Robert Arthur Luna Sr. (Coach Luna)

Robert Luna Sr. keeping fit at age 51 in 2007

San Antonio, Texas

March 6, 2008

Tony Luna

Palo Alto College

History 1302 - Spring 2008



Robert Arthur Luna Sr., my father, was born on November 25, 1956 to Antonio Victor Luna and Lucia Ortiz Luna. He has a total of seven siblings: (In no particular order) Rodolfo, Lillian, Roger, Antonia, David, Betty, and Gloria. He was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, where he has lived his entire life. He attended Gerald (Adams) Elementary, Burleson Elementary, Harlandale Middle School, and Harlandale High School where he reached the tenth grade. When Robert was a child he was a gas station attendant, then he moved onto working at restaurants as a bus boy. At seventeen years of age he joined the military to help support his family. He traveled around the world and was stationed at many places, such as; Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Okinawa, Philippines, and Kaneohe Air Force Base in Hawaii. He traveled across the world to fight and coordinate the All-Marine boxing team, in which he was selected captain and held several amateur international titles in his weight class. Prior to his boxing achievements, he was a Marine corp. cook and was quickly selected as physical fitness instructor for the Brigade Proficiency Unit. It was in the Marines, he met his wife Mary Esther Donato (My Mother), and they married on December 23, 1978. They had three children together Robert Jr., Ruby, and (I) Tony. Prior to starting a family life, Robert eventually turned professional in his boxing career and later retired undefeated due to a neck injury in a car accident. He then pursued his dreams on being the founder of "Boxing 4 Fitness." I interviewed my father early Thursday morning, after our morning training camp at Luna's Boxing 4 Fitness Community Center; He discussed growing up in San Antonio with me for about an hour.



" What do you remember about growing up in San Antonio?
There was less traffic than there is today and the living conditions were poor compared to now. TodaySan Antonio is historical landmark and is notorious for its historical surroundings.

" Where were your parents from?
Both of my parents were born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.

" Where both parents around when you were growing up?
Yes, both of my parents were around; although they divorced when I was 11, they still managed to find time for me.

Robert (lower left)with his fathers family at Brackenridge Park at the age of 3 years old.

" How was your family's income?
Well I came from a Family of ten and lived in a one bedroom house, and we were always a low income family. It was hard living with limited money coming in the "Luna" household but we had to improvise, sharing clothes, school supplies, and other special belongings.

" How many siblings did you grow up with?
I grew up with three brothers and four sisters which made seven in total.

" Did you and your siblings get along?
Never, I always got picked on being one of the youngest of the boys. We did not get along with each other, but when times were hard or if one of us were in trouble with something we always looked out for each other.

" How did you have fun?
By getting into trouble, like playing in the woods or playing with my neighborhood buddies. We couldn't afford toys at the time so we let our imagination take over. We would tie our toy cars (bought at Goodwill) to a rope and drag them around or just play street football.

" Was your family a close family?
We were always fighting with each other and did our own thing. Our family was usually brought together when times got harder lose of jobs, back to school, passed loved one, or parental arguments.

" What was transportation like?
We would ride the bus everywhere. To get us to school, work, or any other extracurricular activities. My father had a vehicle at the time but he was always working and we were not living with him at the time. When I turned 15 I recieved my first car which was passed down to me from my father. It was a 1962 Cheverlet Impala SS (Super Sport), which was a very popular vehicle at the time. It belonged to my Grandfather, Father, and is now your's.

Robert's first car (1962 Impala SS)now passed down to (I) Tony Luna.

" What was school like?
School was no where near how it is now today, "If you got it, you got" if you didn't then you would be far behind. Now there are many tutors and lots of scholarships available. We did not have many courses offered at our schools and the scholarships were limited.

" How did you act at school?
I was real shy; I did what I needed to get by. (laughing)

Were you in any extra curricular activities at school?
Yes, I participated in the cross country team and was the guid on in the JROTC drill team; I placed second in State at the Individual Manual of Arms.

Robert showing his

" How long was your education?
I completed the 9th grade, and had dropped out to help my mother with the household income and to support my younger sisters.

" Do you regret anything in your educational experience?
Yes! I would have asked more questions and been less shy. I did not ask many questions at the time because I was afraid the other kids would laugh.

" Was there any racial hate in your community?
No, I pretty much lived in an all Hispanic community.

Robert at 18 years of age wearing his favorite Stetson hat in the phillipines

" Did you participate in any political groups?
No, I didn't really get into that stuff. I was always taught to mind my own business and I was to shy to participate anyways.

" Did you do anything important for your community when you were growing up?
No, I was to busy with school and trying to take care of my family.

" Did you live through any wars? How did the war take affect on you?
I lived through The Vietnam War and I think it pretty much had a huge impact in everyone's life.

(on the right)Robert striking a pose with one of his military buddies.

" Where were the "Hot spots?"
I never got to get out much because transportation wasn't really there, but I did hit the local "Hot Spots." Mission County Park, Mission Drive Inn's, and Espada Park were hang out spots when I was growing. When I got in the military I got the chance to experience many international hang out spots and they couldn't compare to San Antonio's.

