Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Dr. Ronald Allan Charles has a personal history with judo that covers over 50 years of his life.
In that time he's been honored by the United States Judo Association on a number of occasions, most recently when he was named the USJA's Coach of the Year.
With over 200 members, Dr. Charles operates the largest USJA club for judo and jujitsu at the Naval Weapons Station. Judo is an Olympic sport that developed from jujitsu (self-defense). He teaches for free but members must be connected to the military.
“It is indeed a great honor to be named coach of the year,” he said. “I work very hard to build judo and share this Olympic sport and the martial art with others. I have fun teaching judo. My club has grown to be the largest in the USJA because of the work we all do. I have some fantastic instructors and together we've built the largest club in Goose Creek.”
The USJA awards committee will present him with a plaque at The Greatest Camp on Earth in Matthews, N.C., in June, where over 300 judo and jujitsu practitioners share skills. Dr. Charles is one of the regular camp instructors, teaching black belts how to improve their teaching through the coach education program.
“Jujitsu is self defense,” Dr. Charles said. “There are many styles of self defense. The style I teach in the school I operate is traditional self defense. Jujitsu is not a game. It's survival. Judo is the game. We teach judo and jujitsu.”
Dr. Charles first was inducted into the USJA National Hall of Fame in 1985 as Outstanding Life Member Contributor. He also received a lifetime achievement award three years ago.
Dr. Charles began judo as a Citadel cadet in 1961 and now holds an eighth degree black belt in judo and a sixth degree black belt in jujitsu. After graduating in 1965 and then serving as an Army officer in Germany, he eventually studied judo in Japan under Kotani Sensei, a student of the founder of judo.
“I was fortunate to go to the mecca of judo,” Dr. Charles said. “A guy that taught me was the student of the guy that invented judo. I tell people that I'm the grand student of the person that invented judo.”
Dr. Charles graduated from North Charleston High School in 1961.