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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JOE GRANT GRIERSON

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THE HISTORY OF GRAND MASTER JOE GRANT GRIERSON AT THE KODOKWAN IN ZAMBIA from 1954 to 1961

Written by © Jonathan Kruger 2010

 

Grand master George Jamieson  (Joe) Grant Grierson was born in south Africa on the 12th of February 1927. As a young man  growing up in Cape Town Joe  had always wanted to do something that would help those around him. He met his best friend Denny Mc Crea  while studying  to be an  electrician at the same school. According to Joe as both of them were apprentices they used to share all their dreams of traveling  around  Africa through their work. They always looked in the paper adds hoping to find companies looking for electricians that were willing to take them on when they finished their apprenticeship.

 

Kodokwan Prospectus early 1940Then  in 1943. One day a friend  was talking about a small  newspaper advertisement  about Jujitsu classes, and that he was thinking about joining up. This got the interest of both of them, and they went to one of the jujitsu practices to see what all the fuss was about.

They walked into a class with Dr Henry Johnston teaching some  advanced students break falls on a mat made out of saw dust with  a canvas covering . They were quite surprised to find out that the mat was really hard and not soft like they thought. And then the students were taught some jujitsu techniques.

The jujitsu Come- Alongs were the techniques that interested them the most that they decided to join right away.

Joe said that Dr Henry Johnston was a quite well built Irish gentle man who spoke with a lot of authority. He told them that he was only interested in serious students who were willing to train with discipline and commitment . Joe,  recalls that Dr. Henry Johnston taught Dennis McCrea and him a very practical jujitsu that wasn’t fancy in anyway. And when he showed a technique either a throw or a lock and he let you feel the pain of the lock to a certain degree so that you knew the technique  really worked. When he taught throws he never held back if he knew that you could breakfall and had some very powerful throws his favorite throws were Ippon seoinage and harai goshi. And when he threw someone they had their time cut out just making sure that their break fall was perfect just to get up from the throw.

Joe Grant Grierson and Dennis Mc Crea continued to train almost every day with the club even when Dr. Henry Johnston was unable to come ,even leading the beginners class at times. But they preferred to train with each other along until they had got a movement completely down.

From 1943 to around about 1947 they trained daily for about 4 hours Joe’s says. Dr. Johnston taught them mainly jujitsu and judo and on other days atemi waza, karate waza, and on special days Gung Fu eagle’s claw for only the most disciplined students. As well as hambo jitsu (short stick fighting). Joe, was particularly interested in the atemi waza, karate waza and gung fu.

Joe Grierson and Dennis McCreaIn 1947 Dr. Johnston had a job offering to go up to work in Southern Rhodesia and handed the club over to Joe Grant Grierson and Dennis McCrea who were his most dedicated students at the Kodokwan. And he graded both of them up to 4th Dan in Kodokwan jujitsu and was very proud of their efforts shown in learning the art and gave them full grading authority to continue teaching kodokwan jujitsu. 

It was during this time that Joe built up his hands in Gung fu and karate waza, so much so that  the two middle punching knuckles on his right hand fussed together into one solid piece.

In 2005 he shared with me  how he had built them up by hitting his fingers into sand as well as striking a makiwara( a forging board for extremities) and hitting wood posts, doing push up on  the concrete floor. He said that he broke the two knuckles  a few times before they healed fussed together.

At 78 I could still see the two knuckles fussed together  from many years of training. John Kruger always said that Joes fingers looked like a piano players  but they felt like steel when he hit you or a prod from  them  to the floating ribs sent you down streaming in pain unable to breath.

Please note that Eagles claw was a very secret  art even  most of Joe’s Kodokwan students never learnt it!. Joe told John Kruger that it was to put a guy out of action or kill him. This was not  a jitsu form of martial arts. Using the three main fingers as a eagles claw to rip out a throat or claw a face and blind someone for good. And to break bones. Or just  to break someone’s back in split second with two moves.

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