Victor Moore (1943- )

Victor Moore,
Victor Moore,

Victor Moore is an American male Karateka who holds a 10th Degree Black Belt in Karate. Moore was born on August 23, 1943, to unnamed parents in Cincinnati, Ohio. Much of his early life is unknown, but at the age of 7, he began physical fitness and martial art training in Cincinnati, Ohio. He started his physical training at home by lifting heavy buckets filled with coal, one dumbbell, and other weights he found. Moore read Italian bodybuilder Charles Atlas books that help with his physical training. He also started to read books on the Japanese martial art, Jujitsu.

By the age of nine, Moore was proficient in the basics of jujitsu and Judo. At the age of twelve, he began karate training with Ronald “The Grave Digger” Williams of Cincinnati. Moore trained with Williams for five years and was awarded a black belt in the Kempo style of Karate. In 1961, eighteen-year-old Moore joined a judo school opened by instructor Ray Hudges. Moore also joined a Kempo class instructed by Bill Dometrich. He took up Judo with John Osako and Sensei Glen Osborne and eventually earned a brown belt in that martial art. He then took karate classes with Jim Wax. Moore was also a sparring partner with Tiger Joe Harris. Moore also competed in twelve amateur fights and won every contest.

Moore attended Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. While there Moore met Professor Barry Yasuto who trained him in Shotokan Karate, getting him for the first time to the black belt level. After leaving Central State University, Moore returned to Cincinnati, Ohio, to open his first Karate school. Moore would travel with several of his students across the country participating in martial arts tournaments. He also opened other martial arts schools across the Cincinnati area.

Moore met Robert A. Trias, an American karate pioneer. Trais took Moore under his wing and trained with him at various tournaments and seminars in the Kempo and Goju-Ryu styles of Karate. Moore was also taught by Maung Gyi, a Burmese martial artist. Gyi taught Moore Bando, stick fighting, and the use of various other weapons.

In 1965, Moore became the first African American to win a significant karate competition, the USKA Grand Nationals. Moore went on to fight some of the karate competitors in the world including Micheal G. Foster, Mike Stone, Chuck Norris, and Joseph Henry Lewis among others. In 1967, Moore participated in a martial arts speed drill against future movie star and Jeet Kun Do founder Bruce Lee at the Long Beach International Karate Championships in Long Beach, California. Moore was challenged to stop Lee’s famous unstoppable punch by blocking it. According to Moore and Grandmaster Steve Mohammed, Lee has attempted to punch Moore three times and Moore successfully blocked all three attempts. Moore later claimed that Lee called him the fastest American he had ever seen. In 1975, Moore at the age of 32, retired from tournament competition. Victor Moore is consider the first major African American martial artist.

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