Roy Kurban

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Roy D. Kurban
BornUnited States United States
ResidenceStrawn, Texas
NationalityUnited States United States
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
StyleKarate, Taekwondo
TrainerAllen Steen, Larry Caster,
Skipper Mullins, Jerry Wiseman,
Phillip Ola, Dennis Dorris,
Ed Johnson, Won Chik Park, Jin-Song Chung
Rank9th dan in Taekwondo (grandmaster)
Amateur record
Other information
OccupationRetired Judge (Justice of the Peace) Tarrant County Precinct 7. Currently a Chief at the Tarrant County Sheriffs Department under Sheriff Bill Waybourn
Last updated on: 25 May 2014

Roy D. Kurban is a 10th degree American Taekwondo martial arts grandmaster and former Karate national competitor. He lives in Strawn, Texas. Considered to be one of the greatest competitors of all time.


Roy Kurban began martial arts training in 1965, studying Karate under Allen Steen, Larry Caster, Skipper Mullins, Jerry Wiseman, Phillip Ola, and Dennis Dorris. He also trained in Isshin-ryū Karate with Ed Johnson. He earned his first degree black belt in 1968 in Dallas, Texas. As a member of the United States 8th Army in stationed in Seoul, Korea in 1970, he trained for a full year under Won Chik Park.[1][2] While there, he took first place in the Yong San All-American TKD Championship in Seoul, Korea.

During the 1970s, he was a formidable competitor,[3][4] winning 127 national and international competitions, including 80 first-place trophies and grand championships.[5] He was ranked among the top seven U.S. fighters of the decade by Black Belt Magazine.[2] In 1973, Kurban established his own martial school, the American Black Belt Academy, in Arlington, Texas. That same year, he was voted "Best All-around Karate Man in the U.S." by Professional Karate Magazine.[citation needed] It was during this time that he introduced Jin-Song Chung to the United States, a former champion competitor and instructor whom he had met in South Korea during his Army enlistment.[1] (Chung later opened his own martial arts school in North Dallas and went on to become a grandmaster.)

During the 1980s, he made a name for himself as a peace officer instructor throughout the North Texas region, and established an accredited Taekwondo course for the physical education department of the University of Texas at Arlington in 1982, which is still operational.[6] From 1991 to 2006, Kurban served as Justice of the Peace in North Texas.

He is one of the few Americans to receive a Master Instructor certification from the World Taekwondo Federation. He remains active in the Texas martial arts community, conducting seminars and hosting competitions. He is also an active member of the United States Taekwondo Grandmaster Society (USTGS).

Rank promotions[edit]

Kurban earned the following black belts in Karate and Taekwondo:


  • Ambassador of Taekwondo Award, 2010, U.S. Taekwondo Grandmasters Society (USTGS)[7]

Published works[edit]

  • Roy Kurban (August 1979). Kicking Techniques for Competition and Self-Defense.
  • Roy Kurban; et al. (2003). New Gladiators.
  • Roy Kurban. Practical Kicking Techniques.
  • Roy Kurban (June 2010). "Who Else Remembers Grandmaster Allen Steen, The Father Of Texas 'Blood And Guts' Taekwondo Karate?".
  • Melinda Folse Kaitcer (April 2010). Grandmaster. The Kaitcer Group LLC. ISBN 978-0982696002., a memoir of Won Chik Park (introduction by Roy D. Kurban).


  1. ^ a b Won Chik Park (6 June 2011). "Grandmaster Job, Family, & Dojang of His Own". Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b World Wide Dojo (25 May 2012). "Who's Who / Sports Martial Artists / 1960 - 1969 / Kurban, Roy".
  3. ^ "Three champions but not three stars, Natividad, Kurban, Garcia". 1 May 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  4. ^ "1973 United States Karate Championships". Archived from the original on 2012-06-18.
  5. ^ High Dan Board, American Karate Black Belt Association, retrieved 18 June 2014
  6. ^ "Martial Arts EXSA 0107 (course syllabus)" (PDF). University of Texas at Arlington. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-12-16. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  7. ^ "2010 USTGS Hall of Fame Awards". United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society (USTGS). April 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05.

External links[edit]