Ferrill and Schubert met at Liberty High School in 1980 as teachers of judo P.E. classes. Schubert followed in Ferrill’s foot sweeps by taking his turn on the U.S. Marine Corps judo team. Both men studied judo under the late Masao Duke Yoshimurra (Eighth Degree Black Belt) and have received instruction from Black Belt Magazine’s judoka instructor of the year Hayward Nishioka (Seventh Degree Black Belt). And both are longtime members of the Stockton Judo Club, where Ferrill serves as sensei and Schubert as sempi (senior student).
Ferrill, who holds a Sixth Degree Black Belt in the martial art, recently promoted Schubert to Godan (Fifth Degree Black Belt) on the mats where they first met at Liberty more than 30 years ago.
“It’s not only a pleasure to have been promoted to this rank, but a real honor and privilege to have received it from a longtime and highly cherished teacher, respected fellow Marine and truly appreciated family friend,” Schubert said. “I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
It appears the tradition will continue. Schubert’s 14-year-old son, Arron, also practices judo under the direction of Sensei Ferrill and was promoted to gokyu, or Green Belt.