Why Mile High Karate

Mile High Karate the Best thing you can do for Your Child!

OK that’s a bold claim “The Best Thing you can do for Your Child”, don’t just take my word for it here’s what our parents have to say.

“Mile High Karate has been a great bonding experience for my son and I. I have seen and continue to see a great change in his attitude towards everything he does. He has vastly improved his manners and his willingness to help out at home. I have noticed changes in my own attitude towards work and home life as well. The Instructors are amazing. Brilliant with students of all ages and always available to answer questions and chat about our children. That Black Belt will be mine." K Coster 25/9/2016

Hi my name is Grant Buchanan I’m the owner and Senior Chief Instructor for our Mile High Karate School here in Tauranga.

First of all let me tell you that Mile High Karate was founded over 30 years ago in Denver Colorado by Stephen Oliver. Denver is commonly referred to as the Mile High City due to its elevation above sea level. So nothing to do with Airplanes but the Mile High part can certainly apply to your expectations of our organisation and also the heights of achievement we want to reach with your child and quite possibly you ( a high percentage of our students are enrolled with one or both parents).

So why did a twenty year veteran school owner end up joining an organisation based in the “Mile High City” and how will that benefit your family?

Well I will try and keep this brief but the desire for the very best for my own children has driven me to seek out and create the best for yours as well.

I have been operating a full time martial arts school since 2001 and have in that time been part of three different organisations all of which had left me as a full time Instructor hungry for more knowledge and best practice in how to create success orientated Black Belts. I didn’t just want my Black Belts to fight and break bricks, I wanted them to take the life changing process of achieving their Black Belt and apply the principles learned to the rest of their life, setting and achieving massive goals around their education, career and relationships. These are all benefits which I realized didn’t come just as a matter of course. In fact most of the Black Belts I knew were the opposite. Time for a change.

I had been a long time member of NAPMA which is an organization based in the US dedicated to improving martial arts and the quality and process of teaching. It was a challenge to be part of NAPMA, it was expensive to be a member and the content almost always needed to be translated from American to Kiwi, however it was the best in the world. So with typical Kiwi can do attitude I took the plunge and committed to attending a three day conference in Florida of the worlds leading Martial arts schools. Now I could rave forever about the incredible workshops and lectures with legends like Jeff Smith, Joe Lewis, Jhoon Rhee and Stephen Hayes, but the really amazing thing that happened was hearing about a free lunch.

Well actually Stephen Oliver the owner of NAPMA and the head of the Mile High Karate Schools was running a seminar for those interested in applying to join the Mile High Karate organisation. I knew any opportunity to hear from master Oliver would be a huge benefit to my school and my students (around 600 at that time). But then the most fortuitous thing happened MHK was a Tae Kwon Do organisation (well really a very developed and more progressive system than the just TDK) and I am a Kempo Karate man so I didn’t think I could be a part of MHK. However Master Oliver was now talking about there systems being developed and robust enough to accept schools from other styles and they were looking to expand internationally. Often in life we find that moment when we are in the right place at the right time, usually when we get out of our comfort zone (and my old martial arts buddies had various reactions to my trip from disowning me to calling me an idiot) and suddenly providence moves. And in this meeting the first hand up in the room was the Kiwi down the back.

The next step was home to NZ and then I was invited by Master Oliver back to Denver to visit seven of the schools there and attend a Black Belt retreat and Grading in Breckenridge. I was blown away by everything I saw from the quality of the Martial Arts through to the engagement of the students, the quality of the character development process and the great staff and families involved. Oh and by the way between these two trips I had run a Black Belt grading at my own studio which included my oldest daughter Bella. Now as a Dad I wanted to make that the best Black Belt grading I had ever run and I did my very best to achieve that (Bella passed). I wanted it to be the impactful culmination of five years determined effort, I thought it was.

So one week later I fly into “The Mile High City” and attend the MHK event for 280 testing for Black Belt from all over the States. Now this was a cathartic week, I was gutted at how far off the mark we were in NZ. For all my hard work and best intentions our organisation was truly third rate and we were at the top of what was available in NZ. I was devastated that I wasn’t doing the best for my students and with three more of my own children coming into my school I was determined that they should get the very best. A great saying that kept repeating in my head was “you don’t know what you don’t know when you don’t know it”. Well now I did know, so joining the Mile High Karate organisation was an absolute no brainer and I am proud to have been the first International School on board.

I would love for you to come and visit our School and see for yourself how determined and how good we are at turning out rock solid, unflappable, fly through the air confident kids.

"An amazing group of people. We have noticed a huge change in our son's self-discipline, attitude and strength. Mile High is supportive, friendly and have made us feel welcome from day one. A must for kids and families."  K Sainty 25/9/2016

"It is the best thing for your kids and with your kids. I have been coming now for five years with my son. I can’t think of anything better than going for our Black Belts together. Our whole family support us in our goal. There are obvious benefits like flexibility, strength and fitness but also the less obvious things, like using your brain every class, learning new techniques and forms is fun, stimulating and challenging. Getting the left side of your body working like the right. No more sore back or RSI. Definitely more alert and focused at work. And of course the great group of people are friendly and nice I always get to class early for a catch up."  M Hyne 25/9/2016

"Love that it’s so family orientated at Mile High Karate. We have lots of fun while getting fit. It’s great I can train with my son and husband. I love the focus on being successful outside Karate. I enjoy very much learning the self-defense techniques. My son particularly love learning weapons. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. We enjoy the discipline of homework sheets and reading lists."  Scherer 25/9/2016

"Mile High Karate is the best thing that has happened for my son and I. They have a holistic approach which involves discussing and reinforcing important values in life such as self-respect and perseverance while learning how to protect themselves and others. The Instructors are always on hand to help parents and kids with advice such as dealing with bullying at school. Being a member of this club provides a strong sense of belonging (Whanaungatonga) and fantastic, stable supportive male role modeling. Well done Mile High Karate."  R Hooker 25/9/2016

"I joined Mile High Karate 18 months ago with my two boys 14 and 6. Over this time we have enjoyed a positive learning experience together as well as the kids developing great confidence. I enjoy coming for fitness and flexibility and the challenge of keeping up with the little ones. I've found the Instructors to be very patient, very professional and very experienced, they teach Martial Arts in a positive unique way. I'd definitely recommend Mile High Karate to anyone, any age, any fitness level, anyone."  C Coupland 25/9/2016

"My grandson with special needs is on the Autistic spectrum, he has been at Mile High Karate for three years. He started as a very anxious boy often reluctant to engage and with difficulty understanding what was required. Over this time he has been mentored and supported by all the Instructors with respect and understanding. This has also included my daughter and myself whenever there has been childhood issues we have sought advice and guidance about. We now have a 12 year old achieving at a high level in karate and increasingly gaining in confidence and self-management. He is always made to feel comfortable and welcome and knows there is always someone to talk to for support."  C Collins 25/9/2016