GALVESTON, Texas- A controversial U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama has Texas ties.

Republican Roy Moore lived in Galveston for nine months in the early 1980s.

He came to the island to learn, of all things, kickboxing.

“He was a great student,” said Martial Arts America owner and 10th degree black belt Ishmael Robles.

He hates seeing his friend and former student taking jabs in the press.

“It bothers me,” said Robles. “It bothers me tremendously.”

Robles has known Moore for nearly 35 years. The man who later became known as the “10 commandments judge” sought out one of the nation’s best kickboxers in 1983.

“It’s like some people want to run one marathon and they never do it again,” said Robles. “He wanted to do one kickboxing match.

Moore lived on the island for about nine months, worked in construction during Hurricane Alicia clean-up, worked out with Robles, and went to church.

“I was kicking him down and he kept getting back up,” said Robles. “Kind of like politics.”

At least five women have now accused Moore of molesting them when they were teenagers and Moore was an assistant D.A. in his early 30s.

All of that allegedly happened in a time period just before he ended up on Galveston Island.

“I never saw anything, never suspected anything,” said Robles.

He doesn’t necessarily agree with all of Moore’s political positions. But tells us Moore was always a gentleman inside and outside the gym.

“My hope for him right now is that all of this blows over,” said Robles. “That people see the kind of man he really is.”

Moore wrote about his experiences on the island in an autobiography.

Robles says he would like to attend Moore’s swearing-in as U.S. Senator is it happens.