The Man Who Fought Them All
Victor Moore began his physical fitness and martial art training at the tender age of
seven in Cincinnati,Ohio. He started his physical training at his house by lifting heavy
buckets filled with coal, one little dumbbell, and other weights that he had at the time.
He read Charles Atlas books to help with physical training, following every
exercise as precisely as possible. Soon he began reading about jujitsu. As the years
passed he trained in and studied about judo at the Marro’s YMCA with associate Buzik.
Weight training was another form of training he practices at this time. By the age of nine he
was very precise in some of the basics of jujitsu and judo. At the age of twelve, Victor
Moore began karate training with Ronald Williams of Cincinnati, Ohio, also known as
the grave digger, because digging graves was his profession. He trained for five years,
with Ronald Williams and was awarded with a black belt in the kempo style of karate.
Around 1961, Ray Hughes opened a judo school opened on Vine Street in Cincinnati and Vic Moore jumped at the opportunity to join. Later, karate was introduced in a back room at the school by Harvey Eubanks in the style of Goju-Ryu. Shortly there after, Victor joined a class instructed by Bill Dometrich learning Kempo. Vic was not permitted to wear his black belt in class. He found that he would have to start all over again in rank in the different styles of Karate. In those days, instructors stressed that the black belts had to earn their rank in the different schools.
Chung Ling an exchange student from China at the University of Cincinnati came
to the school and introduced Chuan Fa. Students experienced what is was like to be hit by
bamboo sticks across all parts of the body. Learning karate and the different styles made it
more difficult for students to earn rank in the different schools. Vic Moore had already
earned a black belt from Ron Williams and this made him more adaptable and able to
progress in the different styles.
Vic continued his studies and took up judo at a school on Redding Road in Cincinnati,
Ohio under the instruction of John Osaka and Sensei Glen Osborne. Vic earned up to
his brown belt in judo at the school. He also began karate classes with Jim Wax. Jim
Wax had studied with one of the Shimabuku brothers.
Another reason for Vic Moore’s toughness was his boxing at the 9th street YMCA.
Because of Vic’s quickness, he was one of Tiger Joe Harris’ sparring partners. (To this day, Vic carries a small scar over his left eye to show for it.) Vic had twelve amateur fights and won all of them.
At Central State University, he met a professor by the name of Barry Yasuto, who trained
Vic Moore and brought him to the black belt level in Shotokan karate. Vic, however, was told
he would not be permitted to join the Japanese Karate association because he was an American. (Or was it because he was African American?) After Vic left Central State, he returned to Cincinnati, opening his first karate school on Beakman Street.
Vic began to travel with a handful of his students to several tournaments as far away as
Canada. He later ventured out opening other schools throughout the Cincinnati area and
began traveling the Midwest and East coast. Very successful in competition,
he met the father of American karate Robert A. Trias. Robert Trias, with his skills and
ability took Vic under his wing. He tested Vic in his organization up to second degree black belt level. He continued to train with Master Trias at various tournaments and
seminars, learning in the Kempo and Goju-Ryu styles of Karate. Vic traveled many
times to the USKA headquarters in Phoenix , Arizona where he had received rank
up through his Masters level while in the USKA. Master Trias taught many styles.
His main style was Shuri-Ryu. Also while Vic spent time in the USKA, Dr. Maung
Gyi took him under his wing, taking him as a personal student. Dr. Gyi taught him
Bondo karate, stick fighting, and all the various weapons too numerous to name. Dr. Gyi
was also Vic Moore’s kick boxing instructor, teaching Vic all the moves of thai boxing. Later,
Vic Moore and Joe Lewis introduced kick boxing to America on the Merv Griffin TV show in 1973(?). Vic Moore and Joe Lewis indisputably were the first to introduce kick boxing here in the United States and some of the first professional kickboxers in the United States. Jim Harrison defeated Vic Moore in the first kickboxing tournament in the United States .
That fight proved to be one of the most exciting fights in martial art history today.
Vic Moore thanks the late Grandmaster Trias along with his other instructors for helping to mold him into a four time world champion.
A few highlights of Vic’s competition record:
- 1966 Defeating the all Hawaiian champion in Richmond Virginia.
- 1968 Defeating Joe Lewis at the World's Fair Karate Championships.
(August 1968 San Antonio Official Karate Mag Feb 1970 Page 24)
- 1969 Defeating Mike Stone in Pasadena California for the light
heavyweight championship at the world teams championship.
(Black Belt Magazine Sept 1990 Page 20)
- 1970 Defeated the legendary Bill “Superfoot” Wallace in for the
USKA first professional world championship.
- Vic placed in every tournament he competed in from 1965 to 1975
when he retired.
Vic Moore defeated every national champion that was competing during the 60’s and the 70’s. Such greats as Mike Foster, Chuck Norris, Fred Wren, Glenn Keeney, James Hawkes, and Jim Kelly just to name a few. Vic Moore points out that just because he beat a champion or a champion beat him, does not take away the credibility of a champion. We are all still champions he will tell you.
Vic Moore cherished the compliment of the late father of American karate Robert A. Trias who stated so many times that besides Vic being a great champion, Vic Moore was the best teacher of karate he’d seen. The proof is in the pudding, every karate student of Vic Moore's that competed in tournaments has placed while Vic Moore was on the tournament circle. For example, Nancy Moore (now in North Carolina) was one of the first female champions who a won brown belt world championship in 1966 in the men’s division. (There weren't really any ladies divisions in the 1960’s.) Also, Mike Awad, and Woodrow Fairbanks from Cincinnati, Ohio, like Vic, became red pine tree holder
chief instructor's for the Shuri karate and Trias International Society award which is the highest award in the USKA.
Some other national black belt instructors Vic started in Cincinnati over 30 and 40 years ago, Johnny Jelks, Chester Richardson, and Howard Vaughn to name a few.
Victor Moore has and is still working with instructors and students all over the county and still teaching in North Carolina. Vic’s daughters Vickie and Vonnie have also won in tournaments and still practice with their dad occasionally thirty-five years off and on. Vic has gotten his youngest one started in the arts. His ten year old son Vanceton in the sixth grade can work five katas, work the bow, the sai and the katana full length Japanese sword.