In 1973 at the age of 10, after seeing Bruce Lee’s “Enter The Dragon”, Sergeant Stephenson discovered his love of the martial arts. He proceeded to study Taekwondo under Instructor Blake Williet, self-defense under Instructor Robert Hanson, Ketsugen karate and Kung Fu under Instructor’s Roderick Chillious and Richard Griffin and Tang Soo Do under Instructor’s Ron Hill and Georgia-based United Karate Studio’s Fred & Linda Landrum. Sergeant Stephenson attended Freeport High School at which time they called Karate High and he would spar and train after school with his classmates at Northwest Park. He was also a member of Freeport High’s wrestling and gymnastics teams and would incorporate gymnastics in his katas before there were Extreme and Creative Sport karate divisions. Sergeant Stephenson achieved his Blackbelt in Tang Soo Do 1983 and was later ranked # 10 & # 17 in Point sparring in Region 11 of the Professional Karate League.
In 1984 Sergeant Stephenson became an Officer in the New York City Police and was later promoted to Detective and then Sergeant. In 1996 Sergeant Stephenson won the New York State Law Enforcement Olympics in Point Sparring. While working in the NYPD, Sergeant Stephenson used martial arts several times, including defending himself against a man attempting to steal his firearm and another time when he had to disarm an armed robber. Sergeant Stephenson was promoted to Detective and Sergeant and was awarded 26 commendations for various acts of police duty. One of those awards was for being a first responder at the World Trade Center during Sept 11th, 2001 attacks and helping to evacuate people from the burning towers. In 1999 Sergeant Stephenson along with his partner Detective Teddy Campbell (R.I.P) started Street Unity and Survival (S.U.S) Self Defense School. A African American-based self-defense school dedicated to using knowledge and unity to uplift the community. In 2004, after 20 years of honorable service, Sergeant Stephenson retired from the New York City Police Department. Today Sergeant Stephenson can still be found teaching and serving the community at his karate school in the Queens/ Long Island, N.Y. area.