Harlingen local inducted into United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame

HARLINGEN — What do you do when you get diagnosed with low bone density at the age of 7?

You join martial arts, of course.

While it might sound crazy to most, it was exactly what Jose Olivarez did, and it was exactly what he needed.

As Olivarez explained, “In kung fu we do something called iron body training that strengthens the bones.”

In fact, joining martial arts at an early age paved the way for Olivarez’s future.

“I feel that I have accomplished a great amount of martial arts training due to the path that God has put me on,” said Olivarez. “I feel like myself as well as my school will grow strong in martial arts due to the people God has put in my martial arts path. All are nothing but professionals and masters at their crafts.”

Still, at age 25, Olivarez has already racked up a litany of accolades.

He earned his black belt at 16, before becoming the youngest in his martial arts school to receive the Sifu certificate, at 18 years of age. As recently as last year, Olivarez earned his black belt in Tang Soo Do.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Olivarez also holds certifications in rapid assault tactics and Ji kun do.

Currently, Olivarez trains under the guidance of Sifu master Kenneth Edwards out of California. Some may recognize Edwards, who also made an appearance in the feature motion film “Mortal Kombat.”

However, it was the Tang Soo Do association that recently gave him his biggest honor to date.

“It was the Tang Soo Do Karate Association that nominated me in the first place,” said Olivarez. “Many of its members are living legends in the martial arts world. Some of the masters and grandmasters in that organization used to dominate the Texas tournament circuit back in the day.”

In fact, Olivarez is the first person from the Rio Grande Valley to be inducted into the Kung Fu Martial Arts Hall of fame — an honor he received in Addison, Texas.

“It’s been the highest accomplishment I’ve ever received,” said Olivarez. “I was excited when they called my name and just being up there.”

But he isn’t finished yet.

Olivarez plans to continue to grow his own martial arts school, Honorable Warrior Martial Arts, which has been operating for three years in Harlingen.

“My ultimate goal is to have a place where everybody can come to learn and be affordable and not ridiculously priced,” said Olivarez. “Not only do I want to teach what I have learned, but I also want to go further in Ji Kun Do and Ju Jit Su.”