Our History

70 years at the service of the Japanese Martial Arts...

Our club was founded in 1947 under the name of Jiu-Jiutsu Club of Geneva by some enthusiasts who had been initiated to this art of the army in particular.

The gym of the UCJG, at the General-Dufour street, was made available to our club twice a week. The beginnings were difficult and the falls rather harsh. Indeed, an old mattress for all tatami tried in vain to soften the falls of the beginners.

Teaching was given in the early 1950s by Joseph Vallélian, then a green belt of jûdo. In 1953 two important changes gave a new impetus to our club: the father of the Swiss jûdô, Doctor Hanhô Rhi, 7th dan, christened the Shung Dô Kwan club.

In the same year, we moved to the Roseraie school. We are finally in our walls and can train every night from 18:00 to 22:00. Dr. Hanhô Rhi frequently visited our dôjo and a few other visits contributed to the enthusiasm of our pioneers, in particular the unforgettable visit of Tokyo Hirano, which we had already received at the General-Dufour Street in 1952, and the visit Of the extraordinary team of Korea of ​​six members, during the summer of 1955. New move in 1956, this time at 5, rue Liotard. It is here that many members still present today, took their first steps. In 1958, the club hired its first professional teacher: Mitsuhiro Kondô, part-time and then full-time.

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The year 1958 marked a new turning point in the history of the SDK. It was at this time that the club decided to broaden the scope of martial disciplines. A series of public demonstrations took place at the dojo of Liotard Street. Organized by Me Kondo, Me Hirochi Mochizuki and Me Alcheik, these demonstrations made known to the Genevans the karate-dô, the aikidô and the kendô, not to mention the sumo. When Mr. Kondô decided to open his own dôjô in 1970, the SDK hired Mr. Haruyoshi Watanabe.

In 1976, we moved to 66 Liotard Street, where we are still training. This magnificent dôjô of 775 m2 obtained thanks to the understanding of the Service of the Schools of the City of Geneva could finally comfortably accommodate the seven disciplines of then: the judô, the aikidô, the karate-dô, the kendô, the yoseikan-budô , Jodo and iaido. The eighth discipline, the kyudo, was added to it in the mid-seventies. This last discipline had to be expatriated rather quickly because of the insufficient height of the ceiling of Liotard's premises. The kyudô section has been training since 1982 in the gymnasium of the Ecole du Chemin de Roches and now at the du Corbusier School.

Mr. Watanabe retired, teaching was provided in each discipline by members of the SDK who attained a sufficient degree of technical mastery. Some Japanese still helped the SDK to maintain a high technical level: Mr. Ôya, Mr. Ôhira and, now Mr. Nakamura for Judo, Mr. Ikeda for Aikido, Mr. Watanabe for Kendô, Mr. Nakajima for karate-dô . On the other hand, the sporadic visit of Japanese masters contributed - and still contributes - to the development of Japanese budo in our club. In 1980, organized by the jodo section, the arrival of Me Otake in the tradition of Kantori Shintô Ryû, Me Draeger and Me Kaminoda (Shintô Musô Ryû) was an opportunity for the Geneva public to admire unique demonstrations of Classical martial arts.

Two new disciplines then hit the door of the SDK: shodo and sumo. If the latter was accepted at the 1977 General Assembly, shodo (Japanese calligraphy), which is not strictly speaking a martial discipline, has been taught for almost 15 years, informally, once a month. Shodo represents the cultural and literary aspect of our martial activities, so it is important that members of the SDK do not ignore the possibility of getting rich in this way too.

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A little bit more history?

You can also discover the history of the Martial Arts and the sections that make up our association:

Want to learn more?

Some additional information...

Who are the key people in the SDK?

Even if each member of our association is considered an important person, we can cite a few that have marked the history of our dojo:

Still curious?

If you want to know more about our association, we invite you to consult articles written by some of our members, or those about us.