World Black Belt Living Legends

Earnest Cates

Earnest Cates
  • Captain, USMC (Retired) 8th Dan Professor Kodokan Judo
  • 57 years active Judo, Jujitsu and Personal Self-Defense
  • 1956 Okinawa Judo Champion


  • Studied and compete in martial arts in Okinawa, Japan and Korea
  • Trained at the Kodan (World Headquarters for Judo) under Kotani Sensei.


  • Competed throughout the United States and placed second in the All Marine Corps Judo Championship. Over 300 matches with only twelve losses.
  • All Marine Corps Champion, seven consecutive years in my weight group.
  • All Marine Corps Grand Champion, five consecutive years, defeating all weight groups.
  • Twice inter-service Grand Champion, Eastern U.S. Champion five times and Southern U.S. A.A.U. Grand Champion.
  • Presidents Award for outstanding contribution to United States Youth Physical Fitness Program.
  • Coached the Southern U.S. Judo Team competing against the North and undefeated seven years.
  • Directed the hand to hand combat programs for the USMC and instructed law enforcement and intelligence agency personnel.


  • Awarded the Japanese Ambassadors Cup.


  • Fourth in my weight group at the first US Olympic Trials, World’s Fair, New York.


  • Psychological Operations Officer in Vietnam.
  • Directed anti-terrorist, clandestine operations and civic action programs.
  • Trained and deployed counter guerilla operations in Northern I Corps.
  • Advisor to armed propaganda teams and provincial recon units.
  • Formed, trained and deployed scout units using mercenary personnel recruited from the Main Force VC.
  • Taught martial arts the University of Hue in Vietnam.


  • Executive Officer, First Civil Affairs Group.
  • Conducted in-depth personality studies of dissident leaders in the United States.
  • Advisor on Psychological Operations within the 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions.


  • Instructor of weapons, defense tactics and apprehension techniques at the Mid-Michigan Police Academy.
  • Assistant Judo Coach at Michigan State University.
  • Full Time Deputy Sheriff on road patrol and narcotics strike teams.
  • Instructed Judo at Owosso Judo Club in Owosso, Michigan, developing national and international women’s judo champion.


  • Assistant Provost Marshall, New River Air Station, Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
  • Taught police self-defense techniques to Jacksonville area law enforcement.


  • Instructed Judo and self-defense classes at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • Conducted numerous clinics in Judo in the Eastern United States.
  • AAU United States National Judo Champion, Gold Medal - Masters Division.


  • Nuclear Security Specialist supervisor for Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric.
  • Instructed law enforcement and nuclear security personnel in the use of weapons and unarmed self-defense.
  • Taught seminars in competition Judo and defensive tactics.
  • Trained and qualified as an Advanced Hostage Negotiator by the FBI.
  • Senior negotiator in numerous exercises with the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, FBI, Nuclear Security and local law enforcement.


  • Technical director for the Martial Arts Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Taught clinics throughout the U.S. in Judo, Self Defense, and Police Techniques to numerous martial arts organizations. Street survival and officer safety to law enforcement agencies.
  • National Senior Examiner for United States Judo Association.
  • Senior examiner and technical director for North Carolina Judo, Incorporated.
  • Validated 8th Degree in Taiho Jujitsu and Goshin Juijitsu by the U.S. Judo Association.
  • Instructed Special Forces, Special Operations, and Intelligence Agencies throughout the Eastern United States.


  • Awarded the rank of 8th Degree, Professor of Judo by the USJA – a position accredited by all national and international martial arts organizations.
  • Inducted into the Head of Family, Martial Arts Hall of Fame as a Living Legend.
  • The World’s most prestigious International Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
  • On-going consultant in Urban Survival, Police Apprehension and Defense, Domestic Violence Survival and Military Defensive Tactics throughout the United States.

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