The culmination of Ron Cedillos’ career as a professional athlete arrived when he won the First Place Black Belt Team Championship at the prestigious National Karate Championships held in the Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While barely a teenager, Mr. Cedillos discovered that martial arts training was being offered in a neighboring city. Intent upon learning martial arts skills, Mr. Cedillos hitchhiked five days a week to study the still largely unheralded sport of karate throughout his teenage years. He continued his martial arts training while in the United States Army. After being discharged, Mr. Cedillos spent the following decade training and fighting with legendary World Champion Chuck Norris, who awarded him each of his black belts.
While attending college in his early twenties, Mr. Cedillos became a Chief Instructor for the Chuck Norris Karate School system. Eventually, Mr. Cedillos became a partner in the martial arts schools established under the Norris banner.
Despite possessing a keen appreciation for the long history and philosophical aspects of
the martial arts, Mr. Cedillos focused his years of training and teaching on the practical application of fighting -- for both full contact competition and what was known at the time as “street application.” He would travel throughout the southwest United States learning different fighting styles from other prominent competitors and instructors. Mr. Cedillos incorporated these useful fighting techniques and strategies into the techniques and strategies he had learned from his primary instructor, Chuck Norris. At the time, Mr. Cedillos described to a reporter (from The Daily Breeze) that stepping into the ring for a full contact fight gave him the same thrill he felt upon jumping out of a jet in the middle of the night while serving as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division: -- “it was an all or nothing moment.” Full contact karate, the precursor to what is now known as “mixed martial arts” (popularized by the Ultimate Fighting Championships, or UFC), is differentiated from the “art” of karate, insofar as the winner is usually determined by knocking out his opponent (as opposed to point-scoring competitions).
As a professional fighter, Mr. Cedillos held black belts in the Korean-based National Tang So Do Congress and the American-based United Fighting Arts Federation. Known for his speed and unique ability to execute aerial kicks well over the height of an average man, Ron Cedillos traveled throughout California performing karate demonstrations for youth groups and other organizations.
In addition to teaching full-time for the Norris system, Mr. Cedillos actively competed in karate tournaments -- eventually retiring from professional competition after winning the Nationals. His career as a professional athlete has been widely reported in sports publications, training books and other media. This athletic notoriety led to Mr. Cedillos being offered roles in a variety of films, television shows, and stage productions.