Was Keith Raniere exaggerating (lying) about being an East Coast Judo Champion at age 11?

Keith Raniere, AKA Vanguard, has told the world that he was the East Coast Judo Champion at age 11.

That means the lad was unbeatable in 1971? It implies he beat grown black belts and bested Olympic men or master martial artists – such was his talent.

A little investigation however shows that at best Raniere competed in the children’s division where almost everyone goes home with a prize.

So what is an East Coast Judo Champ?

Raniere gives us no clue in his bio published at http://www.keithraniere.com.

Checking online there appears to be an East Coast Judo Tournament held annually in Newark, NJ, since the late 1960’s. The tournament allows amateur participants mainly from New York and New Jersey to compete at a variety of skill levels.

The tournament seems to attract a hodgepodge of beginners from children down to four years old  – with a few older competitors who compete from yellow belt upward.

A search under Keith Raniere and East Coast Judo champion gives no proof that Raniere every won anything there– not even in the kiddie’s division.

By the way there are lots of judo tournaments with grand sounding names run in coordination with a number of for-profit Dojos or judo schools.

Ameri-Kan Challenge, Bluffton OH

Michigan Open Judo Championships, East Lansing MI

Ohio Judo Championships, Toledo OH

North Coast Judo Championships, Lorain OH

Great Lakes Open Judo Championships, Grand Rapids MI

Judo Ontario Events

Polish Judo Championship

And there is the East Coast Judo Tournament in Newark NJ.

This is not the Olympics.  Or USJF/USJA Junior Nationals or the Pan Am Games.

The East Coast Judo ‘Championship’ Tournament has many winners.

The tournament is not ranked as an E level event and doesn’t carry any real value to the top players.  It qualifies you for nothing and winning is not of any significance to the those who are experts.

A few serious Judo fighters do occasionally compete in the East Coast Judo tournament and it is said that when they do they are fighting for the sake of fighting.

At the East Coast Tournament, even yellow belts and green belts compete and, as any Judo expert will tell you, anything below black belt is considered novice.

So how important was Raniere to judo?

He is not in the US Judo Hall of Fame.

There is no mention of him winning any tournaments.

He says he won at age 11; that means he was competing against other children.

This is hardly something for an adult man to brag about.

Unless he is trying to make it bigger than it is.

Raniere was a novice in judo.

The lack of detail about weight division and belt division makes us wonder if Raniere was making the whole thing up – like it appears he did when he claimed he tied for the NY state record in the 100 yard dash.

Something no record books verify.

Keith can we see your Judo trophy?

Did you win in the yellow belt children’s division at the East Coast Judo tournament in 1971?

Why not say it, rather than say you were the East Coast Judo Champ at age 11.

Are you implying you fought against men and won?

Let us know.

About the author

Frank Parlato

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