Growing Up Tough

Clinton Raymond Frieslaar grew up in a tough neighborhood in Sanctor, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was 18 years old when he first started doing Atemi-Jujitsu under Shihan Thaya Moodaley.

He was introduced to the system by his cousin Rushdie Lagerdien who told him and his cousin Kevin Mortimer about the little old Indian man who was more explosive than any martial artists that he has ever seen. On the first night he was introduced to Shihan Moodaley he was overwhelmed by how humble he was. He could finally do something that he had always dreamt about. From the very first night he and Kevin were hooked and trained every Tuesday and Thursday night. To get to grips with the various techniques they would train relentlessly in Kevin’s family garage to improve their skills. This carried on for many years.

In 1994 Clinton joined the South African Police Services and left them after more than 11 years service. He stayed away from Atemi Jitsu classes for 7 months but kept on training on his own at the SAPS training college. Here he tested the system against the official system taught by the SAPS and found that the very basic knowledge he had from training with Shihan Thaya was more superior than what was being taught to the SAPS students. When he questioned the instructor he was belittled and told that he does not know what he was talking about. For his questions he was severely punished, military style. This continued for two weeks straight. Eventually he had enough and told the instructor that one of the techniques, a knife – disarm was ineffective.

This resulted in a challenge being posed by the instructor. He was requested by the instructor to show how effective the system (Atemi-Jujitsu) was that he was taught. He was requested to defend himself against one of the biggest and most respected students in the platoon. Being a man of small statue he was not fazed much by the imposing size of the attacker. After three aggressive attacks the attacker eventually tapped out for the last time. He was beaten three times in a row by the smaller Clinton. This resulted in renewed respect for Clinton from the instructor and fellow students. He was later requested to aid the instructor during classes and train those who were lacking after lectures.

When he returned to Port Elizabeth he returned to the teachings of Shihan Moodaley. Here he trained twice a week and every night at home. To sharpen and hone his reflexes he would have someone attack him with a broom stick. This would continue relentlessly for two hours non stop. He would often go to classes battered and bruised. Clinton’s desire to improve his skills resulted in him doing Aikido and Judo. His involvement in Judo led to him becoming the Eastern Province Judo Associations Registrar and later the Eastern Province Judo Associations Vice – Chairperson. Having a family tree of body builders, wrestlers and boxers it was inevitable that he would follow suite. All of this transcended into his martial arts and he became a formidable force to reckon with.

The punching and the ground work became second nature to him and this could especially be seen in his fighting style. Working as a police officer for more than 11 years and growing up in a tough neighborhood enabled him to use the skills he was taught by Shihan Thaya and really test them in real life situations. The police and his tough neighborhood were the perfect environments to use it in. As result of the skills he was taught he was widely respected in the community as he would never fight unless it was really necessary or when thugs assaulted innocent persons. By using the system in the police he made more than 200 hundred arrests and never had any assault charges of police brutality brought against him. He also started teaching and doing self defence lectures to various organizations for police driven community programmes.

These lectures span over a period of more than 10 years and he is still doing it today. Clinton started bringing his own fighting style into classes with the permission of Shihan Daya. Here they worked on various techniques and variations and improved on many others. They also worked extensively on defenses for woman against rape attacks. When graded to Black Belt he was promoted to become Shihan Thaya’s 2IC of the SAIUC (second in command). Shihan and Clinton then worked on incorporating more ground work and improved the restraining techniques. This was all due to the fact that Clinton could use what they worked on in class in the streets as a police officer.

Due to his exposure to the police environment he developed a training program for police officials. This covered many of the shortfalls he identified whilst in the service and after. When Clinton was graded to his 4th Dan in Atemi-Jujitsu, Shihan Thaya Moodaley decided to go into retirement and stop training at the Institute. He would only come in on an adhoc basis. Shihan Daya then handed over the South African Institute of Unarmed Combat (SAIUC) to Clinton Raymond Frieslaar.

Clinton incorporated more ground work, grappling, rape defenses, knife work, single stick and double stick fighting, firearm defenses, handcuffing techniques, judo throws and more into the Atemi-Jujitsu system. He later changed the name to Frieslaar Ryu Atemi-Jujitsu. His system is based on an all round fighting system that can be taught to any age group.

About the Author

Global Head of the International South African Institute of Unarmed Combat Owner of CR FRIESLAAR Intellectual Property Consultancy SASSETA and International Training Academy (ITA) accredited Advanced Handgun (pistol), Pump Action, Rifle and Carbine Instructor for Business purposes use, Range Officer, Firearms Instructor, Assessor

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