Sugar Groveâ€”Rockyâ€™s Champion Karate Studio (C.K.S.) in Sugar Grove recently promoted its first Master Sensei, Chris Moore, 35, of Montgomery.
Moore was promoted to 5th Degree black belt after 17 years of karate instruction.
Moore grew up in Chicago and later moved to Aurora. Like many boys in his neighborhood, Chris collected comic books, watched Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris films and dreamed of being a martial arts hero.
â€œI realized later in life that wanting to be a hero meant wanting to be better tomorrow than I was the day before,â€ Moore said.
At 17 years of age, he joined the Army National Guard, where he learned self-respect, leadership, team work and the importance of physical fitness.
â€œI learned to be tough growing up in Chicago, but the Army taught me practical self defense,â€ Moore said. â€œMy passion for martial arts began, and during Army down time, I was fortunate to train with Lo Pen, a fellow soldier and black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Muy Thai.â€
At 18, More decided to take a karate class at Waubonsee Community College with long time friend Carlos Carranza. They joined Rock Troutmanâ€™s Champion Karate Studio (C.K.S.) and were immediate hooked on the sport. This began his martial arts journey that has led him to become the first Master Sensei under Master Rocky Troutman and Grand Master Ron Troutman.
Moore has been training under both Troutmans for more than 17 years, along with many other black belts that have preceded him.
â€œWhen I joined C.K.S., I knew instantly that I had found my place with martial artsâ€ Moore said. â€œI have entrusted my training to the Troutmans because they understand the fine art of self defense and self development. You can feel the confidence in the Isshin-Ryu system they teach. This style of teaching is well balanced with both punches and kicks. It has a type of defensive style which is very effective with a counter-striking approach as well.â€
A requirement of promotion to 5th Degree Black Belt is learning and perfecting a new weapon which has not been learned within the traditional Isshin-Ryu system, in addition to the ability to develop basic techniques and a form that can be taught to C.K.S. students.
Moore chose to study Eskrima, or Philipino â€œstick fighting.â€
â€œI love this weapon because it is a dynamic extension of my arms and is super fast with surprisingly powerful techniques that keeps me two feet or further away from my attacker,â€ he said.
Moore has many credits to his name. He has competed in many open martial arts tournaments both locally and nationally. As a Green Belt, Chris won the 1994 A.K.A and 1995 A.O.K.A. Grand National. As a Black Belt, he won the 2000 C.K.S. Brown and Black Belt Championship, 1st Midwest Tae Kwon Do Invitational and 2nd place at 2005 A.O.K.A. Grand Nationals. He plans to continue to compete at these levels as much as possible.
â€œI am honored to have received the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt, especially from such a well respected martial arts school and teachers,â€ Moore said. â€œI plan to continue to improve and do my best to be a positive force for our students and represent Champion Karate Studio the way it is should beâ€”the best.â€