(on the right) Robert resting with his buddies after

" Were there any serious relationships before mom?

" How did you meet mom?
At the age of 15 years old there was always (dances) Conjuntos of Tejano Music and more in the early 70's. She would go to the park with her whole family, and I had the courage to ask her to dance in front of them. I was even a "Pachucito" (a Chicano guy back in the 1930s that dressed in zoot suits at the time), dressed with my Stetson hat (from Penners), wife beater muscle shirt, and my black Stacy Adam Shoes. That's what attracted her to me.

Robert exchanging vowels with his wife Mary Ester Luna.

" How and why did you select your military occupations? What was the military life style like?
At the time you didn't need your G.E.D. in the Marine Corp. All the other branches required it and they lacked a good boxing program. This was back in 1975, when The Vietnam War had just ended. I'm glad I selected the Marines because they gave me what I needed the most "Discipline."

(Top)Robert taking on cuban fighter.(bottom) Robert before his International Amature bout.

" How was the economy?
People struggled to find good work and the gas prices went up at one time, of course I didn't have to worry about that because I had no vehicle at the time.

Robert (white trunks) knocking out Juan Perez for the second time in 1981

What was it like being a Professional Boxer?
Becoming a Professional Boxer, was one of the best things that happened in my life. This gave me a chance to build up discipline and structure. When you have something to do you stay out of trouble and this was something that I loved. I was able to perform what I trained hard for in front of an audience cheering for me, it was an awesome experience in my life.

Are there any dreams you still want to continue to pursue? Why?
I want to give back to the community and help under- privileged kids, so they aren't running the streets like I was. I would also like to continue my boxing equipment line and further distribute it across america.

How do you help the community now?
Now I am the director of a non-profit organization called Luna's Boxing 4 Fitness Community Center. This is a organization that has given families and children in the community a opportunity to change their ways of living. We're also trying to help under privileged kids and low income families stay off the streets and stay occupied physically.

What exactly is Boxing 4 Fitness?
Boxing 4 Finess is a revolutionary new art of training like the pros, without the blood or bruises. We take a boxer's workout, and bring it to normal people, like you and me. There is no contact involved unless you feel comfortable taking it that extra step. We first take you through the basics and fundamentals of boxing. Showing you how to punch, move properly, and even different exercises you can do to target those problem areas. So if you want a great, fun, and exciting new way to train than this is what you're looking for.

Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview?
Yes, I would like to thank my wife and kids for working so hard to keep the community center going and the most thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for our blessings.


Robert & Tony Luna (son) after his first loss at 13yrs. (National Championship Fight)


I learned many things about my father, but it was when we really got into detail and explained him about his generations' conflicts. As I went on to creating this template, I had the chance to view other oral history projects and they interviewed their grandparents. I on the other hand didn't have that opportunity because they have passed already. I then turned to my father because I knew he was qualified for this interview and I knew he had plenty of interesting stories on his accomplishments. I have a very close relationship with my father, but it is very rare that we have the time to talk to each other about things, due to our new community center and school. I thought this was a great opportunity for me to take on getting to put things aside and spend time with my father. He made many interesting points from comparing today's educational system from enlisting in the United States Marine Corp. I already knew many things about my father past because I was a very hyper as a child and asked a lot of questions. During this project I saw that my father was pretty laid back and was open to my questions. Most of the time, my father and I are serious around each other due to his military lifestyle. Overall, I am very grateful to have the opportunity to not only interview my childhood hero, but to interview one of the greatest fighters in boxing history.





List a minimum of SEVEN sources. There must be links to each of the sources within the transcription.
Here are three examples of annotated sources plus a source for photos/documents.

San Antonio is Official site for meeting information, events, attractions, and other visitor information.

Professional Boxer. This is a direct link to a video of Robert Luna's second professional fight.

Vietnam War. Companion web site to the PBS/WGBH series program on the Vietnam War. Features timeline, statistics, documents, first-hand accounts, and more.

Mission County Park, Mission Drive Inn's, and Espada Park. The San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department has many parks, pavilions, community centers and other facilities that may be ... Back to Mission County Park

Conjuntos of Tejano Music. The roots of Tejano and Conjunto music are as widespread and diverse, and run as ... San Antonio's Conjuntos in the 1950s / Narciso Martínez / The Women

Stetson Hat. Brand name of western-inspired hats, leather goods, home furnishings, fragrances, and eyewear.

Harlandale Middle School. PreK-12th grade. Located in San Antonio, Texas. Includes district information and links to each campus.

Growing up in San Antonio. Palo Alto College student, Tony Luna's project on Growing up in San Antonio, Texas. This Small Town Project was completed in the Second semester of 2008 as a requirement for Assistant Professor of Peter Myer's History 1302 class.

Photographs and/or documents on this website were provided by Ruby April Luna and Mary Ester Luna. They were from Ruby's photo album...Located in her bedroom closet.


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