The U.S. Judo Association recently honored Dr. Ronald Allan Charles of Goose Creek with Coach of the Year.
Charles operates a USJA club for judo and jujitsu at the Naval Weapons Station, where he teaches free of charge. Judo is the Olympic sport that developed from jujitsu (self-defense).
Charles holds an 8th-degree black belt in judo and a 6th-degree black belt in jujitsu.
He began judo as a Citadel cadet in 1961. After graduating in 1965 and then serving as an Army officer in Germany, he backpacked around the world to the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan, where he studied under Kotani Sensei, who had been a student of the founder of judo.
His first overseas trip lasted nearly eight years and took him to 83 countries.
Upon returning to America, Charles entered graduate school at his alma mater and earned a master’s in education, then his doctor of philosophy degree in education from the University of South Carolina, followed by a postdoctoral master’s degree in education, his third degree from The Citadel.
Charles was inducted into the USJA National Hall of Fame in 1985 as Outstanding Life Member Contributor. The USJA honored him with a Judo Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
Charles graduated from North Charleston High School in 1961.