Victor Moore Biography: Career, Family, and Honours



Victor Moore is a male Karateka from the United States with a 10th Degree Black Belt in Karate. Moore was born on August 23, 1943, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to unnamed parents. Much of his early life is unknown, but he began physical fitness and martial arts training at the age of seven in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began his physical training at home by lifting heavy buckets of coal, one dumbbell, and other weights he discovered. Moore read books by Italian bodybuilder Charles Atlas to supplement his physical training. He also began reading books on Jujitsu, a Japanese martial art.

Moore had mastered the fundamentals of jujitsu and Judo by the age of nine. He began karate training at the age of twelve with Cincinnati’s Ronald “The Grave Digger” Williams. Moore studied Karate with Williams for five years and earned a black belt in the Kempo style. Moore, then eighteen, enrolled in a judo school founded by instructor Ray Hudges in 1961. Moore also enrolled in a Kempo class taught by Bill Dometrich. He studied Judo with John Osako and Sensei Glen Osborne and eventually earned a brown belt. He then enrolled in karate classes with Jim Wax. Moore also sparred alongside Tiger Joe Harris. Moore also competed in twelve amateur fights, winning all of them.

Moore received his education at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Moore met Professor Barry Yasuto while there, who taught him Shotokan Karate and advanced him to black belt for the first time. Moore returned to Cincinnati, Ohio, after graduating from Central State University, to open his first Karate school. Moore would travel across the country with several of his students to compete in martial arts tournaments. He also established other martial arts schools in 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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