Neko-ryu goshin jitsu was
developed by Professor of Judo (8th dan) Ernie Cates with Nakabiyashi Sensei
(combative measures instructor at the Japanese Naval Academy) and Kotani
Sensei (Kodokan 10th dan) with the original intent of being a short course
that could give a businessman reasonable training in simple self-defense
principles in a 4-hour course back in 1962.
Translating as “Cat Style Self Defense,” Neko-ryu focuses on simple, natural
movements and techniques that can be remembered in times of stress or when
under attack. The movements and techniques focus on using the size and power
of a larger foe against the attacker.
It was later taught as part of the
hand-to-hand combat system to the Marine Corp when Sensei Cates was an
combat instructor in the Corp at Parris Island. Since then, it has evolved
into a complete system. It does have many principles based on the movements
of a cat, and integrates judo and jujitsu into the art. Sensei Cates
constantly added things from other styles over the years, and continues to
The concepts preceding Neko-Ryu originated with Mr. Nakabiyashi who had
developed a four hour self defense class for the Japanese business man.
Nakabayashi was later hired by the U.S. Marine Corps to train troops in this
art. Cates was one of three U.S. Marines who studied directly under
Nakabiyashi. The Neko-Ryu style was fine tuned and is now taught throughout
the world. These simple concepts allow the student to utilize the size and
power of the opponent against them.
The current title of Soke (head of family) has been transferred to "Moose"
Cates to continue in the development of the style and to continue his