Ernie Cates is the creator of Neko-ryu Goshin Jitsu, holding a tenth degree black belt (Ju Dan). He was awarded the title of Professor from the U.S. Judo Association of which he currently holds an eighth degree black belt (Hachi Dan) in Kodokan Judo. He also holds a seventh degree black belt in Taiho JuJutsu (Police Tactics) and a seventh degree black belt in Goshin Jitsu (Self Defense Tactics). Cates was recognized by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council as Soke (or founder and head of family) for the Neko-ryu system making the system a recognized and validated martial art. Cates has been inducted into the American-Okinawan Karate Association Hall of Fame; the International Association of Martial Arts Hall of Fame and the World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame. Cates is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps where he achieved the rank of Captain. During his career in the Marines, he was the 1956 Okinawa Judo Champion, the overall All Marine Corps Judo Champion from 1959 to 1963 and the All Marine Corps Judo Champion from 1959 to 1965 in his weight division. He was also twice the USMC Inter-service Grand Champion in Judo.