Professor Willy Cahill

Prof. Willy “Clipper” Cahill is a 10th Dan in Jujitsu, a 7th Dan in Judo, and a co-founder of Jujitsu America.

Willy Cahill was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on November 21, 1935. Willy’s father John Cahill, Sr., was an instructor under Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki. He began his martial arts training under his father while living in Hawaii.

In 1947, the Cahill family moved to California, and the following year opened the Cahill Judo Club in Daly City. They soon opened other schools and Professor Cahill became the head instructor of the Daly City dojo after the passing of his father in 1962.

In 1963 Professor Cahill built a new dojo in San Bruno. In 1970 the school won the first in a string of nine California State Judo Championships and five consecutive United States Judo Association National Championships.

As a Judo coach, Professor Cahill coached teams at the Olympics, Goodwill Games, World Judo Championships, the Pacific Rim Judo Championships, and the Junior Pan American Championships. He coached the U.S. Olympic Judo Teams in 1984 and 1988 and was head coach of the Paralympic Judo Team that traveled to Sydney, Australia, in November 2000 and brought back the first Gold Medal ever won in Paralympic or Olympic judo competition.  His team became the top medal winners at the Paralympic Games.

In 1975 Professor Cahill was inducted as Judo Instructor of the Year into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. For his lifetime of dedication to the martial arts, he was elevated to Judan in Jujitsu by Prof. Wally Jay in September 1994 at the Ohana convention in Las Vegas.

In 2003, Professor Cahill was presented the United States Jujitsu President’s Leadership Award, recognizing his lifetime achievements and contributions in developing the ancient art of jujitsu.


This picture from Ohana '92 Shows Professor Willy Cahill instructing a mat techniques clinic.