Busy days for instructor

HARD KNOCKS: Steve Oliver knows how to run the show.
HARD KNOCKS: Steve Oliver knows how to run the show.

Steve Oliver, 40, lives in Glen Eden with his American bulldog, Khan. He talks to reporter Julian Raethel about his life as a mixed martial arts trainer at Steve Oliver MMA.

I'm usually out of bed at 5.30am and go to cross-fit training three times a week for an hour or so.

Then I'm back home at 7am where I'll eat breakfast and let Khan out for a bit of a run around.

My first class isn't until 10am so I keep myself busy tidying up around the house and gym.

Classes vary from day-to-day but it's pretty steady all year which is great to see.

I do run over to my Albany branch depending on how many private classes we have on during the day.

My stepson, Vance, is a brown belt in jiu jitsu and takes the Saturday classes there.

We mainly focus on Brazilian jiu jitsu but we cater for mixed martial arts as well.

Ever since I was young I was left in the gym while dad was off conquering the world with his weightlifting and setting up gyms. It's all I've ever known.

I got dragged to a lot of weightlifting tournaments and was thrown into the mix from day one.

I learned how to train hard and that's what I'm trying to teach my students. After trying my hand at powerlifting, weightlifting and boxing and travelling the world I found that Brazilian jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts was the discipline for me.

Nothing really impressed me other than that as far as disciplines go and as I got older I started getting quite heavy through lifting weights and I'm also an asthmatic.

The great thing about jiu jitsu is you're actually fighting for your life but without really getting injured, but that's not to say that injuries don't happen.

Our students range from 15 to 45 years old but there really are no limits when it comes to age and I teach private one-on-one sessions through to classes of 40 people.

The evenings are full on and it can be tiring but it's really rewarding watching students progress.

Seeing people, especially kids, gaining confidence through learning MMA is great, it totally changes them in a positive way.

I run a tight ship but also try to have a lot of fun too, we might play games to keep the motivation high.

We finish up our last class at 8.30pm and I'm off home to relax.

Western Leader