First Kiwi to earn top belt honour

By Nathan Crombie

A ju jitsu instructor has become the first Kiwi to win a second degree black belt in his discipline after successfully grading at the Masterton Judo & Ju Jitsu Academy on Saturday.

Paul Huston, who works as a charge nurse at Wellington Hospital, was on Saturday awarded nidan (second degree black belt) in Shorinji Kan ju jitsu alongside Napier instructor and expat Brit, Simon Barnett.

Fellow Wellington instructor Simon Carter was awarded shodan (black belt) at the grading, which was led by Jitsu New Zealand chief instructor Simon Ogden at the Queen St academy he founded in 2010.

Mr Huston had started training at the Wellington Judo & Ju Jitsu Academy and was awarded his black belt three years ago. Last year he was awarded nidan in the Olivecrona ju jitsu system.

Mr Huston runs the Wellington Jitsu Club and is a New Zealand Ju Jitsu Foundation committee member and Jitsu New Zealand director.

He has also studied kempo karate, boxing and muay Thai kickboxing and has coached Kyokushinkai karate fighters in bunkai for their black belt examinations.

Mr Ogden, who also holds a third dan in Olivecrona ju jitsu and a judo brown belt, said he had enjoyed forging strong friendships with each of the instructors who graded on Saturday and was very pleased to be involved with their ju jitsu careers.

"It was a very proud moment to see each of these guys rise to those levels - particularly Mr Huston, who is the first New Zealander to reach that grade."

For more information about the Masterton Judo & Ju Jitsu Academy go online to or call Simon Ogden on 021 248 6111.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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