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How it all began

An Insight into our History from our 5th - 7th Dan Coaches


Dorothy Adamson

Senior Technical Director at Nejjka, 7th Dan Head Coach 

Clubs:--  The Parks, Jarrow, Morpeth, Billingham, Thornaby, and Kobudo Club

I began training at the age of 15, under Michael Jerry at Chuter Ede Community Centre and absolutely loved every challenge that faced me to get me through the ranks, by the time we reached the higher grades of brown belt a lot of our learning came from Steven Elliott from DJJA, later renamed Bushido Academies, which we would then practice like mad in class to eventually get to Black belt, Myself and one other student were the first to reach that point in my training class at South Shields and on 15th April 1984 we faced it head on, and it was the most nerve wrecking thing I have ever achieved.

Also in May 1984 I opened a Martial art shop called Warriors, which I kept going for a few year, but teaching was my main passion, so I merged the 2, and sold my stock at grading's and it grew from there.

I really enjoyed helping others to achieve their goals and that became my passion, to teach, so over many years our clubs began to grow, and we travelled all over the country learning from the best, such as Alan Campbell but especially Robert Clark founder of WJJF. I was able to change and mould our  organisation, to make sure we were very family friendly, looking out for our coaches, and students alike. To make sure we delivered the best.

Sadly in 2012 Soke Clark suddenly passed away, leaving our Martial Art world bereft, after that too many changes came in, it was unsettling, after losing Soke Clark, we felt we had lost our identity and direction. After 2 years it was time we found the strength to stand on our own. We were able to keep some very good friends of Ju-Jitsu from all around the UK, Ireland, Italy and Israel in alliance. Traveling the world to Pisa, Rome, Israel have made lasting memories.

2020 would have been our 40th anniversary, a huge celebration was planned, Hotel was booked, Gala dinner sold out! but the pandemic saw everyone closed down. The generosity from our coaches and students, family members to raise funds to save us has meant we will continue Robert Clarks legacy, which we all inherited the knowledge he shared with us and everyone he taught around the world. and one that I am so very proud of.


Stephen Eglitis

Senior Technical Director at Nejjka, 7th Dan Head Coach 

Clubs:--  The Parks, Jarrow, Morpeth, Billingham, Thornaby, and Kobudo Club

I first met Karl on a Youth opportunity programme, and he talked about Ju-Jitsu a lot. I have always had an interest in Martial Art so was keen in giving it a try.  I began my Ju-Jitsu journey in late 1981 at Chuter Ede Community Centre under Michael Jerry. I was a member of the British Ju-Jitsu Association. I met & trained with many amazing people. That was where I met Dorothy, and in time we all became life long friends & together with time and development we formed North East Ju-Jitsu Kobudo Association.

I achieved my black belt in September 1984 & many years later I was presented My 7th Dan by Soke Robert Clark in 2011.

It has been an amazing journey, training with passionate & amazing people on the mat. I have had the wonderful opportunity to learn under many outstanding  Coaches & Masters including Soke Robert Clark under his World Ju-Jitsu Federation.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel around the country & the world both learning and teaching its definitely been an amazing experience.

Now I am part of The NEJJKA Coaching Team, coaching in classes around the North East. Its a great opportunity to pass on the teaching & knowledge to the next generation of students.


Karl Anton Jessen

Senior Technical Director at Nejjka, 7th Dan Head Coach 

Clubs:- South Shields and Killingwoth Ju-Jitsu clubs

I started Ju-Jitsu in September 1980 with Michael Jerry. Never heard of it before, so went along to give it a try. To my surprise it was a Martial art class. I worked my way through the ranks and when my coach opened a 2nd club I took over Chuter Ede.

I gained my Black belt in September 1984 and since then I have worked my way up to 7th Dan which I received from the late Soke Robert Clark in July 2011. I have always loved doing Ju-Jitsu, especially understanding the little component parts of a technique that has to be correct for the whole technique to work.


I started teaching in 1982, as an assistant coach and worked my way up to Senior Coach and took NVQ level 2 coaching Ju-Jitsu. I have enjoyed many seminars and courses around the U.K. including  Northern Ireland and International Seminars in Norway, Italy and Israel. For me Ju-Jitsu is not a hobby or a pass time, it has been and continues to be a way of life.


