KODOKWAN JUDO & JU-JITSU CLUB OF ZAMBIA
KODOKWAN JUDO & JU-JITSU CLUB OF ZAMBIA
KODOKWAN JUDO & JU-JITSU CLUB OF ZAMBIA
KODOKWAN JUDO & JU-JITSU CLUB OF ZAMBIA
KODOKWAN JUDO & JU-JITSU CLUB OF ZAMBIA
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HISTORY KODOKWAN

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Dr. Henry Johnston

Henry Johnston was born on the 31st December 1908, in the village of Clounagh in Northern Ireland. Before he was a year old his parents immigrated to Rhodesia (in Southern Africa), where they died while he was very young.

At some stage during the 1920’s he toured the orient earning a living as a magician (he was apparently a very skilled performer) and consequently arrived in China, where he plied his trade. During this period he met Seishi Teppei and was so interested in learning Ju-jitsu from him that he remained there in order to train.

After this, Johnston returned to South Africa, and founded the Kodokwan Ju-jitsu Association (known later as the South African Ju-jitsu Association) in 1928 in Cape Town. 

Having turned his talents to a variety of careers and business interests, Johnston made the decision to become a doctor and entered the University of Cape Town School of Medicine in 1940 at the age of 32. Dr. Johnston started his own very successful medical practice in Gwanda and Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, in the 1950's and 1960's where he lived with his wife Rosalie until his death in 1966.

Two of his top students were Joe Grant Grierson and Dennis McCrea who joined the Kodokwan dojo in 1943. In 1947, after graduating from University with a medical doctorate, Johnston transferred his dojo to Dennys McCrea and George Joe Grant-Grierson. These two men later were awarded Kaiden Menkyo by Dr Henry Johnston in 1954 and both were presented to the rank of 4th dan. Joe Grant Grierson came up to Northern Rhodesia now called Zambia in 1954 to work on the Copper Mines. He opened the first Kodokwan dojo in 1954 in the city of Kitwe. His first two students were John Kruger and Steve Arneil who later went to Tokyo, Japan in 1960 and started training with Mas Oyama and the Kyokushinkai Karate dojo in Tokyo.

This is an old photo of the sailors in the military that would visit ports and train on the docks practise their martial arts of Judo, Karate, Kendo. Kodokwan founders Joe Grant Grierson and Dennis McCrea would visit the Cape Town docks looking for Japanese merchant sailors and managed to challenge some top Japanese Judo and Jujitsu black belt sailors that would dock in Cape Town, South Africa. This was how they knew if the Kodokwan Jujitsu techniques taught to them at the dojo in Cape Town worked or not against the Japanese. They fought some really hard and strong Japanese Judoka that were black belts training at the Kodokan in Tokyo.

 

 

 

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