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 - Kodokwan in Lusaka

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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

 

I believe Joe really reached out  to all of us in one way or another to change our life forever! Those  of us who had the privilege to meet him and train with him will never forget him.

Fred CoatesIn 1957 John Kruger started the Kodokwan in Lusaka. The all in wrestlers in Lusaka trained in this club to improve their wrestling skills .Mr Fred Coates,the heavy weight champion of Northern Rhodesia challenged the Kodokwan and John Kruger took up the challenge.  It was a big fuss in the newspaper and it drew quite a crowd gathering  to the tournament . Fred Coates showed up with his leopard skin wrestling costume . John Kruger came with his children wearing his judogi. The crowd went wild!

 

As the fight  started Fred kept trying to grab John Kruger and hurt him into submission .John kept moving around and throwing him until  He gave up. The Judo Kuzushi was just too much for him!

 

In Lusaka John got another  challenge from a top boxer and champion of Northern Rhodesia Charley Pichy. This time John knew he had to go for him with Jujitsu. Using Jujitsu to come on his blind side  to strike both of his triceps each time , which made him unable to carry on boxing and gave up, as he could no longer pick up his limp arms to box. 

 

Terence DonovanThen in 1958 - A visiting Judo-ka from the Budokwai in London, Terence Donovan a blue belt at that time, was traveling around Africa challenging all the judo clubs. Donovan threw everybody in the Kodokwan with his famous- Two Arm Shoulder Throw- Morote Seoinage. Starting from yellow belt onwards everybody was upside down in the first five seconds before they knew it.

 

He threw the whole club in less than two minutes. When it was John Kruger’s turn to go for flying lessons, his first thought was (I must stop him before he throws our Sensei Joe and makes our club look bad) Steve Arneil had not came to training that day, so John was the only brown belt left before Joe. When Donovan came in for  the throw John found himself also upside down, but as he was about to go over he got a lock on Donovan,s head and nearly pulled it off! Donovan fell over with John on his back holding his neck in pain, and had to sit down for quite a while. Joe was not impressed with  the whole thing and disqualified John on the spot!

 

John says later on that he does not know if Joe was quite relieved that he did not have to be the last man to be thrown by Donovan (a blue belt throwing a 5th dan does not look good!)  

 

In 1959 - Kodokwan held its first ever judo competition in the Ndola city YMCA, It was called the Central and Eastern African judo championships. Clubs from all over came to the tournament even some judoka from Joe Robinsons judo clubs took part. The Northern Rhodesian newspaper covered the event (Man from the North). The hall had just been painted brown for the event and walls still had fresh paint.  John Kruger remembers all the judoka that leaned on the wall had brown paint on their judogi backs!

The Kodokwan three armed logo which was made with golden  wireJoe Grant Grierson showed up to the tournament wearing a traditional jujitsugi wearing black pants which we all now know as a Hakama. The kodokwan won most of the fights and John Kruger from the Kodokwan in Lusaka met Graham Talling from the Kodokwan in Kitwe. Graham was a taller fighter and tried to throw John Kruger with Harai Goshi,but both of them fell down together. In the ground fighting that followed John Kruger ended on top holding Graham down with a kesa gatame to win the  first Central and Eastern judo championship. John later said that he was disappointed not to have won with a nage waza, throwing technique. 

Later at a dinner  party to congratulate the winners Joe awarded John Krugerwith  the very rare golden badge with the kodokwan three armed logo which was made with golden  wire.

50 years later we found out that Joe had them made in South Africa with real golden wire. According to John Kruger only three people have ever been awarded in Northern Rhodesia with this award. 

 

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