In an effort to preserve the philosophical and spiritual
aspects of Dr Kano's art, Zen Judo was created in England in 1974. Judo had been introduced to Great Britain in the early
1900s with Sensei Yukio Tani. He was followed by Sensei Uyenishi who taught Judo to the British Army at Aldershot.
Guni Koizumi founded the most famous Judo club in the country, the Budokwai of London, where he and Tani taught for many years.
The post-war period saw the organization of several major Judo Associations in Great Britain. The British Judo Association
(BJA) was the largest and most influential. Not long after its creation, the British Judo Council was formed under the influence
of Sensei Tani, and a third organisation, the Kyu Shin Do, was created by Sensei Kenshiro Abe. Zen Judo originated from the
Kyu Shin Do.
Butokukai was established in 1895 by the Japanese government to train Martial Arts teachers. In 1911 the organization opened
its martial arts training school, the Bujutsu Semmon Gakko, largely known as the Busen. Its aim and purpose was to promote
and cultivate Budo in a true Samurai spirit, and to produce teachers to go out and propagate the Japanese Martial Arts throughout
the world. Zen Judo's origins are closely connected to the Butokukai through one of its leading graduates, Sensei (teacher)
Dominick McCarthy, the founder of Zen Judo, was trained in the Kyu Shin Do system. When the Kyu Shin Do began to empasise
more Western aspects, Shihan McCarthy created a separate group to preserve the original spirit of Judo, not emphasizing tournaments
and competition. In September 1974 the Zen Judo Ryu came into life at the Community Center at Love Lane, Petersfield, England.
its creation, Zen Judo has spread across England, there have been clubs in Germany, Canada, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and now
in the United States. Zen clubs tend to attract a good following, with low membership dropout and high retention rates. Students
interest in the art seems considerably greater than in the competitive styles. In an effort to preserve the traditional style
of Judo pioneered by Dr Kano, Zen Judo dojo's do not participate in tournaments or competitions. As a Judo Ryu, it is devoted
to technique, skill and merit rather than the athletic ability.
When Sensei McCarthy passed on, the Zen
Judo Family was driven to fragmentation, many Judoka tried to take his place (unsuccessfully).
Therefore in December 1999 - the British Zen Judo
Family Association was formed by the senior UK Zen Judo Family grade, Andrew M Millard BEM 6th Dan, and Gordon Lawson 6th
Dan to take Zen Judo into the Millennium progressing Zen Judo to new heights with new beginnings.
In the December of 2002 President Andrew M Millard retired
from Judo after three very successful years.
The new president of the British Zen Judo Family Association
will be Shihan Gordon Lawson.
with Andrew taking the post of Honorary President .