This organization has the singular distinction of retaining the knowledge of the art of traditional Ju-Jitsu which has been handed down over generations of teachers for the past 100 years. Seishi Teppei was an adept master of Ju-Jitsu who learned his craft in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. He is known to have taught one Harold Johnson his Art and the earliest incarnation of the South African Ju-Jitsu Association was founded in Cape Town, South Africa in 1928, under the auspices of the Kodokwan. Harold Johnson passed on his knowledge to his two top students Messrs McCrea and Grant-Grierson and they became his joint successors in 1942.

In 1956 Joe Grant Grierson left Cape Town and South Africa leaving sole responsibility for the organization in the capable hands of Denys McCrea who in turn entrusted the organization to Chas. B. Gaven in 1960 upon his retirement from regular active participation. Denys assumed the position of Life President of the Association and made many guest appearances at training and events until he passed away in 2003.

During the period for which the sole control and responsibility vested in Chas B Gaven he was presented with his Ju Dan in Ju-Jitsu by Denys as awarded by the World Head of Family Sokeship council of which Chas was a Grand Master. Shortly before his death in August of 2001, Chas named his long term student Nigel Sessions (since 1974) as his successor and inheritor and promoted him to Rokudan Ju-Jitsu and at the same time promoting fellow long term students Graham Hart (since 1974) and Giles Embleton (since 1991) to Yondan Ju-Jitsu.

Nigel today heads the South African Ju-Jitsu Association as both President and legitimate Inheritor (Soke). Mark Smith (Yondan) holds the position of Head Coach whilst Muya Koloko (Nidan) is a senior Instructor and Craig Sylvester (Shodan) an authorized instructor.

Thus the legacy of the South African Ju-Jitsu Association is an unbroken line of legitimate heirs stemming from the pure Ju-jitsu as taught by Seishi Teppei to the present, over 100 years later. This legacy has sadly been attempted to be usurped by others who lay claim to our organisation, symbols, and/or teachings merely by virtue of but a few years of training or even attendance at ad hoc seminars. We would impress upon the reader that such entities have no right to assume a part in the unbroken line of legitimate heirs and therefore they have no claim to the name, goodwill or symbols embodying the South African Ju-Jitsu Association, Kodokwan Ju-Jitsu, Kodokwan Judo, or the names of Teppei, McCrea or Gaven in any attempt to take undue credit for our heritage. Unless they are able to legitimately prove their place in our heritage, anyone or any organisation that does not have the official sanction of the South African Ju-Jitsu Association has no right to the aforementioned. The only organisation to thus far to have such official status is the Kodokwan Club of Zambia under the direction of Shihan Jonathan Kruger (Soke)


The above description and opinions are those of the club as a whole and not any one individual. The club has researched and relied on historical accounts, documents and even the oral tradition of past, credible soke and senior members. We have not publically named any parties who are alleged to be misusing the names, symbols or goodwill that is bound to our legacy, and we do not intend to do so – any inference or implied identification of such party or parties is purely co-incidental. In a spirit of the pure martial arts, we welcome anyone or any organisation to provide new historical evidence to contest any of the above.

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