Organization South African Ju-Jitsu Federation

Jujitsu has two separate origins in South Africa, the earliest dates back to 1928 when Yusei Teppi and Dr H Johnson started a club in Cape Town. Dr Johnson retired around 1948 and entrusted the club to D Mc Crea and C Grant-Grierson who grew the sport over 10 years. This original club was dissolved in 1959, but one of the remaining instructors, Mr C Gaven, picked up the pieces and started his own club in 196 and jujitsu has been uninterrupted since then.

The second line follows Prof Jack Robinson, a Cumberland and Western style wrestling champion, who came to South Africa from England in 1931. He had learnt Jujitsu from two Japanese gentlemen, Mr Tani and Mr O-Tani, in England. He had realised during his challenge matches at the music halls that Jujitsu was a force to be reckoned with.

In 1933 he started teaching Jujitsu in Durban, but soon had schools operating in six major cities in South Africa. His sons, having grown up virtually on the mat, worked as instructors. They also toured the country presenting demonstrations and so cultivated an interest in Jujitsu and Judo. Prof Jack Robinson passed away in 1974 at the age of 78, a tenth Dan.

Senior students of Prof Jack Robinson continued studying Jujitsu, many of whom travelled to Japan, USA and England to further their studies. Jujitsu fell under the control of the South African Judo Association until 1970, but became independent under the chairmanship of Wikus Otto thereafter.

The South African Ju-Jitsu Federation was registered with the Department of Science, Art & Culture. Around 1960, Jujitsu competitions were banned in the country due to the severity of injuries occurred. The ban was lifted in the mid 1980’s where a team travelled to the USA for that tournament in LA together with George Kirby. The team did very well and Tommy Thomson was awarded tournament champion of the senior division.

The South African Ju-Jitsu Federation is currently in chaired by Tommy Thomson, a seventh Dan in Kawaishi Jujitsu.