American Teachers Association of the Martial Arts
The following history of ATAMA was written by Raymond "Duke" Moore,
and can be found on page vi of the 1995 edition of Who's Who in
ATAMA. It is copied here in its entirety...
The American Teachers Association of the Martial Arts was founded
in 1981 in San Francisco, California. Paradoxically, it became
a viable organization only because of an "afterthought." The
original plan was to expand Zen Budokai, a credentialing organization
founded by me in 1960. Its purpose was to promote members of the
top ten blackbelters to the ranks of Masters and Professors.
Because it became apparent to me that many of the masters of the
various systems were either retiring or going into semi-retirement
by not even wearing their gi while in their own dojos, I felt that
it was time for the Budokai instructors to begin assuming the responsibilities
commensurate with the ranks of Master and Professor. I called for
a meeting of all interested blackbelters then teaching in the San
Francisco Bay Area to discuss and solidify these views.
The meeting was held at the Sutro Cliff House Restaurant in San
Francisco. It was attended by not only active members of the Zen
Budokai, but also by instructors of independent schools scattered
throughout the bay area. They liked what they heard and I liked
what I saw - a conglomeration of martial arts systems: Kenpo, Kempo,
Tai Kwon Do, Shotokan, Zen Budokai, Aiki Budokai, and self-defense
schools who taught a mixture of karate, Kung Fu, and Juijitsu.
Budokai diplomas were awarded to all teachers attending the meeting,
including Rick Alemany, 8th Degree, Jerry Streeter, 8th Degree,
John Pereira, 7th Degree, Leroy Rodrigues, 7th Degree, Jerry Kunzman,
7th Degree, Harold Gets, 7th Degree, James A Moses Jr, 5th Degree,
Harry Sherman, 5th Degree, Art Buckley, 5th Degree, Don Jordan,
5th Degree, Bill Grossman, 5th Degree, Sonny Allen, 5th Degree,
and Marge Alemany, 5th Degree.
After awarding the diplomas, I then proposed that all the charter
members now form an entirely new organization with an entirely
new concept - the concept of teachers of every system of the martial
arts working together to disseminate all elements of the martial
arts through the media of local and national seminars. It was to
be a democratic teachers organization whereby the arts and techniques
of each school would be mutually shared.
Prof. James Moses took over teaching at Stanford. Two weeks later,
the name of this organization became ATAMA - American Teachers
Association of the Martial Arts. It was born on the 19th day of
December, 1981, nurtured through the early '80's, and reached maturity
as of 1992, when the Sacramento chapter was founded. Bernie Weiss
founded the Southern Counties chapter and was elected its first
president. From this state-wide size ATAMA rapidly grew to national
prominence with the establishment of the Mid-America and High Plains
chapters in 1994. The Mid-America chapter being founded by James
Copeland and Mike Smith of Missouri, Howard High of Kansas, and
Elmar Schmeisser of Kentucky, whereas the High Plains chapter was
established by Don Phillip, Chuck Smith (both of Colorado) and
Mel Griggs of Nebraska.
At the time of this writing,(1995), the North Atlantic chapter
has recently been formed with Harold Glackin as President, Jose
Guzman as Vice-President, and Russell St Hillaire as the Secretary.
Chapter organization activities are currently in progress in Puerto
Rico (Bill Solano), El Salvador (Milton Navarro), and Australia
(Barry Bradshaw and David Vaughn). In fact, ATAMA's growth towards
international proportions is clearly indicated by the first ATAMA
formation seminar to be held overseas in Sydney, Australia in July
of 1995. To reflect this the National Board has adopted the ITAMA
name and logo for our non-U. S. members.
In 1990 Duke moved to Sacramento where he immediately began teaching
most of the major karate teachers the Zen Budokai system of martial
art. Some of his best students were Fred Buck (son of legendary
Don Buck), Tim Flanagan, Hank Langley, Rocky Ryan, Gary Garret
, Lisa and Scott Garrett, and James Coffman.
To this date Duke still focuses on Judo and Ju Jitsu skills and
holds teaching seminars to any school lacking in these skills.
He was 85 yr. old April 19, 2000.