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Stephen Rueber Still Kicking It At Championship Level Into His 40′s

Karl’s TV & Appliance Athlete of the Week
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 9:49 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The first images of martial arts that Stephen Rueber saw growing up in Canton had him hooked.

“My parents brought me a Bruce Lee video. So I would watch that thing day after day and try and emulate everything that he was doing. Nagging mom and dad and finally the right opportunity and they said okay, you can start taking some classes!” Rueber says.

Which might make it hard to picture him in his everyday job.

“I’m a full time commercial real estate broker at Jim Dunham & Associates. And a lot of times you can find me out and about in a Bruce Lee t-shirt or some other martial arts apparel!” Stephen says.

20 years ago he began training at Hoover’s Martial Arts and focusing on Taekwondo.

“The physical, the mental challenge that Taekwondo puts you through during that journey, it’s extremely rewarding.” Rueber says.

“He’s always had great, great technique. Extremely flexible. Extremely strong. So the next stage would be to test those skills.” Hoover Martial Arts Chief Master Larry Hoover says.

“My first trip to Nationals (in 2010) I won the men’s sparring division and took second place in the forms division.” Stephen says.

Since 2010 Rueber’s gone on to win three national championships and numerous medals at events throughout the country. His latest national title came last May in Las Vegas at the age of 41.

“When I’m getting ready for a competition my mindset changes. I enter a state of hyper focus. The smile goes away and I’m like a hungry lion looking for food.” Rueber says.

“He’s very much into detail and he’s highly self motivated.” Hoover says.

Whether it’s time, or his six-year old son Andrson.....

“They really kind of captured the vision of my son (on the t-shirt). I mean look at that intensity!” Rueber says.

...Stephen has gained a new perspective...

“In the past I think my goals were more idealistic and maybe selfish. The goal of martial arts isn’t to have prefect technique or to be perfect at a tournament. It’s perfection of character that counts the most.” Stephen says.

...while continuing to leave the same championship impression.

“As long as you take care of yourself, and you put in the work, you can be successful. I do want to win multiple world titles. Being 41 years old I kind of consider myself the Tom Brady of Tae Kwon Do, I’m just not ready to retire!” Rueber says.

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