Grandmaster Roy Richmond III, a trans-tibial amputee and 8th degree black belt, was a pioneer black martial artist and arguably the best and most influential in the Bluefield Micropolitan of Mercer County, West Virginia and Tazewell County, Virgina where he was born, raised, and practiced martial arts until he made his transition to pure positive energy on August 10, 2010.
His interest in martial arts began while he was a student at Tazewell High School. After graduating and marrying his high school sweetheart in the early seventies, he began practicing seriously with a makeshift dojo in his backyard in Tazewell, Virginia.
Grandmaster Roy Richmond III would often practice with his two young daughters, Keshia and Aleshia, using them as weights and demonstrating his mastery of chopping wood, cinder blocks and through fire with his bare hands. He enthusiastically studied Tae Kwon Do and studied under martial arts masters, Joe Lewis, George Alexander, Michael de Pasquale, Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, Grandmaster Doctor Moses Powell and George Dillman. He also mastered and trained in Jiu Jitsu, Sei Shin Kai – Okinawan Style Karate, Hapkido, Motobu Ha Shinto Ryu, Sanuces Ryu Jiu Jitsu, and Aikia. He specialized in in Pressure Points & Joint Locks and Filipino Fighting Sticks.
In the early eighties, Richmond opened Richmond Tae Kwon Do in the same storefront as his sister business, Richmond Photography and Video in downtown Bluefield, West Virginia on Bland Street. His dojo helped revitalize the Main Street area and we worked with other local business with the Main Street Bluefield organization where he became a board member in 1994.
He maintained his studio there for nearly two decades. According to board member Roy Richmond, Main Street Bluefield has really worked to revitalize the downtown area…Richmond Photography and Video and other downtown businesses [Richmond Tae Kwon Do] continue to spark renewed interest in the downtown. Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Newspaper) – June 12, 1997
It was there that a young Kasey Addair, also of Tazewell, Virginia and many others began their foray into martial arts and succeeded in their goals.
Pruett, Jr., a sixth grade student, earned his First Degree Black Belt recently from The American Institute of Tae Kwon Do after several years of training under Roy Richmond of Bland Street in Bluefield. Richmond not only taught Pruett self defense but such subjects as self control, courtesy and integrity. The student also learned how to pass the knowledge he has learned on to other students. Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Newspaper) – March 13, 2001
In 2005, he created Oh Do Kwon Tae Kwon Do (Team Oh Do Kwon) and Tazewell Tae Kwon Do (Tazewell Tae Kwon Do “Dawg” Pound) with an increased emphasis on self defense. He secured a contract with the Town of Tazewell Department of Recreation to provide his martial arts expertise to the residents in his hometown. He taught hand-to-hand combat to the Town of Tazewell Police Department. By this time, Kasey Addair, just ten years old earned her first Black Belt. To meet the growing demand of his students, he hired young Kasey Addair as an instructor where she excelled under his instruction for the next five years until his death.
Richmond was a member of Tae Kwon Do America and won numerous awards during his lifetime and was inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
Shihan Roy Richmond [was] inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame by Chong Sa Nim…Richmond was inducted for silver achievement. Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Newspaper) – July 15, 2009
To continue his legacy, the annual GM Roy Richmond Legacy Tournament has been established.