corps Boot Camp. Read more...

While in the Marines John did boxing and taught martial arts. John then went to Pacific University in Forest Grove. He played college football and college basketball all the while staying true to karate and visiting Shihan Vance Steele to continue to earn his blackbelt. While at Pacific University John started a karate club known as "Steele's Karate Club." Upon graduating from college John moved back to work in his hometown as a forest service employee. He continued his karate and started Steeles Karate Club again in Detroit. Vance had moved away and it had been years since Detroit had Karate in the community. John also ran his club in Mill City Oregon. After a couple of years John moved to Phoenix Arizona to be closer to his brother Billy. There he studied Kung Fu briefly.

John Olivera

Then while in Southern California John started a group of men training in Jeet Kun Do and Boxing. World Champion Kick-Boxer Gracellia Cassillas brother George Cassillas was one of Johns friends and students. Upon returning to Oregon John decided to teach martial arts full time. John moved to Gresham Oregon where he trained in Hiyashi-Ha Shito-ryu karate, kick-boxing, and boxing with Sensei Mark Emery. Sensei Emery was an accomplished karate fighter and a seasoned professional boxer. John also spent many hours training with Sensei David Fricks at American States Karate Schools. Sensei Fricks was a silver medalist in karate in the Pan-Am Games and a perfectionist in kata.

In 1988 John became an Instructor in Keizer Oregon for American States Karate. 2 years later John took over the South Salem American States location. Then in 1992 John opened his own karate school in Salem. All the while John was training and learning about all different styles including weapons. John is trained with the staff(bo), tonfa, kama, he is also a qaulified Marine Corp Expert in firearms. In 1994 John began his training with the Japan Karate Federation under Junki Yoshida. In 1997 John earned his 1st degree Blackbelt in Shindo Jinen Ryu-Karate Jutsu under the Japan Karate Federation Ryobu-kai. John continues to teach as an Instructor of traditional Japanese Karate. He is currently a 3rd degree Black belt for The Japan Karate Federation.

John Olivera

John has an extensive background in Boxing and Kickboxing having competed for nearly a dozen years in the profession. John started his kickboxing career in Canda with a 3rd round knockout of then, according to the announcer a "future superstar" Mike "knock em down" Downey. Downey had knocked all competitors out before fighting with Olivera. Johns most memorable fight was a decision loss to then, boxings undefeated Canadian Super middleweight Kit Munroe. After the fight Munroe remarked that "John was the toughest bloke he'd ever met, and a bloody gentleman." John has also been on the same fight card where Sugar ray Leonard and Roberto Duran were special guests.

John has competed in over a hundred tournaments. He has hundreds of medals and trophies. He enjoyed a professional boxing -kickboxing career and the travels that went along with it. John did a fill in for a cage fight one time against the undefeated Santos Quitariono. John has competed in Japan. John has been the owner instructor of Steele's Karate and Kicboxing since 1992. He has taught at many of the Public Schools around Salem and the outlying communities. John taught kick-boxing at the Oregon State Penitentiary to the staff. John has performed in numerous martial arts demonstrations through out the Northwest. He has taught seminars on self defense to the public and private sector for several decades.

In May of 2009 John was appointed President for the State of Oregon's National Karate-do. This is the governing body for America's traditional sport karate. Steele's Karate also has a boxing team which is sanctioned by the U.S.A boxing. John coaches this team. Steele's Karate has a Karate team that is lead by Sensei John that travels and compete at local and National tournaments. The youngest of 3 brothers and the son of a full-blood Apache Indian, fighting was a way of life for John from a very early age. Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali, Vance Steele and John's Dad were all big influences in John's life. They were all strong men who could fight but also stood for something more. According to John "any fool can fight--but a warrior trains." John has a passion for karate, kickboxing, boxing, mixed martial arts and all of the fighting arts. At Steeles Karate you can find John teaching and training regularly most days of the week. And on many Saturdays and Sundays you can find him at boxing events, karate tournaments and seminars, or at M.M.A matches supporting, coaching and cheering on others.


