Judo introduction into South Africa began in 1945 by soldiers of World War II.

Alec Butcher, an immigrant from Britain was among the pioneers alongside Jack Robinson for Jujitsu. Judo established itself as a national sport in 1955 through the formation of the South African Amateur Judo Association (SAAJA).

Alex Percival Butcher (6th Dan)

Kodokan Nidan (2nd Dan)

License Tokyo Japan

Jack Robbisson (10th Dan)  Jūdan

Apart from SAAJA/ SAAJV, a rival body led by Jack Robinson emerged called South African National Amateur Judo Association (SANAJA) (sometimes referred to as South African Amateur Judo and Jujitsu Association (SANAJJA)) which received recognition by the South African government, teaching a version of Kodokan Judo.




Trophy (1 of 2) sponsored by Ian Rowat the then

SANAJA  u/50kg, the old Eastern Transvaal Champion of 1972.

I Rowat’s son Tristan Rowat is an Instructor and 1st Kyu at

Freestyle Judo Ritoru Tatsu Fight Club South Africa


During the late 1970s and the 1980s the sport was controlled at various times by a body made up of rival members from both SAAJA (SAAJV) and SANAJA. This body was named the South African Judo Union (SAJU). In 1992, all judo organizations in South Africa united under one association now called Judo South Africa (JSA).

Judo coaching was introduced into Western Cape schools by Alex Butcher (6th DAN) in 1957, and has grown from strength to strength ever since.

Western Province Schools Kodokan Judo boasts highly qualified, professional Judo coaches who continue to draw on the knowledge of the excellent quality and style of Judo coaching passed down by Alex Butcher.

Jessica Butcher (grand-daughter of Alex), is a 2nd DAN, J.S.A. level 2 coach and a NSC level 2 coach. She is also a former Western Province Provincial & Boland coach, and having been a former captain of the under 21 National Ladies side and a SA Kata champion, her achievements speak volumes about her skill and experience.

Ian Geustyn, a former student of Alex Butcher, is a 5th DAN, J.S.A. level 2 coach, a current Western Province Provincial coach and a former Boland coach. Ian’s achievements are just as impressive, having won Gold at the Commonwealth Games and Bronze at the All African Games. Sensei Ian Geustyn sadly past away in 2018.


We look forward to coaching you in the art of Judo as it ought to be.