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Dr. Moses Powell

The Godfather of Black Martial Arts

Chief among this new breed of New York martial artist was Dr. Moses Powell (or “Doc”), a man many have described as the closest thing to Superman they’d ever seen. 

Dr. Powell, although younger than the most noted teachers of his day, has earned the title of The Father of Black Martial Arts. This is largely due to his development of a never-before-seen system of Scientific Street Fighting -called Sanuces Ryu- which he began formulating in 1959. 

This accomplishment is what distinguished Moses Powell from the other noteworthy  instructors of his day. Before him, great teachers like O’sensei Ronald Duncan (‘The Father of American Ninjitsu’) and George Cofield (the head of the notorious Tong Dojo in Brooklyn) had devoted their lives to mastering and then teaching the various martial systems that had come to America from Asia (Karate, Judo, Jiujitsu, Judo, Kung Fu etc.).

Dr. Powell, however, was the first to put together a fighting system designed for ‘The Modern Man and Woman’.  He began structuring this new system around the natural movements and conditions of Black People stuggling to survive the streets of  "Fear City".

Dr. Powell had been a teenaged gang leader and  boxer, and once introduced to the martial arts he began to channel everything he learned through the lens of what would (or wouldn’t) work in a gang fight. He took everything a person would encounter in a real-world combat situation and factored it into his fighting concepts. 


Whether it was multiple opponents, knives, guns, sticks or bats, no matter if the fight was in an elevator, on a staircase, or  a jail cell, he wasn't concerned if the attacker was a large opponent, a skilled boxer, a world class wrestler or any other kind of martial arts master, Dr. Powell took it all into account and he constructed his Art  in a way that prepared his students to confront any form of aggression with confidence, skill and the attitude to win.

He managed to do just that -and more- for the next 46 years (teaching up until the time of his death in 2005) and by the time of his passing, he’d left behind the most effective, sought-after and imitated martial system in the world. 

Dr. Powell was the first martial artist to teach law enforcement (FBI, DEA, Secret Service), and traveled the world teaching the citizens as well as the police and military of several islands and countries (including Panama where at the behest of General Manuel Noriega he gave instructions to the military of that Nation).


He was the first Martial Artist to perform at the United Nations (1971) and at the World’s Fair (1965).


Even the  Japanese martial arts masters were known to  bow to the man and the system he produced in Brooklyn New York. 


Brooklyn Arts of Advantage has made a special effort to secure the expertise of some of Dr. Powell's      premiere students, who have become Masters/Grandmasters in their own right, and are all proficient  teachers in the Sacred art of Sanuces Ryu.

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