Club History

Jidel judo club was established in February 1993 by its senior club coach and judo development officer Johnny Imrie. Johnny started judo when he was five years old in Edinburgh.

Johnny’s parents enrolled him into Judo because his great Aunt Phyllis recommended judo to them as a form of self-discipline, self-defence and a good source of exercise. Aunt Phyllis travelled the world competing for Britain and after she retired from competition, she again travelled as an official delegate for British Judo. As well as teaching judo to the British Paratroopers she was also the first women in Britain to be awarded the grade of 6th Dan. She was the National Dan Grade registrar for Britain up until the day she died. Not long after her death Johnny started Jidel Judo Club. Dr Phyllis Winniefred Rose Elliot died on 18th August 1992.

Jidel started with 4 judo players and one judo coach back in 1993, and twenty years later and with over 200 members Jidel Judo Club is one of the strongest in Scotland, Not only that, it is also one of the most controversial. Jidel was instrumental in changing the belt system in Scotland for the under 8yrs. They have their own belt system for their under 12yrs which is copied throughout Scotland. Jidel also caused a storm when they introduced four different colours of Judo suits into Scotland.

During an interview Johnny was asked for his reasons behind the different belts and coloured suits. Under the old system a child should be a white belt from the age of five right up to their ninth or tenth birthday. By introducing a red belt and using a strip system a child can aspire to get a new belt throughout their under 8yrs grades and their first 10 – 16yrs grades. As a Judo development Officer Johnny discovered kids like crisp new belts for every grade.

As for the coloured Judo suits, they are just for fun. Judo already had white and blue and, as the Olympic is a major event in the world of Judo, Johnny took the four other colours from the Olympic flag, – red, black, green and yellow. Judo suits were made up in these colours and kids love them and wear them for training.