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
previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

JOE GRANT GRIERSON - John Kruger

Article Index

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

Written by © Jonathan Kruger 2010

 

I was only shown the art of Gung Fu deadly techniques after 22 years of training at the Kodokwan by my father Shihan John Kruger. When my father joined the club he had already done a bit of judo in Southern Rhodesia from a European instructor who taught at the YMCA in Southern Rhodesia in 1951. When my dad joined the club in 1954 he could already break fall and was an orange belt.

Steve ArneillWhen John Kruger joined the club in 1954 he found Steve Arneil as a brown belt in judo and jujitsu and was in the Karate –waza class with Spike Hovlmeryer .This was a self-defence course ,but the students of this class never learnt how to break fall and my father was asked by Joe to take the break falls for the class when they learnt throwing techniques used in self defence. One of the things that sticks to my father’s mind always  is the way Joe could stand on one side of the mat and take one tremendous  leap right across the mat through the  air and land on the other side of the mat in a low flying kick just above the ground. God help you if you were the one he did it to!

According to John Kruger Joe used to pinfive small pieces  of  paper the size of a playing cards on top of a door frame and jump up with one leap and catch the pieces of paper with his toes every time. He also had the ability to throw someone with just his hands by pulling you in one direction and then suddenly changing to another direction only to find yourself flying through the air in a big circle and then hitting the mat .

He had a great feeling of the body movements of Kuzushi to break your balance  for such throws, and very few people were able to stop him doing that.  Grand Master Joe always thought of John Kruger as one of his best students who was willing to take on anyone during their outside demosto introduce jujitsu to the public, but at times said he could be quite a cheeky bugger. And  made sure that sometimes he had to learn the hard way in training. 

One day while teaching him atemi waza John Kruger kept getting the movements  wrong and was not covering up and protecting himself properly And Joe gave him a final warning about this, the next minute Joe prod him with two fingers under his floating ribs and John went down on the spot.


Even now Shihan John Kruger can still recalls the pain from the atemi waza, and said for two weeks whenever he wanted to take a deep breath the pain brought him to his knees. That was one of the many ways that Joe kept his students in line and humble at all times in and out of the dojo.

Joe was also known to never give out grading belts easily ,you had to properly earn them. One of his comments about this  was ,Anyone can wear a black belt but very few can be a black belt.

 

Itaru - reach outJoe had many interesting stories about his work on the copper mines. But one story stands out in particular . One day Joe was called to go down under ground because there was an electrical problem in one of the underground tunnels and the lights had gone off and everything was in total darkness down there. Joe had only his head lamp to see. Suddenly something very  strange happened .Joe recalls in his story. In the deep darkness Joe saw a vision of man standing in front of him dressed in full Samurai armour. He did not know if he was dreaming or just that the darkness had got to him. But he could see this Japanese Samurai  warrior very clearly in the dark.

The Samurai spoke to him and said that he had great gift given to him and that it was his duty to continue sharing this great knowledge to all mankind to change them and make them better people. Joe believe this was really  a sign from God.

After that vision Joes outlook on life changed forever. This is where Joe got the Japanese word GIRI for all of his jujitsu  grading certificates. GIRI is the Japanese word for GIRI, OBLIGATION,LOYALTY,DUTY- GOLD. This was around the time he started to  use the Japanese name for himself ITARU to REACH  OUT.

 

Kodokwan Zambia. Copyright © 2019. All Rights Reserved. The website content and artistic works are the intellectual property of kodokwanzambia.com. No part of the materials including graphics or logos, available in this Web site may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, in whole or in part, without specific permission.
Design & Maintenance - Kwikkies WebArt - the Netherlands