PRO BOXING - 1994-2006
PRO KICKBOXING - 1994-2006

In December of 2010, I received my Shodan black belt within the Japan Karate Federation Ryobu-Kai system. Even though my progress was slow due to injury and demands on my time, the journey was one I would not trade for anything. The friendships that I have developed over the years of karate training have made the time spent even more enjoyable.

As a supervisor working in a steel mill since 1982, I was comfortable assisting Sensei John in a leadership role within the Dojo. While holding the rank of orange belt, I began helping instruct white belts during my first year at the school. I very much enjoy working with kids that are interested in learning karate and watching people of all ages turn into martial artists. Karate has value not only for confidence and self-defense, but seems to have a positive effect on every aspect of one’s life.

Fred King

Professor Fred King teaches a weekly Tuesday sparring class at STEELES. His expertise is of the highest level. He also teaches a street self defense class on the first Saturday of the month in the early a.m. STEELES KARATE is honored to have his insight, mentoring and friendship. Thank you Professor King.

Professor Fred King started his martial training in Judo with Sensei DeFrancisco at an early age. He then proceeded to wrestle through high school, and went on to box in college (Eastern Washington State College) under Coach John Copeland. He was a “walk-on” (no scholarship and no invitation) at the University of Oregon wrestling program and ended up on an athletic scholarship for the varsity team under Coach Ron Finley. He began his training in Kajukenbo (the first American mixed martial art that was started in 1947-1949 and continues worldwide today) while at the University of Oregon under Sifu Rich Mainenti and continued his training under Sifu Al Dacascos (Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame). Professor King also learned Ng Style Tai Chi from Sifu Greg Fong and began his training in Modern Arnis (Philipino Knife and Stick fighting) under Professor Remy Presas (Black Belt Hall of Fame). His training under Professor Presas continued for 20 years until the Professor Presas’s death. In 1984, Professor King started his own Method called Mo Duk Pai (Martial Ethics/Power Method) and also continued enhancing his studies of the martial arts with Professor Wally Jay (Small Circle Ju-jitsu and Black Belt Hall of Fame). Read more...

Some of Professor King's accomplishments over the years include:

  • Teaching for a year in Germany at the Budo Club Nippon, helping open up Germany to both Kung-fu and full contact fighting. Teaching National Champions Klaus Schaffer and Thomas Born.
  • Opening his own school in 1975 in Portland, Oregon which is still open and running.
  • Being ranked by the Karate Illustrated Year Book as the #1 Fighter in the Northwest in 1983 and ranked one of the top National Fighters that year having won over well over 100 tournaments in his short tournament career. He was also named as the “best reverse puncher in the country” by Karate Illustrated Yearbook.
  • Being on the front cover of Karate Illustrated in 1981.
  • Writing numerous articles for Black Belt Magazine and Karate Illustrated.
  • Performing seminars in Europe and the U.S.

His highest certified rankings are:

  • Professorship of Mo Duk Pai bestowed by Professors Remy Presas and Wally Jay.
  • 8th Degree Kajukenbo (Grand Masters Al Dacascos and Gabe Vargas)
  • 5th Degree Modern Arnis (Professor Remy Presas)
  • 5th Degree American Karate Association (Grand Master John Sharkey)
  • 5th Degree American Teacher’s Association of Martial Art (Professor Duke Moore and Grand Master Rick Alemany)

From 2002 – 2003 I was the President of United States National Karate-Do Federation of Oregon. Running the regional sport organization was a lot of work but very rewarding. In 2004 had the opportunity to compete at nationals in New Orleans. I did well and received a a bronze metal in fighting. I teach Thursday night beginner classes.

I have a Bachelor of Sciences from Western Oregon University, and am a computer specialist as a profession.

I have been with Sensei John for over 20 years. We have attended each others weddings, watched each others kids grow up and shared many fun times together. Sensei John is one of the toughest and most dedicated martial artist I have ever known. Training with him has been a huge part of my life and contributed to my confidence, self discipline and my ability to defend myself. Thank you Sensei John and STEELES KARATE