Dr. Moses F. Powell was born on January. 13, 1941 to Moses and Athenia Powell. It was discovered during his late teen years that Dr. Moses Powell was a natural at anything he set his heart and mind on achieving. He excelled in the art of boxing and was easily handling the more experienced boxers. It was in Harlem NY. that he met his martial arts teacher, a little man named Florendo Visitacion, also known as Professor ‘Vee.’’ At that time, in 1954, he was not known to the martial arts world, but that did not stop Dr. Moses Powell from becoming his student.
Dr. Moses Powell was fascinated by the funny, but serious, little man who had the ability to destroy opponents much bigger than himself. Dr. Moses Powell himself was a big man with a big heart and he grew fond of his teacher and the Vee-Jitsu Ryu/Vee-Jitsu Te (pronounced Tay) martial art. Dr. Moses Powell loved Grand Professor ‘Vee’ very, very much and worked harder than any other student. Dr. Moses Powell became so proficient at Grand Professor ‘Vee’s’ system of martial art that, as a green belt, he was allowed to instruct and teach 3rd and 4th Degree Black Belts. When he was ever asked “how this could be possible?,” Dr. Moses Powell would always reply, ” That was because I did my homework and they didn’t!”
In 1960, then Sensei Moses Powell began teaching his own system of Self-Defense. He named this system of his, Self-Defense Complete. As his system evolved in 1964, he renamed it Modern Jiu Jitsu. In 1965, Sensei Moses Powell was selected to perform a demonstration along with other martial artist at the World’s Fair held in New York. Finally in 1968, after having presented the newly evolved system to his teacher and receiving his teacher’s permission to proceed, Sensei Moses Powell renamed his fighting system of self defense and Jiu Jitsu, Sanuces Ryu.
In 1969, a short black and white documentary was made about Sensei Moses Powell and his Sanuces Ryu Jiu Jitsu. The film was called, “SANUKUS”. With the coming of the early ‘70s, Sensei Moses Powell began to travel and introduce his revolutionized version of Jiu Jitsu to the people of Jamaica, Trinidad, Bermuda, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Nassau Bahamas.
In 1971, Sensei Moses Powell became the first Martial Artist invited to perform at the United Nations and in 1973 the Benin Empire of West Africa awarded him the International Benin Award for his community work and efforts throughout the world. Sensei Moses Powell and his demo team was featured in the Panama Star Newspaper in 1973, after being invited to participate in national martial arts demonstration sponsored by a Panamanian beer distributor company. The performance was so overwhelming and well received that General Manual Noriega prevented Sensei Moses Powell’s plane st from taking off and had a special military escorted to the General’s home. The General wanted Sensei Moses Powell to consider an offer to be in charge of the military hand to hand combat training of the Panamanian National Guards.
In 1974, Sensei Moses Powell returned to Panama to demonstrate again, after a superb demonstration in Madison Square Garden for the Aaron Banks Oriental World of Self-Defense. It was in New York City at the Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden, before a sold out audience of 20,000, that Sensei Moses Powell performed his now world famous one finger rollout. In 1975, he performed again at the Aaron Banks Oriental World of Self-Defense and was also featured in a full length martial arts documentary film called The Warrior Within. This film was played in movie theaters all around the world and it was during this time that he was introduced to the world as Master Moses Powell.
Master Moses Powell also appeared in the movie Gordon’s War. It was also during this time of the early to mid-’70s that Master Moses Powell also established Sanuces schools on Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn NY, in Hartford Connecticut, and various other places in and out of New York City. Master Moses Powell, also known as Musa Muhammad, had even established roots in Philadelphia, PA during this time with the help of his good friend from the very famous Tong Dojo of Brooklyn NY, Sensei Uthman Abdus-Salaam.
In 1977, Master Moses Powell was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. In 1979, Master Moses Powell, along with his wife Janice Hardy Powell, left New York and relocated in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. A long time student named Rex Lee had come to live in Florida prior to Master Moses Powell and his family moving there also. Two other students, Gino Alfarano and Veronica Walker, also left New York to join their teacher, Master Moses Powell. It was there, in Ft. Lauderdale, that a new evolution of Sanuces Ryu Jiu Jitsu took place.