Sensei Duke Moore
"I have little or no interest in so-called "tradition arts."
If they don't work, scrap them." Letter from Duke Moore to Sensei St. Hilaire
Duke was born in San Francisco on April 19, 1915 . Even as a child,
Duke's 1st love was boxing and wrestling. In 1932 it all began
in high school. He started his boxing, he would go from gym to
gym and really loved it. At this time Duke also was doing wrestling.
In 1941 Duke became a Judo/Ju jitsu student of Ray Law. His wrestling
skills were of great value to him in judo competitions.
In 1943 having learned Ray Law's requirements for blackbelt degree
(Yawara, shime, Oku, and Shinin ). Duke traveled to New York to
study Judo randori under George Yoshida. While he was there, he
studied Aiki-Ju Jitsu under the renowned Henri Nikai. After winning
his judo blackbelt in competition, Duke returned to San Francisco
and opened up his 1st martial arts dojo . His school ,on Divisidero
St. Was the largest of it's kind in the US and attracted many blackbelt
Judo and Ju Jitsu visitors .
These men and women helped further Duke's knowledge of both Judo
and Ju Jitsu. Nationally famed Mitz Kimura introduced himself to
Duke in 1946. He had recently been discharged from the LA detention
camps where most of the people of Japanese ancestry were constrained
for the duration of World War II. Kimura was immediately hired
by Duke as his associate; but more important, as Duke's teacher.
Over one t hird of Duke's Aiki Ju Jitsu course is comprise of Kodokan
jujitsu taught to Duke by Prof. Kimura. Great teachers from all
over the world were checking into Duke's school, which had now
moved up to upper Market St. And became the fountain head of blackbelters
graduated by duke during the next 20 years.
In 1947-1948, Duke and Ray Law founded the American Judo and Ju
Jitsu Federation. Co-founders were Bud Estes, Johnny Cahill Sr.
And Dick Rickets. In 1950 Duke Moore resigned because a motion
was passed to restrict membership to blackbelt graduates of Henry
Okosaka system. Duke founded a system was opened to all advocates
of the martial arts and produced many judo champions like Vince
Larat, Tony Trouche, Dick Blattes, Bill Godfrey, Del and Dino Esposti,
Ivo Rejo and Don Buck.
In 1957 the legendary Mas Oyama was hired By Duke Moore and Don
Buck one of his blackbelter to teach the Oyama's Kyokushin system
In 1962, Duke invited Prof. Nishiyama up from L.A. to teach him
and 20 of his blackbelters the shotokan system of karate. Duke
, together with Richard "Biggie" Kim, Walter Todd, and
Del De Esposti, formed the Northern Calfornia Karate Federation
which sponsored Nishiyama Shotokan tournament which was held at
S.F. Kesar Pavilion. The stadium was packed.
In 1965 Duke and Biggie Kim trained 20 of Dukes blackbelts karate
and awarded them there their blackbelt degrees in Shorin-gi-ryu
karate. He trained Duke privately and Duke earned his 7th dan in
Aiki-Ju Jitsu, 4th dan in Judo and 4th in karate in 1966.
In 1973 Duke moved to Mt View CA . and began teaching mixed Judo,
Ju Jitsu and Karate at Stanford University. 2 outstanding students
graduated to become high ranking professors of the martial arts.
Tim Delgman and James Moses. In 1981 Duke left Stanford to form
the American Teachers Of The Martial Arts (ATAMA)
which bloomed to become an international organization.
From JUJUTSU Our History, by Russell St. Hilaire
Second Edition, 1993
Duke Moore began his many years of Martial Arts study in 1941
with Raymond Law at Law's American Judo & Jujutsu School in
He also studied Kodenkan Jujutsu under Merlin "Bud" Estes
at the Chico, CA dojo where Estes Sensei founded the American
Judo And Jujutsu Federation. Moore Sensei received his Jujutsu
Blackbelt in 1944 from Law Sensei. Also in 1944, Moore Sensei received
his Blackbelt in Kodokan Judo from Sensei Gerogre Yoshida in New
York City, NY. In 1957 he received his Blackbelt in Kyokushin Karate
from Master Masutatsu Oyama (10th dan Kyokushin Karate). In 1965
Moore Sensei received the rank of 7th Dan (Shichidan, Prof.) in
Aiki-Jujutsu from Master Richard Kim, representative of the Dai
Nippon Butokukai of Kyoto, Japan. Master Kim also awarded Moore
Sensei 4th Dan (Yodan) in both Kodokan Judo and Karate. In 1975
Duke Moore was awarded the rank of 9th Dan (Kudan, Kyoshi) in Aiki-Jujutsu
by the Zen Budo Society. Sensei Moore also studied other aspects
of the Martial Arts with Mits Kimura (6th Dan Judo) [Kimura was
actually 7th Dan -- DFG], Walter Todd (4th Dan Karate), Takahashi
Sensei (5th Dan Karate, 4th Dan Aikido), and Yosh Ajari (4th Dan
Karate). Raymond Moore opened his first dojo in San Francisco,
CA in 1944. The school was called the Zen Budokai and
eventually established six branches throughout the San Francisco
area. In 1955 he was hired by the state of California to set up
self-defense training programs for all guards, officers and civilian
employees of the eight California prisons. He personally developed
and trained the teaching staff. During his 46 years as a teacher
of Zen meditation and the martial arts he has graduated over 300
Blackbelt instructors in Jujutsu and Karate. He has taught Jujutsu
to dozens of police departments, colleges, Marine, Army and Navy
reserve units. Moore Sensei founded the Holistic Meditation Society
in 1979 and wrote two books on Zen meditation, The Fighting
Spirit of Zen and Holistic Meditation.
On 25 October 1980, The Zen Budo Society awarded Raymond V. "Duke''
Moore the rank of 10th dan. He was given a certificate which reads
Whereas he has mastered, taught and demonstrated in
his life and work the philosophical truths and spiritual forces
of Aiki and Budo; and in recognition of his being a Master Sensei
and practitioner of over forty-five years experience in the martial
art of Aiki Jujutsu, the Zen Budokai hereby awards to its founder
Duke Moore the title, rank and honor of hanshi-judan (10th degree).
At the present time, Moore Sensei is chief instructor of the Stanford
University Self-Defense Club with a staff of 12 Blackbelt assistants.
He is counseling assistant to the chief instructor, Sensei John
Pereira, the founder of the San Francisco Karate-Do School of Martial
Chief instructors under Moore Sensei are at the present: Sensei
John Pereira, Sensei Leroy Rodriguez, Sensei James Moses, Sensei
Jerome Kunzman, and several others.
Hanshi Raymond V. "Duke" Moore passed away at 4:40 pm PST on February 25, 2003 in Sacramento, California. He was a practitioner of JuJitsu for more than 60 years. He was the founder and leader of the ZenBudo-Ryu system of Self Defense and the founder of the Martial Arts Organization ATAMA. He is sorely missed!