Dr. Luis Vera, International Martial Arts Hall of Fame member
Luis Vera, D.C., associate professor of Clinical Sciences at the Florida Campus, has had a remarkable career in karate. He has trained for 34 years in the martial arts, competed in the world championships and the U.S. Nationals placing gold in both, and was recently inducted in the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame for a third time.
As a member of the U.S. National Karate Team, he competed and won a gold medal at the 2017 World Championships. Dr. Vera also won the Grand Champion award at the 2017 International Martial Arts Festival, is a three-time World Kata Karate Champion, three-time U.S. National Champion, five-time Regional Champion, and eight-time State Champion.
After winning all that gold in 2017, Dr. Vera planned to retire from competitive karate. That all changed when he received a call from Shihan Adrian Ellis, the U.S. delegate for the World United Karate Organization (WUKO) who invited him to care for, coach, and compete with the U.S. National Karate Team in the World Championships on Nov. 17-18, 2018 in Lignano, Italy. Dr. Vera agreed on one condition: he wanted to be named chief chiropractic officer, giving him authority equal to the team’s chief medical officer.
“I thought it was important that I took a stand for the profession,” says Dr. Vera. “The only reason I could do so was because of my accomplishments as an athlete, trainer, and chiropractor.”
Dr. Vera then attended the 2018 WUKO World Championships in Italy as the team physician and coach and won the gold medal in his division.
Dr. Vera’s experiences are part of his instruction as a faculty member at Palmer Florida.
“There’s glamour with these high-level athletes. Students really enjoy seeing TV personalities in their classes,” says Dr. Vera. “They’re interesting case studies and it gets students excited to see high-profile athletes benefit from chiropractic. Their social status helps move the profession forward.”