Graeme Morrison

 Technical Director at Nejjka, 7th Dan Head Coach 

Club:- Gateshead Ju-Jitsu Club

I started Ju-Jitsu in Fellimg Community Centre in April 1985 at the age of 10. I originally started with a friend from school, as a new Martial Arts class opened and not many around at the time, and only a few in the group, which later became known as North East Ju-Jitsu Association.

I attended my first course in Edinburgh in 1985. Prof Clark had time for everyone which was great, and I was hooked by everything that day.

I progressed through the syllabus (no Junior syllabus at that time) and took my Black belt aged 13. I continued to progress though the Dan grades and currently hold 7th Degree Black belt awarded in December 2021.

I started coaching in 1991 to help in a local class, as the area was growing. I took first of many coaching qualifications in 1992 and progressed from Assistant Coach level 1 to Senior Coach level 3.

I am now a Senior grade in NEJJKA and was Awarded Technical Director status.

I have ran Gateshead Ju-Jitsu Club since 1997 and have built up a class of 40 Juniors and 20 Seniors and I run a team of 12 Coaches. We all work together well to achieve what is best for all the students, class, area and individuals.

The enjoyment I get from teaching is the thought of everyone progressing. There is always an Achievable goal/target for everyone to aim for. I also have goals to aim for and we are one big family.

The North East Ju-Jitsu Kobudo Association supports anyone who wishes to come along and learn and become part of the wider family

I do hope to see new faces in classes when we return after this current lockdown, and I look forward to grading's and teaching on courses again in the future.


Keith Richardson

 Technical Director at Nejjka, 7th Dan Coach 

Coaches at South Shields, Killingworth, Jarrow and Morpeth Ju-Jitsu Clubs

I first became interested in the martial arts back in the mid 1960’s. I was about eleven or twelve years of age at the time, and my next-door neighbour and I would go out onto our front lawn and simulate some of the moves we had seen on the then popular TV series of “The Man From Uncle” and “The Avengers”.


My interest became reinforced when I attended comprehensive school and one of our teachers, who was a black belt in Judo, taught me and some of my class mates some Judo moves. Following this, my passion for the martial arts lay dormant for many years, and it wasn’t to re-enter my life again until I was in my mid-to late twenties.


It was during this time that I tried out arts such as Karate, Kung-Fu and Nin-jutsu. I decided that none of these seemed to be what It was that I was looking for, and it wasn’t until I came across Ju-Jitsu that I finally settled on a martial art that suited my purpose. By this time, I was 36 years of age.


I have been studying Ju-Jitsu now since 1991, and during this time I have progressed through several aspects of the art - 7th Dan in Ju-Jitsu, 1st Dan in Kobudo and have also acquired Kata Certificate 15.


Throughout the years, I have participated in many courses and have studied and learned under many outstanding masters, especially Soke Robert Clarke. I am also eternally grateful for the instruction and guidance I have received from my own instructors - Sensei's D. Adamson, S. Eglitis and K. Jessen. All of whom have contributed in making me what I am today.


David Jennings

Executive Technical Officer at Nejjka, 5th Dan Coach 

Coaches at South Shields Ju-Jitsu club.

 My ju-jitsu journey started in 1992. I was only 7 year old when a friend asked if I wanted to come along, I agreed to see what it was like. Walking into the YWCA was daunting seeing what was going on but after stepping onto the mats I have never looked back.

I had the honour of attending my first course in the same year at Monkton stadium under the late Soke Robert Clark and was in awe of what could be achieved. Over time partners came and went but I was still enjoying my training. With the great teachings from Sensei Dot, Sensei Steve and Sensei Karl from the beginning, then from the other Senior Instructor's Graeme, Keith and Julie have helped shaped me into the coach that I am today.

I realised not long after getting my black belt aged 11 that I wanted to become a coach and took every opportunity that I could. Traveling on courses round the country and meeting countless new friends along the way.

Even now I still have the same passion that I did when I was younger and always wanting to learn as much as possible. Its always satisfying now being able to help coach others along their path knowing that I was able to be a part of it with them.

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