Maurice Msarsa has been a student of the martial arts for many years. His training began in 1952 by enrolling in a Judo Class at the YMCA while in New York City during the Summer break. He continued his Judo training, with additional training in wrestling, boxing, along with an introduction to ju jitsu during his years at the University of Tennessee.
Master Msarsa started his Isshin-Ryu training under Master Harold Long in 1965. Sensei Msarsa served as instructor at Master Long's dojos, the University of Tennessee Karate Club, Knoxville Police Academy, and for the Tennessee Valley Authority Public Safety Officers.
Through the years he has been very active by participating in, and by conducting seminar and training sessions. In addition, he served as coordinator and/or director for many of the area tournaments.
Grand Master Harold Long wrote in his book, "I don't know anyone who has done more to promote the art of Isshin-Ryu Karate than this man and his family.”…….”They were so valuable to me in East Tennessee area in helping promote, teach and spread the art of Isshin-Ryu Karate."
Along with his wife, Johnnie, and his son, Steve (also Isshin-Ryu practitioners), Sensei Msarsa has given numerous karate demonstrations on TV, for civic organizations, church groups, schools, and many others. He has received the "Instructor of the Year" award, and was the first to receive the "Spirit of Isshin-Ryu" award from the Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame. He has served on the Board of the International Isshin-Ryu Karate Association (I.I.K.A) as well as the Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame. He prepared the first draft of the I.I.K.A. By Laws and Constitution, and was one of the founders of the Hall of Fame. He also served as the Chief Advisor for the Knoxville Isshin-Ryu Karate Club in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Master Msarsa continues to be active in Isshin-Ryu functions. In addition, he is active in cross training. He holds belts in other martial arts. Besides the I.H.O.F. Master Msarsa has been recognized by other Halls of Fame.