Chris joins a select few in the judo world

Chris Dawson 7th Dan (right) receives his new grade from Joe Norman 7th Dan.
Chris Dawson 7th Dan (right) receives his new grade from Joe Norman 7th Dan.

A JUDO instructor has joined a select number of individuals around the world who have attained the prestigious 7th Dan grade.

Chris Dawson, of the Bushido Judo Kwai at Wallsend Boys Club, received the grade at a special ceremony.

He has been involved in the sport for more than 50 years, taking up the martial art on September 27, 1961, under the instruction of Sensei Jack Hearn, 9th Dan.

Chris, who has held the grade of Shodan (black belt) since 1975, opened his own club – The Bushido Judo Kwai – in 1976 in Howdon before moving to Wallsend Boys Club in 1987 and changing the name five years later.

During his career, Chris has studied under well respected judo masters from Britain, Japan and France.

Also in recent years, he has travelled to the birth place of judo in Japan to visit the Kodokan Judo Institute and trained at Konan University under Shunsuke Yamasaki 7th Dan.

Hundreds of junior and senior students have learned judo under Chris’s tuition, of which 22 he has personally promoted to the grade of Shodan.

Chris’s promotion was presented to him by Sensei Jack Hearn, accompanied by a host of judo teachers.

Chris thanked everyone who sent letters of support for the promotion, in particular Joe Norman – founder and president of the All England Judo Federation – who travelled from his home in Essex to be at the presentation.

He also thanked Maureen and Bruce Carnaby, who helped prepare the evening and provide refreshments; Juneille Smith, who compiled all the letters of support and organised the guests; Wallsend Boys Club for its co-operation; the parents for their cards and gifts; Joyce and Eddy Kenny for the framed picture of a Samurai and Jack Hearn for the certificate; and all the students.

For more information on the club visit or for the history of the Bushido Judo Kwai visit